Pupa (2011) – Metamorphosis

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.

2.5 out of 5 stars.