Entry #18: Yuru Yuri (Re-Watch)

(Season One)

Akariiiiin!

This show is incredibly creepy. Lots of little girls falling in love with each other and thinking of sexual innuendos. Yuru Yuri is almost like watching lesbian child porn. But the age of consent in Japan is fourteen, and half of the cast is that age. So, it’s fine… right.

It’s a slice of life. Is anything really to be expected? A group of girls in a club that doesn’t act like a club. Super original. Other people appear and add to the randomness. Yay.

Characters! As is typical with slice of life series, the characters are only to be taken at face value. There is nothing deep about them, they are only to be judged by their personalities. The only one who is truly “likable” is Kyoko. Akari is likable to an extent. Yui is meh. And Chinatsu is a one-trick pony, especially later on. Kyoko instigates everything entertaining about this anime. If she were not there, this title probably wouldn’t be nearly as popular or immersive. For that reason alone, she is basically the entire show. Akari’s plight to be noticed is humorous, and it shows a lot about her character. She’s fine as she is, but with no development, that’s all she can really be. Yui is basically the responsible parent. As the responsible parent, she’s dull personality-wise. Sometimes she’ll step out of her role, and it helps her character, but she normally doesn’t. Chinatsu is an awful character. She didn’t really have any identity early on, and then gradually evolved into a Yui stalker half-way through. It’s not only not funny, but really creepy.

There are other side characters, but a lot of them don’t matter. Chitose (and her sister) is both unfunny and unlikable. Her role is to picture thirteen year-old girls in suggestive situations. Super cute. There are two characters who are rivals but secretly want each other in bed because why not? The one with tits is fine, the other just hates the other for her tits. Very creative. There’s also a tsundere who wants Kyoko in bed because why not? She’s fine. Typical tsundere. All other characters are whatever.

Animation is half the reason this anime is entertaining. Once again, Kyoko. Her unpredictable mind is subject to many strange fantasies. Some sexual, others are just bizarre. Either way, they’re fun to watch. Everybody else gets grouped together because Kyoko is simply in a league of her own. The characters designs are fun and kawaiiiiiiiii! Everyone has soft, bright hues of blue and pink and red. Except Yui, but she’s mature. It gives off a sort of relaxing atmosphere, which makes the series easy to watch. But at the same time, it’s also easy to forget. If not for Kyoko or her fantasies, it’d just be a canvas of blah characters in a pretty picture. One starts to focus more on the art and less on the “plot.” It’s a double edged sword.

Mmm. It was fine. I found it more creepy than I did last year, which hindered my enjoyment. I also found many of the characters to be more annoying than likable. Meh. I think I’ve just been overestimating slice of life titles recently. It’s hard to really take them seriously. It doesn’t feel like they’re trying hard enough with their characters. Mrmm. Nevertheless, Yuru Yuri combines some of the realistic qualities of A Channel with the strange fantasies of Acchi Kocchi… and sensual lesbianism.

(Season Two)

How I’ve matured. I actually liked the minor characters last year. Now, I don’t.

What this season does differently than the last is that it focuses more on Akari and random couplings of the cast. Some of them worked. Most of them didn’t. I thought the Akari-Chinatsu paring made Chinatsu a more likable character, even though she isn’t likable altogether. As always, Kyoko-Yui is always a favorable mismatch, but frankly, Kyoko will make anyone more likable. She’s like the Peyton Manning of this show. She’s so good, she makes characters around her more likable because of it. I’ll reiterate from my previous entry: Kyoko makes this show. Without her, it’s hardly worth a watch. Himiwari(?) and Sakuraku(?) as a couple probably frustrated me more than any other pairing. I liked them last year, now I wonder why. Sakuraku is basically a carbon copy of all of Kyoko’s bad traits; and Himiwari is just a bustier Yui. Where did that development come from? It even shows that these two were fantastic friends at a young age. Now, they can’t stop fighting with each other. My question: why? It’s frustrating. It’s frustrating and I hate it. Since no one matured or developed or even changed (except Himiwari, most noticeably), that’s all that really needs to be said.

Actually, nothing really changed about the art style as well. It’s still the same I’m-so-absorbed-by-this-art-that-I-can’t-focus-straight moe shading that made the first season (and the show entirely) so easy to watch. However, one change is the fluctuation of bizarreness present in the show. This season has terrible artwork (courtesy of Chinatsu), time machine travel, hair absorption, giant robots, and more of that Magical Girl crap that is surprisingly humorous, among others. It serves as a nice break from the casual pace of the art design’s typical… typical. Though, that adds little to enjoyment, because it’s mostly made to ruse humor. It doesn’t normally work, either.

I’ve lowered the score from last year. I actually enjoyed A Channel more than this series. I think it may have to do with Yuru Yuri’s on-going flaws in its characters. And with Slice of Life, characters are really all the show has to rely on. I still didn’t care for Chinatsu, even when she was with Akari, and her infatuation with Yui still feels little more than superficial. The biggest personal issue with me was Sakuraku. In the first season, she was basically just shown as a slacker/tsundere type of character. In this season, she becomes more of a prevalent character, and she’s awful. She’s basically a much more spoiled and obnoxious version of Kyoko. She didn’t help my overall view of this show. Ho-hum. Overall, it was still fine. Basically what I would expect out of a slice of life title. Some of the characters, though, just really dragged down the experience for me.

Personal Score: C+

Critical Score: C

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