Kigurumikku V3: Little girls in bird suits

Kigurumikku V3 is an ONA from AIC. Yes, the same studio behind Bubblegum Crisis, Explorer Woman Ray, OreImo, Sasameki Koto, Battle Athletes and many more. The stuff of theirs I’ve seen has ranged in quality quite a bit, sometimes being really good, sometimes being dull and sometimes being terrible. So, where does this 2009 ONA land?

Story:

There isn’t really a story. The ONA has three episodes that are just meant to parody magical girl tropes. There are three girls with powers granted to them by equipping avian mascot characters as kigurumi, or full body animal costumes for those of you who don’t know that term. The three of them face a vague evil threat resulting in shenanigans. The episodes aren’t really in order and they skip details between them.

As a premise goes, it isn’t a bad one and it has comedic potential. It’s basically the same concept behind Galaxy Angel’s super sentai parody episode. But whereas the Galaxy Angel episode was really funny, clever and charming, Kigurumikku V3 is none of those things. There’s very little that actually parodies the tropes that are common to magical girl stuff. A lot of the “humour” is based on perverted things happening and over the top reactions to them. To be fair, most of the really risque jokes revolve around the older sister character instead of the elementary school kids, but it’s still pretty damn sleazy. In all honesty one or two of the actual genre parody jokes do kind of work but they’re pretty heavily outnumbered by the insipid bits.

Characters:

There’s really not much to say about the characters in this. Chocotan had more fleshed out characters and it lasted all of ten minutes. Granted, this series isn’t that much  longer, running a bit over thirty minutes for its three episodes but that’s still thrice the running time with worse results. To be fair the kind of one-note cast of characters could work in a comedy if they actually meshed well for comedic purposes or if they were entertaining via quirkiness or some other factor. Kigurumikku, unfortunately, doesn’t have that going for it. It just has characters who are loud and kind of annoying. I’ve seen worse casts, but they’re pretty bad.

Art:

The art would be passable, if a bit mundane, if not for the focus on fan-service. Frankly, it’s a worse offender in that regard than Devil Hunter Yohko was. At least its main characters were older, albeit still too young for this shite.

Sound:

The actors themselves are quite skilled, although you wouldn’t know it from their performances in this. They’re ridiculously over the top and don’t really have anything going for them. They aren’t terrible performances but they manage to be grating. The music is bland but not bad.

Ho-yay:

There’s really not much. There’s a bit where Azuki decides to check the other girls’ chests but it comes across more as nonsensical and vaguely creepy than it does as them having chemistry.

Final Thoughts:

Kigurumikku V3 is a vapid, unfunny and just plain stupid little series. You might like it if you’re into the whole idea that girly bits are inherently funny. Otherwise, I wouldn’t recommend it but there are worse things out there. My final rating is a 3/10. Next week I’ll look at Mushishi.

Kuchibiru Tameiki Sakurairo: Fluffy Goodness

Okay, before I begin the actual review let me congratulate all of my readers from the United States. I heard about the Supreme Court decision. Congratulations on being the 21st country to take that step. It seems only fitting that we celebrate with a look at a yuri manga.

So, let’s talk about manga. This will be my first time reviewing a manga rather than an anime. Now, if I do more of these let me establish a few criteria I’ll be using. Like anime, I won’t be reviewing porn. Nor will I be reviewing fan works. and, finally, I won’t be reviewing any manga that have anime adaptations unless the anime adaptation is significantly different or incomplete.

Let’s talk about Milk Morinaga, possibly one of the most iconic yuri manga writers out there. She’s had a lot of published manga and no anime adaptations as far as I know. Although Girl Friends did get an audio drama. Girl Friends is her best known work, but I’m going to be looking at Kuchibiru Tameiki Sakurairo, which was my introduction to her writing and what got me into it.

Story: 

There are multiple stories within the manga. Slightly over half of it, chapters 1 & 5-12 all focus on Nana and Hitomi, two girls who were really close friends until they went to separate High schools. After a while, they meet up again and Nana quickly realises that Hitomi has been harbouring feelings for her for a long time. Hitomi confesses, kissing Nana and Nana tells her they don’t have to be just friends and kisses her back. So, the two of them become a couple pretty much right away in the very first chapter. The other eight chapters of their story focus on the ups and downs of their relationship. Culminating in a crisis when Hitomi’s father tells her that they’re going to be moving overseas.

