Oh, WaSuYu has a TV Version now, I guess it’s as good of a time to rewatch it…again.
Now before I begin this review, I need to make a disclaimer. This show is meant to be a prequel series to Yuuki Yuuna is a Hero, or Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de aru. If you have not seen YuYuYu, do not watch this show. This show was made to be watched as a prequel, and needs context from the original YuYuYu to be understood entirely, as well as to know aspects of the story for more of an effect. Due to this, I will assume you’ve
seen YuYuYu already if you’re looking at this review outside the synopsis, and will bring up terms from the show, as well as casually spoil elements of YuYuYu because of the show’s nature. So go watch YuYuYu before you both read this review, or watch WaSuYu. Now with that out of the way, lets begin the actual review.
Friendship is a very beautiful thing, it can last ages and creates powerful bonds between people. With the help of others, one can take on larger problems, work together, grow together, and accustom oneself with one another. With friends, you can create memories, some happy, some sad, but definitely some that will be unforgettable. Washio Sumi’s Chapter is a story about that kind of beautiful friendship, in the form of a story about a trio of powerful heroes that fought not long before the heroes we are already accustomed to.
This story takes place a mere two years before the events of YuYuYu, if it isn’t obvious already, this is the story of Tougou as a yuusha before she lost her memories, back when she was taken in by the Washio family, where she was given the name Washio Sumi. In this prequel, Washio is part of a smaller team of yuushas than the ones we are familiar with in both age and numbers, and it’s up to her, Gin, and Sonoko to fight against the Vertexes that invade from the Great Seto Bridge. Fighting Vertexes works differently in WaSuYu, for one, the yuushas don’t have help from the fairies, so the yuushas will get injured and aren’t as powerful. Second is that Jukai in general works a bit different, instead of being an open field, the battles all take place on the bridge, and it’s like a tower defense where the 3 girls have to prevent the vertex from reaching the end of the bridge and to the Shinju.
As for the actual story, it begins first with introduction and training as well as a few fights. Unlike YuYuYu however, the fights are not too plentiful, and in fact, about half of the show is pure slice of life, which actually serves a purpose in this show. Now, this story resolves a few of the questions that were left unanswered in YuYuYu, like why there were fairies in the first place, and why the Taisha chose to use them in the first place.
Now if you remember the events in YuYuYu should realise that this story does not end happily, Sonoko goes Mankai twenty times and loses most of her body functions, Wasshi loses her legs a large part of her memory, including the time she spent with Sonoko and Gin, eventually turning into the more self-doubting Tougou, as for Gin, you’ll see what happens to her in time. Now remember what I said about the slice of life elements? Well the show uses those parts along side the likeable characters to get you attached to the trio, so that even though you know it ends sadly, when the tragedies hit, they still hurt to watch even though you’ve anticipated them.
The art is pretty damn good, but also in some areas could be better. The art itself is very graceful looking, with thin lines and a pretty feel. The art itself looks very good for the most part, I especially love the eyes of the characters, as they look really pretty and are also expressive. It’s definitely above average level in my opinion but at the same time doesn’t really reach for the top. Just like YuYuYu however, I think the jukai looks excellent as usual with it’s bright and colorful surface, a place where the coloured vertexes actually kind of match.
Animation is usually satisfactory, however in some areas, the animation cuts budget and resorts to 3D animation. Now I’m not one to say 3D animation equals bad animation, but in some of those scenes that do use 3D animation, it looks unnatural and kind of jarring. This is not for all the 3D animation in the show however, as the vertexes and bridge animation look fine, mostly it’s the character’s movements that look strange in 3D. Still, you can look past it, and overall, the art is really good.
This is one aspect of the show that I found really well done. Most of the tracks are reused from the WaSuYu movies, to be expected, so it’s nothing new in that regard. Just like YuYuYu, is one of Keiichi Okabe’s few works in anime soundtracks, and I think he did very well with the sound design. Most of tracks aren’t as recognisable as those in YuYuYu in my opinion, but those that are shine very, very well. Emi Evans returns again for the vocals in the soundtracks, and my fucking god she does an amazing job. As expected from the vocalist for the OST of the NieR: series, her clean angelic voice does an excellent job at setting the atmosphere for some of these scenes. My favorite track by far has got to be A Girl’s Wish, a track used at the finale of the show, and one that almost makes me shed a tear as I remember the heartwretching events so clearly. The ED’s are reused from the original movies, and depending on the episode, the ED’s and visuals change for both emotional purposes and to fit the state of the show.
