Takuya Arima is a young student whose father, a historian who has conducted various researches, disappeared recently. During a summer vacation Takuya receives a peculiar package from his missing father, along with a letter containing information about the existence of various parallel worlds. At first Takuya doesn't take it seriously, but soon he realizes that he possesses a device that allows him to travel to alternate dimensions. Is his father alive, after all? If so, where is he?
I'm an admittedly biased reviewer of this story considering I've read the original YU-NO visual novel from 1996. However, I don't believe this disqualifies me from giving an accurate review of the anime, and of what we've seen so far through 6 episodes.
YU-NO is unique in that as the 'grandfather of the modern visual novel', its story is much of a prototype of some of the most popular time-travel/sci-fi stories today. It has influenced numerous highly regarded works such as Steins;Gate, Island, and even Clannad. This review, however, is about why I personally believe the story of YU-NO being told in this anime adaption is
worth experiencing, through the many unique scenarios it brings to the table that other anime have not.
This story starts out as a slow burner, which later on will really pay off when the development is on point. As of episode 6, we've completed Ayumi's character arc. The positive parts of the story so far are the many shots of foreshadowing - dropping hints on things that could become very important pieces of the puzzle as we progress further into the story. Although the story so far doesn't yet seem to have a good sense of direction as to where the plot actually will be going, we've seen hints and glimpses towards what the protagonist is getting himself into and what he'll be trying to achieve. We've been given parts and fragments throughout these 6 episodes that seemingly are unrelated but could possibly tie together later. This first arc I feel was a great way of introducing the characters, the setting, and a general idea of the mysteries. Through discovering the suffering and pain Takuya's stemother Ayumi has been through, Takuya is able to not only help her resist the urge to succumb from the pain, but grow closer to her and by doing so, stumble upon information regarding GeoTechnics, their research, his father's life, what his father's goal may have been, and above all, how and why his father has given him a device that he can use to travel in the past to different worldlines.
The story itself isn't one for the faint-hearted. It's been dark, brutally realistic, and deals with mature concepts and themes in a respectful manner that most other anime tend to completely avoid. The foreshadowing so far has already paid dividends, as many of the things that have seemed confusing in previous episodes now make sense in context with the exposing of certain two-faced characters.
If I had to describe the story so far with one word, it would be "complex". We obviously only have a slight view on what's really going on here, and I look forward to seeing where the anime decides to go with the story next.
If there's one thing that makes YU-NO shine, in my opinion it would be the diverse character cast. Unlike most anime with a high school protagonist and a cast of all high schoolers, YU-NO actually surrounds the protagonist with more adult characters than high school-aged characters. Because the characters surrounding Takuya are professionals with real-world life experience, this gives more credibility to scenarios where Takuya finds himself in danger or encounters obstacles a high schooler usually wouldn't.
Takuya himself is quite possibly the furthest thing from a self-insert protagonist that you could encounter in anime. His personality is defined: nonchalant, almost in a way that makes him seem like a huge jerk, as he's constantly making wisecracks to the dismay of others. It might seem as though he doesn't care about the people in his life with his flippant remarks and the way he's constantly having people do things for him (mainly Yuuki), but his carefree attitude in a way is almost an advantage for him because when he gets serious, people almost immediately notice it and take him seriously. Also, by acting like a complete buffoon, he's also able to play off some more inquisitive questions as a joke without others suspecting that he's trying to search for answers.
Regarding the cast as a whole, a few characters we really haven't seen much of yet: Mitsuki, Mio, Kanna, Ryuuzouji, Eriko, and the girl who disappeared in the beginning have yet to have any major roles, and it remains to be seen how many of them, if any, will.
BUT, the other characters that have been spotlighted - Ayumi, Toyotomi, Kaori - all have received plenty of development. The anime has done a fantastic job of depicting the characters initially as specific types of characters, and then as the story develops, revealing that they aren't all as they might appear to be. Specifically, characters are often two-faced and might know more than they're letting on.
All in all I really think the characters so far are what has been making this anime good. They are unique and realistic and don't always do the right thing because of their own self-interests; such is life.
Ohhhh boy, here we go. One of the biggest complaints so far has been the extreme lack of OST. Although over the past few episodes the OST has expanded and been used more frequently, the first few episodes were very dry and barren of music, negatively impacting my experience of the story. Music is a valuable tool for emotional impact, and the OST in my opinion hasn't been cutting it. I have, however, highly enjoyed the usage of some soundtracks from the original visual novel, and wish they continue to use more.
The voice acting is absolutely fantastic. Specifically Kaori Nazuka, as Ayumi Arima, has portrayed incredible emotion and is acting with a lot of passion - the end of episode 5, specifically, this was apparent. Nothing bad to say about the rest of the cast. Maaya Uchida is great as always and Rie Kugimiya, the tsundere queen, has returned - albeit not with many appearances thus far, but she's back nonetheless!
The sound effects...have had some wonky moments. I'll leave it at that.
OP/ED are fantastic. Konomi Suzuki in particular has done an incredible job with the ED. The OP for me was meh at the beginning, but it's grown on me quite a bit.
The art itself is a 10/10. Love the detailed backgrounds, love the character models which are all very beautifully drawn. The thing holding YU-NO back in this department is the animation, or in this case, the lack thereof. Would it really kill the animators to animate things other than the characters that are speaking? Why is an entire crowd that is protesting just standing still and not moving whatsoever? In the ONE ACTION SCENE we've had so far, the animation was just panning still shots. What a bummer.
I can only hope they're saving their animation budget for what's yet to come, because boy, is it non-existent so far.
