First Impressions – Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka c3-bu

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

gun girls (4)

Gainax has a long history of chicks that use awesome guns ranging from Haruko from FLCLMahoro from MahoromaticPanty from Panty and StockingMakina from Shikabane HimeMisato 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.

Overall Thoughts

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 ▼


We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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38 Responses to “First Impressions – Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka c3-bu”

  1. Overcooled says:

    Whoa, I did not expect this show to be this good. What a nice surprise! This was one of my favourite first episodes of the season so far. I didn’t realize we’d actually be getting some good action sequences. I loved that forest tussle and as Highway mentioned, the accompanying music was also really appropriate (and catchy).

    On a side note, I really dig the coloured goggles/glasses…So stylish!

    • Restia says:

      Although those goggles might be stylish, I’m not too sure if that’s safe haha. I’ve been airsofting and paintballing but most people wear full masks. I’ve rarely seen just goggles. My friend got a mole on his shot off oAo that was…not a fun time.

      • Highway says:

        I’m going to guess that the goggles are a minimum acceptable thing that they’re going with because full face masks would really hurt the appeal of the show.

    • Highway says:

      I watched / listened to that sequence about 8 times today just for that music. Usually I’m not a huge jazz fan, but that really did well. Something I noticed late in my rewatches was that when Rento goes up and over in the climax part, right as the horns kick in, they did an establishing shot from the opposite perspective to show us where Yura was watching Rento from. Great way to keep us reminded that the sparkles are what Yura is seeing.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    A “normal” club. Riiiiight…. If this is a normal club then I’m Napoleon. This is Girls und Panzer but the girls are using guns instead of tanks. Where do they come up with these hobbies for their clubs? (Airsoft, Going Home club in Kitakubu Katsudou Kiroku) I went in for the premise and it turned out better than I expected. I like that the girls are so upbeat even though they themselves and each other weirdos and freaks. Usually someone would throw a tantrum instead. As strange as it sounds, they felt like terms of endearment. The best part was how authentic the feel of their war game was and the tactics they used. Next time they should all be in camouflage to make it more challenging.

    Like I said earlier, this is another Girls und Panzer so I’ll be looking forward to more. I’m here for both the girls and the gunplay. It’s the best of both worlds. I’m interested in Kashima’s character. From the target practice in the shooting gallery, the vibes she gives off are similar to that of Jo from Burst Angel.

    • Restia says:

      Yes~ Girls und Panzer vibes all over the place XD

      • BlackBriar says:

        Girls und Panzer had their battle cry “Panzer vor!”. I wonder if these girls will have one of their own.

        • skylion says:

          “Don’t get the airsoft pellets confused with those tasty little non-pariells you put on the cakes-Vor!

    • Highway says:

      I thought you’d be taller from your posts… Really what I mean is that it’s a club that really acts like clubs do. It’s only a club of ‘misfits’ in that they have an interest that most girls don’t share. They don’t seem like the ‘freaks’ that are shunned by the rest of the student body, but that might be something that comes up later, and nor do they specifically play up their weirdness to exclude others.

      I am glad that it does the same thing as GuP so far: Take the action seriously. That was what Upotte! really failed to do. It had the background on the guns, but it turned the action far more ‘anime-y’, rather than interestingly authentic.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Hahaha, just an expression. I’m much taller than that. Like you said for a group of girls interested in an otherwise unfeminine activity, they act just like a normal club. Even their taste in movies is something everyday people wouldn’t expect. I guess they’re tomboys on the inside and this is their way of expressing it.

        • Highway says:

          I don’t even know if I’d go so far as to characterize them as tomboys. I mean, except for Karila and Sonora, the other four girls don’t really seem tomboyish, looking at things like their whiteboard with all the hearts and flowers, their girly hairstyles, hairpins, and the like. Plus, I think Yura’s got more of a chuunibyou streak in her than a tomboyish streak.

  3. KLACMAN says:

    well give when i saw i was like did i just watched all female Moe version of the Expendables with air soft guns?!

    yet seeing i’m hooked in to watch more on it.

  4. Restia says:

    Yes! Moe + airsoft guns XD
    Makes me want to go airsofting~

    I feel like this will be the Girls und Panzer of Summer Season, hopefully it doesn’t disappoint. Loving the characters also~ they’re all too cute >v<

    • BlackBriar says:

      What aren’t they going to stick with moe these days?

    • skylion says:

      I was in the local box mart buying new work shoes, and I passed the sporting goods aisle, a big wall of airsoft, and I thought….this stuff would be to cheap for the Stella C3-bu.

      • BlackBriar says:

        That’s too much of a coincidence for me to believe. The odds of that happening has to be staggering.

  5. Jrow says:

    So I didn’t know this was a gun club show until I started watching it because I didn’t read the description. The episode felt to me like K-On meets Upotte! (I admit K-On! only because of the sweets they lured MC in with), and though I think and hope C3-bu will see better action sequences, this one was ok considering the MC didn’t really do anything. It’s a decent show… that I will have to pass on for the time being.

