I have never shot a gun. I have held my uncle’s small pistol, though. He carries it around for self-defense purposes. He let me hold the weapon during a birthday party for one of my relatives, and I, rather stupidly, raised the gun up instead of aiming it downwards. Everyone was quick to yell at me and for good reason. Guns are dangerous. We watch action flicks, we play first-person shooters, and we read jokes about weapons, desensitizing us to their power. It is not until one is wielded that someone truly understands what it is that he or she is holding.
Before real guns, there are the imitations, usually called BB guns. They shoot pellets, not bullets, but they are still dangerous and, for some, as fun as the real thing. Aoharu x Kikanjuu is filled to the brim with guns of this type and the survival games that incorporate their use. Although the guns are not actually the focus. They are the setting for the anime but not what the anime wants to talk about. Instead, the show concerns itself with heavier dilemmas. Deceit, rejection, and perseverance which, coincidentally enough, each occur in the very games the show shows.
My earlier recollection was sort of misleading. I have used a paintball gun before, during a friend’s birthday. I was there with a bunch of other friends. I had on the goggles, the camo gear, and the big boots. Running around the obstacles and pretending as if I was in a real warzone was fun. Then I got hit with a paintball. And it hurt. A lot. I remember the stinging, despite the layers of clothes I had on, and the welt afterwards. Though if I had a choice between getting hit with another paintball and watching Aoharu x Kikanjuu again, I would brace myself for the stinging.