As for new tracks, we have the OP Egao no Kimi e, roughly translated into ‘To the Smiling You’. The OP is actually sung by our main character Wasshi herself, just like the movie OP and the first and third ED. I personally love it when characters sing their theme songs, and Wasshi is a damn good singer. The song itself is also one I really love, and prefer it over Sakiwafuhana, the OP for the movies. While some people might prefer the slower and more grander song of Sakiwafuhana, I find Egao no Kimi e to be much more suited to my taste, with upbeat positive vocals, a rising beat, and an overall happy atmosphere. I also love the OP because the lyrics actually makes puns of the main character’s names.
The characters of WaSuYu are awesomely done, at least in my opinion. The show only really focus on the main 3 girls, the only supporting character that gets any real screen time or really any real purpose is the teacher. Asides from that, we only focus on the 3 main characters, but this is what they lack in variety they make up for in development. The characters of WaSuYu are extremely likeable with very recognisable and charming personalities, yet none of them are perfect. Washio is very bad at socialising, but takes her work very seriously. Upon first meeting them, you realise Sonoko is very carefree and commonly sleeping, and Gin seems to be too relaxed and commonly late for class. But the characters are properly developed in the show, and we’re seen more about how they work as the show progresses.
Unlike with YuYuYu, our three main yuushas are not close friends with each other at the beginning in the show, and instead were just 3 classmates that they loosely knew. In this prequel, we’re shown the yuushas having to familiarise with each other, grow together, improve their teamwork, and become stronger as a TEAM. All while learning more about each other and strengthening their bonds with one another, which is one of my favorite aspects of the show. Their development and growth together is easily witnessable, and due to the viewer being able to really see these characters get to know each other, train together, and deepen their friendship with one another feels very, very genuine. You really get the feeling that these three girls have a strong and dependable friendship, as opposed to YuYuYu where you’re mostly told they’re good friends instead of really being shown it. This all increases the impact when the tragedies strike, and it's painful to watch these three loveable friends and their strong friendship go through the stuff that hits them in the show.
You could probably expect this, but I absolutely love this show. From beginning to end it was a joy for me to watch, and I loved all the emotions it brought me. It definitely hit me harder than YuYuYu ever did, all because of the characters WaSuYu gave us. They were more likeable due to the extra bit of focus on their characteristics we got in the SOL segments, and thus it was easy to get attached. They were loveable characters that had a friendship that stemmed from barely anything, that blossomed into a genuine feeling, strong, and supportable bond that would last ages.
This show brought me on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster on the final few eps, and while it’s not as intense as a show like Clannad or AnoHana, it also did more than the average show as well. Plus watching the characters interact and familiarise themselves with one another was just a lot of fun, especially with Sonoko’s quirky personality, Gin's strength and kindness, and Wasshi's sense of responsibility. Even despite the initial differing traits between them, these 3 close friends go together like yin and yang.
Overall, this show is a great one, and an absolute blast to watch. Animation isn’t the most revolutionary for certain scenes, and the story can feel fast or rushed for some, but overall, I think that this show easily makes up for it’s flaws with what it offers. It not only acts as a solid prequel to YuYuYu explaining a few things about the yuusha system and the world, but also shows the audience a story about a beautiful friendship of three loveable characters. The way these characters begin and grow their friendship feels extremely genuine, and the feelings that they have in the show are captured very well as you care more for these characters. You laugh when they laugh, you cry when they cry, you have a fun ride and also get emotional at the inevitable fate the cruel world had given them, but still in a way, it’s a happy ending overall.
If you should take one thing away from this review, it’s that WaSuYu is where I believe this franchise really shines. People always, always argue that YuYuYu is a Madoka Magica clone, and honestly I can absolutely see where they’re coming from. But when it comes to WaSuYu, this is where my stance changes. This part is where the franchise deviates from Madoka Magica, and asides from being a magical girl show, shares little similarities. WaSuYu shines as it’s own piece, and in my opinion, is a lot more enjoyable to watch. This show alone made me go from liking YuYuYu to loving it, it changed my view of the franchise, and if you’re going to ask if it’s worth watching YuYuYu for WaSuYu alone, personally I’d say yes. This show is definitely worth watching the entirety of YuYuYu alone for this story of three friends, and will always be one of my favorite anime to date. Overall it gains a high recommendation from me, and a good watch for any magical girl fan.
