When you saw the first glimpse of Stella Women’s Academy, High
School Divison Class C³, if you even have that, I am sure the first thought that went through your head was something along the lines of “Oh, just cute girls shooting cute things”.
That description could not be further away from the truth.
As a series, C3-bu is extremely rough around the edges. The airsoft matches are not as exciting as they could be and many characters, especially from the rival teams, never get any chances to shine.
However, there is one thing C3-bu excels at: the growth of the protagonist Yura Yamato. Throughout the whole series, we see the rise and fall of an anime character in a very believable fashion.
In the beginning, Yura was a shy and lonely girl who did not feel like she belonged anywhere. She did not know who she, herself, wanted to be. But, by whim, her roommate at Stella Women’s Academy happens to be part of the school’s airsoft club. One thing leads to another and soon Yura herself ends up trying out the sport.
From here on out, we follow Yura as she grows into a more secure person who believes in her own abilities. At the same time, she also develops as an airsoft player and we see how a once inexperienced girl becomes a veteran and what consequences that brings.
There is no denying that the transition between Yura’s different phases could have been smoother, but this does not hinder C3-bu from being an utterly engrossing anime.
If you ever wish read a full analysis on Yura’s development, I highly recommend Tobiichi’s post “In Defense of Yura Yamato”. It is lengthy, and spoils the entire series, but it is also one of best posts I have read this year. It goes through every little detail about Yura’s progression.
While the very ending of C3-bu is questionable, Yura’s journey there is nothing short of fantastic. It is not perfect, but it is extremely satisfying to say the least. If you are looking for an anime with a character that changes, then look no further than C3-bu.
You are awesome.