Note: This review is part of the "Nine Hells" event. This is for Day III (The Circle of Gluttony) and contains mild spoilers. While this doesn't give everything away, your discretion is still advised.
Pupa is a short-form horror anime about a brother-sister pair that happen to be infected with a supervirus called "Pupa" with two effects for one sibling each. While the brother has regenerative abilities and has the inability to die, the sister is plagued with a strong craving for human flesh and can turn into a bug-like monster that will rampage and kill at will. Alongside dealing with the virus, they are dealing with researchers of the Pupa virus alongside the sibling's abusive past and present.
Think of the first time trying to make a breakfast meal and managing to make those eggs not only look icky, but also tasted like literal rocket fuel and also charred the sausage after realizing that the eggs were messed up. That's what Pupa's entire storyline was like, minus the taste. It had an vexing premise and an interesting opening episode, but right after that, the tale felt like it was only shown in vague parts about the main duo and only small bits about the Pupa virus and how it worked for all the parties involved with it. It turned out to be an uncomfortable slog of a poorly written tale through and through with nothing to offer but shock factor and incest vibes. The only remotely good part of the whole thing was a final episode that is pretty much an OVA episode after the main story ended on a disturbingly hollow note.
From what I got out of the whole thing, the only notable characters are the lowest part of neutral at best and residents of Evil Town at worst. For the former, Utsutsu and Yume are where they are for their tragic pasts, their bond with each other and their afflictions form the Pupa virus only defining their characters. Ai was also severely wasted potential as the person researching the virus and having both Utsutsu and Yume as guinea pigs didn't do much of anything else with her own character with the exception of being a lurid person deep inside. Onward to the latter, Shirou, Sachiko and the other remaining characters of note are just one-dimensional psychos that were only there to make the main duo's lives a living hell (alongside Sachiko's in Shirou's case) and nothing else.
Pros and Cons
Yes, this is just a few paragraphs of mostly cons, because the only other remotely good things other than the wasted premise, the last episode of the show was the opening theme for setting the mood for the show (Yes, the ending sequence theme blows on ice.) and for this show being mercifully short. In fact, the short four-minute timeslot (counting the opening and ending sequences) greatly hindered the show as well due to the amount of room that it allows for a plot of a horror anime with a synopsis of a 30-minute-per-episode show to progress. It turned out to be why it became so ineffective as a horror anime despite the appropriate imagery and what little of a mood that it had. This anime is exceptionally worse for viewers that aren't into blood and gore, torture, cannibalism, (mild) nudity or incestuous elements. For example, the closest and most uncomfortable of the very latter was of Ai revealing that she is pregnant with the offspring of Yume's Egg and Utsutsu's sperm cells in her final appearance episode. (It was told and thankfully, not shown, unlike her pregnant belly.) Alongside the many torture scenes about, the cannibalistic parts are prevalent and even sexualized in multiple episodes, especially for the one fully consisting of Yume literally gobbling on her big brother's meat.
And the cringe doesn't stop there, unfortunately. There also happened to be a censored version where the censoring isn't consistent at all. Whenever black beams were covering the gore (and it can take up either most of the screen or all of it), white beams were covering weapons in the least subtle of ways with the mild nudity being shockingly unaffected. And even in the uncensored version, there was some censoring about when baby Yume was gravely injured, but survived from her mother trying to kill her. As for the art style and animation, they are average at best aside of the art style having a fitting look to the show.
I still have no idea what the creators were thinking on making this or what I was thinking for watching this slice of Absolute Hell in full after dropping it when it aired. Unless you like to see a little sister partake in murder and graphic out-of-context cannibalism in bite-sized servings, stay far away from this show entirely. The Circle of Gluttony has been cleared at last, but the real depravity is only beginning...
Current Situation: I wanted another excuse to use Enterprise as an avatar again.
I don't remember the anime well since it was a long time when I watched it. It certainly had a very memorable PV and takes advantage of the little sister appeal.
I think the story was probably clearer in original source material as the anime's micro series format cut things too short. There were series that did horror despite being in a microseries format, Kagewani
It could have potential, a guy making a self sacrifice for his little sister.
Taka: I see. A global release will benefit it. Gundam did pretty good. The only few franchises that are only popular in Japan but not popular in the west - Yokai Watch comes to mind.
Apr 10, 2021 1:55:16 GMT
Master Menos: F for Respects. DMX did all his work while suffering from a drug addiction, and I almost never knew until a point. I hope his next life treats him far better.
Apr 10, 2021 15:30:45 GMT
HungryWorld: Sorry for taking so long for the things i have to do, have been suffering from some health issues (including mental health deterioration). Anyways hope i can be a bit more active here soon enough once i am properly patched up again.
Apr 27, 2021 17:45:38 GMT
Taka: No worries, health, family, school, and work take priorities first.
Apr 28, 2021 7:41:52 GMT