Aug 15, 2009
Skadi (All reviews)
One of my weaknesses as an anime viewer is chibi style animation. There is something so awesomely adorable about it that will make me smile every time I see it. Combined with amusing slice of life storylines make Yurumates an extremely enjoyable viewing delight.

Yurumates features a series of mostly unrelated shorts that follow the tenants of a small apartment building in Tokyo. Since the building is a low rent and fairly rundown because the cast are poor students, most of the humor revolves around the life of a struggling student. This is likely to be a lot more funny for people who have either lived a similar lifestyle or are currently experiences it. Each short follows a certain theme, which will be familiar to fans of slice of life anime and manga such as surviving the heat, surviving the cold, and hotpots to name a few. While it’s all very funny at times, as I mentioned its quite familiar too and thus it feels like I have seen a lot of these jokes before. That doesn’t make it less funny but just not all that fresh and original.

Sometimes simplicity works the best, and that is the best way to describe the characters in Yurumates. They are all very standard archetypes but you can’t help but love every one of them. There are only four characters, Yurume, Sae, Kumi and Matsukichi. This was a great decision as anymore than this would have been too many do to the shortness of the anime. Yurume is the country girl who is adjusting to life in the big city. The majority of the stories flow around her. Sae and Kumi are quite funny as they good naturedly tease Yurume naivety. I liked Matsukichi a lot as for a change it was nice to see a non pervert male character in a cast of women.

The art is a bit difficult to judge, because I personally liked the style and think it was appropriate for the theme of this anime. It is quite simple; there is very little detail in either the backgrounds or in the characters themselves. With chibi styled characters you rarely get any detail anyway. The seiyuu performances were excellent. They really managed to bring out the characters personalities and with the simplicity of the animation and the story, having strong voice performances was critical to its success. The songs were also catchy and adorable.

I found this to be a really cute and fun show. If you don’t like slice of life, have zero sense of humor and personality, or absolutely must have amazing animation to enjoy something then Yurumates is not the anime for you. For the rest of us though it will surely be worth the time.