After a year in grade school without her childhood friends, first year student Akari Akaza is finally reunited with second years Yui Funami and Kyouko Toshinou at their all-girls' middle school. During the duo's first year, Yui and Kyouko formed the "Amusement Club" which occupies the now nonexistent Tea Club's room. Shortly after Akari joins, one of her fellow classmates, Chinatsu Yoshikawa, pays the trio a visit under the impression that they are the Tea Club; it is only once the three girls explain that the Tea Club has been disbanded that they can convince Chinatsu to join the Amusement Club—a group with no purpose other than to provide entertainment for its members.
Based on the slice-of-life manga by Namori, Yuru Yuri is an eccentric comedy about a group of girls who spend their spare time drinking tea and fawning over each other, all while completely failing to even notice the supposed main character Akari amongst them.
"Why are girls more susceptible to same sex or bi-sexual orientation? Who knows, but it sure does make a good source of comedy material in the anime world"
Yuru Yuri (literal translation Easy-Going or Slow Yuri) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Namori about three schoolgirls... wait am I missing someone? Guess not. They took over the former room of the tea ceremony club (may I add how manly tea is?) to form their own "amusement club" Yea because in Japanese highschools it isn't illegal to just take over another club room for your own amusement. I know I used to make the
boy's toilet my secret base. (It's ok, guys doesn't even like to use our toilets) Cause seriously which guy hadn't secretly used the girls toilet because he can't stand the odor in the guy's toilet. That is until they see the huge pool of blood and get traumatize for life.
Yuru Yuri is a generic "moe-slice-of-life" anime with those moments of dialogue and acting that could be interpreted as overly homoerotic, but not as much if you know the real context. As funny as it is, the whole "X girls just hanging out and having fun" where X denotes the number of the main cast (which is normally the Four Girl Ensemble), is nothing new to the anime scene. But some people, even myself, enjoy this moment or repetitiveness.
So as the story progresses more girls join the main casts to form the ultimate Lesbian Full Cast in their hilarious mishaps. You can never have enough middle school girls in one story right? I hope I don't sound like a pedo here...
Worry not as eventhough with the introduction of new characters, the 3 main girls are still the stars of the plot. (Seriously, I feel like I'm forgetting someone)
Art wise, on a scale of 1 to 10 on the moe-art-meter, this anime scored an 11. Seriously, if you do not even smile or give a faint grin on your face when you see their big beady, glowing eyes then you sir, HAVE NO SOUL! The character were filled of emotions. Heck, I wish I could understand Japanese so I wouldn't have to read the subs and miss all those visual cues. Overall, the character designs makes you go Uguuuuuu~ even if you're not a pedophile.
As for sound, definitely hands down, my favorite opening and ending theme for this season. No. Possibly for this year so far. It's catchy, it's upbeat, and it never gets old for me for some reason. If you get on a public bus or you're taking the subway train and you see a guy with headphones on bobbing his head, that would probably be me listening to the opening and ending theme song. Eventhough most of the seiyuus are new or haven't been given sufficient roles, they were able to execute their characters personalities quite well.
Characters! Because the whole selling point of Yuru Yuri is their characters!
It's a universal rule that if you want to mention her name you must shout her name in a harsh tone. This lovable girl is the center of all the comedy that is happening in Yuru Yuri. Smart, talented, manipulative and downright annoying but in an amusing way. Her sexual orientation is still questionable though. She's supposedly the main character but I keep forgetting there was someone there in the spotlight before her.
She plays the older sister role within the whole cast. Indepent, reliable, you know the type that end up being the "Yuri Target" by the female cast. She's very vulnerable to jokes involving word play. On a plus point she's a bit like a kuudere with her monotonous voice and attitude over her friends.
Cute at first sight but holds a deeper alter ego who is actually very intolerant. She's in the centre for the love triangle between Yui and TOSHINO KYOUKO!
Well I wouldn't put it as a triangle because it's more like a straight line.
TOSHINO KYOUKO! ---> Chinatsu --->Yui
Her sexual orientation, though, is confirmed to be lenient towards yuri.
Other casts includes
Sugiura Ayano who is the student council president and fierce rival of TOSHINO KYOUKO! eventhough the latter doesn't really acknowledge it.
Though, she herself might be falling in love with TOSHINO KYOUKO!
This woman single handedly taught me the power that bestowed upon people with low vision. The ability to fantasize in real time using your other senses as your vision sense is low, your other senses such as hearing is magnified. Her fantasies and nose bleed had become a running gag in the series involving Ayano and TOSHINO KYOUKO!
Himawari Furutani and Sakurako Ohmuro
Guess what's more annoying than a tsundere girl? Two tsundere girls! Seriously, this two childhood friends forms the tsundere couple which is funny but a sight for sore eyes as well. Oh and both of them revolves around the whole "Boob Gag" which is the whole Big breast vs Flat Chest.
