What’s the show? Yuru Yuri
Ah! I’ve been around you long enough to know what both of those words mean? Oh?
So in the west this show is called ‘Laid Back Lesbians’? *face palm*
What? Was I wrong? You’re wrong in that no it’s not called that in the west, it’s still Yuru Yuri. But you’re not wrong in that’s pretty accurate for what goes on during most episodes.
I won’t even feign surprise that you’re watching a show like this. Like what? Don’t judge a book by its cover; this show is way more than just girls love. It’s first and foremost a comedy, and a genuinely hilarious one at times too!
Fine, I’m listening, go on. So the main characters are four middle school girls-
Stop, I’m sorry, did you say middle school girls? That’s perverse even for you! And there you go transplanting your heteronormative assumptions on things that shouldn’t even be seen as the least bit sexualised but because you consider lesbianism a fetish as opposed to an actual way of life you can’t separate something as honest and pure as self-discovery from what you search on RedTube whenever women’s sport comes on the TV!
I… I’m sorry, I just assumed because you watch so many fan-service anime that this was just one and the same. There’s literally no fan-service here unless you consider girls exploring their complicated and raw feelings for other girls to be fan-service, in which case I suggest you leave.
No, no I’ll stay. Again, sorry. It’s fine, I forgive you this time.
So who are our characters? Protagonist; Akarin! Akari has a serious issue, she’s very forgettable, to the point where the show itself forgets she’s even a character in her own show to hilarious comedic affect. Like it’s hard to put it into words but the way this show treats its protagonist is akin to high art. It’s brutal and cruel and unexpected but insanely funny and entertaining.
And the rest? There’s Kyoko who is fun incarnate, but also incredibly clueless at times. A great deal of the one-liners and randomness that make up the comedy comes from her. Then there’s Minami who is the strong, silent type, she’s the level headed one of the group but can’t resist a pun. And then there’s Chinatsu, who’s the super cute one who has a passionate crush on Minami despite the constant suggestive advances of Kyoko who idolises the pink haired princess because of her resemblance to her favourite anime character a magical girl called Mirakurun.
So that’s everyone of importance? Not even close! Then there’s the members of the student council, Ayano is the vice president and is as straight laced as the come but she’s secretly in love with Kyoko, even if she’ll never admit it. Ever by her side is Chitose who is a total pervert and imagines Ayano and Kyoko in suggestive situations at every available moment, which causes her near-fatal nosebleeds. And then there’s ‘doth protest too much rivals’ Sakurako and Himawari who just seriously need to get laid. And I could go on, but well, there’s a couple more characters who benefit from the surprise of their discovery in episode 9 of the season.
Things got complicated, and quick! Don’t presume that because it’s all cutesy on the surface and is about middle school girls that it’s somehow less complex than the myriad other school based shows out there.
Lesson learnt. So what’s an average episode of Yuru Yuri contain? Making fun of Akari’s non-presence no matter the situation. A lot of talking, then finally a plot developing, then doing everything to subvert those expectations, then something totally random. Intersperse some sexual tension and unreturned feelings and heaping dollop of total nonsense and you have the average episode of Yuru Yuri.
Dare I ask who your best girl is? Usually if I have to think about the matter longer than 10 minutes it usually means I don’t have a best girl.
What?! Shocking, I know. I think because the characters relationships are so dependent on one another, not just emotionally within the show but structurally externally too, I can’t really choose.
Maybe it’s because they’re middle school aged you feel weird about picking one as a ‘best girl’? Nope, no weird feelings about that at all.
For once I’d just like you to have a normal response. No chance!
Fine, whatever. Anything else to add? The final episode of season 1 is one of my favourite episodes of any comedy or slice of life anime’s I’ve seen so far, it starts off strong and keeps building and building, I was in awe of what I was witnessing. If I were reviewing that episode alone I’d probably give it 99.
Wow, high praise indeed, but what about the season as a whole? Final score? If you’re put off by the title or the genre or the ages of the characters at least give it a go, you’ll know pretty quickly if it’s the show for you as the first couple of episodes are very indicative of the rest of the season. Personally I couldn’t get enough of it and am glad there’s another two seasons to watch. Unforgettable, 92 out of 100.