Mar 24, 2017
AquaHaze (All reviews)
There’s no questioning how popular the cute girls doing cute things genre is and I can see why, for some people (me included) it is a very effective way to relax. Due to this popularity, many series of this genre exist out there, most them having a twist or two to differentiate themselves from each other but still having the same core. However, Urara Meirochou not only adds twists to differentiate itself from others, but it also takes the existing mold and adds a lot more to it.

Urara Meirochou takes place in a traditional Japanese town of fortune tellers (uraras) called Meirochou, where the four main characters have recently started their studies to become top uraras. During this series we see all the adventures and trials these girls go through as we follow the journey these four girls go through to achieve their goals.

Despite having a plot, this series is still a cute girls doing cute things anime at its core. Through-out the series the girls go on a little adventure and have cute and funny interactions with their surroundings, each other and other characters, things you would typically expect from a work of this genre. To make itself not stale, this series uses its setting as a major part of its events to make them more unique (such as fortune telling and working at a shop of magical items). Another aspect of this series is that it banks on its cuteness, which makes this not so much super funny (although there are still a lot of funny moments) but it allows it to be endearing and fun to watch. While it is fun and endearing to watch, the setting alone isn’t enough to make the events unique enough to separate itself from other shows of this genre, but luckily this isn’t the only angle this anime uses. Despite this not being the most plot tight series in the world, the plot itself is not an afterthought as it plays a major role in why this series is good. Although the plot is simple, what it does is it gives these characters’ goals that they want to achieve. This combined with the characters motivations creates a lot of heartwarming and emotional moments which are probably the best parts of this show and what truly separates it from other shows of this genre.

The characters themselves are perhaps the best aspect of this show. For a series in its genre, the characters of the main cast have a surprising amount of depth. On the surface, the main cast is nothing special, each one has a personality that one could expect from any series of this genre with one or two unique facets. However, it doesn’t just stop there with the characters, instead every member of the main cast is expanded upon. Each one of the four girls have their own motivations and is given a back story which is explored somewhat extensively, which not only explains the girls’ unique facets in their personality (such as Koume’s interest in the European life style) but it also what helps make these heartwarming and emotional moments so impactful. The supporting cast is nothing too special (as they don’t really get a lot of screen time) but they do play their part in making this series as fun as it is, which is honestly all I can ask of a supporting cast of a series of this nature.

Usually, a series in the cute girls doing cute things slice of life genre will have to rely a lot on character interactions as that is what most of this genre is about and this show delivers on that pretty well. Not only do the characters have great chemistry, they play off each other well, and as the series goes on we get to see the bond between these girls only get stronger. However, one weakness this show does have is it over uses Chiya a bit, most of the heartwarming moments that include character interactions include Chiya and it would have been nice to see more of the other characters in these moments to see the strengthening of the bonds between the others of the main cast. There also is a lot of yuri subtext, (which is very common in this genre these days) and this series executes on this aspect well as it does increase chemistry between characters. However, while I do think most fans of this genre enjoy that or are indifferent to it, this could also be a turn-off to some people.

The production values of this show, while it’s nothing spectacular, are better than average. The art style is very simple but it fits the cute style of the show and the color palette while being very light and having a very wide range of colors, is not over-saturated, instead the colors are very easy on the eyes which does enhance the viewing experience. The opening and ending are what one would typically expect with the opening being sung by the main cast and both songs fitting the series well, but not being anything too special. The background music, while not being anything too complex, was more than just the simple music you typically hear, some of the compositions are actually quite lengthy with multiple instruments and they all enhance the mood of each scene. The voice actors were pretty impressive in their roles, not only did their voice fit their characters but they also nailed how the characters would sound like in emotional moments, one example being was when Kon was crying, not only did her voice actor nail how a crying person would sound when they talked, she also nailed how they would sound when they are breathing.

In a sea of cute girls doing cute things anime, Urara Meirochou is definitely one of the better ones. In addition to being cute and endearing, the characters have depth and it is littered with heartwarming moments. While it is nothing ground breaking it executes well on all the main aspects of a series in its genre has and adds more to it.

Final Rating: A very strong 7/10