Manga: Tokurei Sochi Dantai Stella Jogakuin Koutouka C 3 Bu
Yura Yamato has just recently transferred to the prestigious Stella Girls' Academy and discovers that it is difficult to find friends in her first day at school. After a chance meeting with a fellow student named Rento Kirishima, she is recruited to the school's airsoft club named C³-bu note Military acronym meaning Command, Control, and Communications, which is also the club's motto. The story revolves around Yura's experiences as a member of the C³-bu and her interactions with her fellow members.Preferential Measure Organization Stella Girls' Academy, High School Division C³ Club (特例措置団体ステラ女学院高等科Ｃ３部 Tokurei Sochi Dantai Stella Jogakuin Kōtō-ka C³-bu, often simply called Stella Jogakuin Kōtō-ka C³bu, or Stella C³-bu, or simplier, C³) is a manga series created by Ikoma and Tomomoka Midori. The anime, made by Gainax, was aired for a season as a part of the Summer 2013 Anime season.Viewers living in the following areas may watch the show legally at Crunchyroll: USA, Canada, South Africa, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.Click here for the character page.Compare and contrast with Sabagebu!, a shoujo comedy manga about an altogether different girl joining another club focused on model guns.
Tokurei Sochi Dantai Stella Jo-Gakuin Kōtō-ka C³-bu provides the following:
The Ace: Sonora and Rin. Karila may also count as she's shown at the start of the series to be the only club member capable of matching Sonora.
Broken AceYura is arguably the most skilled gunslinger in the show, and might just be as good as Sono and Rin, but the path she takes to get there comes at a cost.
Action Girl: Most of the girls work towards this, but the cake is taken by Sonora, who's so good she takes part in shooting competitions in the US.
Anti-HeroYura develops into one. However she later snaps out of it and returns to "fun mode".
Apologetic Attacker: In one early episode, after shooting an opponent, Yura promptly apologizes for doing so. Lampshaded by Karila.
Artistic License - Gun Safety: Averted. Despite using nonlethal airsoft guns, the C³ members show proper trigger disciplinenote trigger finger outside the trigger guard prior to actual shooting and wear protective gear.
The club also realises that their recruitment plan will never be approved because of all the safety violations (first and foremost being the use of suppressive fire to prevent the other clubs from setting up at the school hall).
Really about the only problem that people have noted with any safety issues is that the girls tend to do survival games in their school uniforms or outfits that leave their legs and arms bare. Probably covered under Acceptable Breaks from Reality, since the uniforms and hairdos make them easy for the viewers to pick out when they're in the field.
And now in episode 7, we have illegally modified airsoft guns. These can cause serious injuries.
In Japan airsoft guns are required by law to not shoot with more than 1 joule of force, with a 6mm .2 gram BB that is about 330FPS (feet per second). Airsoft players commonly use a Coke can to determine if a gun is shooting over that (if it pierces both sides at point blank), this is dubbed the "poor mans chrono". A gun that can shoot harder than that in Japan is actually illegal, let alone a gun that can pierce a steel can like in the show.
In Sonora's flashback about her and Rin in the US, one of the scene has the two holding airsoft guns with orange muzzle tips. The blaze orange tip is required for import and sale, and many airsoft gun owners outside of Japan choose to keep them to avoid their guns being mistaken for anything other than replicas.
A-Team Firing: While it's justified at times due to the nature of airsoft guns, at other times you have to wonder how so many characters fire at extremely close ranges, and fail to hit anything. Especially considering the Improbable Aiming Skills demonstrated by several of them.
Back-to-Back Badasses: Rin and Sonora briefly in the second opening, moments before they're split apart and aiming those guns at each other. Of course, being Shisho's disciples, you'd think they also do this quite often when they were in the US.
Also used on Sonora and Karira, especially in episode 12 when Kari goes to help Sono fight Rento and Yura.
Averted with the first and last fight during episode 3, played straight with all of the other matches, which simply shows the girls in various action stances while they progress up the leaderboards.
