Another week, another post. Let's get to the point, since I don't feel too great right now and want to stop moving for the rest of the night.
First, Renai Circulation, which I got a request for a couple posts back.
Next up, Distorted Pain. Denkare is the shit.
Finally, Pandora no Rakuen from the euphoria OVA. My pick of the week, without a doubt. It was worth the months it took to find the instrumental.
Now, hopefully I'll get my laptop back soon and be able to record. (My desktop doesn't have a microphone. Yaay.) If nothing else, I have an actual written blog post planned for the near future, so I won't be totally inactive.
This was a really tough thing for me to witness because I really like the original Pupa manga. It's not a masterpiece by any means, but it had some decent dark and psychological themes and an interesting pair of siblings as main characters. It's a horror story about some of the more grotesque things you could write about, a story about a sister who's forced to literally eat her brother in order to survive and they cope with it as well as the mad experiments going on in the background.
But this anime... this anime managed to suck every ounce of life out of Pupa. This is not just a "bad" adaptation, it wasn't just your typical "oh it left out some important bits" or "the pacing was kind of bad", this adaptation, can not even be considered an adaptation of the original Pupa manga. This anime right here is an insult to all adaptations in existence.
I was really excited when this was first annouced, but that excitement didn't last long as it dawned on me that the anime would have an episode length of 3 minutes. At this point is where essentially all of my red flags went off and the prospect of Pupa having a successful adaptation was basically already ruined. I tried to think of any possible way they could successfully pull it off, but I just couldn't think of any. And sure enough, as soon as the first episode of Pupa aired, I knew that I was in for one of the worst rides of my life.
Anime isn't famous for having good horror shows. The amount of really good horror anime in existence can likely be counted by the amount of fingers one has, and Pupa already started off with the wrong foot by censoring the living hell out of every single meaningful shot. I'm not one to advocate that gore and violence is what makes horror, it's definitely not, but in the case of Pupa, the core of the story lies in the grotesque and brutal violence of a lot of scenes, and by censoring all of them with huge black bars, you're already taking away any "wow" factor the show might have had.
And if you're wondering how ridiculous the censoring got at points, just look at this:
A man holding a knife!? That's heinous! Censor this madness right now!
But don't worry, I re-watched the series in blu-ray just for the sake of getting the most out of it, and even then, it still utterly fails to transmit all the grotesque scenes and all the violence the original manga had.
All the entrails are sloppily drawn, nothing feels vivid or impactful, the "gore" consists mostly of ludicrous amounts of blood gushing out of people for no apparent reason.
So even in the gore department, this series fails.
The one thing they could have at least gotten right, they utterly fail at, and after a horrid 2 first episodes, watching the rest of Pupa was like dragging my dead body across a floor made out of sand paper.
Let's quickly go over how the show adapted the story:
Yume and Utsutsu go home together one day and Yume is turned into a monster and it's revealed she has been infected with the Pupa virus. This virus grants the host with regenerative abilities, but in return, they cause insatiable hunger.
Yume kills her brother by stabbing him but in a sudden twist he comes back and we discover he also has been infected by the virus and can regenerate himself. Though for some reason he doesn't have the hunger thing.
Our Onii-chan vows to protect Yume by letting her eat him whenever she's hungry and the anime turns these scenes into laughable moments by having random cheerful music play in the background as Yume eats away Utsutsu's body. This does nothing good for the show and just removes any and all kind of meaningful impact the scenes might have otherwise have.
We have some flashbacks to the siblings' past where it's revealed Yume's mother had the virus inside her and that's supposedly how Yume got it. We see Yume as a child eating a bird and being stabbed by her own mother, only to then be revived by the virus, this in turn caused her mother to lose most of her sanity.
We also learn that the siblings had a rough past with a really abusive dad, but the show really fails at portraying what is one of the most important plot points of the manga, and that is Utsutsu's dad and his tendency to be violent towards him. Not to mention his role in the story development itself. But I wouldn't expect anything less from such a crappy show.
Our siblings get taken away by some random organization we never heard of (10/10 context!) and Utsutsu gets experimented on for some reason. Yume manages to break free using her monster powers and Utsutsu escapes with her, leaving behind a trail of dead bodies.
After this, the anime pretty much ends with Yume once again eating away at her brother and the credits rolling.
