Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka C³-bu Ep. 1 Thoughts

Yuri, this is not.
Yuri, this is not.
Gunslinger Girl, this is not.
Gunslinger Girl, this is not.

Now that we got that out of the way, shall we begin?

I had previously believed that originality was rare, and even if found it would require a grand amount of execution to become truly special and memorable.

I still do.

But that’s not to say that originality is dead. Hell no. My brother literally slapped me silly for believing that. It is indeed possible to find such “original anime” in this decade; very few shows like The World God Only Knows, Durarara!, Hyouka, Chuunibyou, were able to provide truly unique experiences, or a unique twist – invigoration – of an established genre/formula.

Yachiyo Hinata best girl!
Yachiyo Hinata best girl!

Where am I going with this? This show, of course! I went into Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka C³-bu expecting another trashy, K-On copycat, only to find myself enjoying what could be a fairly unique twist on the moe, slice-of-life, high-school club anime.

It starts out in familiar fare, with a dreamy-eyed girl, named Yura Yamato, on her first day of high schoo- HOLY CRAP that school is huge! Alright, so not everything is completely within Yura’s fantasy, but seriously; first world problems, I tell ya.

Rento Kirishima best girl!
Rento Kirishima best girl!

Uh, where was I? Right, then Yura finds a gun under her pillow- whoa, whoa, whoa, wait, a GUN?! Yes, and this is where things get interesting!

The gun’s fake, by the way.

Cue the opening sequence. Soon after, we’re greeted by an insane cast of characters, and I mean INSANE. Whether it’s Yachiyo and her wackily huggable expressions, the G36K-wielding meganekko Honoka, the cake-loving Rento with beautiful hair, or the machine gun-totting american stereotype Karila… they are all borderline sociopathic!

One minute they’re sweet as tea, and the next they handle their guns with eerie anticipation, and firing rounds with big smiles on their faces! It’s weird! And crazy! And I love every minute of it.

My reaction to meeting another otaku. :3
My reaction to meeting another otaku. :3

I admit it! I’ve fallen in love with these characters. Their passion for airsoft complements their madly eccentric personalities perfectly, constantly providing us with loads of on-screen hilarity and entertainment. It certainly helps that the chemistry and interaction between the entire cast are nothing short of fantastic. All of it feels particularly fresh, despite being held back by some K-On-ish moments. (Complete with tea, cakes and everything!)

K-On, this is not.
K-On, this is not.

The show feels polished as well. The animation is splendid where it counts (if you can get past the cutesy character designs), especially during the airsoft battles. The original creator definitely did his research when it came to military tactics. Being constantly on the move and switching between cover-to-cover, rolls, cover-fire, hand-signals, and surprise ambushes – there were no shortcuts or flashy stunts. Just good ol’ gunplay, and it was AWESOME. I also really liked Yura’s fantasy vision, which gave the battle a slight Chu-2 vibe to it. And who can forget that smooth jazz playing in the background?

Karila Hatsuse best girl!
Karila Hatsuse best girl!

So far, I like what I’m seeing. Clean animation, cute style, insane and memorable characters, and an awesome premise that sets itself up for intense, over-the-top airsoft battles! And to top it all off, no fanservice! The bad kind, I mean.

As long as the show doesn’t wallow in nothing happening at all, it may turn out to be one of the best shows of this season! My expectations are high, and I look forward to more of this insanity.

What a great way to kick start the summer season! 😀

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