For a fan of the original visual novel, I can say I am thoroughly enjoying this adaptation. Although it is not a true 1:1 adaptation, changing and reordering quite a bit of scenes, the way they are adapting the story is showcasing all the important information - only unnecessary things really have been cut out. I've found myself glued to the screen during every episode, wondering how it's gonna play out, even though I already have a general sense of what's coming!
All in all, I would definitely recommend YU-NO to anyone, regardless of what you usually enjoy. I can only hope, knowing what's to come, that everyone currently on board chooses to continue following YU-NO and watch a fantastic story unfold.
Seems like I have found the underdog anime of the season.
1. Interesting premise
2. Amazing OP and ED tracks
3. Good art and animation
4. VA is spot on
1. Story is kinda confusing, may need a rewatch or two to understand it
2. Characters are pretty bland, most of them are stereotypes
3. They didn't fully use the amazing OST from the game
Well, I have heard about this VN before the anime started airing. Seems like the VN inspired a lot of modern sci-fi masterpieces to be made such as Steins Gate and Island. The original VN came out in 1995 so you definitely can't say that
the story is cliche considering that this is what started the trend. If you enjoy this anime and wanted to read the VN, you can either read the PC 98 version or wait until October for the official English release. Do note that the Eng release is going to be all ages and if you want those sweet smexy scenes you would have to read the PC 98 ver or just watch the R18 anime that came out in the early 2000s.
Now let's dive into the anime and discuss if the series is worth a watch or not. Well, for me I like it. I like the interesting premise and definitely is eager to know more about it. Maybe at the current point the anime is still confusing but I will only place my final judgement until the anime finished airing. This is the kind of story that you'll find it hard to understand in a get go because of how complicated and rushed it was, so you'll have to rewatch it to fully grasp what's happening or just go read the VN as the anime wanted you to. Most VN adaptations nowadays are pretty much just advertisements for the game itself, so if I still couldn't understand what the anime is about then I will just continue on reading the VN. Easy. But at the current point I still enjoy watching the series so I won't give it a bad score, plus I heard that the anime is still staying pretty faithful to the VN from fellow VN readers.
Now the overall quality of the anime...nothing amazing actually. For me everything is just normally drawn, nothing to praise about. I can see Feel not putting too much budget on this series. However I do like the character designs compared to the 95 ver, maybe is because I prefer this kind of art style as opposed to a lot of VN fans.
For the sound department, the OP and ED are both awesome! One is sung by Asaka, the singer behind the ED for Occultic Nine and Island and another is sung by Suzuki Konomi, the singer behind the OP for NGNL and Re: Zero, so of course they are going to be awesome, plus the OP is composed by Chiyomaru Shikura, the creator of Steins;Gate, just straight up beautiful. However, the BGM is a letdown. I listened to the soundtracks of the game and it was on another level compared to the anime. Although the anime did use it sometimes, but still most of the time is just boring soundtracks you hear in every anime.
The characters in this show is quite stereotypical, nothing that really stood out. Now we only know the background story for Ayumi but that's not interesting enough. Hope the background stories for other characters would surprise me somehow. However, as opposed to other VN readers, I prefer the character designs of the anime than the one in the PC98 game.
All in all, I still do enjoy myself watching this anime despite all its flaws and I am definitely eager for more. I do plan on reading the translated ver when it comes out in October so yeah, do I recommend this? Yes. But do I think it's as good as a lot said it to be? Frankly no. Maybe the game is awesome but the anime adaptation is just average at best. Thanks for reading and I'll see you in my next review.
There are the bones of an interesting tale here, and when the show focuses on the story elements, it's at it's best, but there are some identity and pacing issues. There are also often unnecessary fan service that break the tone of this show quite a bit. Everything else about it is completely average.
So the tale surrounds a high school boy who inherits an ancient device that allows him to manipulate time and travel across dimensions. Imagine kind of Stein's Gate plus isekai elements. If that sounds interesting, it really is. Unfortunately there is a bit of a pacing issue, which admittedly, is pretty
common in early episodes of visual novel adaptations. There is a chance this can be rectified as the show progresses. That is if this show can pick an identity and stick with it. Is it a sci-fi time travel tale, or a mystery, or a fantasy show, or an ecchi? When a show tries to be too many things, it ends up doing none of them well.
When art and sound are done well, it can draw the viewer in with ease. When art and sound are done poorly, it can push the viewer away. When art and sound are done just fine, then they end up doing nothing for the show. None of the character designs, backgrounds or music in this anime are in any way memorable. They're not bad, they're just kind of there.
And now I must address the fan service. I'm all for fan service if it is appropriate for the anime you're making. However, it's really misplaced for this particular show, but they throw it in there way more than this story really needs. Half the suggestive scenes in this show do literally nothing to advance the plot. If they were more scarce I wouldn't care, but every episode expect a pg-13 scene in there and most of them feel forced.
There's enough of a story to keep my somewhat interested, so I'm not dropping the show just yet, but it's barely hanging on to my view list.
in all of the episodes that I've seen so far i had a mix feelings in whether i should keep watching this or just forget about it .
the Anime has a great concept that i'm sure of from watching these 6 Episodes so far it just the Execution is very low regarding certain elements in the main script .
i kept seeing myself between stop caring for where this is going to kind of interested for where this will lead like i said above i had a mixed opinions about it .
the story aside from the original concept isn't something special really like it is in
my opinion isn't something i haven't seen before but it is like more of the same to me but it does have interesting events that actually might keep you wondering so there's that .
the animation and the artwork here is standard here nothing to complain about it and nothing wow about it too .
overall it can be a good thing to watch over the weekends and if you like Sci-Fi Animes then this might interest you .
i give it a 6 / 10 rating from what I've seen so far .