If you haven't heard of Yuru Yuri, let me give you a quick recap of season 1. Essentially nothing happened. Yuru Yuri is yet another slice of life anime with little plot. The series revolved around the lives of a group of 14 year old middle school girls in love with one another, who spend their time goofing off in the "Amusement Club." The Amusement club is a school activity club which was created after the Tea club was disbanded, basically to form a club where the girls do nothing but sit around and talk, goof off, and not much. To the people who have seen Season 1, Season 2 is absolutely no different.
Picking up where Season 1 of Yuru Yuri:Premium Edition, Vol.1 (Blu-ray) left off, we're reintroduced to our 4 lead characters... First up is the main protagonist, Kyōko Toshinō (voiced by Yuka Ōtsubo), who likens herself resembling the lead character of Lucky Star. Kyōko is pretty much your average lead character, she's smart, selfish, vain, and pretty. She causes a lot of trouble (mainly for Yui) and is in love with Chinatsu only due to her resemblance of her favorite anime character. Next we have Yui, the straight girl of the, the down to earth who acts as the the voice of reason of the group (especially to Kyōko.) Chinatsu, a supposedly nice girl who actually has quite the mean streak, whom Kyōko has a crush on, despite Chinatsu's borderline obsession with Yui. Lastly, the supposed main protagonist of the series (actually not though), Akari Akaza (voiced by Shiori Mikami), the "plain" girl of the group, who is pretty much a pushover and usually relegated to the background, it becomes a running gag that she is so non existent that they forget she's even there.
Since this series is chalk full of characters, we also have the Student Council club, consisting of Ayano Sugiura (voiced by Saki Fujita), the student council VP who has secret feelings for Kyōko. Chitose Ikeda (voiced by Aki Toyosaki), a soft spoken girl whom consistently has fantasies about Kyōko and her friend Ayano together. Sakurako and Himawari (voiced by Emiri Katō and Suzuko Mimori, respectively), they're both in the running to become the club's VP and are constantly at each others throats while also having feelings for each other. Lastly we have Rise (voiced by Saori Gotō), the actual President of the Student Council.
The main problem with YuruYuri is the same problem with OniAi, another series I recently reviewed, the problem is there is no real direction to it. It's seriously 12 episodes of these characters doing nothing but goofing around. Another big problem for this series is that every single character are cliches of the absolute highest caliber, you have the selfish girl, the shy girl, the tough girl, the 2 characters in love with each other that won't admit it etc. The list goes on and on, but the fact is there is nothing original or anything "special" that makes these characters stand out in any way and since the series pretty much hinges on these characters to carry the show to success, it ends up failing for the most part in this regard.
The series remains episodic throughout it's entirety, with the girls normally sitting around various topics. There are some recurring plot points throughout the series as in Kyōko publishing her own short stories, but stuff like this is few and far between, rarely being touched upon. My favorite episode is completely ludicrous in that it revolves around Akari stumbling across a time machine where she travels back to her first day of middle school, it's actually a terrific episode that has a great ending to it. We get our obligatory hot springs episode, where Akari dreams about being the lead character. Another episode focuses on the girls celebrating Valentines day. We have random episodes of the girls sitting around discussing various thrilling topics of how to avoid getting sick, how to pass time, and my personal favorite, the air conditioner dies and Kyōko has to embark on a journey to get new batteries. Sounds like such a ride doesn't it?
In the end YuruYuri fails in about every regard, it has it's moments of being funny, but other than that the series is chalk full of cliches, terrible storytelling and unoriginal ideas. Honestly I can't recommend this series when there is so much better anime out there. Pass this one up and check out something like Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, or Wolf's Rain.
- Some solid funny moments.
- Cliched characters.
- No real plot to the series.
- There is no reason an anime should have an episode dedicated to a character finding batteries for her air conditioner. This show is full of idiotic themes similar to this.
Video and Audio
The animation quality of YuruYuri is consistently terrific, each character for the most part has a unique look to them. I always love the detail that goes into the exaggerated faces. The colors of the series are very bold and strong. The animation stays consistent and fluid throughout.
The only audio track available for this release is a 2.0 LPCM Japanese audio track. The acting is solid throughout with no one really giving a bad performance. the dialogue is clear throughout and their were never any moments with noticeable audio dropouts/distortions.
I love that NIS America goes through the effort that they do for extras.
- A beautiful 36 page hard cover art book. The book features episode and character descriptions, sketches and artwork for the series.
- Video Art Book Featurettes. Six approximately 10 minute long videos featuring artwork, sketches and the animation process of the different characters.
- Previews for each episode.
- NIS America trailers.
- Textless Opening and Closing themes.
YuruYuri doesn't break any new ground. At all. There is nothing original about this series, it's full of uninspired episodic stories, bland characters and ends up being a dull show. It is safe to say Skip it. YuruYuri is a waste of time.