Baltimore, it’s time for some basketball! More specifically, the Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Basketball Championship at the Baltimore Arena! Between March 7th and 10th, the Championship marks the return of none other than March Madness to Charm City. And speaking of champs, let’s talk about them off dribbling amines. This week, we’re covering, Pupa.
When first hearing that the manga Pupa was going to become an anime, mixed feelings bubbled to the surface. The manga is engaging, taking the audience on a twisted tale of two siblings trapped in an absolutely horrible circumstance. It spares no gore, and makes no excuses. It’s a bloody rollercoaster ride that unravels a deeply disturbing reality for the siblings and everyone around them. The manga at present is about fifteen chapters or a little over two or three volumes. The anime, as seen on Crunchyroll.com, is at episode five. Within those five episodes, there has been such disappointment and a grand feeling of wrong done towards the storytelling in the manga.
To start it off, each episode is four to five minutes long, total. After taking out the opening and closing themes, you are left with two or three minutes of story. Admittedly, there are some writers and producers in the world that can tell you a rip roaring story in that time, but this is not the case. In the way each episode begins, you get pieces of story. To clarify, the story will start up and people start appearing. It sets a decent pace even though you barely know anything about anyone. So you start to get into the story when you reach a climatic peak, then it ends the episode. You’re left feeling as if you missed something before realizing that, “Yes. That was an episode.” The episode does not come across as an episode but feels more like a preview for the real episode. Perhaps you did just watch a preview. Then you watch the next episode and the one following that. It can only be imagined that if you’ve never read the manga before, the anime would immediately turn you off from this series all together. To put it bluntly, this is not great storytelling at all.
Even for five minute episodes, the art was well done. Reminiscent of the manga’s art style, the background was defined and fleshed out. The characters themselves were also easily discernible from one another. It could be told that a lot of work went into those three minutes of animation which does help to make up for a portion of the letdown. The opening song by “Pupa” Ibuki Kido & Erii Yamazaki is short but does a decent job to set up an eerie feel that goes with this anime. The closing credit song, Dare yori Suki na no ni (誰より好きなのに)" by Kusuma San Shimai gives off a feeling between tragic and love lost. Giving the circumstances of this series in plot and in the play out of anime, is hauntingly appropriate.
Pupa as an anime has had a sad start. It is hoped that things will get better in future episodes, but who knows how long it will take the story to flesh out at this rate. Hopefully a compromise comes about or lots of people may miss out on an excellently haunting tale.