This is my first entry in a series of posts about reducing my anime backlog one title at a time. I wrote last month about shifting toward finishing anime I have not completed watching. I have a few hundred in that category, many which I own on disc, and I’m anxious to wrap up some of them more than the others. I’m starting this journey with a horror series from early 2014 that topped an Anime News Network poll for the worst TV anime to air that year.
Anime Name: Pupa
Originally aired: January 2014 to March 2014
My previous progress: 6 of 12 episodes
I had watched the first half of Pupa through Crunchyroll during its initial simulcast but I stopped after its sixth episode and didn’t revisit it before it disappeared from Crunchyroll at the end of 2014 due to licensing limitations. Since there wasn’t a feasible method for me to legally watch the rest of the series, I used a fan translation based on its Blu-ray release.
In Pupa, Yume and her brother Utsutsu were born with a virus that gives them excellent bodily regeneration abilities but also causes Yume to hunger for flesh. Utsutsu offers his body for Yume to feast on after a gruesome incident in a park. Both try to survive and avoid being captured by people wanting to experiment on them.
The series worked better for me with all 12 episodes stitched together with its opening and ending sequences as bookends than its original structure of four-minute weekly episodes. The gory bits were not obscured in the version I watched and that might have desensitized me a little as I progressed. I liked its visual shading that seemed to stem from Sayaka Mogi’s five-volume horror manga.
Some story bits weren’t completely resolved such as one involving ruthless scientist Maria. That’s fine – I didn’t expect everything from the original manga would be covered in 36 minutes of animation. The strongest story thread was the sibling bond between Utsutsu and Yume as they stuck together despite pain, suffering, and being despised by everyone around them.
Pupa was okay for what it was and got me somewhat interested in looking into the manga but it was otherwise forgettable.
Rating: 5 out of 10