181st G-View: Upotte!!

There’s a reason I delayed this one for so long, it’s because I had no initial interest in picking it up. However, because it had milimoe/moetary elements (More on those terms in the next post) I figured I’d give it a chance. Was it a good show overall? Let’s find out as I review “Upotte!!”, a show about anthropomorphized female guns.

Warning: This review contains spoilers.

Upotte!!

Genres: Action, Slice of Life.

Themes: ecchi, fanservice, fighting, girls with guns, school, weapons, yuri

Number of episodes: 10 ONAs + 1 bonus OVA.

G-Rating: 6/10

Plot Summary:

Funko, Ichiroku, Eru, Shigu, are normal elementary school girls in a normal school, except that it is a weapons school, and, in fact, they all are weapons.
Upotte is a slice-of-life story revolving around the lives of several middle school girls and their school adventures. The fact that the girls happen to be anthropomorphizations of real military assault rifles means the series centers around the analogizing of rifle components to body parts while the relatively strengths and weaknesses of the particular weapons are portrayed as personality traits, even as the show provides the viewer with lessons on modern combat arms.
Sig, the Swiss prodigy

There is a difference between making no sense on purpose and unintentionally being confusing. Upotte felt like the latter to me. Out of all the milimoe/moetary I’ve seen in my life so far, this one was the least enjoyable. I had no idea what it wanted to be for the longest time. Eventually I figured out it was a “Daily Lives of High School Girls, who happened to be anthropomorphized guns that occasionally got into multiplayer Call of Duty matches” (Yes, I didn’t read the ANN summary until after I’d finished the show.).

The 2nd paragraph of the summary is all you need to know about what this show’s about. There’s literally nothing else to the plot than that. I initially asked myself, “why guns?”, and later I answered my own question with:

Writer 1: Hey, the Japanese media has already anthropomorphized animals, mechas, soda cans, plants, fruits and vegetables, meat, furniture and other items Overlord-G isn’t aware of, into girls. What haven’t we anthropomorphized yet?

Writer 2: I know, GUNS!

Writer 1: What about a plot as to why?

Writer 2: So they can be used by soldiers in the future.

Writer 3: Let’s add tons of obvious sex jokes while we’re at it.

Writer 1: BRILLIANT! We’ll make millions!

Writer 4: Also, let’s not give the show a solid conclusion. Let’s have the hive mind crave more by buying the manga.

Writer 5: Also, the events that take place in the anime must absolutely make no sense whatsoever.

Writer 1: They’ll give me money, money, yeah yeah, HEY, money, money, yeah yeah!

It took me 10 seconds to simulate this animation studio discussion.

To be blunt, I spent the majority of the show asking questions on why these events took place and why was there any need for the unexpected jerk turn or why did they not disqualify Sako, or why did they let her go after a near fatal rape? I didn’t even bother asking questions during the season finale battle because I had given up by then. In short, plot is something you shouldn’t worry too much about.

I’ll give the writers points for basing the characters’ personality on the guns they’re based on, at least, even though I could care less about the difference between this and that rifle. Also, if you’re a gun aficionado, this show will give you a crash course on both the types of guns used on the show and their history. Yes, this is an ecchicational anime similar to Seikon no Quaser, minus the breastfeeding.

Spoiler free action scene

How about the action scenes, you may ask? Well, if you like military shooting games and movies, you’ll kinda enjoy the few battles here and the pretty cool strategies used. They were intense enough without the need for blood. This isn’t serious stuff like Gunslinger Girl or Noir so blood is unnecessary.

Expect plenty of fanservice in this one.

Upotte OVA

Characters: I didn’t care for Funko, Sixteen or Elle. Sig was the only one of the main four who remotely amused me. She was the most competent and least pitiful of the 4. It felt so, “Hey, feel sorry for me, PLEASE?”

Thank you M14 for being amusing

Too bad I didn’t get to see M14 strut her stuff in a bikini along with her buddies. Honestly, the seniors were more entertaining than most of the main cast. As for the nameless male teacher, he’s okay.

upottekiss

Believe it or not, this is the only yuri moment that made sense to me.

Allow me to explain. The yuri in this show felt incredibly superficial to me. I mean, here are the questions I asked.

1: Why does Sig suddenly like Funko as more than just a friend ONLY after seeing Sako steal Funko’s first kiss?

Aug in her agrressive form

2: Why does Aug have a crush on Funko?

Galil and Ichihachi

3: Is Galil’s attachment to 18 that of a girl liking another girl or a dog attached to a girl she wants to hang out with?

4: Was Funko’s clever aqua shot against Galil REALLY impressive enough to make Sako horny and sadistically rape Funko? I was reminded of Kirie and Kosame in this scene, only I liked those girls while I didn’t care for neither Funko or Sako.

In short, the yuri was pointless.

In conclusion: I know all the questions I asked are answered in the manga but I honestly wasn’t impressed by the anime to go and read the manga. In short, this show is yet another failure as a manga lure…unless you’re part of the otaku hive mind. In any case, I have no doubt there will be a 2nd season of this show. If there won’t be, I’ll be shocked.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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14 Responses to 181st G-View: Upotte!!

