Anime Spotlight: Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3

Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3, which is known as Stella Jo-Gakuin C3-Bu in Japan, is based on a manga series written by Ikoma and illustrated by Tomomoka Midori. The anime is produced by Gainax, and is directed by Masayoshi Hawajiri. The series began airing on Japanese television on July 4, 2013.

The main character of the series is a girl named Yura Yamato. She’s a freshman at Stella Women’s Academy, and is a recent transfer student to the school. She’s a rather timid girl who has a hard time making friends, but she has a vivid imagination.

After being shown to her dorm room, which she shares with a third year who is currently away, Yura discovers her new roommate has guns and other military things stored in the room. It turns out her roommate is part of the C3-Bu, a club at the school that plays “survival games” with air guns.

Unfortunately, the club has been having problems recruiting new members, so the membership is dwindling; this is putting the club’s future in jeopardy. When Rento, one of the club members, goes to Yura’s dorm room to get one the roommate’s guns for a survival game, she finds Yura watching a Rambo-like video, and pretending to shoot one of the guns in the room. Rento thinks that Yura is into survival games and takes her to the club room to meet the others. Yura is interested in the club at first because of a misunderstanding, but after the club is explained to her, she leaves.

Later, Rento sees Yura and pleads with her to try to participate in one of their survival games. Yura relents, due to the fact that Rento seems almost desperate. Yura participates in one of the games, and ends up joining the club. In addition to Rento and Yura, the other members of the club are Sonora, Honoka, Karila, and Yachiyo.

After learning the ropes of how to play the survival games, she still is a little unsure of herself. When she ends up surrendering at the end of a major tournament, Sonora takes Yura on a training expedition at a temple. While at the temple, Yura’s imagination manifests itself, and she meets a man in a fox mask named Chojiro. After this encounter, Yura begins to gain a little more confidence in herself.

After Sonora is injured and is unable to participate in the upcoming 24-hour tournament, Yura takes it on herself to learn some strategies. She ends up leading the club for the tournament and works them hard on the strategies. Unfortunately, Yura goes way overboard and becomes more concerned about winning than in having fun.

The remainder of the series focuses on Yura and how her beliefs in regards to the survival games change.

After watching the first episode of the series, I found myself enjoying what I saw and being engaged in what I was seeing. I have to be honest and say that when I read the description for this series, I wasn’t sure I would enjoy it since I’m really not a fan of guns. However, as I watched the episode, I saw that the series has a light-hearted tone to it, and that while the guns are an important part of the story, they aren’t the main focus of the story. Instead, the main focus of the story ultimately ended up being on Yura and the changes she undergoes after joining the C3-Bu Club.

However, when things started changing with Yura around episode seven, I started getting a little worried about whether or not I would continue enjoying the series. I will admit that I started getting really frustrated with Yura by episode nine because I found her behavior to be rather annoying at that point, and I kept hoping to see her character get some kind of redemption. Fortunately, I was able to finally get that redemption with episode 12. While Yura’s changes as a character are the most evident in the series, it also becomes clear by the end of episode 11 that Sonora has undergone some changes.

Supposedly, this series has 13 episodes; however, when I went to watch episode 13, I discovered that it would be almost another two weeks before it would become available to free users at Crunchyroll. Scrolling through the comments, I noticed several people say episode 13 felt more like an OVA. At this point, I won’t be able to watch “episode 13” when it finally becomes available because I’ll be too engrossed in the Fall 2013 season to be able to go back and watch it. Because of this, I can’t comment on any of the content in that story.

Overall, I found Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3 to be a decent series, even if I did get frustrated with Yura during three or four episodes of it. This is a series I would seriously consider adding to my anime home video collection if it’s licensed for a physical release in North America.

If you enjoy watching anime with girls playing survival games that also focuses on character development, then you might enjoy watching Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3.

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