Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3 – 13 (Fin)

c3bu13

Out of ammo after their last match, the C3 club enters in the 5th Annual “Field Queen Contest” with 16 other hopefuls, to win a year’s supply of BBs. Daishichi gives the play-by-play while Sono gives color commentary. When matches last longer than ten minutes, the winner is chosen by the audience, hence the need for showmanship and flair. Karila makes it to the final after defeating Yura and Aira, while Honoka defeats Rin with psychological warfare. Honoka and Karila’s match goes over ten, and Honoka wins the vote of the people.

With the main story arc all wrapped up last week, this was essentially a bonus episode, with little in the way of lasting impact, but was nevertheless a fun and entertaining end to the show, efficiently utilizing the skills, personalities, and yes, “assets” of both the main and supporting cast. Sure, things got a little corny at times, and we hasten to remark that Yura could easily win with her supernatural powers, but the mood was charmingly chipper and the pace was quick and confident, never bogging down as the pageant bracket filled out.

As an innocuous bonus episode, there was plenty of (very mild) fanservice, a product of the contest being more than just shooting your opponent, but also currying favor with the audience. Rin’s self-introduction in sailor fuku was pretty amusing, as was her ultimate defeat to Honoka after hearing all burdens that will befall her should she win. We were glad Yura and Rin didn’t progress that far, and the spotlight instead fell on her teammates. Honoka was the master strategist right up to the end, keeping Karila at bay while making sure she showed enough skin.


Rating: 6 (Good)

Advertisements

Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3 – 12

c3bu12

After Sono defeats everyone else, Yura returns and goes one-on-one with her. They battle hard, attracting the attention of Rento and the others, who watch from afar and eventually rejoin the fray. They battle until the sun is almost down, but Yura changes the world by restoring daylight and temporarily turning Stella Women’s Academy into one huge airsoft school where everyone is a combatant. Afterwards, with Sono gone abroad, the C3 club is short a member again. Yura, hearing two new students disillusioned by their high school experience, decides to try to recruit them.

Last week Yura hit rock bottom, but only she could pull herself out of her rut, live with her past misdeeds, and reconcile with her friends and Sono in particular the best way she knows how: with an airsoft battle. There was really never any doubt that they’d forgive her; and Yura even learned to enjoy herself again without fussing over tactical details. We liked how the battle started off with just Yura and Sono, but the others couldn’t resist jumping back into the battle, making it an even more exciting 2-on-2-on-2 that continues all day until the bells toll its end. That is, until Yura decides otherwise.

Using her supernatural powers, she not only extends the day, but makes an army out of Stella’s entire 1,800-girl student body. It’s a stunning move that shocks her teammates, though not enough to be disturbed by how Yura came to possess such godlike powers. Perhaps wisely, the series has avoided long explanations about the nature of her power, but in our opinion, it would have been nice to see in operation more often. Instead we must be satisfied with her revising a small chapter in Japanese history and then giving her senpai one hell of a send-off. And once Sono leaves (saying she’ll wait for Yura), Yura makes it her duty to find a new member.

8_great
Rating: 8 
(Great)

Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3 – 10

c3bu10

Yura joins the Meisei Girls airsoft team, and in her first match with them she distinguishes herself as an all-around outstanding attacker. When they enter a platform medic battle, she bristles when Rin makes her the medic. She trains obsessively, but Rin keeps making her the medic in the next two battles. After the last one a teammate gets hurt while she’s covering for her, and Rin cuts her, convinced Yura only cares about herself.

It’s been long since clear that C3-bu is not so much a wacky metaphysical girls-with-guns series, but an increasingly serious character-driven drama about the different ways people prove their existence. And ever since we’ve understood that, we haven’t minded that transition in the least. This episode in particular – the darkest yet – was an emotional roller coaster as Yura joins the “bad guys”, becomes a crazed villain of sorts herself, and is then dropped just as quickly for being too selfish.

c3bu102

The episode made it pretty clear that Yura was going too far, and her behavior in the medic battles was both loathsome and ultimately detrimental to the team she was on. Rin also made the salient observation that Yura was “forcing her ideals” onto others. But while Yura is ultimately responsible for her actions and her current situation, we couldn’t help but sympathize with her all the same. She was only trying to become a stronger, more useful person.