Overall, from what I first expected from the season preview, this anime beats beyond my expectation. I'm no fan of yuri, I've never even watched any yuri anime before this. So it' safe to say that even if you're homophobic, you would still enjoy this anime to the fullest. The comedy aspect is great as it covers a huge range of variety from Comedic Sociopathy to breaking the fourth wall with the audience. Not to mention the entertaining 10 seconds running cycle between every intermission is somewhat entertaining. As the title suggest it, Slow Yuri because on a yuri scale of 1 to 10, this anime would probably score a 4 as the yuri theme is only as suggestive as the audience would imply it to be.
Seriously, I still have a feeling I left someone out. Can someone please tell me who it is?
“Meh, here’s another god damn moe blob slice-of-life. I don’t understand why people like shit like this…”
If this is your mindset, then even without saying it, you know you should pass up on the offer; however, if you have do have an interest in slice-of-life anime, comedies, or shoujo ai (You should note that shoujo ai is not a major genre. It doesn’t have as much yuri as you would expect from its title), then go for it. I started watching Yuru Yuri thinking it would be fantastic, and do you know how it turned out? Yuru Yuri absolutely amazed
me by how it was more than fantastic, it was glorious! I do not even remember the last time I have laughed so much. I know that I laughed in every episode and I loved every minute of it. Do you know what else? I am actually quite sad that the show is over, but as they say, “all good things come to an end.”
What is anime? Anime is a form of entertainment. If you find anime unentertaining, maybe you should pick up another hobby (I’m looking at you, Mister “I rate everything 5s and below”) and think about it. Next question: Does entertainment need things like “plot”, “development”, or “climax”? The answer is no. Entertainment is something that entertains you. It is most does not have to have any of those things. Recently, many anime watchers are too stuck up in their ideals that all slice-of-life shows are bad because they lack a plot. I can only reply by saying that slice-of-life entertains me to no end. Tying this all back to Yuru Yuri, I can clearly say that Yuru Yuri gave me such an abundance of enjoyment that I can only agree that Yuru Yuri is indeed a good anime.
So does Yuru Yuri have a story? Does Yuru Yuri have development? Does Yuru Yuri have a climax? It probably does not more than it does, but does that stop it from being entertaining? You can bet it does not. If you think you could enjoy Yuru Yuri, if you are not a slice-of-life hater, you will enjoy Yuru Yuri. If you watch the beginning of the first episode, you may think it looks exactly like a stereotypical slice-of-life, but don’t be fooled! That opinion will change very quickly! Every episode made me laugh. Some episodes made me surprised, some episodes left me shocked, and some even left me sad. Yuru Yuri can definitely bring out all of these emotions and more, but still have you smiling at the very end of each episode.
Opinions are always hard to form on art style and quality. You can hate it, love it, or don’t mind it. If you’re like me, art doesn’t play that big of a role and you’re excepting of most art styles. So how is the art style for Yuru Yuri? It’s fantastic to me. The character designs are pretty darn cute and the animation flows nicely and sometimes reminds me of Gurren Lagann. Art actually takes a big role despite being your typical anime. The art switches to fit the mood, and in one episode in particular, the art is definitely interesting… I won’t explain though, as I don’t wish to spoil the fun, but it definitely left me laughing. Bottom line? The art style is cute and definitely fitting (The facial expressions always make me laugh), and the animation certainly flows smoothly.
And what do we have for characters? Surprise, it’s your typical four cute girls doing cute things, right? Yes and no. If you continue to watch the show, there’s only three main characters… no wait… uh… In any case, there are more than just your four main characters. We also have the four members of the student council that frequently (almost every episode, so they might as well be main characters) appears and interacts with your four main girls who are members of the Amusement Club. Our lovely protagonist is Akari, who appears at the start of each episode, actually has the least amount of presence. You may think it’s a bad thing, but it’s not because that’s the joke. It’s referenced to in every episode and it’s a genius joke that never ceases to make me laugh. If we were to name the true main character, it would most likely be Kyouko, our hyperactive and fearless leader. She’s hilarious and makes everything enjoyable. Yui, her close friend, plays the straight man and gets embarrassed easily leading to very laughable situations. Chinatsu, our typical pink haired character, has a somewhat nasty personality, but her cosplay and hilarious art makes up for it. Finally, we have our student council members who are recurring characters for each episode. Ayano, the vice president, has a love interest, the most prominent source of Yuri in the show, with Kyouko. Ayano’s a bit of tsundere making her a likable character, but she also has a hilarious way of speaking where she will put the first syllable of the word at the end. Next, we have Chitose who has nosebleeds and is fond of KyoukoxAyano. Her twin sister, Chizuru has a drooling obsession for ChitosexAyano. Chitose has much more of cheerful personality in contrast to Chizuru who is cold. Chitose has much more aire time than her younger sister does, though. Finally, we have the two first year members of the student council, Sakuraku, who is a “baka” tsundere, and Himawari, who is the breast/ojou-sama factor. Hilariously, Sakuraku and Himawari are tsundere for each other leading to endless hilarity. Furthermore, the creator of the series went as far as submitting a marriage proposal under their names. Truly, that’s genius!
