When Utsutsu and Yume were young, they were physically and emotionally abused by their sadistic father; and now that they’re older, Utsutsu swears above all else that he’ll protect his little sister at any cost. So when the girl is infected with the mysterious Pupa virus, causing her to turn into a terrifying monster that eats anything around her, the boy does the only thing he can: he offers his sister his body and flesh to consume. He won’t die, for Utsutsu was also infected with the virus, giving his body the superhuman ability to regenerate from any wound, and making himself the the perfect food source for his beloved sibling. Though nefarious researchers and doctors are studying their every move, Utsutsu will do whatever he can to keep the pupa inside of his sister from emerging and killing them all.
I rarely ever write reviews anymore due to having no free time, and definitely don't have time to write a full-fledged writeup of pros and cons - but Pupa was so disturbing that I feel compelled to at least write a warning to others. I was first interested in Pupa when seeing the upcoming Winter anime list, as there's an anime adaptation airing soon. Horror? Check. Disturbing? Check. Anyone who knows me, knows I love me a good horror title, and try my best to read as many manga related to the genre as possible. It takes a lot, and I mean a lot, for me to be grossed out and disturbed by something. Enter Pupa. Look, the story isn't bad - it's kind of interesting and at least it's somewhat unique. A girl gets randomly infected by a virus, there's a nefarious researcher who knows more than she lets on who offers to 'help', etc. But really, Pupa pushes the line for gore and disturbing. Unless you like watching people slowly get eaten alive over and over, or someone getting vivisected while conscious/alive, I'd suggest looking the other way on this one. Hands down. tl;dr: this is too disturbing even for me. :|
Honest to God garbage. Where to even begin?? The plot was stretched so thin, and all the explanation was so vague that I'm not even sure the author understood how everything fit together. It was so seemingly random, that at some point it just felt like the mangaka and the editor must have just been throwing out every possible idea and said, "Why not?". The parts that did make sense were so tacky,and overplayed that I had next to no interest in it whatsoever. A lot of the parts that are explained, are also gross feeling (like, oh, let's say, a woman taking the sperm/eggs from two siblings and implanting it into her own body in order to force a child between them?). The characters were dull, with each character having basically one thing about them. Utsutsu has an extreme sister complex. Yume is a monster. Their father is violent. Maria only cares about research & Hotoki literally gets off to his own sister. And that's essentially IT. There is absolutlely no character development worth noting, and no real intelligence or drive to any of their actions. The art wasn't terrible, but was definitely not distiguishable or noteable, and was very lacking in some places. There was no characterizing art style, like One Piece, or Soul Eater, but I didn't expect there to be in the beginning, anyways. What there was a lot of are images of two siblings eating each other in some very purposely erotic ways. Lots of scenes of them hugging each other, scenes of them being completely naked around each other, and also scenes of them hugging each other while being completely naked. Y'know... Just normal sibling things.. ((Big yuck)). If I walk away remembering anything about this manga, it will only be how truly bad it was. tldr: A nasty waste of time catering to people with sibling complexes while being disguised as a psychological manga.
Ah yes. Incest, one of the most glorifying terms in the anime community. Yet, without incest, there was no anime because it’s not just a term on it. That’s because of how incest itself changes our outlook and self-reflection between anime and reality. There is no limit between them. If you can’t sleep with your sister, why not just watch anime? If your real sister is so ugly, why not just watch anime? It’s a philosophical boundary of why Zeno of Citium or Aristotle can’t reach it. But, is this just an exaggerated way to include what’s the philosophy or meaning of incest? Did we still not reach the rabbit hole? In a nutshell, if you enjoy incest, if you enjoy gore, if you enjoy lack of common sense, this is probably for you. I want to say I’m not a guy who wasting many times into manga. I mean, my favorite author is Harper Lee, Truman Capote, Arthur C. Clarke, and Philip K. Dick. They wrote one of the best manga I have ever read including my personal favorites: “In Cold Blood” and “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Yes, I’m just joking. I don’t read much manga besides not knowing what I can read. We know the worst man-made catastrophe behind the anime adaptation. And after two years, my sense of curiosity finally completed. And it’s quite decent, to begin with. This isn’t the worst manga I’ve ever read. While the anime is terrible, I mean, we know it was terrible, there are thousands or at least two why you should read Sayaka Mogi’s “Pupa”. The original manga emphasizes what the author wants to tell. She wants to teach you about incest and many more. Yet, you will never get what you just got in the show. Especially, if the anime doesn’t tell much about its content and doesn’t explore the protagonist too much; like if you care. So, what’s the interesting point about the manga? The plot of “Pupa” consist of Utsutsu and Yume, besides their “romantic” relationship, the manga is very vague to it. The manga not only tells about what pupa and metamorphosis is. But, you get lots of sub-texts about Maria and Shiro. We also get a lot of side characters, Yume’s and Utsutsu’s classmates. However, the manga fails at this point because just like the show, they just a patch with no real motives and backstory whatsoever. The backstory of the protagonist looks more real than the show. We get the reason why their father was abusive to both of them. I mean, you read the first chapter and you know how arse their father was. What makes the show sucks not only in terms of quality, material, and lack of adaptation. But, it’s because of the censorship. There is a lot of things blurred out, makes the show isn’t horror at all. But, it’s just too awkward to say. It’s horror anime, but I only focus on manga and would be another topic when I review the show. Apart from the show ended with no conclusion whatsoever, the manga ends. You get one of the complex things about metamorphosis and butterflies, not just about incest or other. Yet, you get a real ending in this one, not a joke. The art itself is what makes the story stick with its theme. The detail especially when it comes to one full page of artwork, just odd and amazing, to be honest. It’s gore regardless there is a lot of awkward moment, ruining the horror element. You can see it from any angle because it adds with the protagonist and their situation. Probably, it’s one of the good things why you should read this manga, not watching the show. But, if there is a redeeming quality to the show especially to the story, there would be more fans who meet the eye of this manga. “Pupa” really fails at many aspects but this is a decent bleak, gore, psychological horror manga recommendation. It keeps worse and worse. There is a pacing issue in the story. On the other hand, it’s not that bad actually except the show. Sure, you get many awkward moments with no character development, plot holes, and many more. But, there is a redeeming quality why you should read this manga. I mean, you have to decide for yourself. In short, read the manga, don’t watch the anime. Period.
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