I don’t really have anything negative to say about Nana and Hitomi’s story. Their relationship develops really well and has a lot of good moments. I also like that the story doesn’t focus on how they get together but what’s in store for them after it happens. Because, frankly, a romance trying to get drama out of whether or not the couple will get together usually doesn’t work all that well since the audience knows how it’s going to end. It’s just a matter of how it’s going to happen. Rather, it focuses on the drama of their relationship and the everyday things that happen to them. It is handled effectively and I do love the ending.

The other six chapters are all one-shot stories set in the same schools that Nana and Hitomi attend and focusing on relationships between girls. Some of which are one-sided, some of which are ambiguous and some of which are reciprocated.

Honestly, the only side story I really don’t like is the second chapter. Basically, it involves a ghost possessing a student so that she can spend time with the girl she liked who is now the nurse at the school. The first problem with it is that it’s the only story to involve any supernatural elements, which makes it not fit with the rest very well. There’s also the teacher and student thing.

The rest of the stories are well written and manage to illustrate some interesting dynamics between the main girls. Some of them are almost problematic but Morinaga is good at treading that line without going too far.

Characters: 

I do like the characters in the collection. Aside from the ghost girl. One of the strengths of having several one-shot stories is that Morinaga can illustrate different relationship dynamics among these girls. They’re all fleshed out characters as well who feel like they could be real people, with the obvious exception.

Art: 

The artwork is really well done. There’s a bit of nudity, but it’s very much handled tastefully rather than used for tawdry fan-service. Although the girls from chapter four look strangely like Honoka and Nagisa from Futari Wa Precure. I don’t know if it was deliberate or not but the resemblance is pretty uncanny.

Ho-yay: 

Naturally, this yuri manga is as yuririffic as any you’ll find. So, it has that going for it.

Final Thoughts: 

Kuchibiru Tameiki Sakurairo is a superb collection. There’s one weak chapter out of fourteen. If you’re looking for a cute, well-written yuri romance, this has several. As well as some more bittersweet, but still well written stories. I do recommend checking it out if you like romance stuff. My final rating is a 9/10.

Glass no Kamen: Thespian Pursuits

Glass no Kamen is a shoujo manga written by Miuchi Suzue starting in the mid 70s and still going. The series has had two anime adaptations. The first was done by Eiken in 1984 the second was done by TMS Entertainment and ran from April of 2005 to March of 2006. We’re going to be looking at the TMS Entertainment version because I was specifically asked to look at that one. The Gent in question provided a link and everything. Probably worried that I’d go to the Eiken one otherwise.

Story:

Kitajima Maya has always been a normal girl. She works after school to help pay for her and her mother’s room and board. She also happens to have a bad habit of getting distracted by dramas. While re-enacting a scene for some children she comes to the attention of Tsukikage Chigusa, a former actress who had to retire when an accident left her scarred. Tsukikage sees a vast potential for acting in Maya and becomes determined to help her develop those talents so that Maya can eventually take the coveted Crimson Goddess role. A role that hasn’t been seen on stage since Tukikage’s retirement. This gets the attention of Hayami Masumi, the young heir to the expansive Daito entertainment. Maya’s skills also quickly draw the attention of the young genius actress, Himekawa Ayumi. A girl who desires the Crimson Goddess role.

Let’s begin by looking at the negatives of the series. The biggest one is the romance. Fortunately, it’s a somewhat downplayed element since the main focus is on Maya’s journey to be an actress and on her rivalry with Ayumi, but it still bears talking about. Glass no Kamen has a creepy obsession with young girls getting involved with creepily older men who possess quite a bit of power over them. To the point where Miuchi would fit in with Clamp. In all fairness, Maya does get a couple of disposable love interests who are her own age and peers of hers. I’ll just call them Something and Whatever. You might wonder why I’m not taking ten seconds to look up their actual names and that’s because her relationships with them are dull and largely pointless. First you have Something, a young actor who appears early on and has a crush on Maya only to disappear for most of the middle and reappear at the end to take a role in a play and basically just exist. Then we have Whatever. A bloke who appears for a few episodes in the middle and goes on a date with Maya before being banished from the series. The only other real issue is the ending. Again, to be fair there are some good aspects to the ending but there’s also a lot of stupidity in it and the whole thing feels pretty rushed. Like they only learned it was going to be the last episode after finishing the episode before it and they scrambled like mad to try and resolve things.

