Okay, anime exists in a world quite independent and detached from worldly logic. So to find an action/comedie/moe story about a girl school in which all the pupils and teachers (minus one) are assault rifles, that shouldn't surp-
Yes. The girls are assault rifles. Each girl is in actuality one of the many types of rifles used by armies worldwide. And they, uh, use themselves. Even though they are (somehow) in training to be used by humans. You'd think humans should be in training to use them, but no, this is anime, so this is how it works. Apparently.
If only the absurd lack of logic ends with this starting premises. Unfortunately, unexplained coincidences and abandoned opportunities are also what propel the story forwards. No, we can't really say that. There is no real plot to speak of; no real end to their training, no real goal. There is no continuation from episode to episode save for a few love interests that really don't go anywhere or come to any conclusion. The final episode is a big gunfight that never really gets exciting, and why those Soviet-made enemies pop up and try to kill "our" girls, remains a complete mystery. Are all Russians inherently evil, is that what they mean?
I hope I haven't given away too much about the "grand finale", although I don't think there's much to reveal. It feels a real end, a conclusion is missing, anyway.
The four girls, or rifles we focus on are assualt rifles from Belgium, USA, Switzerland and the UK respectively. The only one who really acts like her country's temperament is the bossy, egotistical and gung-ho! American M16, the rest remains quite bland. I suppose you can say the Belgian FNC is the optimistic centerpoint, the British L85A1 is shy and clumsy and prone to jamming or breaking (more like the rifle than the country), and the Swiss SG550 is analytical and serious. A cliché foursome? Very.
Well, these rifle-girls face problems such as crushes and arguments and - as cliché as the characters themselves for any school-based moe anime - they must learn to trust in each other and discover each other's strong sides. We've all seen it a million times before.
There is humour but not much, and it rarely actually gets funny. Perhaps some of the chibi-fied moments may make you smile weakly. The ecchi is not too thickly spread - no 800 pantyshots per episode like in p.e. Strike Witches - but there are bathing scenes aplenty with a couple of breast fondling moments, a lot! of shoujo-ai tension and moments of orgasm when their "hammer is going to fire". Oh yeah. Each part of the gun corresponds to a part of the girl's body, including the trigger, and you can guess what that does.
The art is good. I must say that. It looks slick and smooth and the girls are adorable-looking. They actually have some meat on their thighs, not like your average anorexic female character designs. The action is animated in a cool way, but the actual fights never do get suspenseful, even at the very end. This is probably because we never really get to care for most of the characters much, though I liked the unfortunate Elle-chan out of pity.
One thing that I really did like, is that the writers of their show had their knowledge ready and were proud to show it off. Knowledge about rifles, I mean. Throughout the show we learn much about different rifles' specifications and design and usage history, which I found very interesting. After double-checking some of the things it seems they have their facts in order, too. So it's not like they made a mediocre anime and are bullshitting you on top of it too.
SAKO's in-battle masturbation scene caused some notoriety, I noticed. Actually, I liked it. It showed how much she adores violence, and was seriously one of the greater insights into one of the characters featured in the whole series.
If you want to learn about assault rifles in a "playful" way, this anime gives you some interesting information, and that was the case for me. If you already know a lot about rifles and are very very enthusiastic about them, then this may entertain you. If neither, this is going to be excruciatingly boring. Each episode is adrift and without a story to advance, quite meaningless. I learned a few things - nothing an American couldn't learn in practice, but I'm not American - but ultimately, I watched the last episodes in growing tediousness and irritation. There is much better military anime to be found.
This review has no comments. Leave one now!