This is review number two hundred and eleven. This anime is part of the Spring 2013 lineup. The anime I’ll be reviewing is Yuyushiki. It’s a twelve episode anime about a bunch of girls hugging each other and sleeping in each other’s room and other things like that. It’s cute and it’s slice of life. I’m sure you know where this is headed. Let’s read on.
The anime is about three close high school friends. It follows the everyday life of Yuzuko, Yui and Yukari as they spend time together and also fool around in the Data Processing Club. These girls are really close and their conversation can get pretty random. It can also get a touch too suggestive, if you know what I mean. *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*
Taking the Pants Off
Ah, the ever popular “cute girls doing cute things” genre. Ever since I started this blog, it’s always been a little guilty pleasure of mine to marathon these kinds of anime just to experience the torture of watching too much of them. If you’ve seen one then you basically know how the rest of them go. The beauty of these kinds of anime though is to slowly discover what makes them stand out from the rest of the pack. It’s never pronounced and it requires multiple viewing to see it. Believe me. The School/Slice of Life genre rarely has big things that set them apart. Smooth animation, flawless execution of the skits or outstanding characters are among the tell tales of a stand out “cute girls doing cute things” anime. That’s also the reason why I am a big skeptic when I tried this anime but it didn’t take me long though to enjoy this anime. The first episode is enough to catch your attention and there are actually a lot of things contributing to this show’s great potential. It does have some minor setbacks but the anime is entertaining through and through.
The anime’s premise is pretty simple. It’s about the normal lives of three close friends as they spend their time in high school together. It’s really nothing remarkable. The anime mostly consists of conversations of the girls and situational comedies as they poke fun of each other. I’ve honestly seen a lot of these kinds of anime so the formula is getting pretty stale for me. This anime is pretty smart though. Something about how the anime executed various skits in the anime is really enjoyable despite the fact that I‘ve seen it before. There are a lot of things that I really love about the anime. First of all, the character interaction is pretty hypnotic. They aren’t special themselves but, whenever they have a conversation, their various demeanor make the show pretty worthwhile. There is a smart balance to it that I really appreciate. We have the loud and energetic girl steering the conversation away from its normal progression. Next to her is the timid and airheaded girl that would respond to the loud girl’s randomness that would keep the conversation going and then you have the level headed and often serious girl that responds normally by pointing out the craziness of the conversation. It’s not really much but this balance in the character interaction is pretty infectious. I was personally watching just to see the characters do their part in the conversations and I wasn’t really paying attention much to the content of the conversation.
The anime is made up of two parts. I’ll say it again though that this show is just like most anime of its kind but it’s a bit complex in its own way without actually straying far from the “cute girls doing cute things” shtick that it’s aiming for. The first part is simply the various conversations the characters have. Like I said, the characters make this segment pretty lively. The show has a simple format of having an episode revolve around an entire day of the characters scheduled activities. It normally starts with the girls going to school or talking before class starts. It’ll then jump to a lunch break scene and then end with the girls going to their club or walking home. During non-school days, they’ll either be spending time at the beach or other places but they’re mostly inside Yui’s house continuing their random conversations there. The familiarity of the structure actually made the show easy to appreciate and the day progression gives the anime a direction despite having no actual story to present. I’m used to seeing these kinds of anime with no story. I was excited to see what the girls would talk about though during their free time, lunch break and club activities because they are all pretty different in their own quirky and unique way.
The conversations all share the same appealing elements though. One thing I really like is the complete randomness of it all. It usually always starts with a question. The question would slowly escalate the scene to where the girls are doing word puns or making fun of each other. I’m sure it doesn’t mean much when I just describe it so here’s a GIF to nicely explain the enjoyment you’ll find in the conversations.
The wonderful character interaction really gives life to the scenes and you hardly ever notice that the skit has already ended because the flow of the different scenes is smooth and uninterrupted thanks mainly to the characters. In fact, an episode would often be consisted of nothing but various stupid conversations starting with a question that’ll escalate into something funny and it’s enough to keep me watching.
Aside from the randomness of the conversations, the show also has a lot of self-referential humor. It’s hidden under the guise of the random conversations but there were certain times where the show would poke fun of itself and its respective genre. Nothing is serious in this anime though so most things just slide off without anyone the wiser but I often find myself laughing when the characters would often point out certain overused cliché in shows like theirs or the overly generic structure of their show in their various conversations. It’s pretty ingenious and the subtlety of the approach is something I really admire.
The first part of the show is the conversations of the characters. The second part is clearly the yuri undertones. The show is pretty much like Yuru Yuri where the characters would be so unbelievably close that there often seems to be more going on beneath the surface. The anime never acknowledges them though. The show mostly chalks it up to the playful banter of the characters and it’s nothing more than harmless fun. There were certain dialogues in the anime though that clearly doesn’t seem right however you spin it and I would often enjoy just how bold these statements would be.
The conversations don’t really make the yuri undertones though. It’s the way the characters hug each other and display their fondness for each other that raises some alarm bells. It’s still just playful and cute scenes though that doesn’t mean a lot for the characters but it’s still pretty awesome for people like me with our overactive imaginations. I guess most of these scenes can also be counted as fan service but it clearly depends on how you see it. Most conversations do acknowledge the yuri love of the characters while other scenes give off an indifferent friendly vibe instead.
Here is a GIF so decide for yourselves.
