Yuru Yuri Review

This is review number one hundred and fifty seven. It’s part of the Summer 2011 lineup. I wasn’t in the mood to watch this anime when I first saw it in my list. After the daunting Spring 2011 shows though, I kind of wanted a slow one for now. This is a twelve episode anime about four girls in a club. It’s weird because I just reviewed A-channel that is pretty much the same as this show. Well it is except for the yuri part of the show. Girls touching each other are always encouraged so let’s read on.

Story

The anime is about the girls of the amusement club who lounge around in the tea club’s room after it disbanded. They mostly just lounge around doing random things and talking about random stuff. They often tangle with the student council too because of their unauthorized stay in the tea club’s room. They may fight and annoy each other but these girls are closer than you’d expect. Perhaps, a bit too close than you’d ever expect.

Taking the Pants Off

This anime is another one of those four girls anime in a club doing random things. Its Slice of Life and the story mostly revolve around the girls doing random or funny things when they hang out together. It’s an overused concept in anime so you often need to throw something original into the mix so people will watch it.  K-on had music and Natsuiro Kiseki had supernatural to brighten the “four girl concept” up. Yuri Yuri tried to set itself apart by dangling the notion of girl on girl crushing into the fold. Yeah, it had this idea that the girls can kiss at any moment and they’d be doing other things to each other. I think the concept worked because a lot of people raged about this anime. I guess Shoujo Ai (girls love) really get people excited. The idea of two girls kissing and being intimate does sound like fun but did the anime deliver on what it promised? I personally had an expectation the anime didn’t satisfy but then again, deep down, this anime is about four girls in a club doing random things.

Just like any other anime with four girls, it has two main genres: Comedy and Slice of Life. The anime started out pretty normally with the introduction of the characters and some gags here and there. The Slice of Life (SoL) aspect of the anime is a bit toned down because the comedy is more prominent. It also has some Shoujo Ai elements so one has to be pushed aside. The SoL elements basically set up some of the scenes in the anime like the girls talking randomly in their club or the girls doing normal activities like going to the beach. After the scene is set, the jokes commence and the promised Shoujo Ai elements comes through.

The Comedy of the anime is the over the top kind with the characters over reacting to jokes and some scenes involving physical pain. The characters carry the show though so some of the jokes are pretty great. The anime doesn’t overdo the jokes because it has a story to follow per episode. At first the jokes are bit bland but as the anime progress, and you get to know the characters more, then the jokes become more fun to watch. Even if some of the jokes are repeated in the anime, it never gets tiring. There are countless times where one of the characters nosebleed a lot yet it never gets old. The constant jokes about another character having no presence also never gets old. The balance of the stories of the episodes and the comedy was pretty fair so the jokes in the anime are pretty well done. If the characters were bland though then the jokes would be tiresome. Luckily, they’re not and I kind of admire the interaction of the characters in the anime.

The characters are the main piece of the anime. They start out bland at first but the audience slowly relates to the characters so later episodes are pretty fun to watch. The way the characters interact with one another is the biggest draw of the anime. The show really took the time to establish the friendship among the characters and I love how it took advantage of the SoL and Comedy to do that. Some of the relationships in the anime are really pretty cute to watch and knowing how close they characters are is one of the reasons I can’t stop watching the anime. I personally love how some characters often act cold to each other but it’s only because they can’t express their feelings properly. The main characters have a nice chemistry together. They start out like any typical foursome with the loud one, the level headed one, the serious one and the one that gets constantly abused. As the anime progresses though, some characters grow out of their role with some really just gets better in theirs. There is a decent transformation in some of the girls because the anime really made sure the relationship among them is fully explored.

Even the side characters had a decent introduction. The screen time of some of the side were pretty equal to some of the main ones. In fact, some of the side characters eventually get more screen time than some of the main characters. It’s not really that bad because, once again, the relationships of the characters are fully explored. I love how some of the members of the student council are fond of the amusement club members and the anime often focused on the two club’s relationship.

Of course, the reason why the relationship of the girls is highlighted is because of the Shoujo Ai elements. The idea of the girls being romantically linked does cross my mind multiple times when watching other show like this one. They spend so much time together that it’s not really a shock if one of the girls decide to pursue another. This anime did that. Well, there’s nothing hardcore in the anime though. I’ll tell you right now that the Shoujo Ai elements are pretty tame. The best the anime have is two characters kissing in a very light hearted or comedic way. The rest of the Shoujo Ai often involves this unspoken love between two characters. The anime spent a lot of time showing how these two friends are close to each other that they eventually feel more than friendship between them. They often argue or annoy each but they also appreciate each other. There are also some relationships where one character secretly like each other. Either way though, the girls love aspect of the anime is very puppy dog love or elementary crush. I didn’t really mind that as long as the anime had some Shoujo Ai scenes with some awesome girl on girl action.

