An overprotective brother named Utsutsu looks after his younger sister named Yume after growing up with an abusive father. Yet, one day after Yume was just outside in the park while walking home with her brother, there passes a red butterfly. Suddenly, Yume sprouts large wings, her hands becomes long, red and sharp and she then EATS a bunch of people. After Utsutsu goes to calm her down, Yume ends up getting eaten by Yume. Yet, Utsutsu, even after eaten, is still alive. As he awakes, he meets a researcher named Maria who tells him that both his sister and he have contracted a virus called Pupa.
Pupa is an unusual show for me cause it is the first horror anime that I have seen that are only four to five minutes. The formula for each episode is pretty much quick set up,payoff and either ends with a cliffhanger during the payoff or just start to get into the cliffhanger. So, every episode leaves you wondering “what the hell” over and over again. I do applaud the director Tomomi Mochizuki for such a move because, most times, the cliffhangers did have impact. Yet, there was definitely times during the several episodes I saw that I was still like “what the hell” in a more confused way.
Pupa does a good job of painting an atmosphere of real life and dragging you into the horror. Yet, my own real issue is that for the 4 to 5 minutes, there are times where I think an extra minute would have made the show overly better. Yes, just 1 minute more. I say this cause of the pacing. The pacing of the show is very weird. Sometimes, it is okay. Other times, its break neck. This is the only thing really hurting the show. While the confusion at the endings happen, that works into the story. It really is the pacing that is the main problem.
Voice cast wise, there is some good chemistry between Ibuki Kido, who plays Yume, and Nobunaga Shimazaki, who plays Utsutsu. They really pull off great performance of a brother and sister who grew up in a broken family. There is a great amount of emotion as both characters realize what is happening and Kido and Shimazaki display it in spades. With Kyoko Narumi playing the manipulative and coy Maria, this three pull great performances as the driving force of the series.
Animation wise, Studio DEEN does a good job. While it is not anything that is too innovative, they tell the story and tell it well. The animation goes from clean and crisp to gritty and detailed when it needs to. Very much a solid job by Studio DEEN.
Pupa, thus far, has been a very frightening but good ride. The only thing holding it back is its pacing and maybe an extra minute. I give it 4 stars.