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Old 07-30-2013, 02:23 AM   #1
MakiMaki

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Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3 Episode 001 Discussion

When I saw the previews for this series, I was a bit skeptical. It had a Upotte! feel to it (without the girls turning into guns!).

However, keeping an open mind, as I always do for most anime for the first few episodes, I decided to take a look at Stella's Women's Academy, High School Division Class C3 (geezuz, what IS it with these long title anime!? lol...I'm calling it SWA from now on).

Anyways, from the first scenes of Yura making her way to her new school, her excitement of starting anew...to the sheer disappointment because of her shyness and thus not being able to make a new friend when the opportunity arose, the stage was setup nicely for Yura to be a sympathetic character.

The scenes lead on to her finding her way to her dorm room, with whom she will be sharing with an older student named Sonora Kashima (voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro <3...you KNEW I was going to mention her name right? lol)

Yura finds the room empty and begins to explore. She laments some of missed opportunities for new friends and decides to lay down on one of the beds. As the caption reads, she reaches under her pillow to find a Desert Eagle pistol...hilarity ensues.

She finds a small arsenal of weapons in the room. Her mixture of shock and confusion was pretty funny.

After some scenes with the airsoft club discussing new members, one of the members, Rento Kirishima decides to fetch some equipment from Sonora's room...where she finds Yura engrossed in a Rambo battle scene garbed in camo-gear, weapons and all. I laughed a lot at this scene because I must have done this as a kid a thousand times! Ahh nostalgia!

So Rento Kirishima, seeing Yura as a potential member, drags her off to the club room where they "K-ON style" entice Yura with cake to stay (as Yura is scared to death due to her shyness and overall lack of confidence). It was interesting to see her change from the gun toting Rambo to her fragile self. I felt really sorry for her because she had this inner energy fun loving side to her that she couldn't exhibit to others.

So the girls of the airsoft club (yes, this is not paintball, it's bb's for those of you who are versed on the variety of gun-sports out there) convinces Yura to join in on a game before she decides to say yes or no to joining the club.

The scene shifts to a forest area near the school grounds. The rules are set. It will be a Rambo style game, where one person will be armed with a machine gun (Karila Hatsuse) and the rest of the members will be sheriffs trying to take her down. Last person standing, wins.

This is where the episode shined. The "battle" scenes were absolutely gorgeous. Everything from shading, to sound, to movement...the scene was SO gorgeous!! But it was the jazz...yes JAZZ soundtrack that absolutely won me over. I found myself tearing up just because of how good it all fit together! It was perfect for the setting. Gave it a Cowboy Bebopish/GITS battle feel to it. Just beautifully done.

During the battle Yura flashes back and forth between the scene and her imagination of being one of the sheriffs trying to take out Rambo from the movie. I loved this because I think many of us daydream about being characters from movies, etc. or re-enacting a scene in our minds. Yura was clearly caught up in the moment between her shy, scared side and the energetic, fun loving side who was amazed by what she was watching. The imagination scenes heavily paid homage to scenes from Rambo, right down to Karila's grimacing face and red bandana. Even though the sheriffs end up losing (ala Rambo), Yura had a lot of fun and was clearly moved by the whole game.

The episode ends with a cutscene to a blue haired girl firing a pistol with real rounds at a firing range...hitting bulls-eyes with every shot...who we find out is none other than Sonora Kashima, Yura's roommate!

Ratings:

Story: 3/5 (we don't get much of a reason for why the club exists yet, etc)

Animation: 5/5 (just watch the battle scene in the forest...it's all you need to understand!)

Sound: 5/5 (soundtrack and effects throughout, especially in the battle scenes are incredible!)

Characters: 5/5 (Yura is easily someone to sympathize with, yet isn't as fragile as she appears to be on the surface. The other characters have basic qualities revealed. Karila being tsundere, Rento is moe, Honoka is the nerdy/genius, and Yachiyo is the brat/loud mouth of the group)

Overall episode rating: 5/5
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:26 PM   #2
moonhawk81

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Re: Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3 Episode 001 Discussion

I'm actually enjoying this anime--it feels like a cross between Girls und Panzer and Sound of the Sky, at least to me. Not as cleverly done as either, mind you, but still pretty good for an anime mining such recent source material. . .
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