That is going to be a quick little post. I’ve just finished watching Pupa. You remember this 5 minutes per episode series from Winter season? Here is what think about it.
It is messed up. Not in sense that it is outrageous, or improper, though those are probably correct depends on what you deem to be proper. It is messed up in sense that it is basically a collection of images designed to make you feel sick. All they have in this show is a showcase of horrible situations that are supposed to make viewer react, because of how repulsive they are. And that is it.
From what I understand the manga this show is based on is quite different. But I’ve read only a few chapters, so I will only speak about the anime. And the show is not that good. In fact, I am not going to recommend you watch it. Even if you like scary anime, and okay with gore and violence in your anime, still don’t. Here is why. Violence and gore are what surrounds a story, those are tools you can use to change the feel of your story, make it darker, bring in sense of fear, to make your reader feel hate or disgust towards certain characters, and be sad about others. But you can’t build a story using just those tools. You also need a plot, characters, who would play their roles in a believable way, settings, the world in which the thing would take place, and many more things that make up something worth reading/watching. And Pupa doesn’t bother with any of that.
There are basically only two characters in the story – brother and sister. They both mutants and both have no one to go to. At the same time they are powerful enough to survive on their own, as we see later in the show. And that is an interesting start, but alas, she show doesn’t do anything with it. They don’t figure out what they should do, how they should live from now on, nothing. I’d say they don’t show any thoughts besides reacting on events that happen right in front of them.
Next, how realistic they are. You should ask me at this point “how can you tell anything about them being realistic or not, if they are presented being as empty as you described?” Instead of answering this question I’ll tell you a big spoiler (yeah, you are free to stop reading here, I don’t mind ^. ^). After the two kids turned into monsters, they besides acquiring the power of basically immortality and instant regeneration, they also got this condition where they would experience hunger, much greater hunger than what normal humans feel. And what they did was this – the brother let his sister eat him alive. He would regenerate almost instantly, so it was not a danger to his health, at least not in the short term (and there is no conservation of mass law in this universe, in case you wonder). Still, he experience this awful pain while having his flesh bitten, torn up and eaten. And his sister would do it, she preferred to eat her own brother to dealing with hunger.
Believe me or not, no matter how sickening what I described sounds, the actual anime is worse. The girl did become an animal, basically. I would think that is what the author of the manga wanted to show, but I don’t know, haven’t read the thing. And in anime her role was just that – eating her brother, sometimes other people. She even said closer to the end, that she is okay with the way she is.
Now her brother is willing to bear this existence. And that is impossible. Humans don’t work this way. Danger and pain are extremely powerful factors in your decision making process. You can think that you’d be willing to stand the pain for something great, but unless you have extremely good self control you would not be able to go through with it. You’ll just change your mind in a matter of minutes. If this boy and his sister were “real” in a sense of having their head operating like they are supposed to, the boy would hit her a few seconds after she started “feeding”. Cause he is just a kid. Not a highly trained adult, not someone with an iron will and and a clear goal in mind. He doesn’t even know what he is doing it for. So, that character is not real. Just my opinion though. And the sister is not even human, so I think a term “realistic character” doesn’t apply there.
And what else I don’t like is that the story doesn’t make sense. Why would they decide to make the boy be food? It is not like they are in the middle of nowhere, where there is nothing to eat. They have all the food they want, cooked, raw, meet, or veggies. Let’s say the girl needs ten times as much as a normal person. I bet they could have afforded that just doing normal jobs or something. And even if they couldn’t afford that (which is kinda silly, knowing that we are talking about Japan, where people don’t really starve) they could go hunt down farm animals. Even if they got caught, they would not be hurt more than what they put themselves through by they own free will.
Yeah, I am not a fan of this anime. I don’t mind talking about it though, so feel free to comment. And sorry for the rant. See you next time (^_^)/
My earlier post on pupa: Pupa, episode 1.