I would like to begin this review with a sincere apology to the fine people at Ichijinsha. I know that a lot of work and energy went into the making of Yuru Yuri and I wish, I truly do, that I could have liked it. But, I did not. If you habitually like the kinds of anime and manga I dislike, If you love series like Lucky Star and A Channel, then do not read this review, just hurry over to Crunchyroll and watch Yuru Yuri – you’ll love it.
I have spent more than a decade promoting Yuri, highlighting series that focus on women in love with one another, pointing out over and over that “Yuri” is not, really, anything like the fantasies creepy loser guys have about girls. Yet with Yuru Yuri, the creators go right to Fanboy territory, then crawl slowly steadily down to wallow in the most banal, most creepy possible tropes. I’m genuinely frustrated by the choices made here.
Yuri Yuri is the story of four girls who hang around and do nothing. These four are all very typical moe types, so forget having any kind of personality. Less than 5 minutes into the anime, there were already 4 underwear gags, the main character had forgotten that school started that day (which is totally likely if you have no family or friends, live in a box and have no media access, I suppose.) The entirety of the second half of the episode is a systematic destruction of the protagonist’s ego. As a *joke*. Because making fun of a friend until they cry is absolutely hilarious, as we all know.
At 8 minutes in, I had a crisis and almost gave up watching altogether. It was so horrible, so tedious, so completely un-fun. My number one criteria for entertainment is that it ought to, you know, entertain me. Watching Yuru Yuri was the anime equivalent of a dentist’s appointment.
There is “Yuri” of course. Of the most excruciating kind. Kyoko likes to look at panties and wants to possess the cute loli. Chinatsu, the loli, crushes on Yui, the moe equivalent of the cool princely character. And let’s not forget the implication of a deep, pathological, stalking sister complex Akari’s sister appears to have for her. That’s always good for a laugh.
The one thing that really wasn’t terrible was Crunchyroll’s subtitling. It’s not perfect, but it was definitely one of the least objectionable jobs I’ve ever seen from them. So that, at least, is something positive to note.
I’m sorry, Namori-sensei. I’m sorry, editors of Comic Yuri Hime. I’m sure that Yuru Yuri will be very successful, but I won’t be watching. As much as I want it to succeed, I actually like the anime less than I do the manga. And I don’t like the manga very much at all. I came into the anime with very, very low expectations and this managed to not meet any of them.
In the end, Kyoko described this series best when she described the protagonist Akari with “A lack of outstanding qualities is your most outstanding quality.”
Art – 5 If you like moe you will probably think it a 6 or 7
Characters – 4 See above
Story – 3 See above
Yuri – There is no real affection, love or desire here. Just gags.
Service – 10
Overall – 4
Pain upon realizing that Comic Yuri Hime‘s first “Yuri” anime ever is everything I have fought to get rid of, in order to be able to tell stories of women in love with one another – 100