Let’s move to the positive aspects. Final episode aside, the pacing is really excellent. The series is really good at building up tension and giving resolutions that really work. The narrative flows really naturally and seeing Maya’s ups and downs is really compelling. I also like that she experiences legitimate setbacks instead of ultimately overcoming every obstacle that comes up. It really makes the drama stronger when you aren’t sure whether this is going to be a case where everything turns out all right or if it’s going to be a situation that ends badly, forcing her to pick herself up.

Characters:

Most of the characters in this are well fleshed out, have realistic flaws and verisimilitude. The big differences are Something & Whatever, who both have a generic nice guy schtick and a girl who comes across as kind of cartoonishly evil in the way she tries to destroy Maya’s career. I do really love the rivalry between Maya and Ayumi. It’s all too common for series like this to have rival characters who are obscenely petty but Glass no Kamen plays up their mutual respect and even has Ayumi stand up for Maya, in one case in a really badass moment. It portrays their rivalry as being based more on envy than anything else but the two still manage to get along pretty well. Which isn’t just refreshing, but leads to a more interesting dynamic.

Art:

The artwork is really well done. The theatrical stage designs and costumes look like the types you’d actually get in a real theatre. The whole series is really well detailed and has an authentic feel to it. The animation is always nice and fluid and gets really interesting during the scenes where they’re actually putting on some kind of production.

Sound:

In terms of acting, Kobayashi Sanae and Yajima Akiko are absolutely brilliant in this. Not only do they play our main heroines, Maya and Ayumi, but they have to convincingly portray the various roles that both girls get, or convincingly fail to give a good performance in some cases. They both rise to the challenge and are just spectacular. The other various actors all do well in their roles too. Even the people voicing the weaker characters manage to give passable performances. The music is pretty good as well.

Ho-yay:

There’s not much. There’s a girl named Rei who attracts some fangirls but they’re shown as thinking she’s a guy and she doesn’t get romantically involved with any of them. There are also some moments between Maya and Ayumi that give you pause to question whether they’re using Greta’s definition of “rival” but there aren’t many. Actually, this is strangely lacking ho-yay given that it takes place in the world of theatre. Although I suppose it’s just as well considering what passes for romance in the series.

Final Thoughts:

Glass no Kamen suffers a bit from the romance, the ending and from some generic characters. However, it is a really strong series overall replete with tension, drama, a lot of strong characters, excellent voice work and epic artwork. My final rating is a solid 8/10. Next week I’ll look at Kigurumikku V3.

Adaptations, what makes them good?

Okay, let’s discuss adaptations. A lot of anime, and other media, is based around something else. In the case of anime, you get a lot of them that are adapted from manga or video games, but it’s also not unusual to find them based on western comics or literature. I’ve reviewed adaptations that were good ones that were mundane and ones that were horrendous. The question I’m interested in talking about today is a simple one. How do you make a good adaptation?

The easiest way is just to do a direct adaptation with everything being kept the same as it was in the original. With that way you can appease fans of the original and gather a new audience for it. Some people argue that direct adaptations don’t have any appeal since what you’re doing with them has already been done. This mentality explains pretty much every Hollywood movie ever. I would, however, point out that the anime industry illustrates the massive flaw with that way of thinking. A lot of anime based on manga do follow the original work really closely, if not exactly and they manage to draw audiences who were fans of the original and new audiences who may or may not pick up the manga as well.

That being said, direct adaptations aren’t the only type that can work and lead to something good. The second method is the reinterpretation. In this method the original gets reworked and ends up with some changes, possibly significant in nature. Of course, this method is risky. If it’s done badly you end up with Madhouse’s X-men, the Brave Story movie or anything ever written by Steven Moffat. However, it can also lead to something good. The anime Street Fighter II movie, the Baker Street graphic novel and the original Sailor Moon anime are all proof that you can take liberties with a subject and come up with something good.

So, what exactly is the distinction between reinterpretations that fail and those that succeed. Well, if I had to explain it briefly I would say that the ones that work are well grounded in the original. They may not be direct adaptations, but the people who worked on them understand the way the characters work and, perhaps just as importantly, they understand the aesthetic and tone of the original and are able to recapture it.

Let’s compare Baker Street with the many, many horrendous Holmes adaptations in order to illustate that point. The reason Baker Street works in spite of the changes to setting and even gender is that Davis and Reed understood Holmes’ methods and they understood his highly moral nature and the fact that he cared more about morals and ethics than the letter of the law. They’re able to capture that essence of the character and apply it to Sharon Ford. They also capture the structure of Holmes’ mysteries, the partnership dynamic that Holmes and Watson have and the general tone.

