FIRST OF ALL – I should not have eaten before watching Pupa.
SECOND – let’s get onto the review.
I waited an extra week before writing my first impressions for Pupa because the episode are only four minutes long, making it really difficult to pinpoint what exactly is going on. There are these two siblings, a witch and some red butterflies. While the little sister heads home, she stumbles upon a few red butterflies. It’s unfortunate for her that she doesn’t know what these butterflies will do to her despite the witch’s warning. When her brother finds his sister’s unconscious body, Yume begins to transform into… something else. This all happens fairly quickly in the first episode.
Rating: Unrated; watch at your discretion.
The second episode opens with a short intro on the siblings’ past, with an abusive father and uncaring mother but when we flash back to Utsutsu, his sister’s already eaten a bunch of innocent passerby. The witch, Maria, warns Utsutsu to go home and wonders if his voice will reach Yume… despite it almost being a touching moment for the siblings… the monster Yume ends up ripping his neck open. There is SO. MUCH. BLOOD. Just splattering everywhere, and it gets all up I your face too. I’m fine with blood but when it’s paired with juice-spattering sounds, that’s when I’m a little weirded out.
I swear, next time I see butterflies, I’m going to run for my life.
Utsutsu Hasegawa is voiced by Nobunaga Shimazaki (also, the voice of Haru from Free!) and Yume Hasegawa is voiced by Ibuki Kido. The initial premise summary tells us that Utsutsu is looking for a way to turn his sister back to normal but now that he’s potentially being eaten by his own sibling, I wonder if maybe the witch has to work some spell in order to save his ass.
What do I think of Pupa overall? Not really for the faint of heart. They juxtaposition of realism and supernatural makes you reel because it’s all scheduled so abruptly and roughly. One moment, you’re charmed by the cute sibling relationship, the next, there’s guts and gore exploding into the screen. The art is a big element in bringing the unusual atmosphere into your mind. Take the first episode when Yume is telling her brother. As sweet as it is that Yume suggests that she and her brother walk home together and as normal as a high school scene seems, you already know that there’s something wrong with this world. Notice the patches of black and grey smudged out into the animation. The ash coloured rubbings give the scenes almost an apocalyptic element. Anything that’s animated above the pencil crayon etchings of the background seem unnaturally animated in the world, especially those red butterflies, adding to the overall surrealistic atmosphere of the world.
I’ve heard that the manga gives a lot more of the storyline and apparently the anime censors the worst of the blood and guts so if you’re into the psychological horror stuff, check out that manga. Thanks for reading and I hope you… enjoy Pupa.
What are you pondering today?