The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

Tag Archives: Karila Hatsuse

The Infinite Zenith’s Firing Range: Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C³-style

“Dude, did that guy just headshot me?!” —FPS_Doug

The latest installment of Firing Range deals with Karilia Hatsuse’s load out from Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C³. In Stella Women’s Academy, Karilia is a boisterous member of the  C³ Club and is seen frequently wielding a P90. As one of the C³ club’s most effective performers, Karilia enjoys close quarters combat and prefers to outmaneuver her enemies at high speeds. Her choice of the FN P90 is well-suited for this role: in service since 1991, the P90 is a compact bullpup personal defines weapon with a unique top-mounted magazine and is chambered for 5.7×28 mm rounds. In Battlefield 3, the P90 is unlocked at level forty. Overall, it has one of the largest ammunition capacities of any of the PDWs, even without extended magazines, and also has a good rate of fire and low recoil. This is offset by its slightly lower damage, but overall, the higher magazine capacity means that players can equip the PDW with other attachments rather than being forced to rely on the extended magazines. Thus, the P90 can become highly versatile, and can be outfitted for stealthy combat by means of a suppressor, as well as slightly longer range engagements with the flash suppressor. This weapon is a beast in Karilia’s hands, but the question now is…how it perform in my hands?

  • The P90 is designed solely for close-quarters combat and is useless at long ranges. I’m running with the bare-bones loadout to mimic Karilia’s loadout, which stands in contrast with my usual preference for having the laser sight and a holographic sight. The iron sights are quite tough to use, and there is no improved hip fire bonus, so the default P90 was a little more difficult to use compared to the setup I’m most familiar with.

  • With that said, the default P90 isn’t a poor weapon, and its accessories can be unlocked fairly quickly. Even without a laser sight to further improve hip-firing accuracy, the weapon can deal out a massive amount of pain at close range owing to its insane firing rate, which compensates for a low damage from individual rounds. Here, I manage a double kill on two individuals who were close together in a Close Quarters Domination Match on Donya Fortress

  • Karilia’s speciality is (no surprises here) speed, and in an accurate setting, I would equip squad sprint. However, since one of my squad-mates has squad sprint equipped, to improve the diversity amongst our group, I’ll typically go with squad ammo so everyone can last longer without needing additional rounds. If I am playing as a support class, then additional frags or flak protection is also useful, but the choice of specialisation is strictly determined by what other members in my squad have equipped.

  • Whenever I get headshots with a PDW, it’s either because I’m firing on an enemy who’s unaware that I’m there, or else dealt enough damage to him and the recoil from the gun led the killing shot to be a headshot. Such moments are only possible in close-quarters matches, as the P90 is useless at longer ranges: to compliment it, one might be inclined to carry a scoped .44 magnum to have some effectiveness at longer ranges.

  • Karilia also runs briefly with an airsoft replica of the M60 in the second episode of Stella Women’s Academy. The M60 is quite powerful and superbly effective at laying down a large amount of suppressive fire, but is also quite difficult to use in its vanilla form. Nonetheless, I managed to get some kills with it. This post is the last of the Firing Range posts for the time being: through covering Sword Art Online IISabagebu!Upotte! and Stella Women’s Academy, I’ve covered almost all of the major weapons in Battlefield 3 (except for shotguns and pistols).

The answer is…surprisingly well. Generally, I love personal defense weapons because of their amazing hip fire accuracy: I remember back in the days of older shooters before Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare popularised the notion of aiming down sights, and one could always fire with perfect accuracy from the hip (aiming down sights usually involved zoom optics and was for longer range weapons). Without worrying about decreased hip fire accuracy, players could run around maps like Lockout (Halo 2) and Dust2 (Counterstrike: Source), engaging in frenzied, high-octane combat. There’s an accuracy penalty in Battlefield 3 for hip firing, but equipping PDWs allows one to play a high-paced, “up-in-your-face” approach. For this reason, I tend to do quite well with PDWs equipped even though they deal less damage than the other primary weapons. Close-quarters frenzies mean that as long as one’s aim is true, one can come out on top: it doesn’t matter if an assault rifle or carbine is more powerful if those rounds aren’t hitting anything, and the PDW’s good hip firing accuracy allows one to maintain a full field of vision, allowing one to gain a good bearing on where their opponents are. While they may try to aim down sights in close quarters, there’s also a delay to bring the sights up. The P90 has the added bonus of a large default magazine size, offsetting the lower damage output and making it better suited for taking out groups of enemies compared to other PDWs (like the MP7 and MP5-K). The P90 is an excellent weapon all-around, and while one can’t realistically expect to outgun assault rifles and carbines at long range, the weapon is suited for firefights inside buildings and the container mazes of Noshahr Canals. Thus, Karilia’s P90 winds up being a solid PDW all around, and one can perform quite well with this as their primary weapon in confined spaces.

Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C³- Final Reflection

I had picked up Stella Women’s Academy: High School Division Class C³ (shortened to Stella Women’s Academy for brevity) out of a curiosity to see what a club around airsoft would be like: over the course of thirteen episodes, I followed Yura’s progression through airsoft, from early beginnings to her gradual shift towards a purely victory-driven mindset and her salvation from the aforementioned mindset. Stella Women’s Academy can thus be seen as illustrating a possible outcome of valuing strength and victory without fail over everything else. This was a significant point of contention in Girls und Panzer, where tempers flared whenever the validity of the Nishizumi Style was called into question for being excessively ruthless and ineffective. In Stella Women’s Academy, Yura’s shifting characterisation illustrates how playing for keeps under all circumstances causes one to become isolated and alienated not just from friends, but even the activity itself. By the end of Stella Women’s Academy, Yura comes to terms with herself, understanding that what she wished to do was stand out more and how that being in the C³ itself was sufficient in realising this wish.

  • Truth be told, I preferred Yura with her longer hair. She’s wielding what appears to be a replica of the M4 carbine, a gas-operated, magazine-fed, selective fire, shoulder-fired weapon used predominantly by the Canadian and American armed forces. The weapon is derived off the carbine variants from the M-16 family, fielded for its shorter barrel length.

  • Elements of the Japanese Shinto spiritual beliefs make their way into Stella Women’s Academy and initially appear to be out of place. I’ve simply attributed it to being an aspect of Yura’s imagination and inner spirit helping her along.

  • Contrasting Girls und Panzer, fanservice is rather more prevalent in Stella Women’s Academy, sending the Stella girls into deserted islands and various other events that give them an opportunity to give viewers a free partial anatomy lesson.

  • Charcoal roasted Chicago Franks, vegetable soup and what appears to be ice cream makes for a curious breakfast on a desert island.

  • The first half of Stella Women’s Academy is very laid-back and easy going, with the girls engaged in several airsoft matches against other schools, as well as one another. Aside from Yura surrendering to Rin in episode three, the first half does very little to belie what happens subsequently.

  • The image above consists of nothing I can reasonably talk about, but I can note that it’s been a day since Battlefield 4 just released, and presently, I’m still on the rocks as to whether or not I’m going to get the game at full price.

  • Shortly after the Stella girls put on an excellent showing at the school festival and acquire the funds to enter the 24-hour tournament, Sonora is injured by an unknown individual using an illegally modified airsoft rifle. At this point, the anime takes a shift from its hitherto lighthearted nature.

  • Feeling that they have to win at any cost, Yura pushes the others harder than before, hoping that they will triumph at the 24-hour tournament for Sonora’s sake. Her shift in personality is brought on by a sense of guilt that Sonora was injured, and illustrates that winning for the sake of winning might be destructive even if it produces results.

  • Like Girls und Panzer, the Stella girls use movements derived of the movement patterns in military tactics to close the distance between themselves and the enemy. As early as episode one, Rento and Honoka use the bounding overwatch pattern to close the distance between themselves and Karila, switching seamlessly to fire and movement pattern the moment Karila begins laying down suppressive fire.

  • Rento brushes off an injury in order to keep Yura going, even though the others protest Yura’s demanding tactics and strategies. The girls are able to win the tournament after Yura fails to call a hit, and despite phoning the event’s organisers, Rin maintains that nothing of the sort had happened, giving Stella a (somewhat hollow) victory.