In contrast, bad reinterpretations tend to ignore all of that and make Watson an idiot, Holmes a high functioning sociopath or something slightly less stupid but still completely contrary to the original stories. To the point where you question if the person who wrote it even read the original stories, or is even literate.

To put it as simply as I can, a good reinterpretation is recognisable as being based on a work even if the character names are changed. A bad reinterpretation can only be recognised as a reinterpretation because of the names. You could change the character and location names and no one would ever know that it was based off of something.

This brings me to the last type of adaptation that can potentially work, the prequel/sequel. When one of these works, it can expand on the original story, characters and world. When it doesn’t work it just makes fans of the original angry at those responsible and opens up plot holes. The key here is continuity. The prequel/sequel should match the original work. Otherwise, it opens up all kinds of perfectly legitimate questions. Like “who is that guy, didn’t Obi-wan say that he was trained by Yoda?” or “wasn’t the force supposed to be an energy field and not microscopic bacteria?” Basically, it creates plot holes and continuity problems.

In the end, the big thing that separates good from bad adaptations, regardless of the type of adaptation is a writer, or team of writers, who cares enough about the original to represent it well and put a good effort into it. People who just want a famous name to attach to their schlock or who are working on adapting something they don’t like so that it will appeal more to them, are going to do a terrible job.

Those are my thoughts on it. Next week I’ll try the manga review or the constructive list of ways for something to improve and we’ll see which thing works the best in general. Feel free to leave a comment on your thoughts about adaptations or on how you feel about the things I’ve been trying.

Choujuu Densetsu Gestalt: It’s inoffensive

Choujuu Densetsu Gestalt is a somewhat obscure two episode OVA produced by TV Tokyo. It’s based on an eight volume manga by Kouga Yun. What is it about and why has it been largely overlooked by people? Is it a forgotten gem or should it be left in a refuse bin somewhere? Let’s delve in and see if we can find out.

Story:

We open with a dark elf named Suzu, who incidentally looks nothing like the traditional jet black skinned, silver haired dark elf, talking to a priest. He tells her that Father Olivier has left the order on a journey to the forbidden land of “G” in order to find the truth about their religion and the world and needs to be returned because religious orders frown on truth finding excursions. Plus there’s the whole forbidden thing. We transition to a scene of Father Olivier performing a blessing for some townspeople at the urging of the innkeeper. She’s so grateful that she gives him a woman named Ouri who can only communicate in video game style text boxes. Having a moral compass, he doesn’t approve of slavery but he reluctantly takes her just so that she won’t be sold to an establishment of ill repute where terrible things will happen to her. They encounter Suzu but they’re saved when Olivier dispels the silence spell that’s sealing Ouri’s magic. The OVA covers their first stop on their way to the cursed island and what happens with that.

Let’s start with the first really noticeable problem with the OVA. The spontaneous romance. Being a decent person, Olivier offers Ouri her freedom pretty much the instant they leave the town where they met, but she needs a reason to stick with him because otherwise there wouldn’t be a story. So, they use the most cliched, and one of the most contrived, excuse they can think of. She instantly falls in love with him. The climax also has a deus ex moment but, in all fairness, it’s kind of a light offender since it’s clearly establishing something for later in the narrative. The OVA just doesn’t get far enough into the story to have the payoff.

The comedic elements in this are kind of weak too. The whole thing with Ouri communicating with text boxes for a while is clearly meant to be funny, but it really isn’t and there are a lot of jokes like that. You can tell what they’re going for but it’s either just not funny or the execution isn’t good so it ends up not working. It’s not cringe-worthily bad or offensive, it’s just lacking actual humour value.

Characters:

The cast is pretty basic. Olivier’s the generic nice guy. He has convictions but isn’t strong enough to do anything about them. So he ends up in situations where he’s completely inadequate. Ouri is the action girl love interest. Suzu is… a romantic rival for Ouri, I think. Her character is so bland it’s hard to tell. I suppose that they might be decent enough for a comedy if there were really good jokes surrounding them, but that isn’t the case so they just come across as dull and rather listless.

Art:

The artwork is pretty good. The character designs are nicely done and the action sequences are quite good. The only real problem is that the backgrounds can be kind of stock and lazy.

Sound:

The acting is fine. They got some really talented actors like Koyasu Takehito and Araki Kae. But, there’s not a lot for them to work with. Koyasu doesn’t get to show much emotion and Araki doesn’t get to employ any subtlety, with a lot of her dialogue being exaggerated. They’re still passable performances, just not ones that leave much impact. The music is pretty mediocre.