  1. Yurimylove says:

    A very fair review, Mr. G! Here’re some of my thoughts as I watched this “ecchicational” series:

    – is this like what japanese soldiers watch to learn about their rifles?!
    – when I heard that a lot of anime series have “girls and guns”, I had no idea they meant “girls ARE guns”
    – umm no, your honor, I’m NOT a polygamist — I’m a gun collector XD
    – I must’ve missed the part about my assult rifle being able to “come” in the owner’s manual
    – you know humanity is in serious trouble when their WEAPONS decide to declare war by themselves
    – I was almost moved to tears by such beautiful friendship… then it dawned on me, WHAT friendship?! These are assult rifles we’re talking about here
    – thanks to this anime, I no longer feel ashamed when I get off on my assult rifle ^_^;

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      I forgot to mention that the concept, imo, was a stupid one. They could have simply made the show about a school where girls are taught how to use firearms at an early age, but noooooo, they just had to add the extra detail of girls being guns themselves for the sake of sex jokes. Sheesh. And this is coming from a guy who doesn’t mind any other type of anthropomorphizing Japan has cooked up.

      BTW, nice polygamy joke Elder One.

      Like

    • josias lemus says:

      what is the name of this anime?

      Like

  2. MarkS00N says:

    I think I realize now why the anime is so meh while the manga is interested me…
    The thing is, the manga ‘methaporism’ (or whatever the name for it – which maybe anthropomorphized but I don’t know how to use the word normaly, still need to learn English a lot) lost in anime moefication…
    The characteristic supposed to teach you about gun not only from the personality but also from body (how the eye supposed to look like a scoop) and thought…

    The plot and personality itself also suffer because the anime so focused on fan-service (not gun-service one)…
    There are answer to whole your question in manga that the anime don’t tell, or show…

    Totally agree with your statement it felt superficial, though one can say that SIG always love FNC, but very-very subtle in it and this why I like SIG in manga…
    Yet the anime somehow feel the urge to show it blatantly (I can accept the touch-cheek-and-never-let-go that FNC showed in snow episode, but everything onward is ridiculous and so obviously baiting the yuri-fan)…
    Why is it a problem? Because SIG supposed to look like Himeko and Homura however the anime then turn it into Kuroko archtype…

    So from cool, mysterious, and elegant into perverted, useless, and… well useless…

    I guess you are right that the anime is a manga bait, where they read the manga and finally feel ‘Yeah! This is how it supposed to be!’…

    Actually, if the anime delivered it well, FNC is a MAJOR contender for Iono-award (really miss that award teehee) because it is actually a yuri harem with FNC attract another gun with her kindness and determination…
    But, I guess it become a hollow and impossible dream I guess, huh?

    Ah, sorry for ranting far too much…

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      No problem dood. You provided many reasons you think the anime is inferior to the manga and I agree with most of them. The part about the gun education was done well in the anime. I know the manga went deeper but I don’t think it’s necessary for the anime to have gone that far as well.

      Take Strike Witches as an example of a show that has plenty of fanservice but never forgets to tell a good plot, or create character development when needed. Upotte had the fanservice, but failed miserably in plot and character development.

      Yes, I also enjoyed the part with Sig lovingly holding FNC’s cheeks. No word needed to be uttered. A picture was worth a thousand words. My problem is, like you said, NOT ONLY DID THIS “SIG LOVES FNC” COME OUT OF NOWHERE, BUT IT WAS NEVER EXPLAINED WHY SHE LOVED FNC! Hmm, I wouldn’t go so far as to calling Sig’s love Kuroko-esque.

      It’s no surprise that the manga is better (Because manga usually are) but the show should have done a better job to make viewers want to know what happens next in the manga, which it failed to do (at least for me.)

      Even if I had nominated FNC for the 2012 Iono-sama Award, she would have lost anyway due to hardly anybody caring about her show. Besides, the competition was so fierce that she wouldn’t have stood a chance.

      Like

      • MarkS00N says:

        Well, as I said, ‘if the anime delivered it well’ then ‘FNC a MAJOR contender’ for people will certainly willing to delve in the series…
        But as it is now… *Sigh…

        Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      Perhaps the inevitable 2nd season will open more eyes, IF it’s better, which I doubt. As I mentioned in my review, if this show doesn’t get a 2nd season, I’ll be shocked. It’s bad shows like this that have the highest chance of getting a 2nd season, unfortunately.

      Like

      • MarkS00N says:

        Isn’t 2nd season is based on Blue-Ray selling?
        If it get at least 3.000 selling, it is possible to get 2nd Season…
        Well, at least that the theory I hear…

        Though then again we have Kill Me Baby that only sell around 900 but somehow profitable enough, J.C-Staff contact the mangaka for possible 2nd season, so…

        And if it gets 2nd Season, yeah, hopefully it gets better…

        Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      Ah yes, Kill Me Baby!, while not an underrated gem, it was decent.

      http://ogmansblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/156th-g-view-kill-me-baby/

      We’ll see what happens in terms of sales eventually.

      Like

  3. I enjoyed this because it was cute, but it didn’t help me learn about guns. It’s why Panzer is better on the tactical side.

    Cute and moe > education. But that’s just my bias.

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      While it may have been cute to you, it wasn’t my kind of cute. It was more “please like us! PLEEEEEAAAAAASE!” cute rather than the superior and more acceptable, “d’awww, how cute!”

      Like

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