PS. The official Amazon Strike subs are absolutely god awful, do not support them. Instead I direct you support MajiYuusha and their fansubs.
If you liked Yuuki Yuuna, you'll probably like this. A little history to Mimori's character, why she had more faeries than the other girls, why she seemed to have more going on than the others in the first season.
That said, it doesn't exactly do anything new. It's just an earlier iteration of the cycle that was established to exist in this world: girls are gifted powers to fight Vertexes, girls get pushed to their limits and realize that there are sacrifices to be made. Almost all of the actual explanation for why Mimori is how she is is in season 1 is done in
the final episode, with the rest being largely emotional buildup to a somewhat rushed conclusion. Otherwise, the visual aesthetic is largely the same, the sound is like a fan tried to copy the soundtrack to Madoka Magica sans vocals, and as a viewer I am still forced to watch a middle school girl's D cup breasts jiggled in battle or be groped by her friends in jealousy.
Speaking of friends, they're pretty one note. At first I legitimately though that Gin and Karen were the same characters. Same hair, same face, same red theme in her battle outfit, same personality, similar choice in weapon. Sonoko is meanwhile... just kinda there. She's a good friend, and... that's it.
Somehow, despite being only six episodes, it still felt like it was too long for what it wanted to do, yet also too cluttered in that it tried to do so much in the final episode. Maybe this is a problem in the source material, maybe it was a directing issue. Either way, it makes for fairly middle of the road storytelling. Aside from the emphasis on Mimori's boobs, I never felt insulted by the show, but I also never was particularly gripped by a fight scene, or surprised at a plot point, or intrigued by the world or premise. In the end, the show continues the narrative of a world whose only reason to exist is to keep existing, and I can't help but feel that that is the reason for this arc to exist as well.
Washio Sumi's Chapter is a prologue to Yuki Yuna is a Hero that serves as both a redefining experience and as a unique universe addition. Its goal was to sit somewhere been essential world-building and narrative, or simply being an extra story to flesh out the main series.
I say this because there's 2 ways to experience the Washio story. Released originally as a light novel, chapters were coming in between episodes and thus were made in such a way as to not spoil the original series and should probably be watched (or read) alongside the original series... to a certain extent. If you haven't already
seen Yuki Yuna is a Hero or plan on rewatching it, then I absolutely recommend the watch order detailed here https://tinyurl.com/yajt5dz9
It gets even more confusing to recommend the best way to experience the Washio Sumi story, as the series was originally adapted into a theatrical run of 3 45 minute movies, that were then condensed slightly into a TV format.
It's awfully complex, considering it's for 2 hours of content. But it's a very complex and worthwhile 2 hours of content.
Overcoming the short runtime is an efficiency of focus. Almost no time is wasted, magnifying solely on 3 things: the 3 leads' lives, the battles and the world.
The condensing of material into just 6 episodes was surprisingly smooth. The introductions were fast but powerful, and the singular slice-of-life episode used a skit-style method to push all of its various ideas, including the leads lives but also to alter our perception of the world they live in, and foreshadow the rest of the series and the original series. It's creative; it's fun, and when it comes down to it, utterly distressing.
The leads go through a lot of development. They realistically and touchingly go from barely even being aware of one another to the best of friends; they heartbreakingly go from being society's outcasts to its heroes, and find something meaningful, something beautiful, along the way to fight for.
"Do your best no matter what" in the original series becomes "make sure to come back", and considering the meek lives these girls have had, and the courage they employ in spite of that, is truly heartwrenching to watch. A particular scream from Washio herself in episode 5/movie 3 is thoroughly spine-tingling, and I dread that the battle following that, with its infinite aggression and rage, may just stay with me for the rest of my life as one of the most distressing breakdowns in anime.
Make no mistake: The Washio Sumi Chapter, like its sequel series Yuki Yuna is a Hero, is one of the darkest magical girl shows around. Yet somehow, Washio Sumi's Chapter manages to eclipse the original series in how far its willing to challenge its leads, while still pushing the unique sense of tear-forming melancholy rather than stomach-churning dread.
