There is something about the Yuuki Yuuna franchise that makes me love it so much, and it's how it makes me love the characters and connect with them to the point where any scene, be either the fun interactions or the heartbreaking sad moments, makes me feel like I'm there, connected with them.
This final entry of the Washio Sumi trilogy proved that again with the end of this prequel. Following the events from the second movies, it provides the final hit in the feels to the viewers before leading to the events of the main series.
As a source reader I have to say that this
adaptation improved the light novel so much, the great art and music sure added to that, making every scene way more impactful.
I can't recommend this movie (and the previous two) enough to anyone who likes this fantastic franchise, these girls are truly heroes.
(Almost no spoilers at all) When I saw last October on the news, that Washio Sumi wa Yuusha de Aru was getting an anime adaption, I thought that I'd give it a 10/10 and it'd be my fav series of all time however they adapted it, and whatever happened so I'm truly biased here. But after I watched it, I think it doesn't matter if I were biased or not, if I hated the LN or not, I'd still love this no matter what.
Story (9) : Cute girls (yup we've seen that a lot), that ends in tragedy (we've seen that a lot too), but
the way everything happens, it doesn't sound forced, it doesn't sound cringey or anything, instead it sounds so freaking EPIC! Some parts were rushed, and some were cut from the LN, but it doesn't stand a chance to its positives that it makes me overlook any flaws.
Art (9) : The art was neat and stable throughout the whole 3 movies I believe, really colorful, character designs were unique. Backgrounds were simplistic most of the time, but as a whole it was really decent.
Sound (10) : How to describe this.. Keiichi Okabe and Emi Evans from Nier franchise. I think that's enough to describe this masterpiece OST? Almost every track is god tier from epic ones to tragic ones. Voice acting was truly amazing, from all three main characters it was just astonishing, Suzuki Mimori and Kana Hanazawa, this is just heaven! It felt real af.
Characters (10) : Three amazing characters that the anime will make you love, Washio Sumi, Nogi Sonoko and Minowa Gin. All of them are best girls, no comment on that.
Enjoyment (10) : 10/10 enjoyment even if I were to re-watch this every single day that wouldn't change ever.
Overall (10) : I guess that was expected right? Yes I'm biased but I'm pretty sure I'd give it a 10/10 even without being a fan of the franchise, I recommend this to any person who watched the sequel (Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru), or any person in general that wants to see EPICNESS in its real form.
Film 3 needed to do 3 things: Glide down from the emotional high of film 2's climax, build up to the climax of the Washio Sumi arc, and connect to Yuuna's arc. Content-wise, this is possible in one TV episode, but that would be quite fast, even for a YuYuYu episode.
So after the introductory scene, we have a few more side stories interspersed with a buildup involving the Heroes' parents and teacher over the introduction of the Hero System that would be used in the first TV series. I quite like this build-up, as it demonstrates that while the
adults in charge are as mule-headed as one might expect, not everyone was on board with using it on young girls without telling them everything.
The side stories, as in film 2, demonstrate the powerful bond among the Heroes, and despite all they've gone through, they still take the time to laugh and play together.
The climax of the arc is as epic and tragic as was implied in YuYuYu, and one thing that might've been a nice addition during the transition scenes is Karin receiving her uniform/costume, but connecting to Yuuna was probably more important.
Could someone be introduced to this universe by first watching the prequels? Possibly, but throwing elementary school girls into a combat situation like this from the outset can potentially be a turnoff, particularly since this series is much harder-hitting than the Nanoha series. Sonoko's diary entries that precede each film (and each episode in the TV version) provide foreshadowing and hints, and yet that doesn't really soften the emotional blows delivered, quite the contrary. In this respect YuYuYu is a better introduction because like most of the audience, the characters have no idea what's going on when they first face a Vertex, whereas the trio of Heroes in the Washio Sumi arc have some idea what they're in for; additionally, the introduction of Sonoko in YuYuYu reveals that perhaps there's much more to the lore than we've been led to believe. So perhaps the "Star Wars film release order" strategy is a successful one.