High school girls and guns! Plot twist: Both aren’t what you were expecting~
With no more episodes left of Girls und Panzer to enjoy it is time to enjoy something new in the genre of cute girls doing cute military things and hopefully Gainax can do something amazing with this new series for the summer season, but now it is time to join Highway and Hoshi for our first impressions!
Another First Impression, and this time it’s on the more military-action side. But apparently I can’t get away totally from the fuwa-fuwa because this time the show is fluffy girls shooting guns at each other! One of my all-time favorite shows, Girls und Panzer, showed one way for this kind of show to excel, while Upotte! was not as successful , but does Stella C3 follow in those footsteps, or blaze a new trail?
Ah, welcome to an (extremely late) first impression of Stella, which has an incredibly long title that I won’t type out~! Honestly, I didn’t expect much from this show from the summer preview, but after just one episode, I can see how enjoyable this series might become. It certainly throw off my misconceptions, so let’s see about the boys impressions~
It *is* a Normal Club
Usually these posts start off with ‘This isn’t your normal club’, but in this case, it really *is* a normal club. They hang out, they talk about what they like, they have tea and cake, they try to recruit, they try to hold events. And on top of that, I was struck by how normal the girls in this first episode were. Rento, Yachiyo, and Honoka especially seem like normal high school girls, despite all of their talk about how they’re weirdos and freaks. The fact that they sit there and talk about how they’re not normal seems, well, completely normal to me. They just have a hobby or interest that most girls don’t have. And apart from Karila, who really seems to play up the tomboy / Rambo trope, they’re just having fun at what they’re doing. So when they try to get the club president’s new roommate Yura involved in the club, it is a surreal presentation of “we like to shoot at each other” with smiles and sparkles. I find Rento especially endearing, repeatedly calling Yura a ‘hentai’ with a gleeful genuine smile on her face. But they were able to do this without making them mean spirited. And at this point, the show hasn’t made anyone mean-spirited, not even the other girls who are bonding with each other, and leaving Yura out. I like that even though they’re a bit thoughtless about including this shy girl, they’re not doing anything like taunting her or picking on her.
Tactical Moe Shooter
Gainax has a long history of chicks that use awesome guns ranging from Haruko from FLCL, Mahoro from Mahoromatic, Panty from Panty and Stocking, Makina from Shikabane Hime, Misato from Evangelion and who could forget Yoko from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann? I just hope Gainax can create something amazing with Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka c3 bu, but I have faith they will do something fun even though they hardly do any cute girls doing cute things anime. So how was the action in this first episode? It wasn’t that bad actually even though going into this first episode I didn’t think they would have any room to add any action moments; however I liked the swat team style mini game that the girls decided to introduce how their club operates to Yura Yamato! That short action moment gives us a general idea of things to come in the future just like the opening? It showed us various teams and that screams possible competitions like we saw with both Girls und Panzer and Upotte. So what about you? Are you interested in the gunplay or are you sticking around for the cute girls doing cute things part? For me I am sticking around for both, but I am curious about Sonora Kashima who was seen at the end using a real gun for target practice? I can only assume she takes the gun stuff very serious.
The Action Stands Up
It was entirely possible that they wouldn’t have any airsoft action in this opening episode, but I’m glad they did. And as soon as they head out to the fight area in the woods, we get an art shift to a much more realistic style. This really gives a good feeling of the interior of the woods, with heavy canopy, streaming light, lots of verticality, and some objects like cable drums providing cover. They explain the rules while showing visuals of the girls preparing, and then the battle starts. Accompanied by a jazz track that starts with solo bass, the music ramps up with the action, adding piano, then drums, and then horns as Ren and Honoka cover each other and advance on Karila’s position. And their movements are done very realistically, running from cover to cover, alternating covering fire, even sliding into objects. The guns look realistic, even though I’m not nearly enough of a gun buff to tell what they are, and the whole battle is pulled off in a very believable, realistic way. That they did that with such cute character designs makes it even more appealing, because even though they don’t really match in art style, the girls never look out of place in these very realistic woods, holding very realistic guns and making very realistic moves. I just felt like I was watching along with Yura, excitement growing as they reach the final confrontation. This was truly the highlight of the show, and made for an excellent opening episode. If they can keep this level of battle animation and style, I think this show has a great chance of being a hit.
Well that was a very exciting first episode and some of my favorite parts were all the cute moments with Yura like the scene with her playing around with Sonora’s gun collection! Wow that scene had me laughing! I guess Yura has quite the imagination, but I think we have all done the same thing before with toy guns growing up right? What else did I like besides Yura? I guess the hyper gun club characters! So far I love the interaction between all of the girls but if I had to choose my favorites right now I would go with Rento Kirishima and Karila Hatsuse because I think they were a lot of fun and I look forward to seeing more of this! So who was your favorite out of the bunch?
I’m definitely not an expert on airsoft or even paintball, but from what I saw this episode, it really seems like the animation team for Stella C3 knows what they’re doing as far as the battles. And while that’s not the only key to success for a show like this, it’s definitely a necessity. And it doesn’t hurt that I found the rest of the episode engaging, with a group of normal girls who just happen to like playing survival games for fun. It should be interesting when they introduce the club president, and Yura’s roommate, into the group to see how they all get along, but I’ll definitely be looking forward to it.
I have to admit this has been my favorite first episode this season, mainly because it managed to completely change my initial opinion on the show. Originally I thought this would be some show about intense guns, cutesie high school girls who show off some occasional fanservice, and be totally ridiculous, but it actually has quite a realistic approach and I love it. The set up felt natural and not so over-exaggerated. From the main character’s social problem to the eagerness of the girls to get more members for the club, to the mock airsoft gun battles, everything just fit neatly into place without some ridiculous setup. It was a nice surprise from Stella that I didn’t expect at all. The characters, who are already one of my favorite aspects from the show, are definitely a lot of fun. With the setup Stella has, I feared it could get boring quickly, but the quirkiness of each character and their enthusiasm for the mock battles made them interesting to watch. Now I’m eager to see not only the senior member of the club, who looks pretty badass as well, but more of their mock battles and how they compete with other groups. Of course I’m also eager to see how Yura adapts to the club and how she’ll fare in future battles.~
This has been it for this first impression (and thanks to Highway and Foshizzel for joining in~)! See ya’ll in a few days for Stella’s second episode~
Also, bonus pics brought to you by the one and only Foshizzel!: Show ▼