Downsizing from 5/6 to 3 heroes makes a big difference, and the girls learn how to put their unique skills together to best fight the very specific, creatively designed vertexes, without becoming video-game technobabble or cheesy.
The movie isn't necessarily subtle about where its story is going, but I'm forever impressed by the subtlety of the world-building. Peppered throughout is a distinct idea of an entirely different, dystopian and apocalyptic world, but these are restricted almost entirely to the convention of the world - there is no idiot-dumping to get you to realise the world they live in is hell, it simply is, and everybody is finding a unique way of coping.
Perhaps in part due to its theatrical run, the visuals are gorgeous... aside from the ever-present fanservice which is just unneeded. It continues to smear the transformation sequences in an overly sexual way, and permeates even into the script as the reference Washio's breasts 2-3 times. It's a reduction compared to the original series, but it's still there and one of the biggest barriers into the franchise.
The music is typically excellent as it was in the original, and the final ED (Yakusoku/Promise) is possibly the greatest tearjerker I've heard in years (seriously, do not read those lyrics once you've got context).
I can't write a review without mentioning the excellent performance from Kana Hanazawa as Nogi Sonnoko. "IT'S KAGAWA LIIFEE" is perhaps one of the most funny, grounded, slice-of-life sequence that will forever be a top-tier meme for its honest self-awareness. "We're friends forever, you see," on the other hand, is one of the most tearjerking monologues in anime history.
(just writing those words down is bringing tears to my eyes. I'm not strong enough for this series)
In my honest opinion, unless you are going to watch the watch order I recommended earlier, and plan on watching the series as a standalone after finishing the original series, then I would recommend the Washio Sumi Chapter movie trilogy over the series. The 45 minute movies are just that little bit better at execution, most notably in the final, though there are very few differences other than the OP/ED breaks.
The Washio Sumi Chapter's addition to the franchise makes the already-impressive Yuki Yuna series even more enticing. There's significant depth added in a strongly executed string of 6 episodes, and it widens the perception of the original series in a very unique way. It helps that the Washio story itself is excellent, but it's not quite self-contained enough to be seen as a standalone. Even though it is fantastic as an additional story, it's hard to recommend the convoluted watch-order to truly experience its universe-altering story.
The Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru series is probably one of the only "dark magical girl" animes since Puella Madoka Magi Magica to stand on it's own whilst still having it's dark underlining themes as a result and not be made a ripoff of, see Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou for the latter.
Seeing Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru: Washio Sumi no Shou which is a prequel already got LA under some skepticism as to how this prequel mini series was going to pan out. From this even being a prequel it was already going to get dealt with the "inevitability" and "knowing what's gonna
happen anyways" elements of it. LA however did see more into this prequel of Yuuki Yuna focusing on Tog- Sumi Washio voiced by Suzuki Mimori, Sonoko Nogi voiced by Kana Hanazawa and Gin Minowa voiced by Yumiri Hanamori and them fighting the Vertexes and protecting Shinju-sama and her hometown of Shikoku.
The characters in this prequel has technically one new character that being Gin Minowa and we do see LOTS of development from her, what with her being the genki hot-blooded character of the trio yet a caring member of her family and pretty much anyone around her at the same time and Gin utter SHINES in this prequel. Sonoko Nogi is the ojou archetype but is also the ace and slightly aloof and times being the maniac to Sumi's minder. Sumi Washio is the typical strict yet playfully dere character and keeps both Sonoko and Gin in line, we also for the most part sees the majority of the anime in her perspective (it is her "chapter" and all). Having watched the original series we can see how at the very least Sumi and Sonoko translates into how they will become later on.
Ok, you probably want to know why LA sees more into this prequel than just being "inevitable because it's a prequel" and by all means this statement is true to a fact but it's what lies in it being a prequel that makes it interesting. We get to see the Shinju-sama system before it all and how it affects our trio, character development from the trio also helps us get used to these characters from things outside of the magical girl element and just looking at their daily lives and that brings in the emotional side of things when things get really sour, yes it's inevitable but damn does this prequel know how to pull on your heart strings extremely quickly yet make it AWESOME at the same time. LA thinks LA said this time and again but it's the "journey not the destination" statement that really makes this prequel something to look at.
