Title: Tokurei Sochi Dantai Stella Jo-Gakuin Koutou-ka C3-bu
Genre: Action, Drama, Slice of Life
Summary: Yura Yamato has just arrived at the high school division of Stella Women’s Academy, when Sonora Kashima invites her to join a club called “C³”. Sonora is the third-year student who became the new head of this club for military survival games. The other members include two second-year students (part-Japanese Karila Hatsuse and G36K-wielding Honoka Mutsu) and two other new students (Rento Kirishima whose family runs a Japanese sweets shop and the really short Yachiyo Hinata).
Review: I can’t say that I had high hopes for this anime from the summary, heck I didn’t even have high hopes after the first few episodes. It didn’t seem like it was going to get any better, and the slice of life aspect started to get a little clouded. Although I was happy that they introduced some sort of story, I can’t say that the path they took was the best. I definitely would have recommended this if they stuck with what made this anime unique in the first place: Yura’s special sight. Mixed with average music and rather simplistic art I can’t say that this anime had much going for it. However, it did manage to keep me entertained to some extent.
I’m probably not the only person to say that C3 didn’t have the greatest art of the season, or even past seasons. It was pretty average with a couple select shots that stood out. Even during the combat scenes I never felt very engaged with the anime or get the heightened senses of combat. The only time I enjoyed the art style was when Yura transferred the audience to a completely different world. You got to see something exciting through her eyes, and it made you feel like you were transported somewhere amazing. If you aren’t going to go for realistic or relatable you might as well go big and make the world something of its own. Unfortunately the anime didn’t keep such a great premise going for long. Half way through C3 everything ended up being typical high school drama with an airsoft twist. It was hardly something that stood out from any other slice of life.
I was enjoying the series quite a bit at the start because it gave something outside the normal slice of life without taking out the realism of every day interactions. Even when Yura was imagining real bullets, aircrafts, and tanks fighting in an epic war the audience never mistook it for reality or PTSD. It added a little something extra and spiced things up; more importantly it made Yura someone special. At the start of the anime you were still getting a feel for the characters and a dramatic turn happened causing a bit of a rough within the group. It was done in such a way that you could understand both sides of the situation, giving a strong feeling of sympathy and you hoped for nothing more than the group to go back to their care free lives. C3 continued to improve by giving Yura a goal and a need of belonging, creating magnificent episodes and events that really helped the audience watch her grow. However, things soon became bitter and dramatic as Yura started to stray from the path she original paved out for herself. At this point I began to lose interest in C3 because it wasn’t playing on its strong points. I can understand the need to create bits of drama, but the series did it in such a way that you became more annoyed at Yura than sympathetic. For one, the unique characteristic of seeing visions and becoming one with the battlefield was completely lost. The characters, other than Yura, also became static. They never showed any signs of development along side the protagonist which in the end made them stale. The anime established not only in the first couple episodes, but in the title itself that this was about the C3 club as a whole. I would have much preferred seeing the girls grow as a team rather than Yura growing as a person. The only reason I continued watching toward the end was because the anime did manage to transform Yura into one of the most kickbutt airsoft players with a beat-all attitude. Of course they also made it quite clear that was apparently a poor way to look at the sport. Go figure.
I mentioned earlier that the music wasn’t the best because it didn’t really stand out. I have to admit that the beginning of the ED was quite catchy and I found myself tapping my foot and nodding my head on the occasion, but nothing long lasting. I can’t say that any of the OST was actually worth listening to so sadly I can’t really give any additional points to the series.
Final statements: As I said the series did manage to keep me at least mildly interested throughout its airing so for that I can consider it a low priority watch, barely. The biggest reason I didn’t give it more points is because I could easily see areas of improvement on a non-personal level. If you’re looking for a solid slice of life there are plenty of other places to look.