A boy, Utsutsu, and his little sister, Yume, are siblings who find themselves all alone. After Yume's body undergoes a strange metamorphosis-into a creature that eats humans, Utsutsu ... See full summary »
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2014  

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Series cast summary:
Ibuki Kido Ibuki Kido ...  Hasegawa, Yume unknown episodes
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A boy, Utsutsu, and his little sister, Yume, are siblings who find themselves all alone. After Yume's body undergoes a strange metamorphosis-into a creature that eats humans, Utsutsu struggles to find a way to restore her. Written by Anonymous

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Pupa is the biggest turn-around I've experienced. Its lackluster gore aspects aren't worth it.
1 December 2014 | by PiegooseSee all my reviews

I remember hearing about Pupa when the project was starting, and I remember the disappointment when hearing it featured four-minute episodes. The show looked vaguely interesting and I assumed that it was going to be shortened because the content was going to be so severe, possibly carrying some of the most grotesque scenes in anime. However, that isn't quite what's here, and one's feelings to the shortening might suddenly change upon watching it. If I had to guess why it's this way, I would guess the reasoning is that Pupa is pretty bad. People misuse the term "edgy" all the time, but Pupa is one of those anime that reminds us that there is still use for the word.

Pupa gave people the impression that it would be one of the most brutal and gory anime around, but it would be a lie to say it met that marker. When the show was decidedly shortened, it also felt as though the budget itself was dropped for funding each minute of screen-time. The animation, at its best moments, is just about average for anime series back in the 2000's. The art style (not the style the characters are drawn in terms of line-work, but the actual art style of shading and the color scheme) doesn't have character and just feels cheaply made. There are many moments where the animation will look a bit shoddy. The "gory" moments are where the animation is at its best, and this usually involves our beloved imouto eating human flesh. Is an imouto eating a handful of opaque, purple goo considered gory? If not, that is basically the goriness of this series.

The sound of the series is average, and most of the music tracks will likely not be too memorable. However, the opening song is very catchy and Pupa should be given a thumbs-up for that. The ending song is also alright, but for the type of song it is, a shortened version doesn't do it justice. The music itself carries electronics with drumbeats to it, along with some piano. The music serves its basic purpose to the series, but rarely sounds good enough to the level of pulling the viewer in. Switching to the sound effects, Pupa fails to an extent. There are many times where a scene will be almost silent and the only sound playing will be the character's voice. In those moments, the atmosphere will feel very plain. Pupa tries to hide this by playing a light soundtrack song to cover up the silence, but the songs being so light most of the time makes this phenomenon still noticeable. In terms of audio and sound, Pupa stays around an average level.

The story of Pupa is about a monster needing to maintain its cannibalistic desires, and the spread of this monster's disease. That will lead to some light gore of cannibalistic behavior, and some other disturbing scenes of people trying to stop the monster. By the end, none of this is explained in the smallest detail and what I state is where that plot element stays throughout. What also doesn't develop is the characters. The main, sibling characters barely develop in their relationship, even though it's basically all they talk about the entire time. No character here is sensible, and the character roster relies heavily on tropes and archetypes. The story is very simple with flat characters and, even though its elements don't even attempt to become understood, another issue rises with the series' closure. The ending of Pupa is entirely unsatisfying and doesn't give closure to any of its characters or any information to its basic, plot elements. The story also ends in a very unfinished state from what it considers to be a reasonable ending. The main characters get out of a dilemma and escape for a brief moment, but for some reason they choose to end it there. The ending shifts the stories focus to the sibling's understanding of their love (not to incest level) for one-another, which they seemed to already know long before these series of events even started.

Pupa tells a story that allows the creators to fill it with gore to be disturbing, but without even the attempt of explaining the elements that allow the gore in the first place, making it all feel forced and as if it was the only selling point of the series. Also, with the lacking budget in place, not even the gore is carried out well enough to be worth watching for that alone. The animation is average, and there are many moments with barely any animation whatsoever, even with this series only totaling to thirty-seven minutes in length. The art style is basic and feels incomplete for the type of style it wanted to represent. The music serves its place, but the lacking sound effects can make entire scenes feel incomplete with moments of literally no sound effects whatsoever. The characters are plain archetypes with some carrying inscribed symbols on their faces for an aspect of uniqueness, but that only makes their roles feel even more plain as you stare at their out-of- place tattoos that give them the extent of their uniqueness. No character goes beyond their archetype and there are even moments of pure stupidity, like a soldier calling out the lost torso of his ally's legs. Those moments go laughably near the level of Mars of Destruction. Yet, one plus Mars of Destruction has over this series is that it's half as long, and its elements were so conventional that it could all be considered stupid fun. Pupa's elements aren't compatible with fun, but only with the inclusion of gore. Without a proper disclosure as to why it's that way: Pupa feels plain, desperate, and self-conscious as one of those anime that deserves to be labeled with the term "edgy". Should one watch Mars of Destruction or Pupa? Mars of Destruction, if imoutos aren't all that.


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Release Date:

9 January 2014 (Japan) See more »

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