The animation by Studio Gokumi is once again in top notch even for a prequel like this, from the moe-esque character designs blended in with the awesome background visuals and the damn good fighting choreography and battle scenes in general were amazing to watch, yes some CGI was used, mainly with the Vertexes but LA thinks that is the point of making them alien/monster-like so the CGI kinda makes sense all things considered. LA will give props to Studio Gokumi for both the character designs and background visuals as it was probably it's strongest element in terms of animation.
The voice acting was superb to say the least, from Suzuko Mimori, Kana Hanazawa and Yumiri Hanamori, but also special mention to Rina Satou as Aki (their homeroom teacher and mentor). LA will probably give Yumiri Hanamori the best voice actor for this anime if only because of her hot-bloodedness and some awesome battle cries she does (seriously Yumiri has been playing against the type this year and it showing). LA thought that LA would get annoyed with Kana Hanazawa's genki moe scthick but more or less because of the plot, she was more refreshing than annoying this time round and finally Suzuko Mimori did an overall decent job in voicing Sumi.
This prequel made LA really like their characters and their quirks in a short amount of time and all yet also seeing the fate handed to them because of it being a prequel. Yet there is just something about this prequel that even though it being a prequel has it's major problems, what it had as a whole was a whirlwind of emotional experience by looking at our magical girl trio in which LA can give this prequel grace and effectively giving us world building we already knew but giving in much greater detail (and in 6 episodes no less) of Sumi Washio's story and by extension how it affected the original series as well.
Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru: Washio Sumi no Shou is a nice prequel and companion piece to the original series, LA just hopes that the sequel to Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru, Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru: Yuusha no Shou doesn't falter on it's quality because it's a sequel and hopefully succeeds it's original series and learn from it's mistakes and looking at Washio Sumi no Shou, LA thinks this is going in the right direction but we'll see once the sequel is released...
Anime Review: Yuuki Yuuna Washio Sumi no Shou(cos im too lazy to type the full name FITE ME)
If Yuusha de Aru made me shed tears, Washio Sumi no Shou made me cry buckets, because it's freaking sad, especially the part where Gin died and they did her funeral. Wa i cant tell you how sad those scenes were. The sad music made it even worse. Considering that this is part of the Yuuki Yuna anime franchise, i'll keep the review short and only talk about the important parts.
Story: The story is almost the same as Yuusha de aru, but the most striking difference
is that the new system hasn't been implemented yet, so the heroes, Sonoko, Washi and Gin could die. And you know what, yes one of them died. And it had to be Gin. I mean, why not, Mahou Shoujo animes are meant to be messed up, so why not kill one of the MCs to make the anime more messed up and sad. And nope the solution to prevent Washi, Sonoko and others who'd follow won't be safe, in fact, why not make it even more messed up so that they will become vegetables but wont die. I mean, what's the worst that can happen eh? Washio Sumi no Shou continues the pattern that Yuusha de aru made and that is messing with peoples' minds and emotions. And you know what, to give them credit, they did do it well. So, both kudos to the devs and a big middle finger to them. Ok to be fair they did make the anime quite well with the pacing of the story despite the anime only having like 7 episodes.
Animation: Same as Yuusha de aru.
Music/Sound: I prefer Yuusha's opening and ending but everything else is similar.
Character: So Washio Sumi only has 3 MCs. Gin, Washi and Sonoko. Washi is more of the serious type who'd think carefully before making any moves, though she's also kind and caring. Gin is more of the head-on type who'd just commit TENNO HEKKA BANZAI!!!! and rush into the thick of the action and danger but also cares for her friends, so much so that she sacrificed herself to protect her friends and the world. Sonoko is more of the cutesy type. Childish, gentle, caring and also quite emotional, especially with Gin's death. Their personalities may clash with one another, but in the end, they manage to find a way to complement each other and end up making a fantastic team. But ahhhhhhh rip Gin. As for my fav character.... ehh hard..... cos I like Washi.... but at the same time I like Sonoko..... but i guess I'd go with Sonoko this time then.
Final rating: 8.2/10
In conclusion, another messed up anime.... time to watch the final arc which is Yuusha no Shou and END MY SUFFERING!
Do note that I binged through the first season of this show last Fall 2014. Note that there will be spoilers for the show.