  6. skylion says:

    Yes, despite the fact that there are so many SoL shows, and MS shows this season, this is the one I was anticipating first and foremost.

    Yes, they succeed in meeting and going above and beyond my expectations. The characterizations were unique and well developed for a first episode. The movement animation was crisp and well thought out. And the comedy was so well paced.

    Hairpin-chan. She steals the show. From her cake trap, to the tactics she executes in field. She is amazing in a group of girls that are awesome.

    So very happy this show kicked all the ass I wanted it to.

    • Highway says:

      Rento was tremendous. I especially love her lilting “DESU!” But when the action starts, she was totally business.

      Plus, it took me a couple watches to realize that the scene the fight turns into in the end was the scene Yura was watching before. (btw, was that actually a sequence in a Rambo movie? I’ve never seen them…)

      • skylion says:

        It is pretty much like the film played out…I haven’t seen it since it was first available for rental…on Betamax.

    • Highway says:

      Also, from what I can tell, Rento is Nishizaki Rima’s first anime role, and I thought she did a great job.

  7. JPNIgor says:

    The action scenes are good *-* And it seems too much fun *o* I’m the kind of person who always wanted to try paintball and stuff.

    “They hang out, they talk about what they like, they have tea and cake, they try to recruit, they try to hold events.”

    Tea… And Cake? And a soft voiced girl on top of it? Doesn’t it remember you of a certain club that liked to have a Tea Time after school that had a certain girl with a certain pair of huge eyebrows that looks like pickled radishes?

    Well, I think I’m mostly stucked with this anime because of the action. There is something behind the main character that makes me curious as well, but if I took these elements out, I would say that it is a normal club done right (unlike a certain go home club…). Overall, I can only expect for more survival simulations. It was really exciting.

    • Highway says:

      If this show came anywhere near as good as K-On!, I think everyone would be pretty pleased with it. I know that is one of my favorite shows, and the group dynamics are a major draw. So for Stella C3, the more “This was reminding me of K-On” there is, the better.

      It’s also a bit of a change because thinking about most of the club anime we’ve seen lately, it seems like the trend has been a club that just hangs out, with no actual focus or mission that would require a club. GJ-bu, Yuyushiki, Chuu2koi, OreShura, Kitakubu, so many of these shows have just been people hanging out doing random activities. So having a club that has a mission and a specific activity that they all like to do is somewhat different.

      • skylion says:

        If this show came anywhere near as good as K-On!, I think everyone would be pretty pleased with it.

        This should be the measure of all entertainment!

      • JPNIgor says:

        I’m not saying that it would be bad if it was anywhere similar do K-ON XD As skylion said, K-ON is a standard in terms of quality when it comes to slice of life.

        Well, OreShura and Chuu2Koi actually had an objective, even though they were achieved through twisted means. And I still think that C3-bu, don’t an objective, they just play survival games for fun. And I think it is better this way since there isn’t the tension that Girls & Panzers and Upotte had when they had to go serious, making things more enjoyable and lighter to watch.

        • Highway says:

          I wasn’t disagreeing with you about K-On! It’s one of my favorite shows.

          As far as the clubs, I put the C3 club in the same category as a karuta club, or a soccer club, or a swim team. It’s a legitimate sports / activity club. In contrast with that, the only thing that the OreShura club had was hanging out with Eita, the only reason for Rikka’s club was for Rikka to have a club (and for Kumin to nap) as status, the only point of the Rinjin-bu was for Yozora and the rest of the girls to be close to Kodaka. That’s what I was meaning about the club having a purpose: It’s one that the school administration can actually support.

          • JPNIgor says:

            Oh, yeah… I see. But then, in my point of view, unless there are other clubs similar to C3-bu in order for the girls to make any achievements, I would say that any support from the school administration related to a club in which girls only play around with airguns would be a waste. And what a support Stella gives to C3-club. Look at the huge space they have for their activities o____O’

            • Highway says:

              Well, the OP has at least one other team for them to fight.

            • skylion says:

              Yeah, they need a tourney….

            • Highway says:

              I dunno about a whole tourney, those tend to go on too long. I think they could probably do with 3 friendly matches through the season.

            • JPNIgor says:

              True… That last tourney on Girls & Panzers was too long and could be used better on more lighthearted moments.

            • Foshizzel says:

              A tourney would be a lot of fun! I loved the mini event with the school vs school of Upotte.

  8. AllenAndArth says:

    seems to be a good one, but, there’s no SCIENCE! just crude guns…not my type…i wonder if i should find something more… S.E.X.Y ;P

    • Foshizzel says:

      Oh? Probably not a fan of moe/action blending together huh? For sexy I have no idea other than DxD LOL

      • BlackBriar says:

        For sexy and action there’s Highschool of the Dead. For just plain sexy other High School DxD there’s Dakara Boku wa H ga Dekinai, Hagure Yuusha no Estetica, Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls, Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Bride, Seikon no Qwaser and Senran Kagura.

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