The girl on girl action in the anime is pretty subtle. Like I said, the best it had was some characters kissing but no relationship moving forward. It was a bit of a bummer for me because I really wanted some good girl on girl friction. Often times, one character just imagine some of the girls doing each other. It was pretty satisfying but also a bit disappointing. The major reason why the Shoujo Ai elements weren’t as prominent is because the anime isn’t really a Shoujo Ai anime. It’s a Comedy/SoL anime with only a sprinkling of Shoujo Ai to make it stand out. The balance of the elements were pretty good so I really complain that much even though I personally wanted more Shoujo Ai action.

This is a pretty solid anime that was able to make the four girls concept pretty fun to watch. Some of these shows are pretty boring because of its SoL nature and some gets redundant because of the weak comedy constantly being recycled. This show was able to overcome those hurdles and I think it’s in part to its Shoujo Ai elements. It wasn’t that strong but the audience’s ability to ship some characters and imagine them do things the anime wasn’t able to show is enough to make people happy. I do hope the second season had more girl on girl action though.

Sight and Sound

yuruyuri21

The character design is moe. These are the typical cute girls with big heads and bug eyes with slim bodies. The cuteness of the characters does come out tremendously without the characters becoming moeblobs. Their bright colored hair and their slender bodies in their uniforms really bring out the characters appeal. The eyes were a bit hard to appreciate at first because they look like dead fish eyes but you’ll eventually get used to it. It complements the characters cuteness even more so it’s pretty decent. I really love the uniforms of the girls. It looks pretty decent but it has a very short skirt that often exposes the sexy curves and the smooth legs of the characters. They are cute but they are also subtly sexy because of the uniform. The characters looked a bit alike at first because they all had the same height and face shape but thankfully the personalities was able to make some girls stand out.

The anime had some Shoujo Ai fan service when some of the girl’s imagine the characters being intimate. They look cute but there is an air of sexiness in the scenes that I really appreciate. Seeing these cute girls in mature situations was pretty fun to watch even though it wasn’t really that much. The way the characters cling on to each other and do some fan service also made me wish the anime had more girl on girl action. Hey, I don’t see a lot of that kind of anime so I was kind of hoping this anime would deliver.

The animation is pretty great. The facial expressions of the characters were nicely animated especially when they overreact to some of the jokes. The movements are also pretty smooth and it was pretty precise. A lot of scenes have some girls fidget all over the place and the animation was really smooth to capture the hyper active movements of the girls. I do notice some episodes had some low quality animation like when some of the girls were feeding each other. The scene was pretty irritating because the way the feed each other is pretty awkward. Majority of the animation is pretty great though and I love how the cuteness of the characters comes through in the animation.

The anime’s OP is “Yuriyurarararayuruyuri Daijiken” by Nanamori Chu☆Goraku Bu. The voice actors sang the song. It’s a very hyper and cute song. The song is really catchy and I often myself shaking my head to the beat of the song. The characters all had their line in the song and it was pretty decent. The voice actors were able to capture the cuteness of the characters with their lines. The song pretty much resembles the anime with lines about the normal lives of the girls and their crushes to each other. The OP sequence is pretty normal. It features the girls and their cuteness in various scenes where they do normal activities. It pretty much captures the content of the anime.

The anime’s ED is “My Pace de Ikimashou” by Nanamori Chu☆Goraku Bu. Again, it’s sung by the four girls of the anime. It has the same energy and catchy beat as the opening song. I love the way the characters just ramble on the lines of the song because of its fast pacing. The characters all had a line in the song and they were, one again, able to bring out the cuteness of their voices. The ED sequence is the same as OP. It features the girls acting all cute and doing things together.

Overall Score

7/10 “A solid comedy/Slice of Life anime with some sprinklings of Shoujo Ai wrapped in a bubble of cuteness.”

This is a very fun show. The comedy was effective and the fan service, even though it’s a bit subtle, was pretty fun to watch. If you like shows about four girls in a slice of life setting but has the promise of girl on girl action then you’ll like this anime. I recommend it.

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