Sounded fun right? No? Hmm, I wonder what might have been missing... Oh wait, every fucking thing was missing.
This show provides absolutely zero context for why most of the events are happening.
One of the main villains, a scientist called Maria is introduced early on as some sort of mastermind behind things, and at one point they even mention she's going to impregnate herself using Utsutsu's sperm and Yume's egg cells in an attempt to give birth to another monster, and we even see her with a pregnant belly! But what happens after that? NOTHING. Absolutely fucking nothing.
We never see or hear from this lady again, we're just supposed to accept she disappears I guess. But if you're going to make her disappear, why introduce her in the first place??
But that's not all, Utsutsu's father, who even appears on the very first manga chapter, is rarely shown in the anime, and he has a very present role as he's the motivation behind a lot of Utsutsu's reasoning and he's also the one who gave him all his scars, but the anime doesn't even bother to explain anything related to it.
In the episode where we learn about Yume's backstory, her mother seems to be an important character and we even see her in the present day talking to their father. And then they never appear again! Ever!
Why are you showing your viewers things that won't matter later on?
Lastly, when Utsutsu and Yume get kidnapped, not only do they make everything look ridiculously stupid by having Yume and Utsutsu, two people who have regenerative abilities, lose in a fight against one single guy with a pocket knife.
I mean, who looked at this show and thought "let's make a series about two siblings with a weird virus in them and then never utilize the virus in any of the scenes where it could have been useful".
We also never know who the organization that kidnapped them is or why they're doing what they're doing, we're just shown, and very briefly so, some of the torture they're performing on Utsutsu, but most of the actual gorey scenes are never actually shown.
It's like they decided to make a horror and then strip it of any scenes that might make a horror show good in the first place.
Couplethis with terrible and incosistent writing and you got yourself a big pile of crap. Or in Pupa's case, a small pile of crap, because this anime only lasts for a whole 30 minutes if you combine all the episodes, so at least it's not like your eyes will be subject to the atrocities this show has for long.
And after all the completely random nonsensical events I just described above, this anime has the audacity to have one extra episode at the end with absolutely no connection to the previous episodes whatsoever. This last episode is just a cheerful scene with Yume and Utsutsu going shopping for a new teddy bear for Yume. What's the point of it? Give me consolation after all the shit I've had to deal with when watching the show? Because if that was the intention, I'm sorry to say it only prolongued the suffering.
It's like the final nail in the coffin before this series is buried for eternity to never be seen again.
And let's not forget the god awful product placement, because don't think I didn't see that, then again it was hard to miss given how out of place it looks compared to the rest of the shot:
Yeah, letting a child read Pupa, a manga full of gore and violence.
10/10 product placement
To wrap this up and so people stop asking me to watch this show, Pupa is a complete and utter mess with no sense of direction, no writing consistency, bad dialogue, bad art direction, bad gore, bad story, bad everything.
This show does not have a sole redeeming factor, not even for the lovers of pure gore, I do not think it is physically possible for someone to watch Pupa and think "huh, that was cool". You would have to stretch it, and I mean really stretch it, just to call Pupa "average".
The other shows I've ranted about before this don't even come close to the level of garbage that is Pupa.
Do not watch this. I repeat, do not watch this, you will lose brain cells at a 10 times faster ratio in the 30 minutes you'll spend watching this show. Please, I'm caring for your health here, do not dare to touch this show with a 10 ft pole.
If you're curious about Pupa in the slightest, at least do yourself a huge favor and read the manga, because at least that's tolerable and knows what it's doing, but for the love of everything, do not lay eyes upon this monstrosity of an "anime".
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to spray lemon juice in my eyes and pretend Pupa, just like the Tsukihime anime, never existed.
In my game, Serious to the End, it tells of Aya being depressed with her life. Now understand this happens in real life too, many even taking it as far as killing other people for a happy ending. This doesnt happen in America it also happens in other parts of the world, it can be many reasons but the end result is the same. The game I made is to help people understand how suicidal people feel and how it's never that easy. I'm starting a campaign+crowdfunding, to help rise money or even spread the word about suicide. You dont have to buy my game but if you do, it will help raise money for The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. They will use the money for education, research, advocate for public policy, and support those affected by suicide.
Help spread the word or help with the funding, its up to you.
p.s: (to fuwanovel's i have no idea if i did the blog right, how do you use this thing?!)