Done again in episode 8, showing Stella's C³ group fighting their first and last battles, while skipping the fights that take place in-between.
Used in episode 12 sparingly, switching between the girls in various action poses, and showing them actually playing the game.
Utilized again in episode 13, only showing some of the more important duels. Even some of the C³ members are subjected to this, and they either obviously win, or come back later and say they got hit, thereby losing to another opponent.
Beach Episode: Episode 5, though it's actually an island. The girls do spend most of the episode in their swimsuits anyway.
Episode 12 is this turned Up to Eleven. While in episode 4 only Rento enters Yura's imagination, in this we see C³ going against all of Stella.
Bland-Name Product: The anime is sponsored by Tokyo Marui, a prominent brand in airsoft product. Yet, in the 24-hour tournament, a stall with Tokyo Kakui is seen. ("Maru" in "Marui" means something like a "sphere", which is circular; "Kaku" in "Kakui", likewise, can be thought of to mean "angle", which is found on non-elliptical (i.e. not round) shapes.)
Breather Episode: Episode 4, which is sandwiched between the battles during episodes 3 and 5, focuses largely on character building for Yura.
Brutal Honesty: In episode 3, Yura gets it from Sonora, of all people. After Rin chastises her for simply surrendering instead of going down fighting, Sonora adds to what she did, or rather, didn't do during the tournament fight. She tells Yura that she wasted all of her comrades sacrifices and chose to simply run away instead of fight. This causes her to suffer a Heroic BSOD during the bath later that evening, although it does kick in some Heroic Resolve as well for her.
Call Back: At the end of episode 12, Yura is walking through the school, with the scenery resembling when she first saw the school in the first episode. She then overhears two girls (possibly the same two she encountered back then) mention how high school sure seemed boring and nothing interesting happened. Yura then approaches them and asks if they want to join C³.
Calling Your Attack: The Seto clan often does this with their Seto Stream Attack, consisting of firing 2-4 guns (the other two are fired from their feet).
Cat Smile: Both Karila and Yachiyo display one late in the season.
Cerebus Syndrome: Yura's obsession with convicting Rin for Sonora's injury. Turns out that Rin was not the culprit, but by this point the damage has been done to Yura's relationship with the club.
Coat Cape: Sonora wears her school uniform top this way.
Clothing Damage: In Karila's duel against her twin brother in episode 13, neither person is able to take out the other in the time limit, so the audience votes who they felt won. At first her brother takes quite a huge lead, leading Karila to understandably get angry. However, during the fight, part of the front of her shirt tore off, revealing part of her breasts. The audience quickly starts to vote for her instead, leading her to win.
Cool Guns: Keep in mind that apart from one of Sono's Deagles, and all weapons in Yura's Imagine Spots, all of the weapons featured here are airsoft guns. Also, certain guns they wield, such as Rento's G26 Advance and Karira's Strike Warrior, are airsoft only, meaning you will never see a real, .45 calibre MEU handgun with a meat tenderiser for a compensator.
Sonora dual wields Desert Eagles and uses an AUG A1 for longer ranged games.
Yura mainly uses a Vz. 61 Škorpion, given to her by Sono, and a G17.
Karira uses a P90 and a Strike Warrior. Also, Sonora's M60 in the Rambo reenactment.
Honoka uses a G36K and a Mk IV Series '70.
Rento uses an AK-47 and a G26 Advance. She uses Sonora's M60 in the 24 hour tournament.
Yachiyo uses an Arctic Warfare Suppressed and a P228, and when situation calls (let's say a close range skirmish), she uses a Type 89-F instead of the AWS.
Okay, that enough. If we're to list the guns found in the show, it'd take ages.
The opening animation changes after four episodes, specifically the parts that feature Yura in them to coincide with her Important Haircut, as well as her resolve to change her meek self to something more proactive.
The end credits also change starting at Episode 3 to a more elaborate animation sequence while the song stays the same, probably because they didn't complete it when the pilot aired.
The Lancer: Karira's hotheadedness compared to Sono's calm manners.
