Episodes seen – 3/12
When Pupa was announced months ago, I was intrigued almost straight away. Unlike most shows currently airing, it looked dark and mysterious, wicked and immoral.
Pupa was scheduled to air last season but Studio DEEN apparently had trouble finding a keen broadcaster because the show itself was so violent. While this was irritating for us (and probably the producers, too) – on the flipside it generated stacks of hype around the show. What the hell is Pupa? Why is Japan hesitant to put it on TV? Is it that intense? I’m not a big fan of horror anime, but this news got me pretty interested.
…So now it’s finally premiered and I can’t help but feel underwhelmed.Yes, this is sort of my fault for expecting something interesting. But it’s mostly DEEN’s fault for creating an awkward 4-minute show based exclusively on shock-value.
Pupa is barely even a horror show. Horror has suspense. Pupa has gratuitous violence and incestual undertones. Don’t get me wrong, the first 3 episodes of Pupa will probably make you feel uncomfortable. It’s a one-trick pony though. The show is completely bereft of substance or atmosphere.
I think Pupa suffers severely from its 4-minute format. There is no time for character development or suspense. There is only time for “holy-shit-she’s-eating-that-guy”. It’s not impossible to convey meaningful thoughts or ideas in a short run-time either (see: Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko). Sadly, Pupa is already miles away from being very good.
If I was forced to list something positive about Pupa, I guess the audio is done well. The sound effects for bone-snapping and limb-splitting moments are absolutely chilling, particularly if heard through headphones.
So there, I guess it’s not all bad.
But mostly it is.