Monday, 2 June 2014

Never Eat Kraft Dinner While Watching Pupa

I finally watched Pupa.

So, I had this series sitting in my watch list since... probably mid-February. So I did what any other guy with free time in an evening would do.

I watched the whole series in one go.

I mean, at twelve episodes and four minutes an episode, it wasn't all that hard... but I was kinda eating at the time.

Pupa is a seriously weird short series about siblings that carry a virus. On the sister, she develops a taste for human flesh, and on the brother, he can heal and regenerate quickly. So, the have a perfect solution. She eats him regularly, since he can regenerate and heal...

One episode is devoted entirely to showing this happen - although thanks to Japanese gore censors, most of the episode is black screen. Still, it was... disturbing to watch, as the scene is almost portrayed in some kind of Pain/Pleasure incestual erotic ritual...

And I was eating while I was watching it. Not sure if the censoring was a good thing, since my imagine runs wild and probably imagined things worse than they actually could have been portrayed... but there are some shows you just don't watch when eating. Pupa is one of them.

I love horror, and do think Pupa would have translated fairly well onto film. It had a similar feel to other Japanese horror such as Juu-on and Ringu. I would pay to see a live action Pupa. As a short anime series, I don't really think it worked so well. Just too much that can't be portrayed on television, and because of the extremely short length of each episode - three minutes of story as the Opening and Closing sequences were thirty seconds each - meant there was a lot of plot left out, and even one episode ending on a bit of a cliffhanger that was completely unresolved.

And it would have been nice to have those things resolved in the final episode, but the final episode was simply an omake. A bonus mini-story completely untied to the story (save for the siblings), meant for humorous or cute purposes. I nice break from the dark tones of the series, but felt fairly out of place.

I also must admit, I have yet to read the novel Pupa was based upon, so I don't know exactly how much was missed when transferring to the television format, but I have lots of questions. Lots of items left completely unresolved. Pupa is indeed entertaining, and it is good. But it still leaves a viewer with the feeling of being incomplete, but if you aren't used to either Japanese horror or to short-form anime, then I would not recommend this series.


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