Maybe, it could be that I already know the conclusion of the first part of the sequel that I am not really that emotionally invested in the characters. And hey, the way the show is presented in the beginning there is no attempt to hide the fact that this part of the sequel will not end on a good note. Maybe my sensibilities changed through the years that I might have been tolerant of some of the anime tropes back then.
But, oh boy, the writing in this anime really went down a few notches, especially the character development department.
Okay, the world building is nice. However, it didn't provide any additional insight to the world aside from the things that are already known in season 1. Yes, we saw Tougo's past as Washio Sumi, her life as elementary schooler. We also got to know Sonoko's life before we see her in Episode 8 of Season 1. We also got to know how the Hero System worked before they were given the spirits.
However, one of the biggest offender of the show is Episode 3, which is the "breather episode". Going into the show, the viewer already knows the "twist" of the show and the fact that one of the characters in the show will die along the way isn't really a surprise. That makes that breather episode crucial for the audience to be emotionally invested with the characters given that the suffering is bound to happen.
Unfortunately, the writers managed to make that episode so cringey that finishing the episode is a slog that I have to pause the episode then watch something crappier like a random PragerU video to even motivate me to finish the episode. Case in point, there is a part in the episode where Sonoko's dreams were shown in the anime. They even named the segment "Sonoko's Dreams". One of the dreams is Sonoko imagining Washio as an idol. Then they performed as an idol, rendered in CG. At this point, my brain literally screamed; "WHAT THE F***, STUDIO GOKUMI! WHY ARE YOU PUSHING THIS IDOL CANCER IN THIS SHOW?". Why even include those crap segments? Why did the writers shoehorn ambiguous yuri dialogue at the end of that episode? My god, that episode really dragged on whilst the last episode really crammed everything (introduction of the new system, showing how Sonoko and Tougo came to be at their situation now, how Sonoko realize the drawback of the "mankai" system and how she saw the actual reality of the world). Literally, everything happened during the last episode that somehow any emotional impact it has was not felt.
I don't usually write reviews, but I really do feel quite a need to express a few views. Aight here we go......
First off, I'll start with a few problems:
It's been about a year or two since I watched the first season, which I thought was pretty good. Going into this, my memory was rather rusty (having forgotten most if not all the rules/guidelines for the 'heroes'), I expected WaSuYu to at the very least provide a slight refresh to the world and guidelines but what it actually did was to immediately throw us (the viewers) into the world with no explanation whatsoever. This makes it
abundantly clear that the viewers are expected to have either immediately come from finishing the 1st season or the novel. Ok fair enough, but what I really can't understand is how painfully artificial the relationship feels right from the get go. It is made clear at the beginning that the characters have known each other for a decent amount of time, why are they still unsure of what their relationship is?
These are simply problems AT THE BEGINNING, you might now have some ideas of how many problems WaSuYu has.
Now this wouldn't exactly be a review if I didn't touch on the other aspects, so here they are.
Carrying over what was said in the previous season, the world (I kid, the "world" basically revolves in and around Japan & nothing else) of WaSuYu is one where a Religious governmental agency is in charge of supervising a society which revolves around the ManJu (the God tree), each generation, a limited number of young girls with strong affinity and willpower are selected by the ManJu to be heroes (Magical girls/mahou shoujo). These Heroes serve as warriors to combat evil entities that approach the ManJu every so often to contain the damage they inflict on the real world. But with great powers comes great responsibility and these young girls are basically expected to protect the tree at all cost, even at the expense of their own wellbeing or lives. TL;dr basically becoming forcefully coerced into being child soldiers of god. In WaSuYu, we follow the prequel tale of Washio Sumi (a character from the first season) and her fellow friends/heroes Sonoko and Gin. Since the show expects you to have prior knowledge, it's not exactly a spoiler that Sumi loses her memories, One of the other girl dies while the remaining girl becomes a bedridden shell of a human being after losing the majority of her bodily functions. And therein lies a few problems: an obvious ending, the lack of world building and limited time (with there being only 6 episodes, 24 mins each), which I will individually go over. There really isn't much to talk about with the obvious ending besides the fact that it defuses all the tension a "dark and gruesome" magical girl show is supposed to have. What about the world building? Didn't I provide a decent summary of the world of WaSuYu? Well in case you didn't notice, the information provided came from the first season, they don't elaborate or add much to it besides showing a more religious side to the Taisha. There is a hint of an honor culture, but I personally think that served more as a micro commentary on contemporary Japanese society rather than an insight into the culture in the universe of Yuki Yuna. Time constrain forced the condensation of what should have been an 8 episode series to fully flesh out the characters.