The Smart Girl: Honoka. Wears glasses, gets good grades, is the club's strategist.
The Big Girlwith a Heart: Rento, physically. At the age of 15, she's taller than 17 y/o Sono. in the 24-hours endurance, she's the heavy gunner and carries the team's supplies. The Heart part comes when she tries to convince Yura to rejoin C³.
Friendly SniperChick: Yachiyo. Her role mostly focuses on providing cover fire, supporting her allies from afar.
Food As Bribe: A variation of this is tried with Yura in the first episode. After Yura is scared away from the club the first time, Rento tries to lure her back in with cake. By deliberately leaving a piece of it on the floor in the hallway in their dorms. While it stops Yura, she only pauses to consider getting a plastic wrap for it, although Rento uses this opportunity to snag her and ask her to reconsider joining.
In episode four, Sonora, Yura, and Rento go to do some training. Sonora begins giving Yura a sort of Serious Business "philosophy of shooting" speech. Off in the background, Rento gets bored and starts pushing herself along the bench on her back using her feet.
Episode 13: Honoka lectures Karira and Yachiyo about conserving BB supply (they wasted a lot of ammo for the past week) when Kari uses her hair to tickle a drowsy Hacchan. This actually counts more as Funny Foreground Event.
Gainaxing: Just 'cause. (the show's produced by Gainax.) Sonora in episode 2's escort mission, when she's wearing a dress. Done later to Honoka in episode 5, who is forced to wear leaves as bikini top after Sonora used hers and Kari's to make a makeshift flag. Then again in Episode 6, where Rento is blasted in the chest by a water gun during a match in the school festival.
What's worth noting is that these are the three girls in C³ with larger boobs than their other clubmates.
Girls with Guns: Airsoft guns. If you want a better example, Sonora has a real Desert Eagle.
Green-Eyed Monster: Jokingly used in episode 12. Kari is cleaning a part of her airsoft gun, which seems to be giving her some problems. Both Honoka and Yachiyo then jokingly accuse Kari of having an "affair" with another gun, causing a look of surprise on the latter. She then mentions something about looking up info on another airsoft gun online, and moments later, the spring on her gun leaps away, and disappears into the grass nearby. Kari apologizes to the spring while looking for it, saying that gun was the only one for her.
Group Picture Ending: Episode 5 ends with the C³ club taking their picture together on the beach. Aoi then photobombs them by jumping into the picture as well at the last second, while Sonora looks at Yura's general direction, sensing something wrong's happened to her.
Rento and Honoka use these to coordinate their attack on Karila in the 1st Episode's Rambo scenario.
Episode 3 starts with Yura practicing the signals for "Advance", "Halt", "Shoot", and "Sniper".
Imagine Spot: Several during the first episode, mostly from Yura:
When arriving at Stella, she imagines herself as Cinderella in a carriage (it's actually just a bus), then imagines the C³ Club to be a club for tea, cakes and relaxing, and then at the end of the game, she imagines Karila as Rambo shooting Rento and her as sheriff's deputies.
The C³ club enthusiastically imagine their plan of getting more recruits... before regretfully realising it'll never fly.
It seems these will be a regular occurrence from Yura. In Episode 2 she imagines herself as an actual bodyguard and when cornered in episode 3 imagines post-apocalyptic Urban Warfare is taking place.
Things begin to get really weird in Episode 4, when it's revealed that Yura doesn't just imagine her Imagine Spots — she actually sees them happening right in front of her. And somehow Rento gets dragged into one.
Le Parkour: Karila's tactics often involve wallrunning.
Live-Action Escort Mission: Episode 2's scenario. The inexperienced Yura has to guard a VIP. Fortunately for her, the VIP is Sonora. Sonora makes it more interesting by deliberately not having a gun; otherwise she would probably win the battle without Yura even having to do anything.
Ma'am Shock: Happens to Honoka after Karila calls her "an old lady" in episode 13, due to the former's lecture a moment earlier.
