28 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Upotte!! episode 1

After a few minutes of the anime starting, I was already mocking its total shittiness. “Oh look” I joked, “It’s like Hetalia except with cute girls and not funny”. But then the anime stopped trying and failing to make jokes out of racial stereotypes and moved on to its central premise, and something amazing happened. I started to enjoy it.

In case you somehow haven’t heard the premise of Upotte before, it’s about girls who are guns. Not girls with guns, although there certainly is a lot of that too. The girls are actually guns. Don’t ask how that works, I’m not entirely sure. Neither is the show itself for that matter, which adds to the bizarre humour of the entire thing. The girls all go to a school for guns to learn how to one day grow up and become the best assault rifles they can be, while also being turned on by the thought of a big strong person welding them. It’s this bizarre mix of perverted, cutesy and seriously dark humour. The series never once glosses over the destructive power of guns, which leads to this fucked up approach to depicting school shootings. And yet I kinda love it for that.

If I may come back to my post on Polar Bear Cafe, my point there was that animals being humans is only one joke. It has nowhere to expand the joke beyond that central premise. That’s why I felt unenthused by the whole thing. Girls as guns has far more scope for expansion with the premise, and Upotte does expand out that premise out. Some of it doesn’t work, most notably its racial stereotype humour falls completely flat, but the gun humour is legitimately funny and inventive. It was like the entire idea of the story came from a discussion between two nerds on twitter over what part of a gun corresponds to a part of a women’s body, and it spiralled out of control from there. As a bonus point too, I’m someone who knows somewhere between ‘fuck’ and ‘all’ about guns, but the jokes were well explained and told enough for me to still find them funny. In fact, I’m actually learning shit about guns. Upotte is Educational.

The animation is laughably horrible, Xebec at their worst. Character designs are hideous, with that whole lack of noses thing and skirts that remind me of that episode of Nichibros where the girls pull their skirts up to their chests. From a production standpoint, Upotte is woeful. But the central premise has such inherent amusement behind it, and is developed upon well enough to capitalise on that, that I ended up legitimately enjoying this. For whatever reason, I haven’t found moe anthropomorphisation dull yet. Take anything and turn it into cute girls (or cute guys, or manly guys, or whatever people, I’m honestly not picky) and I’ll probably enjoy it.

Huh, that probably means I should watch Akikan then…

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  1. Posted April 7, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    Sigh, I did not want to watch this, but judging from your glorious praise, this might turn into a new Hetalia…I don’t know if I can afford to miss out on the second coming of the Hetalia fanbase.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      I doubt this will be the next Hetalia…

    • Posted April 10, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

      THIS. IS. NOT. HETALIA. Cannot stress this enough.

  2. Posted April 7, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Don’t lie to us, you are solely watching this for the engaging dialogues:
    - “Fuck yeah, a headshot!”
    - “Hah, it pales in comparison to my panty shot!”

    Best show of the season, of all seasons.

    • Alex Voda
      Posted April 8, 2012 at 2:04 am | Permalink

      All seasons?Really?! o_0

      Are you forgetting about the toothbrushes already?

      • Posted April 8, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        Who gives a damn about brushing your sister’s teeth as long as you can have weapon porn?

  3. dolan
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    Hetalia and not funny? that’s a pleonasm

  4. Posted April 7, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    Girls as guns has far more scope

    I see what you did there…

  5. Erif
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Okay, Sankrea, maybe, but there’s no way I’m watching this. =|

  6. RogerMoore
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    Animation is truly some of the worst of the last year from what I’ve seen. I haven’t watched this yet because I had it pinned as basically having no chance of even achieving mediocrity, but after reading this post I guess I have to give it a chance.

  7. Nazarielle
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    For whatever reason, I haven’t found moe anthro­po­morph­isa­tion dull yet.

    So I guess this means you’ll be checking out Nyaruko, the moe anthropomorphisation of Cthulu lore :p

  8. Gruzzel
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    I found it very entertaining and although I didn’t outright laugh it did give me a jolly smirk or two.
    I know little about guns although it did suggest that they had done some background work because they did portray the guns quite well.
    The biggest down side of this anime is they didn’t include my favourite gun. that being the slapper of all guns, the AK47 (because everyone owns one).

    • sams
      Posted April 14, 2012 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      I bet AK-47 will be introduced down the line has a competitor to FNC, especially since in the Cold War it was mostly a FN-FAL(FNC predecessor) vs AK-47.

      I really loved this show and was surprised by the gun jokes in it, very well done indeed.

  9. Posted April 8, 2012 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    I’m surprised you found this to be anything more than an insult to your intellect. For me, the bad totally outweighs the good.

  10. diz1776
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    >Implying Akikan wasn’t a masterpiece.

    • lostsage
      Posted April 8, 2012 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      Regardless of how bad the show might have been, it had some of the best jokes I’ve seen. But then there was that one episode.

  11. luffyluffy
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    M-My hammer! It’s going to.. f-fire!

  12. Kurogashi
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Not sure if you’ve ever heard of this site, but I just came across it and thought it was quite an extension of MAL. http://mal.oko.im/5camp

    Lots of interesting info found, especially the mean scores over time. Seems like someone became a bit more judgemental as they grew older.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Where are you getting the stat on me becoming more judgemental over time? I mean, it’s fairly obvious that would happen. Less chance to cherry pick over time and the fact I started watching terribad anime last year

    • Kurogashi
      Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

      I might be reading it wrong but from the looks of your ‘mean score per decade’, there seems to be a drop from in the 90s till now.

      • Scamp
        Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

        Not really, there’s a jump up from 90s to 00s, followed by a slight dip to the 10s, which is because I’ve sampled more of the shit from the 10s

  13. Stef
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    I just clicked on the post because of the Belgian flag. “WTF?”

    So, I guess one of the girls is an FN Herstal weapon?

  14. zhai2nan2
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    The series never once glosses over the destruct­ive power of guns, which leads to this fucked up approach to depict­ing school shoot­ings.

    Ehem. I must dissent.

    Guns on full auto lead to tremendously uncontrolled fire. FNC manages to fire full-auto at her teacher twice without killing him.

    I was going to skip this, then I read your review and gave the first episode a try.

    Look, I think this show is a well-made piece of softcore porn.

    We get to see the cute, sexually frustrated silver-haired girl having a crush on a big, tall, manly man.

    We get to hear her voice actress moan about how she would have an orgasm very quickly, if only he would put his hands on her.

    This is not story-telling. This is rehearsal for masturbation.

    That’s porn. Maybe porn is good, but this show is clearly porn.

  15. Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    To be honest it gets even funnier if you’ve fired a rifle or any gun before…

  16. Gunslinger
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Nowadays every moeblob anime i watch reminds me of nichibros.

  17. Posted April 11, 2012 at 2:39 am | Permalink

    For whatever reason, I haven’t found moe anthro­po­morph­isa­tion dull yet. Take any­thing and turn it into cute girls (or cute guys, or manly guys, or whatever people, I’m hon­estly not picky) and I’ll prob­ably enjoy it.


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