Stella Women’s Academy subverts expectations and gets better by the week

Stella Women’s Academy (or Stella), on its most basic level, is a show about high school girls that are part of a club, but it has got one hell of a conceit.

It sounds like the description of every slice-of-life safe-bet anime that’s aired every season since K-On! took Japan by storm in 2009. Actually, I also just described the core of three other original series that started airing along side Stella. The proliferation of the setup is getting a little ridiculous.

But Stella is a lighthearted show all about airsoft, not traditional athletics, music or supernatural shenanigans. It’s about oddballs in a private girl’s boarding school shooting at each other with plastic pellets. If there was even the slightest hint of a joke in the show’s execution, I would have stopped watching it in an instant. But while Stella may be lighthearted, it’s lacing it’s combat boots as straight as a show about replica firearms possibly can.

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