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.
Advertisements

Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3 – 09

c39

Sonora is discharged early, and congratulates Yura, but when they rejoin the club, she fesses up to zombieing in the final, and calls the organizers,  who contact Meisei, but Rin insists Stella didn’t violate any rules. The C3 club is relieved, but Yura isn’t satisfied. Mutsu and Yachiyo accuse her of sucking the fun out of the tournament, and Yura leaves in a snit.

Yura visits Meisei and talks with Rin, who praises her for her fast improvement. Yura sits out the C3 club’s noodle balloon shoot. Later she meets with Sonora demanding to know more about Rin. Sonora and Rin’s master was killed in action  Rin blamed it on weakness, and vowed to purge all of hers. After thanking Sonora for changing her, Yura tells her she’s leaving the C3 club.

c392

Yura wanted nothing else but a rematch with Rin, not just to avenge Sonora, but to prove to Rin – and herself – that she’s not weak anymore. Then she makes a rookie mistake, and while the best thing to do is to simply move on, she just can’t. Zombieing was an act of weakness, and the fun-loving C3 club are all to happy to forgive it and continue playing around. Yura isn’t playing around anymore. Like Rin, she airsofts to become stronger, not to have fun.

Yura’s turning to the Dark Side was a long time coming; her philosophical differences with the rest of the team were on full display during the tournament, and this week in the aftermath, when they’re sore at her for trying too hard. As soon as that confrontation was over, Yura knew she could improve no further in the C3 Club. Rin’s team might be a better fit for her, now, but who’s to say she won’t grow restless and unfulfilled there as well, or even start to miss the conviviality of her old club? Perhaps Yura can’t remain happy anywhere long…

8_great
Rating: 8 
(Great)

Stray Observations:

  • Rin’s not just good at airsoft, she’s also a master manipulator, and Yura is putty in her hands. But Rin doesn’t have any ill will towards her; it’s more likely she wants a new apprentice to mold.
  • On that note, we’re looking forward to seeing how the newer, darker Yura interacts with her Meisei teammates (if that’s where she ends up).
  • Yura sees Rin on the news, being named as the person who helped catch the sniper who shot at Sonora.
  • Rin gives Sonora a beautiful bonsai in the hospital, which is normally bad luck, but Sonora gets out super-fast, so the quesiton is, did Rin know the bonsai would have the opposite effect on her old friend?
  • Having completed the pivot from thinking there’d be more metaphysical stuff in this series, we’re really enjoying Yura’s character arc from wallflower to soldier.

Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3 – 03

c33

Yura participates her first high school airsoft tournament with the C3 Club. She’s the one to capture the flag in their first battle and things go fairly easily in the others, but their last opponent is Meisei Girls’ Academy, led by Haruna Rin, a partner of Sonora’s in America. Stella launches an all-or-nothing attack, and get picked off one by one until Yura is all that’s left. She runs, hides, and surrenders when she realizes Rin is going to hunt her down. She disappoints Sonora, but the rest of the club tells her not to worry, as there will be plenty of chances to redeem herself. She resolves to improve, cutting her hair short as a symbol of her desire to change.

On the one hand, airsoft is all fun and games; a means of sharpening coordination, teamwork, and general killing skills, which can then be applied in other, less military areas of life, while developing bonds with one’s teammates. On the other hand, for some (like the likes of Haruna Rin) airsoft is not a game at all, and fun is the mind-killer, along with fear, doubt, and hesitation. Yura still has all of those qualities in spades, making her the one weak link in Stella that Rin and Meisei mercilessly exploit to win. And exploit they do: they not only won, but shook Yura to the bone, ruining a day that was supposed to be (and started out) fun.

Every rival club or team seems to have a Haruna Rin, and we 100% agree with Karila: her obsession with form over fun makes her boring, and her unseemly mind games make her a bitch. Airsoft is supposed to be fun. If she really finds Yura’s wavering and forfeiture in her very first tournament to be “despicable”, then she needs to kindly get a life. Sonora isn’t mad at Yura because they lost because of her, but because Yura gave up. Rin expected to be able to overwhelm a rookie, and Yura played right into her hands. It was a depressing loss, but Yura learned a valuable lesson that’s as important in sports as it is in life: the only thing to fear is fear itself, not one’s own imagined limitations.

8_great
Rating: 8 
(Great)

Stray Observations:

  • Han Solo has a few words for Yura after winning her first battle: “Don’t get cocky!”
  • We like how all the mock battles trigger Yura’s vivid imagination, and when things turn sour, it turns into a sinister war scene that overwhelms her. Maybe skip the ‘shrooms next go around?
  • Karila does her Matrix-like acrobatics again, while we see Sonora kicking ass for the first time. We like how everyone has their own unique style of fighting to go along with their unique weapons.
  • Whatever Rin won’t forgive Sonora for, Sonora doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to apologize.
  • After two episodes with an ED featuring crudely-scrawled illustrations, this week we get a far better-produced sequence.
  • As part of her makeover, Yura will not allow herself to be addressed as anything other than “Yura.” We were finding all the nicknames a bit distracting, too…though we kinda liked “Lil’ Yura.”