11 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Inushinde /

Pupa Episode 1: Dogs Erupting into Spaghetti and People Bleeding Ink

Pupa101

The team adapting Pupa has probably been dealt one of the shittiest hands imaginable in terms of caveats to work with. Turning a manga built on incest and body horror into something presentable for television, divided into five-minute episodes no less, is one hell of a production nightmare, so I can understand why another few months were needed in order to iron out the wrinkles and make it ready for showtime, without entirely gutting the squicky-icky factor. It didn’t work, ending up a heavily-censored mess, but at least we got a half-second of something gooey-looking jumping out of a dog’s throat in a way reminiscent of one of the best Terribad moments. That has to count for something.

Considering that the budget is less than shoestring, they did a surprisingly good job at creating a gloomy atmosphere in the first episode, thanks to the washed-out color palette and the competent use of disquieting sound effects. But despite a decent effort at setting the mood, the show does a shitty job at pacing itself, jumping right to a dog vomiting fleshy spaghetti onto our main girl, who then proceeds to eat somebody behind a heavily-censored haze for no adequately explained reason.

The attempts at establishing the characters and plot are nominal at best, with the minute between OP and dog spaghetti spent watching Yume walk around, gawk at CG butterflies, and generally be a waste of space. If more time had been spent setting up Yume as a person, rather than a cannibal-butterfly person in waiting (a pupa of a pupa, if you will), the grotesqueness of her transformation would have been impactful, rather than comically abrupt.

I won’t say that it’s terrible, and there are worse ways to kill five minutes, but I don’t think that Pupa’s being all it can be. I’m certainly going to keep watching though, if only to spite myself for not putting it in my FAL team.

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11 Comments

  1. gedata
    Posted January 10, 2014 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    “Turning a manga built on incest and body horror into something presentable for television, divided into five-minute episodes no less, is one hell of a production nightmare”
    Only three minutes if you don’t count the opening and ending.

  2. superzarop
    Posted January 10, 2014 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    It definitely had awful pacing and cringe-worthy gore, but still not a boring watch. The music reminded me of VN music for some reason, and I’ve only played 2. Also doesn’t your name involve a dog dying, or does shinde mean something else?

    On a side note, where is the FAL hosted? I know I’m too late now, but I only managed to find fall 2013 on the contest page of MAL.

    • Inushinde
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 1:50 am | Permalink

      It does, yeah. I went for the dumbest name I could think of that sounded alright.

      As for FAL, it’s only done in Fall and Spring, so keep an eye out next season.

  3. Posted January 10, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Oh, so there’s incest in the manga after all? I thought that it was only a marketing thingy in the trailer with “onii-chans” in it, and the guy is just overprotective.
    As a Pole I had a duty to at least try to watch this, because “pupa” means “bottom” in Polish (as in “ass”, but in more polite and childish way), so of course there is an interest.
    Also, it will be loved by all those edgy teenagers that loved Higurashi and Elfen Lied, because gore = mature.

    • Inushinde
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 1:49 am | Permalink

      The manga treads heavily into that territory, though it’s not really shown much here. Same with context for the violence, which has nowhere near the context that it does in the source material. But yeah, edgy teens don’t give a shit.

  4. lmm
    Posted January 10, 2014 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    I was reminded of the Meduka Meguca threads, of all things. There just wasn’t enough time to explain anything, so it felt like a rushed, derpy explanation of the plot of a longer show.

  5. Shadow
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 4:34 am | Permalink

    if this series had been animated on the 90′s or in the early 2000′s i am sure we would have gotten proper 23 minutes long episodes. But the current anime industry is focused on moe crap, and lame imouto-oniichan series.

    I feel there is a conspiracy from the anime world towards this series. This anime could have changed our perspective of imouto-oniichan series, show us that it can be more than fan service and panty shots.
    But that would have brought out the end of crappy light novel adaptations. The anime industry didn’t want that.

    Series like Blood-C and Attack on Titan, have shown similar levels of gore lately and they weren’t banned. Which makes me think the anime industry didn’t want this series in particular to be released.

    I read chapter 1 of this series, and honestly, it could have lasted 12-15 minutes + some extra add-ons and characters interactions animators like to do to fill in the blanks.

    Heck, they could have at least followed Seki-kun, and make the episode 8 minutes long. At least that gives us a bit more.

    I guess we will have to wait for the Parasyte anime later this year, i hope the anime industry doesn’t boycott it either.

    • Inushinde
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 4:50 am | Permalink

      If this were animated in the 90′s, we would have gotten what I linked to in the opening paragraph, but with more gratuitous tit shots.

      It certainly got the short end of the stick here, but it’s just as much Deen’s fault for gutting most of the context. If they weren’t so eager to jump into butterfly-cannibal girl eviscerating an innocent bystander, it could have been built up better, even in just five minutes.

  6. Cirith
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Hmm on the one hand I kinda want to watch more because I kinda want to know what the show is actually about. I mean there was no build up, for all I know this is just a series of shorts where each time people randomly turn into monsters. I don’t know who anyone is or anything else.

    On the other hand it wasn’t very interesting.

  7. Ken
    Posted January 13, 2014 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    I honestly think this is the worst looking anime I can remember ever seeing. I don’t think I can bear to watch another episode. Studio Deen must have their greenest interns working on it.

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