Osts, Op and Ed did a decent job, nothing I would listen to outside the confines of the show
We have the one-dimensional heroic genki, the idol -loving dolt of an affluent maiden an MC with either poor development or split personality disorder. They are pretty insufferable and are most of the time either screaming their lungs out like your typical shounen character with rhetoric about duty and heroism or are bawling their eyes out. They really do have one too many problems and we'd be here for another half a day if I could give a crap to explain.
Functional, had a decent budget to work with since it was originally a 3 part movie so it was to be expected that it would look pretty good. Artstyle has a nice bit of moe but otherwise isn't anything to pay much attention to. CG sections stuck out like a sore thumb and looked quite bad with the models being low textured and glossy. Frame rate dips during certain segments of CG were really really bad. 2D Animation is consistently smooth adn not much else.
In all, this really didn't have to happen. It's not smart, it's not sad, it shouldn't even have existed at all. The obvious lack of either effort or ability has turned this into a joke. It was already fighting an uphill battle with the circumstances surrounding its plot and characters, but with no outstanding feature, a lack of clear direction in certain departments and a crap execution, it really is something I would rather had not been produced at all.
On a side note, the death and funeral section of one of the characters was frankly insulting. Death is not a plot device to toy around with and to use it so cheaply to solicit sadness really is quite disturbing.
I’d pretty much say that it was okay, which is weird considering that this is a Yuki Yuna work. Although this one was adapted from a light novel, so perhaps that’s the reason why.
Anyways, Washio Sumi Chapter (Eh, who cares. I’m just gonna call her Togo).
ANYWAYS, Togo Chapter is your pretty standard prequel to the series, focusing on the group of heroes that came just before the ones from the original series. Unlike last time, however, these three girls have been trained by their families for this responsibility, and will ultimately do whatever it takes in order to defeat the vertexes
and accept their honor, while still being normal girls in the process.
It’s a decent premise, I’ll give it that.
STORY, PACING, WORLDBUILDING
The story of this is pretty basic, all things considered. It doesn’t really try to do anything that you aren’t expecting, which is kinda disappointing. However, there are actual stakes this time, unlike previously, which leads to a much more suitable comparison to Madoka.
The pacing is mediocre at best. While the first two episodes are okay, the third is a filler that’s just trying to get you more attached to the group. The episode is all over the place, and why I understand why it was there, it was easily my least favorite.
The second half was much better paced, in my opinion.
The worldbuilding is crap, as always, but at least we didn’t get into the whole alternate dimension thing caused by their Almighty Tree God. The less mess, the better. The propaganda was a little bit disturbing, but I’ll take what I can get.
While we don’t have a Karin match here, these characters are consistently better than the Sanshu MS group.
Sonoko was my favorite, even though she wasn’t that outstanding. She was just so quirky and odd, that I found it almost impossible not to like her.
Gin was good too; quite bada**, to be honest. I do think that the show was a little bit too ham-fisted about how she was so ‘kind’, but it didn’t stop me from enjoying her.
The teacher wasn’t all that interesting.
My biggest problem was Togo, who was already a mess from YuYuYu. She’s so boring to watch, and while I usually enjoy stoic nerds, I was never into her whatsoever. Also, her nationalism thing has been taken up to the extreme, and that was just . . . The only thing that would have made me more aggravated would be if they brought suicide back in as a plot point.
ANIMATION AND SOUND
The animation is about the same as it was from YuYuYu, including the painful, random CGI moments. I did really like Sonoko and Gin’s character designs as magical girls, while Togo had a pretty stupid looking outfit. There isn’t much else to comment.
The music was so bland that I honestly don’t remember any of it, and I JUST watched the show.
The voice acting was alright. I liked Sonoko’s, I guess? I dunno. None of them really stuck out to me.
It was okay. Sure, the show wasn’t anything special, but it surpassed my low expectations. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a time waster.
And hopefully Hero Chapter will be even better, right?
(Oh god, I am not looking forward to making that rant.)