From the start of the series we knew Yura was socially awkward, and her arc so far confirms that. Whichever social circle she settles down in, it isn’t long before she feels stagnant and restless, and her personality clashes with others. If she’s to have a reconciliation with Sono and the C3 Club (and that seems to be where things are headed) it will be when she realizes there’s no point in being Ultimate Airsoft Machine if no one will play with you, or worse, if it doesn’t make you happy.

9_superior
Rating: 9 (Superior)

Stray Observations:

  • We don’t see much of Sono, but what we do see of her shows us that she’s not losing any sleep over losing Yura (though no doubt she’s miffed).
  • The medic battle was a neat idea we hadn’t seen before. We can’t help but wonder if Rin was trying to teach Yura humility by making her the medic. It didn’t work!
  • As one of her underlings reports, Yura really is a fantastic airsoft player…on paper. But to use a couple of sports metaphors, she’s a bit of a glory boy.
  • Another moment when we were simultaneously loathing and feeling really bad for Yura: when she was shooting blindfolded with bloody hands and giving poor Rento a very cold shoulder.

Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3 – 01

c31

Yamato Yura is excited to be starting her sophomore year of high school at Stella Women’s Academy, but has troulbe making friends and doesn’t like big groups. However, when she’s walked in on by a member of the “C3” club, they take an instant interest in her. She meets Hatsuse Karila, Hinata Yachiyo, Kirishima Rento, and Mutsu Honoka, who participate in mock battles akin to war games using airsoft rifles and pistols. She’s initially weary of joining, but Kirishima insists. She participates in a “Rambo”-style battle with Karila as Rambo and the other four as sheriffs. As the battle heats up, Yura starts to get it, and “steps in to a new world.”

Ahh, Girls With Guns. For some people, it will never get old. We’re some people. Especially since they’re not real guns; it’s all good clean fun with “airsoft” weapons (and candy bars for knives), while the club drinks tea and eats cake when not going to war. Parallels to Girls und Panzer are inevitable, but this episode felt a lot less “aw shucksy” and earnest than that series, with more of a chip on its shoulder and a potential for more comedy. We’re still learning the girls’ names (and their guns of choice), but the C3 club has a looser vibe to it; no one’s getting disowned and the fate of the school isn’t on their shoulders.

And yet, once the battle begins, the girls are all business, with Karila operating as a one-woman wrecking crew and the others working together like a well-oiled machine. Yura, who is searching for somewhere to fit in, knowing it’s not with the cliques of chatty, gossipy “normal girls”, is in awe of the spectacle before her, and the moment she gets into the swing of things, triggering her vivid imagination, is the moment she realizes she may have just found that place where she’s accepted for herself. She only has to embrace the weirdness…and learn to hold her gun correctly!

8_great
Rating: 8 
(Great)

Stray Observations:

  • Yamato Yura’s roommate, senior Kashima Sonora, only appears at the very end, showing great proficiency with the always menacing Desert Eagle .50. They’ll meet next week; the others warning that she’s the biggest weirdo out of all of them.
  • Yes, all six members have famous Japanese battleship family names. Those Japanese love their battleships. So do Americans, for that matter…we named most of our states after them! :D
  • Everyone has their own pet name for Yura: Karila calls her “Lil’ Yura”, Yachiyo calls her “Yuracchi”, Honoka calls her “Yurara”, and Reno calls her “Yurapyon.”
  • We’re not familiar with Kirishima’s rookie seiyu Nishizaki Rima or Yamato’s seiyu Makino Yui, but the other girls: Kayano Ai (Karila), Yonezawa Madoka (Yachiyo), Saito Chiwa (Honoka), and Sawashiro Miyuki (Sonora).