Ho-yay:

This one doesn’t have any homo-eroticism. Of course, it’s bad at romance so that’s probably a good thing.

Final Thoughts:

Choujuu Densetsu Gestalt doesn’t really do much. As a comedy it’s largely unfunny. As a fantasy work it’s just banal. I don’t particularly dislike it and I wouldn’t call it bad per se. It’s easy to see why it’s largely forgotten since it really doesn’t have much impact whatsoever, positive or negative. My final rating is going to be a 4/10. It’s a sub-par piece. Next week I’ll look at Glass no Kamen, which was requested quite a while ago but I had the Gintama request to finish first. So look forward to that next week. I’ll try to make it worth the wait. 

Good series, bad episodes: Sasameki Koto episode seven

Hello, you handsome gents and lovely ladies. I had several ideas of what kinds of things to post on the weekend. Manga chapter reviews was one, constructive lists of ways that anime, both good and bad, could have been better was another, editorials on various topics was another and then there was this idea. An in-depth look at the bad episodes in otherwise good series.

I’m going to try all of them at different points, maybe I’ll switch what I do based on my mood or maybe one of them will stand out and I’ll end up doing it every Saturday on a consistent basis. We’ll see.

I originally posted my Sasameki Koto review back in late January of 2013 as my last review for yuri anime month. It was transferred over to WordPress in early January of this year. Overall, I praised it for doing a lot of things really well and being generally enjoyable. However, there was one episode I pointed to as the big negative of the series, episode seven. So, what exactly is wrong with this particular episode?

We open with Akemiya posing for and then wrestling with his little sister in a really disturbing and highly suspect scene. This is supposed to be a comedy, People. We switch to the next morning with Sumika receiving a letter of challenge at school. Since Sasameki Koto isn’t an action-oriented show where that sort of thing leads to an action sequences, she has the good sense to throw it away. This is when Manaka, Akemiya’s little sister pops up and demands that Sumika answer her challenge. Sumika points out the ridiculousness of it. Akemiya shows up and drags his sister outside.

This is where the episode swiftly goes from kind of meh into its downward spiral. Sumika follows to find out just what’s going on and Manak demands that she go on a date with Akemiya. Saying that even she has trouble resisting him and they’re siblings. Again, this is played up as being funny. She threatens to spread embarrassing pictures of her brother if Sumika doesn’t comply. Akemiya manages to reign her in a bit and she starts crying, which makes Sumika feel sorry for her, for no adequately explained reason, and she agrees to go on one date with him.

Akemiya shows up dressed as a girl, since he knows that Sumika likes girls. Unbeknownst to them, Manaka is following them around while smiling creepily and she gets a nose bleed while thinking of her brother. Once again, I have to remind you all that this is played up for laughs. We get a brief scene of Kazama trying to call Sumika, and then going to her house to find her, while they’re in the theatre and Sumika’s phone is off. Don’t worry, Kazama won’t be in this episode much. She’s only one of the lead characters why would we want to see her when we could watch the little girl who is insanely creepy when it comes to her brother?

Sumika and Akemiya head to a maid cafe where Manaka disguises as a maid and tries to drug them with a love potion. that she bought off of the Internet. Okay, that could have actually been a funny scene given the absurdity of it if it had been executed better. Either way, she gets thrown out because she obviously isn’t old enough to work there. The two go clothes shopping and end up in the same changing room. It’s supposed to be funny because it’s awkward, I guess.

Manaka notices that Suimika has no eyes for her brother and calls in her secret weapon, three bespectacled, sweaty fat guys with cameras. Apparently she promised them an action shot of a current elementary school student, probably herself. The three corner Sumika and she uses her karate, which only makes them happy. Akemiya lures them away from her and reveals that he’s actually a guy, hoping that it will convince them to go away. But the three are still interested and close in, possibly to sexually assault him. He runs away while Manaka and Sumika watch awkwardly. We cut to night and Akemiya tells Manaka to never do something like that again. The episode finally wraps up with Sumika realising she missed calls from Kazama and hurriedly calling her back.

So, why is this episode so horrendous? Let’s start with the attempts at humour. Most of them are just really disgusting and have horrible implications that will never be explored or mentioned again. Add that to the ultimate pointlessness of the whole thing. Nothing that happens in the episode influences anything else in the series. It’s also hurt by the fact that Sumika’s motivation to go along with this is really weak and it really infuriates me that Manaka, creepy little brat that she is, doesn’t see any real consequences for any of the horrible things she does over the course of the episode. She almost gets her brother assaulted and all she gets is told “don’t do it again.” We also have a real problem with tone in this episode. It really doesn’t mesh well with the rest of the series.