Magical Realism: In episode 4, Yura talks with the ghost of a 12th-century samurai, is told that her Imagine Spots affect the world, and changes the past.
Master of Disguise: In the 24-hour tournament, Aira somehow disguises himself perfectly as Karila, complete with fake breasts and a P90; he is only caught because the real Karila wouldn't have come back alone, given she was stationed with Rento. This is especially bizarre because he's her twin brother, but they're notHalf-Identical Twins.
Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Yura's Imagine Spot. The episode where it's displayed to be more than delusion has a surreal feeling to it, leaving both the viewers and the audience wondering. Taken Up to Eleven in episode 12 after they hear the school's afternoon bell signalling the end of the school day. This time all of the girls are in Yura's Imagine Spot, and their opponents are every single other girl at their school.
Meaningful Name: The club's name, when read in Japanese, is "shi-kyu-bu". This pronunciation sounds like CQB (close quarters battle), and indeed some characters use weapons intended for close-range engagements (Kari's P90, Yura's Skorpion, and Aoi's MAC-10).
The Mentor: "Shisho", a US soldier, and Rin and Sonora's airsoft teacher when they were young and in the US. Somewhat true to the traits of an Obi-Wan, he's killed in battle, his demise influencing Rin to grow into who she is now.
Mexican Standoff: The girls have one in episode 12 right before the school bell rings at the end of the day. Yura "prevents" this by using her imagine spot ability to let them have more fun.
Ms. Fanservice: Sonora and Honoka are this. The former isn't afraid to show up naked in front of another girl she first met, and the latter flaunts it to win votes at an airsoft beauty queen contest.
Mood Whiplash: Happens every time since episode 7. The opening shows C³ (with Yura) in saccharine-sweet BB-pelting airsoft action, in between the Darker and EdgierCold Open and the main storyline. And then there's unhappy episode endings, immediately followed by the hyper-peppy ending theme. Even so in the after-credits blurb, where random chatter by the characters are followed by increasingly depressing titles for the next episode, as well as the previews that aren't going to cheer you up either. Until the end of episode 11 did we see some better results, and only in episode 12 is the trope truly averted as dramatic theatrics make way for six girls to have truckloads of fun.
More Dakka: Most of the girls make use of automatic weaponry (see Cool Guns above), though Kari takes the cake with her P90. Then the M60 comes into play.
Nice Hat: The C³ club uses red berets during matches.
Not So Different: Rin claims Yura would do anything to win, just like her. She proves it by goading Yura into cheating to win the tournament. Averted in episode 10, when Yura joins Meisei to learn a few pages off Rin. While both are ruthless, Rin at least genuinely cares about her crew, unlike Yura at the moment who's only concerned of winning. Eventually cast aside as Yura returns to "fun mode" and rejoins C³.
One Steve Limit: The Seto team, their last names are… Seto. Might be siblings, might also just happen to be friends having the same surname.
Ore Onna: Karila uses exclusively masculine vocabulary. Averted somehow in fansubs, as 'I' and 'you' have no masculine nor feminine derivative.
Pink Means Feminine: Most of Stella Girls' Academy is drenched in bright pinkness, even the students' uniform coats are pink, contrasting the duller realistic colorings of C³'s play areas and clubroom.
Pyrrhic Victory: C³ wins the 24-hour tournament, but only because Yura cheated by shooting Rin after being hit. The rest of the team doesn't know and starts celebrating around Yura, who is horrified. Yura does later informed the officials, but Rin denies the cheating claim, therefore Stella still keep the trophy.
Rapunzel Hair: Rento has waist-long hair, and in Episode 3 she says she has to cut it every day. (Sonora then says her hair doesn't grow at all!) Karila's hair is nearly as long.
Readings Are Off the Scale: Rin's measurement of Yura's shooting accuracy goes far past the top of the graph and nearly off the page entirely. Given her insane feats of Improbable Aiming Skills (by that point she practices shooting while blindfolded and still has near-perfect accuracy), this isn't too surprising.
