Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3 – 07

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While walking home from the airsoft supply store, Sonora and Yura are shot at by an unknown sniper using a rifle illegally modded to fire high-pressure shots. Yura runs towards the source of the shots, and Sono has to rescue her from being hit by a car. Sono ends up with a concussion and sprained ankle, and will miss the 24-hour tournament. The rest of the club wants to quit, but Yura compiles comprehensive tactical research and assumes the role of acting leader, whipping the club in shape so they can win the tournament for Sono.

While neither Sono nor the C3 clubmates blame her for Sono’s injury, Yura is still of the age where she shouldn’t be running headlong into traffic, and she should thank her personal god she and Sono weren’t more seriously hurt or killed. This is an episode full of Yura making forceful decisions on behalf of the club, taking it by the scruff of its neck and whipping it into shape for the tournament, Sonora or no. But while she exhibits plenty of charisma and dedication, her head might not be in the right place.

She still kicks herself for surrendering to Haruna Rin in her first skirm, and once her suspicions grow that Haruna was the sniper, her desire to fight her grows even stronger. There’s a fire in her belly, and so driven to victory is she that she can’t even enjoy the festival that accompanies the tournament. She can’t have fun, and Sonora isn’t there to keep her grounded. The rest of the group accepts her as their leader, but by the time they realized the monster they were making by acquiescing to her extreme training, it may be too late. She’s so wound up, even a win over Meisei may not exercise her demons as she hopes.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • We’re really curious what unforgivable thing Sonora did to Haruna that drove her to try to shoot her with a high-powered BB gun (if she in fact is the culprit).
  • The diverse airsoft teams include Team Meisei Team Seto, Team Karila’s Brother, Team Cop, and Team Active Marines…tough competition, all.
  • It was a nice touch portraying the training montage as a series of (very good!) drawings in a sketchbook that is handed to Sonora in the hospital when it’s done.
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Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3 – 04

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Yura is having fun in the C3 Club, but her technical skill is limited, so Sonora decides to train her at a shrine. Sonora gives her a Scorpion vs. 61 and her first lesson is to hit a 5-yen piece from a distance. Yura sees a white fox while climbing thr shrine’s stepes, and the coin becomes a warrior Sonora mentioned died young and was enshrined there. When they call it a day, Yura leaves the gun behind. When she goes back for it after dark, the young warrior confronts her, calling himself Choujirou.

He tells her her the world in which she sees “delusions” is a real realm that is resonating with his own. He transports her to a medieval battlefield on the day and moment he is to be killed by an arrow. A real vz 61 in hand, he asks her to intervene on his behalf. After discussing her ordeal with Sonora (who tells her the gun’s name is Choujirou)Yura returns to the shrine with Rento, and both are returned to the world. Rento watches Yura shoot the arrow down, and in the real world, the airsoft pellet lodges in the hole of the coin. Back in the clubroom, her friends tell her Choujirou died an old man.

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We’ve seen the shy new girl trying to find a place where she belongs, watched her participation in the club stir up passion, and watched her battle a rival club. None of those things are all that different from what Miho experiences in Girls und Panzer. But this was the episode that separated the women from the girls (und Panzer). This week, the ancient surroundings have a powerful effect on Yura, and there she not only discovers “her idea of airsoft”, but also manages to change history itself.

One could dismiss the awesome, fantastical elements of this episode as just that: Yura’s delusions but only at first. That all goes out the window when Rento goes side with Yura and sees the same scene as Yura – and is so freaked out she doesn’t speak of it to anyone! And when Yachiyou tells her Choujirou died an old man, that seals the deal: shooting down that arrow saved Choujirou’s life and ended his need to “fight forevermore”. And thus all of Yura’s past “delusions” so far in the series, and going forward gain deeper significance. The ramifications are positively spine-tingling, and elevate C3-bu to a whole other level.

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Rating: 9 (Superior)

Stray Observations:

  • Yura receives her gun, and it’s a beaut. She also almost whips it out on a train…not a good idea considering what a realistic replica it is!
  • Sonora’s whole lesson at the shrine is a succession of awesome lines…”You fail because you seek success” and such.
  • Looking back, the tone of the battle and Yura’s mood in the moment all determine the nature of the “delusions” that form around her. Very Suzumiya Haruhi-ish.
  • The moment the gun in the battle scene suddenly changes from plastic to metal – and becomes much heavier in Yura’s hands – is one of our favorite moments of the episode. Shit’s literally gettin’ real.
  • We’re eager to see how Rento processed what she saw, and whether she’ll ever bring it up to Yura or the others. Then again, other club members near Yura may eventually see what she’s capable of anyway.
  • The series could always downplay this “power” of Yura’s but we hope it doesn’t drop it altogether in favor of more battles with rival clubs. That would be a huge shame.
  • These developments mean Yura can now visit any shrine with a restless spirit and help them out…as long as marksmanship is required, of course!

Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3 – 02

Hatsuse Karila, Kashima Sonora, Hinata Yachiyo, Mutsu Honoka, Kirishima Rento, Yamato Yura

Yura meets her senpai and roommate, senior Kashima Sonora, who has returned from sharpshooting in America. Meanwhile, the C3 Club continues its attempts to recruit Yura, who remains unsure of what to do. Karila proposes a battle, and “escort mission” with Yura as Sonora’s bodyguard against the other four members. Sonora guides Yura throughout the mission, and they end up winning, meaning Yura doesn’t have to join the club. But having had so much fun, she decides to join anyway.

As soon as they meet, the tomboyish Sonora intimidates Yura – she first encounters her butt-naked, fresh from the bath after a jog after a transpacific flight. But when Sonora tries one of Yura’s onigiri, she knows she could well be dealing with a natural marksman. You see, the perfect rice ball is one that is firm but not stiff, which apparently is also the best way to hold a gun. It’s a connection made by someone whose marksmanship master made her make onigiri again and again until she got it right. That master, by the way, used an airsoft gun to casually prune his bonsai, which just might be the best fucking thing we have ever witnessed.

In any case, while the rest of the club falls over themselves trying all-too-obvious and high pressure methods to get Yura to join up, Sonora, having gleaned Yura’s potential, sits back and lets whatever will happen happen. If Yura is meant to join, she will join, even if she wins the battle that will settle the issue. It’s an awesome battle, just like last weeks, too, albeit a totally different kind of battle, one in which Yura is the hero who must lead Sonora, her VIP charge, to safety from the four others. Just by being the badass she is, Sonora shows her just how fun the club can be, and shows her that she’s welcome and has a place there if she wants it.

Ultimately Yura decides being in the club is preferable to continuing to eat her lunch on the toilet, which is a no-brainer if you ask us, but teens are weird.

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Rating: 8 
(Great)