Back in March, an uncivil discussion was raging at the Girls und Panzer thread at AnimeSuki, involving one Sumeragi and several others. The topic was whether or not Miho’s decision to save one of her teammates’ tanks after it had fallen into a river was justified: most parties felt Miho’s actions were appropriate and sound, even though it cost Black Forest their title (I will probably leave this discussion for a point in the near future). However, Sumeragi insisted that leaving the crew to extricate themselves out of the river was appropriate, and that anyone who stood contrary to her views were “soft” and “didn’t hold themselves to high standards”. In Stella Women’s Academy, after Yura transfers to the Meisei airsoft team, headed by Rin Haruna, Yura decides to continue fighting despite seeing one of her teammates becoming injured. Rin’s personal philosophy is not to show any weakness, but even she disapproves of Yura’s actions, noting that the safety of teammates is of great importance. Rin bears some similarity to Shiho Nishizumi in terms of beliefs, mannerisms and even appearances. Thus, it is not unreasonable to believe that while Shiho strives for total victory, she might also regard the safety of her own team members as having a greater priority than victory itself and may have given up a victory to ensure her tank crews were safe. Of course, under this interpretation, it means that the Nishizumi style itself is not sufficiently flawed as to make it inviable (it’s still flawed compared to Sun Tzu’s writings, though!). Instead, it means that Sumeragi of AnimeSuki bears sociopathic tendencies, and that this conversation is essentially over.

  • I’ve supplied a reasonably long talk about how Stella Women’s Academy illustrates the potential outcome of a single-minded drive for victory and the kind of consequences it may have.

  • The ancient war god is able to revive Yura’s love for playing airsoft for fun. Viewers were left troubled as to whether or not this really happened: in particular, one reviewer claims that there are four ways of watching this anime, mixing up and varying the numbers of episodes watched. That assertion is incorrect and is essentially saying to a new programmer that switch statement is necessarily useless and that an if-else clause is sufficient for all cases.

  • For all intents and purposes, episode twelve is the proper finale: Yura is able to find purpose in airsoft again and plays for the sake of having fun above all else. Most of episode twelve is dedicated to an intense airsoft battle that is executed in a surprisingly well manner.

  • While episode thirteen is the final episode, it decidedly feels more like an OVA, given its story is self-contained and boils down to the Stella girls participating in a “Field Queen Contest” (similar to a Miss Universe contest, except airsoft prowess is combined with other factors, such as personality and attractiveness) to win a year’s supply of BB pellets after running out.

  • There is maximum fanservice in this episode, but I don’t particularly mind, as it is seamlessly integrated into the episode’s story.

  • Daishichi and Sonora are the commentators for this episode, offering some unique, entertaining insights into what’s happening on stage. This episode brings back all of the lighthearted amusement factor seen early on in the series.

  • Rento and Yura react to Yachiyo’s antics during one of the matches. The facial expressions throughout this episode are fantastic: for those wondering, I noted in an interview that one of my favourite aspects about an anime is facial expressions, which provide a lot more expressiveness compared to their western counterparts.

  • Ordinary snipers wear ghille suits while in combat. Knowing that her opponent will likely be shooting at a ghille suit, Yachiyo dons a fairy costume and spends the entire match griefing her opponent.

  • At the end of the day, Stella Women’s Academy: High School Division Class C³ is an entertaining watch, despite the story being a little forced in some places. I’m generally open minded and don’t bother nit-picking, hence the positive recommendation. Don’t get me wrong, there are shortcomings in the anime, but at the end of the day, a few lacking elements isn’t enough for me to not recommend something.

That exercise didn’t really say anything about Stella Women’s Academy: returning to the anime itself, Stella Women’s Academy illustrates that being able to have fun in an activity is of the greatest priority, being built on a similar premise and message as Girls und Panzer. How does Stella Women’s Academy stack up with the other shows I’ve seen and recommended? Long story short, it’s an anime worth watching for pure entertainment value, telling a story about how Yura discovers and re-discovers airsoft. The plot is simple enough to follow and flows with a reasonable consistency, although the earlier episodes are slower-paced because of their focus on the slice-of-life aspect, reflecting on Yura’s early approach to airsoft. Stella Women’s Academy also features a lively jazz element in its soundtrack that livens up some of the combat scenes. All in all, I would recommend this series for audiences seeking a series about girls with (airsoft) guns and/or an alternative outlook on fun-versus-victory aspects in sport and competition, especially viewers who have already seen Girls und Panzer. While Stella Women’s Academy doesn’t quite have the same degree of masterful execution and character portrayal in Girls und Panzer, it offers a superb representation of what might happen to individuals who strive for victory above all else, and that even then, these individuals can still be redeemed.

Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C³

Yura Yamato has just arrived at the high school division of Stella Women’s Academy, when Sonora Kashima invites her to join a club called “C³”. Sonora is the third-year student who became the new head of this club for military survival games. The other members include two second-year students (part-Japanese Karila Hatsuse and G36K-wielding Honoka Mutsu) and two other new students (Rento Kirishima whose family runs a Japanese sweets shop and the really short Yachiyo Hinata).

It seems a great deal of anime I’ve been watching lately is set in the ever-so-familiar high school setting, about yet another girl who wishes to reinvent and rediscover herself during high school. During this time, she comes across a club and becomes a member. Back in my high school days, the only after-school club I participated in was the yearbook committee: I was involved in this club for all three years and produced some of the most interesting yearbooks of my age, although aside from yearbook, I went home after classes concluded and studied, then played World of Warcraft or Ragnarok Online on a friend’s private server. Japanese high schools are different and place a larger emphasis on club activities, going through far more efforts to create, maintain and promote said clubs. As such, while classical elements are still present in this umpteenth anime I’ve watched about school clubs, Stella Women’s Academy takes after Girls und Panzer, substituting airsoft guns for WWII-era tanks.

  • Yura Yamato is a first year who recently transferred from an unnamed middle school. She possesses a timid personality and a vivid imagination. Since middle school, she has been struggling in making friends, and ends up in the C³ Club after meeting Sonora and the others.

  • Here are the current members of the C³ club: from left to right, we have Karila Hatsuse, Honoka Mutsu, Rento Kirishima and Yachiyo Hinata.

  • Stella Women’s Academy represents the first time I’ve seen anyone go about recruiting new members for a club in the same way that spec ops teams complete their missions. The difference being is that this is a school environment, and as such, the techniques fielded by special forces generally won’t work on high school students.

  • The C³ Club stands for Command, Control and Communication, referencing military slang for the infrastructure and resources required to carry out military operations. The club members’ enthusiasm is a little off-putting to Yura in the beginning, though.

  • Battlefield 4 comes out in a little more than a month and I’m dying waiting to play it on my computer!” Actually, Yura is reacting to her frustrations about her first day at the Stella Women’s Academy.

  • Presently, with her soft voice and gentle nature, Rento is perhaps my favourite of the C³ members, reminding me greatly of Tsumugi Kotobuki from K-On!. Her affinity with cakes and friendly personality reinforces this parallel further.

  • The girls decide to give Yura an introduction to airsoft through playing what I call “Juggernaut”. In this game type, a single individual is the so-called juggernaut, whose aim is to kill as many people as possible. Individuals who aren’t the juggernaut are tasked with taking the juggernaut down. Because things like increased run speed, overshields or unlimited ammo are impossible in reality (or the anime representation thereof), the juggernaut here gets a M60 airsoft gun.

  • The girls give on-the-fly advice to Yura as the match progresses, teaching her to move lightly and communicate via nonverbal cues to avoid giving her squadmates’ positions away.

  • I see Stella Women’s Academy as a combination of Girls und PanzerBattlefield, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and K-On! rolled into one package, swapping out jets and killstreaks for airsoft guns. It is hardly surprising that this anime has increased my want of playing Battlefield 4.

After the first episode, I am left with a warm impression of Stella Women’s Academy for its combination of airsoft and life as high school students. The premise may be about airsoft, but the character composition and interactions also give rise to a familiar feeling that stands in contrast to the girls’ hobby, reminding viewers that while the girls do partake in such a sport, they are still at heart high school girls. Given the setup, Stella Women’s Academy will likely take the story in a direction to depict Yura’s gradual transition and growth, contrasting her initially shy nature, as she continues to participate in competitions with the members in the C³ club. Stella Women’s Academy is a 12-episode series and will conclude this week: I will see if I can wrap up the remaining eleven episodes and draft a reflection before Battlefield 4 comes out. Whereas Girls und Panzer revived my interest in armour, from what I’ve seen so far, I will probably develop an increasing inclination to play FPS after Stella Women’s Academy finishes.