Jun 10 2012 04:15 PM
Upotte!! is a 10 episode title based off a 4-koma panel manga. It aired during the Winter 2012 anime season, was simulcasted on CrunchyRoll, and is licensed by Sentai Filmworks for US distribution. The original net animation (ONA) is expected to receive a TV broadcast this July. The story follows a school full of girls who's names are not only gun names but are actually gun themselves. Now you may be wondering, how the heck is that possible. Basically, long story short, thing Strike Witches except anything that happens to the guns the girls are/own also happens to them (less the magazine). An OAD is also planned for release later this year.
The school premise really hurts the series as it ends up being a school-life, ecchi, comedy show rather than an interesting war setting. The show is more about gun "history" than anything else at times. However, it does have its fair share of action. Character wise though it's incredibly weak. Characters themselves are not interesting at all despite being guns. The show doesn't fully explain how things work in this world. It's unfortunate since it has a unique concept and solid action, but fails to ever follow through with a majority of what it tries. It ends up being half-hearted 80% of the time.
Art and animation were both decent overall. Designs weren't overly generic but they weren't overly detailed either. For a gun specific show, I had expected some greater focus and quality on the guns the girls were holding. They got the inner components of the guns detailed but the exterior lacked the fine details that the interior had. What's the point if we don't see the interior 90% of the time? Unfortunately, we also don't even get to see detailed magazines or shots like what was shown in Hidan no Aria or even Black Lagoon. And no, I'm not confusing this show with the ongoing Jormungand. Regardless, animation is a strong point of this show with Xebec continuing to show signs of improvement. In this past year alone, they have shown step ups from their previous works (mostly To Love-Ru) with titles like Rinne no Lagrange and Upotte!!
OP/ED themes were both okay at best. I personally prefer the ED theme a little more but neither are really all that good when this season is filled with a lot of good themes. Seiyuu wise, the show is mixed with moderately experienced seiyuus such as Iori Nomizu and Mizusu Togashi as well as less experienced ones such as Misato and Kaori Sadohara. It would have been more appealing to have accents brought out to match the origins of the guns (kind of like Hetalia). Mizusu did a fine job as Sixteen with the attempt at accents but the rest of the cast was rather dull.
Enjoyment? The series does have a few noteworthy episodes worth watching, mostly when the girls duke it out with each other. I will say, however, that are far better in basically every other aspect Upotte!! tries to get good at. If you want girls with guns, Madlax, Black Lagoon, and Gunslinger Girl are more noteworthy titles. If you want a similar premise, Strike Witches definitely does this better.
Overall, despite all the negativity towards this show, it's not an unwatchable show but requires some serious patience to watch. The moeblob aspect really detracts viewers and the addition of ecchi only makes it worse. It's more "interesting" than I gave it credit for but it's not something that one should really get excited over. It's by no means a good show. It will likely be forgotten not too long from now.Preliminary Score: 4/10
Final Score: 4/10