The characters are all interesting. They’re the centerpiece of the show and their interaction is the main selling point of the anime. The show has three main characters. Yuzuko is the pink haired girl with an energetic personality that does a lot of random things in the anime. From doing a lot of word puns to teasing the overly serious Yui, her presence really gives the anime its life. She often carries the conversation and there were times where the talking would die down and then she would start a new topic. The balance of the characters is pretty complex in this anime that I can’t believe it came from a four panel comic. The one biting to the randomness of Yuzuko is Yukari and she often makes sure the conversation is alive. She would often go as far as imitating Yuzuko to get a proper response from the other character. She is the timid character in the anime but she also has some pretty random moments herself. From finding certain phrases cute to barking like a dog, Yukari seems to enjoy enabling Yuzuko’s craziness which really make the interaction that much more lively. Lastly, there is Yui. She is the serious type that mostly does the reaction in every skit. Since she has a level headed personality, she would find her companions pretty crazy but also cute in their own unique way. Majority of the scenes in the anime revolves around them and I commend the show for making sure there isn’t a lot of boring moments in the anime.
The side characters are all pretty normal. There are only four other characters in the anime and the emphasis is really on the main trio so they really have small roles in the show. There is the big breasted teacher they prefer calling “Mom”. She is the club supervisor so she often checks up on the trio and then gets caught up in the random conversation herself. The characters also oddly enjoy talking about her boobs. The rest of the cast is another trio. They are mostly the group that notices how much fun the main characters are having and they also seem to have crushes on certain characters in the anime. They really reinforce the fact that the characters do more than being playful and cute. Towards the second half of the anime, there were some heavy focus on the side characters and their relationship with the main characters. It’s nothing much but they add some variety to the skits after seeing mostly the three main characters over and over. The talk about liking a certain girl is also a bit refreshing. They often blush and act nervous around the characters that they really look adorable.
The anime has one big drawback. It’s very repetitive. It’s not really a surprise for this kind of anime. It doesn’t have a story and it only relies on the personality of the characters so things will get repetitive. I marathoned this anime and that was a bad choice. As I write this review, I barely remember any actual skit that I enjoyed because they are all alike. All I remember are the characters and all those yuri lines. It opens with the same questions, derails with the same kind of stupidity and the club activities are always the same. I’m sure the anime is great once a week but for such an interesting show, its creative content easily becomes tiresome. To be fair, a lot of these Slice of Life/School anime are repetitive. If they aren’t then they’re not good shows for that genre. The anime could’ve tried to put more effort on the episodes though to make them more memorable.
I was ready to hate this anime but I was surprised that I find it very entertaining. I love being wrong and I love being entertained by these “cute girls doing cute things” kind of anime. In 2013, I was ready for a change but it looks like there’s still something those goddamn four panel manga can present. I remember the studio that created this anime, Kinema Citrus. They made Code Breaker and it was pretty awful. Yuyushiki isn’t really the kind of anime that can get them noticed but it looks like they’re satisfied being “good enough” and that’s fine. Give yourself time to grow. As for Yuyushiki though, the skits are entertaining, the characters are amazing and it actually had a lot of subtle yuri element that’ll make Yuru Yuri blush. The trio also deserves a medal for carrying the entire show. It’s pretty awesome.
Sight and Sound
Character design is pretty unique. It’s the same in the four panel manga and it’s pretty simple. The girls have the moe look that you’ll expect in these kinds of anime. Their face is a bit different though. It’s not rounded but a bit box~ish and sharp on one side to emphasize the cheeks. The eyes are also weirdly oblong as oppose to the normal big round eyes that take up half of the face. The ones in this anime are oblong instead of the usual round. I do love the individual styling of the eyes. It adds a lot to the character’s appeal. There are scenes though where the eyes are different as well. The girls would often have just big black lines to represent being quirky or something and the eyes would often go big round white to emphasis Yuzako going insane. The body design is pretty great. I love how the uniform compliments the nice curves of these high school girls. The subtle touch of fan service in some of the characters is also appreciated. I am also a big fan of the girls when they’re in their swimsuit since the show just how sexy they look.
Animation is pretty decent. Nothing really stand out except for the synchronize steps of the girls when they go home but the anime has decent enough movements to keep it going forward. The countless teasing does look cute but the animation never stood out. It’s still the characters and their personality that carries this show. It’s a shame because most of this School/Slice of Life anime boasts amazing animation. It’s like the studio didn’t care enough to put their stamp on the anime. That’s a missed opportunity on their part.
The anime’s OP is “Se-no! (せーのっ!)” by Jōhōshori-bu (Ookubo Rumi, Taneda Risa, Tsuda Minami). This is sung by the main characters and I am in love with this song. It’s a very catchy song with an upbeat chorus. The verse has some awesome high notes though that the singers nicely pull off. It’s a warm and inviting song that nicely captures the spirit of the anime. The OP sequence features the characters spending time together and mainly giving us a gist of what to expect in the anime. It’s very cute and it really does capture the appeal of the show.
The anime’s ED is “Affection” by Mayumi Morinaga. This is a pretty decent song. It doesn’t stand out as much as I hope it’d do but it is still enjoyable. Mayumi’s voice sounds pretty normal though in this song and the verse sounds the same as the chorus which is disappointing. The ED sequence features the three girls walking with a crayon drawing of buildings behind them and the animation has this cut out effect to it. It’s pretty cute and it ends with the girls breaking fourth wall and waving good bye to the audience.
6/10 “It’s a really entertaining show with an impressive trio. Unfortunately, the repetitive content and the lack of progression in the story make this anime forgettable.”
This show had a lot of entertaining things that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. The yuri undertones are a nice touch. This much hugging and poking each other should be misinterpreted by people watching. The amazing character interaction is also the big reason why this anime is a success. However, the anime lacks a good story. Just the kind of story that changes the status quo a bit, to give us a sign of growth, is missing in the anime. The repetitiveness is also a bit hard to enjoy. I’m sure if you can look past all that then you’ll enjoy what the anime has to offer. If you enjoy shows about “cute girls doing cute things” then you’ll enjoy this anime. If you love really memorable characters in your anime then try this anime out.