Yuriyurarararayuruyuri~ The OP and ED are hilarious and are more of an acquired taste. If you don’t like them, you’ll either end up finding them annoying or end up loving them. I personally find the use of the anime title in any OP genius. The soundtrack was fantastic, there wasn’t any piece of music that made me want to kill myself; furthermore, the music smoothly fits each scene to ensure the viewer receives the right emotions. And how about that voice acting cast? First, we have the pro, Toyosaki Aki (Chitose), returning for another voicing role as well as another well-known voice actress, Fujita Saki (Ayano), who is famous for Miku’s voice if you didn’t know; however, the four main characters are all voiced by fairly brand new voice actresses who are only taking on their first or second roles. And how did it turn out? These girls did a fantastic job. Their voices were brilliant. I can absolutely see them, Ootsubo Yuka (Kyouko) especially, rising to the top in the future because she did a marvelous job.
So did I enjoy this series? You can sure bet I did. And you know? If you have any interest at all, you’ll enjoy it too and end up laughing hysterically! I promise. To those of you who have actually stuck around to the end of this review, I thank you graciously for taking the time to read it. To those of you who are reading this after finishing Yuru Yuri and disagree with me, I only wish you tell me a few things:
Tell me you didn’t laugh when you saw what was in Akari’s sister’s room in episode one.
Tell me you didn’t laugh when Akari is totally blocked/loses her presence in the beginning of the episode three.
Tell me you didn’t smile at the Higurashi reference, or tell me you weren’t shocked at the sudden development in episode five.
Tell me you weren’t scared as hell in episode six.
Tell me the presence jokes don’t continue to make you laugh in episode ten.
“Yuri your way to success! Vol. 1” -Now with footnotes!
Approximately 12 years ago, we were introduced to a certain J.C.Staff series about a girl from Osaka and her five friends. A couple of years latter, KyoAni presented to us a self-entitled otaku and her friends: the twin-sisters and the smart-but-clumsy bishoujo¹. Those stories would go around these girls and their (barely average) easygoing high-school paradise.
Interesting? Entertaining? What is the point? It doesn't really matter, deshou?
It just happened that the community saw it was good, the industry saw it was profitable, and from that on, we started watching shows about cute girls doing
cute stuff for no apparent reason (both us and the cute girls).
Oh... the story! Yuru Yuri main plot is the daily events of Akari, Yui, Kyouko, Chinatsu (don't forget to add the -chan!). As middle-school students without a serious goal to achieve, YuruYuri focus on showing these girls having... fun! As the opening song itself explain "My real job is to 'student'! What's with that?" so all the key events of this series are pretty predicable and are related somehow to their school/hang out activities. The typical school slice-of-life.
But this isn't the real reason why 90% of us watches it anyway.
I bet you interpreted “fun” on the previous paragraph in a malicious way, huh?
While those easygoing and relaxing events of their daily life would give a fair amount of entertainment, seeing cute girls expressing their affection to each other in a PG-13 way is also pretty entertaining! And perhaps the key part of it: delivering such a thing without the inclusion of a douche male protagonist neither having to label the series as he-he-hentai! is what draws the attention of crowds to it. That said, straight from the first episode, it becomes clear that "Yuri"² moments are one of the key components of Yuru...YURI storyline.
Besides from being astonishingly cute and having these girl-love moments, the series strongly bets on their visual gags, practical jokes and references as save-points, keeping the viewers from being bored during long scenes or dialogues. A proof that it works can be easily found online, it's the amount of internet “memes” that were created from scenes of YuruYuri.³
Anyway, I digress.
There's no point into further developing this topic. Someone who is reading this didn't got here by accident and most likely have a backlog on series like this. If YOU happen to be one of these people and is now nodding in agreement, the reviewer thanks you for cooping with it. *brofist*
Following the same idea of the story, characters of YuruYuri are what one would expect of a show about easygoing school-girls. In a nutshell: They're patterned.
We have the clumsy, resident airhead MC; the admirable, dependable senpai; the polite, dependable "notice me senpai!" kouhai and finally the over-hyped, loose cannon senpai.
Not to mention they are all, obviously, CUTE.
Why are they always four? ...who is producing this, anyway!?