Revenge: Rin thinks Yura's ambition in episode 8's tournament is fueled by this. She's not completely wrong, as Yura wants to pay back Rin from her humiliating loss in episode 3. Yura also highly suspects the former of causing Sonora's accident in episode 7, causing her to miss out on the 24-hour tournament.
Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: In episode 4, only Yura remembers that Choujirou the samurai (the historical Nasu no Yoichi), was supposed to have died young. Everyone else remembers him as a samurai with long and illustrious career.
Much of Episode 1 is a shoutout to Rambo, which is to be expected, given that the girls are using a scenario based on First Blood. note Said to be mentioned in the ending song (as "Rambo-chan")Should be noted that rambo, or ranbō (乱暴), is also an actual Japanese word meaning "violent" or "reckless". A sad case of thinking Patrick Stump is oh so evil, and oh so into cats.
Shout-Out to K-On!: Some of the girls' plans to make Yura join the club: lure her in with cake, and throw a roll of money at her face. The latter is most certainly a K-On! reference, as Yachiyo, the one to suggest slapping Yura's face with a wad of cash, is voiced by Madoka Yonezawa, who also voices K-On!'s Ui Hirasawa. In one episode of K-On!, Ui's sister Yui (who is very similar to Yura, in both personality and being the main character), fantasizes about getting slapped with a wad of cash by Ui. (Also, Yura's round face◊ is reminiscent of K-On!'s art style.)
Among the hairstyles Yura is experimented with in Episode 3 include Usagi's odango and Belldandy's hairstyle.
Episode 5 gives a shout to D-Day, and World War II in general.
Additionally, episode 5 seems to drop a reference to the original Gundam with two of the opposing team executing the 'Seto Stream Attack,' which is phonetically almost identical to the 'Jet(to) Stream Attack' of the Black Tri-Stars.
Episode 8 features two men dressed up as Ghost and Captain Price from the Modern Warfare series. Ghost is a bit different in that he wears a hoodie over his skull balaclava. And as expected both wear sunglasses/goggles as standard airsofting protection.
Episode 8 also features two characters dressed as Eva and Big Boss from Metal Gear Solid 3. When they first arrive at the tournament the Metal Gear cosplayers pose as people take pictures of them.
The first episode shows an excellent example of bounding overwatch by Rento and Honoka, complete with Hand Signals to coordinate, as they advance to Karila's position, shifting smoothly into fire and maneuver once they come under fire.
Most characters practise good trigger discipline (keeping your finger off the trigger when you're not firing) despite using less-than-lethal airsoft guns.
The guns sound effects are spot on with airsoft guns, the automatics have have a distinct sound and while firing semi-auto the pump of the piston is perfectly accurate.
The gas pistols not only show the gas valve on the bottom of the magazine, but the sound effect of the propane "popping" to shoot the BB is dead on as well.
Lady Swears-a-Lot: Karila's vocabulary is positively filthy by Japanese male standards, let alone that of a teenage girl's. Partly averted in the fansubtitling, as she never goes far from using 'damn' and 'bitch'.
The Hatsuses Karira and Aira - Shikishima-class battleship Hatsuse
Kashima Sonora - Katori-class battleship Kashima
Haruna Rin and Kirishima Rento - Kongou-class battlecruisers Haruna and Kirishima
Hinata Yachiyo - Ise-class battleship Hyuuga (Hyuuga and Hinata being two different pronunciations for the same word: 日向)
Mutsu Honoka - Nagato-class battleship Mutsu
Yamato Yura - The famous Yamato-class battleship
There Is No Kill Like Overkill: In episode 12, Yura spots a grenade landing near her feet, tossed by Sonora. While that one alone would have been deadly enough, several more then also land nearby, and she vanishes in the ensuing "explosion".
The pairing of Sonora and Rin plays with this trope. While Sonora looks every bit like a tomboy, and Rin being the feminine-looking one, both are equally capable of kicking ass, and are leaders of their own airsoft clubs.
Wham Line: Yura tells Sonora she's quitting the C³ club at the end of episode 9.