I still recommend Sasameki Koto as a whole, but I would advise against watching episode seven. It’s unpleasant and does nothing.

Yuru Yuri 2: Back and slightly improved

It’s been quite a while since I reviewed the first series of Yuru Yuri, the anime from Doga Kobo inc, based on the manga by Naromi. Overall, I liked the first series and thought the humour did mostly work pretty well. So, does the second series improve, is it a step down or is it roughly the same as the first?

Story:

The setup remains the same as the first series, a group of zany lesbian schoolgirls go through their everyday lives while being generally quirky and humour happens as a consequence. The humour is much the same as it was in the first series, the comedy is derived largely from the characters, their strangeness and their interaction. The old running gags are still present, albeit downplayed a bit when compared to the first series. Namori seems to be trying to focus more on other jokes under the assumption that most people have probably seen these jokes enough that they won’t be that amused by them anymore. I will give this series credit for having some class when it comes to the fantasising scenes, just like the first it refrains from showing anything sexualised during them, preferring a more cutesy tone. There are also some gags based around really strange occurrences as opposed to the more everyday scenarios and they do work fairly well and the justifications for them are effective parts of the jokes.

Honestly, almost every joke that really doesn’t work in this one are those based on one particular character. Akari’s sister, Akane. In the first series she was mentioned, but never seen and that was probably for the best. Every time she appears it’s for the same joke, she has a sister complex and is insanely creepy about it. That is the entire joke for her. Yeah, the joke about Kyouko going into her room and seeing all of her creepy paraphernalia kind of worked in the first series as a miniature horror parody, but this series doesn’t get clever with any of these scenes and they’re just bad most of the time. Fortunately, most of them are also very brief. You’ll get thirty seconds of Akane before it switches to a different scene or at least takes the focus off of her.

On a more positive note, the humour, aside from the Akane scenes, is a lot more solid than the first series. There are also some really good cute scenes, particularly between Sakurako and Himawari. Those two might very well have the best scenes in the series, actually.

Characters:

This is a series that largely works, because of the characters. They have quirks that lead to a lot of comedic possibilities and there are some really strong interactions. Again, the weakness is Akane since her whole schtick is crushing on her little sister. She doesn’t even really get good interactions with the other characters since the only two she really interacts with are Akari and Tomoko, Chinatsu’s older sister.

Art:

The art style is the same as the first series. As I said when I talked about the first series, it’s not a style I particularly care for. It looks fine for what it is, the bright and vibrant style does, arguably, suit a series like this, but the character designs feel kind of plain and the general lack of detailing can make things look kind of lackluster at times. It doesn’t look bad but it’s also not artwork that I find particularly engrossing or interesting.

Sound:

The cast remains a strong aspect of the series. The entire main cast, Mikami Shiori, Tsuda Minami, Ootsubo Yuka & Ookubo Rumi all do well in their roles. Oddly enough, even Akane’s actress, Horie Yui, does well given that her character has only a sliver of personality and a rather unpleasant one. Of course, Horie Yui is also a really good actress in general so it may be odd but isn’t that surprising. The strongest performances probably come from Mimori Suzuko and Katou Emiri since their characters get so many really strong scenes together. The music is improved over the first series. It remains fun and catchy but the singing itself is more capably done this time around.

Ho-yay:

There’s quite a bit. Our cast has maintained their various crushes and even added some new ones. It’s strongly implied that Sakurako’s older sister has a girlfriend and Chinatsu’s sister very obviously has a thing for Akane. There’s a lot of romantic tension between certain girls as well. We also find out that Akari is fantasising about every girl in the amusement club, the student council and Nishigaki sensei. Well, she is at that age so it’s not that unusual but it’s gotta make things a bit awkward for her.

Final Thoughts:

The second series of Yuru Yuri is an improvement over the first in practically every aspect. The jokes, as a whole, are stronger. The characters mesh a bit better, mostly and the music is better. That being said, it also has a huge issue that the first series didn’t, Akane as a reoccurring character. In all fairness, her presence doesn’t hurt the series that much since she isn’t around that often, but it still holds it back enough that it ends up being barely better. As such, my final rating is an 8/10. Next week I’ll look at Choujuu Densetsu Gestalt.