Oh, not to be forgotten, there are also the often forgotten supportive characters! They are there to add a bit of spice to the overall sweetness, some even have a separated story arc just for them which is great considering the flow of the story since it helps to keep the attention level. To be honest, these characters even get more screen-time than a certain MC ...you'd find out sooner or later.
Along the story progression, some other characteristics of theses girls become easy to notice and the classical tsundere/yandere/dandere⁴ action finally shows up.
Hahi, That was it!? Actually, there isn't much to digress about... giving a further explanation on these characters would spoil the first two episodes and completely ruin the mood. But still we want you to believe this is character driven so.... can we pretend we explained why, and you pretend you got it? *pshhh! No mod's gonna see this!*
In the era of moe, what isn't moe is a pagan non-believer!⁵
The artwork! Oh yes! *nosebleed* did I already mention it is... cute?
What kind of reviewer describes every aspect of the show with one single word?
Well, watch it and then we can discuss.
Just like its ancestors mentioned in the beginning of this review, YuruYuri's artwork is simple but well colored and surprisingly detailed at close ups. The “moe” factor is obviously part of it, which means, you won't find a character that is “ugly” at all.
Worth mention: animators did a very good job with characters' eye design. They doesn't have that artificial feeling to them neither artificial lightening, which makes it really fit the overall coloring.
yuriyurararara yuruyuri yuriyurararara yuruyuri yuriyurararara da-i-ji-ke-n!
Ain't I missing a “Kyarun!★~”!?
It doesn't takes much to create a OST for a slow paced school slic- *stabbed*
Still, it wouldn't be a lie ...to some extend.
The OST really matches the pace of the story, meaning, we get lot of relaxed synthetic instrumentals AND some funky remixed opening/ending. If you think you've heard these songs before, it's not a problem at all. Since this kind of series always use the same tempo and arrangement for their songs, sounding similar is just part of ride. Both the OP and ED are also performed by the main characters' seyuu-tachi. They're at the same time hilarious and addicting... during the first 5 episodes. Later on it gets really annoying and you'll just skip it all together.
Overall, YuruYuri is way more enjoyable than it seems. Really.
Not because it later turns into a full ecchi yuri R+ hardcore anime (!?), but because it manages to -somehow- make you laugh for 288 minutes. Who would imagine a school slice-of-life about pure teenager girls could be this fun? I wouldn't.
So, if you're wondering about watching or not, accept the challenge and get started on it already. The entertainment value may vary from person to person, however, it will absolutely manage to take a laugh from you, even if it's just with a short Higurashi⁶ reference (Heh, is that a glace of curiosity?) or a quick reference joke with the YuruYuri Akari x Aria Saga Akari and her signature expressions "waaay!" "hahi!".
Secure your loli and prepare for impact! A furious ride into the amusement world of these girls is about to begin!
¹ – extremely beautiful, cute, amusing, girl. Notorious examples: Anything Key/Visual Arts produces in collaboration with KyoAni.
² – Yuri is a modest synonym of Shoujo Ai, girls love, lesbianism, girl-on-girl action, etc.
³ – Seriously, YuruYuri related memes were all around /a/ by the time it aired. Ask Mr. Google.
⁴ – Japanese slang used to describe one's characteristics. (e.g: the tsundere is the girl who is violent (tsun) but loving (dere) towards the one she cares about.
⁵ – Yes!!! YuruYuri is 100% MOE, meaning, they can't possibly be less cute. UrbanDictionary gives a pretty neat explanation: “Moe is when your heart gets a boner.“.
⁶ – Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. Cute series.
obs: credits to @MAL Ikusagami for the insight of the review title.
—Fleeting moments of amusement and marginal hilarity
—Very occasional heartwarming moments
—Characters comprise a bog-standard mix of moe show cliches
—Running jokes that either aren't amusing to begin with, too quickly become tired, or both
—A permeating sense of predictability
—Mildly disturbing yuri theme. There's nothing wrong with that in and of itself. But how is it so universally widespread, and why do the recipients of one-way lust accept it without second thought? Is there no room for platonic friendship in this universe? You would be right in thinking this sort of thinking is too deep for a show like this. It just feels rather out of place in this
sort of comedy anime, and it wore on me pretty fast. But maybe that's my personal taste.
I consider myself a fairly forgiving judge of anime. Though my volume of intake is pretty far below average (at least judging by MAL users), I generally know what type of shows I like and seek them out accordingly, so I'm rarely too disappointed.
Moreover, I'm a fan of slice-of-life, slower, and what otherwise might be called—though without ill regard—“aimless” shows.
However, Yuru Yuri inspired me to write my first review, in order to warn others of its overwhelming mediocrity.
At only 12 episodes, the more dedicated among you may want to give it a shot anyway, having already cleared the tens (hundreds?) of better shows of this nature.
For those of you more discerning with your time or taste, I'd skip it.
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