Ginga Ojou-sama Densetsu Yuna was created in 1992 as a video game created and written by Mika Akitata and released by Hudson. The first titles were released for the PC Engine, known in America as the TurboGrafx. The game franchise also saw installments on the Sega Saturn, Playstation and, mos recently, PSP. So, it was a moderately successful series even if it never got released outside of Japan, which it didn’t as far as I can tell. The series got two OVAs based on it from Movic, J.C. Staff, King Records & Toho. The first was released in ’95 and it’s the one we’re going to be looking at. Oddly enough, these did get released outside of Japan in spite of the games themselves being unavailable. So, let’s take a peek and see if we can figure out the reason for that.
Our tale opens with a giant mecha slamming down to earth… to win a cooking contest. This mecha is being piloted by our heroine, Yuna, who promptly offers the dish she’s made to a masked woman, whom she also dedicates her cooking victory to. This OVA may just not be the most serious of things. /it may also be very yurirrific. We cut to the Galactic Alliance where one of their members expresses concerns about the possibility that Yuna may be out to conquer the galaxy. They promise to send an investigator. The next morning Yuna’s school gets a transfer student who seems to be staring at Yuna a lot, which Yuna takes as a sign that she likes her. Deep, intellectual things ensue. Either that or shenanigans. It’s one of those.
Now, the series does have a story to it, but it’s very much a tongue-in-cheek narrative and really isn’t important. It mainly serves as a backdrop for the absurdity. So, how well does the humour work in this? Well, it does have its share of really funny moments, including a scene that parodies Sailor Moon and the tone works well for what they’re doing. It also has some moments where the jokes are just kind of dumb. For instance, there’s a reoccurring joke about Yuna’s friend, Yuri, eating excessively. There are also some jokes that are clearly playing off of something from the games and I can’t really judge those since the games were never released here. Hey might be really funny if you know the context, but they’re just not going to do anything otherwise.
The cast of characters is really simplistic. The major characters mostly work in a comedic sense but the more minor characters tend to get attached to one joke, which may or may not be funny or not get any lines at all. The climax includes what I presume to be a bunch of game characters in small cameo parts. Which is fair enough. I’m sure that fans of the games were glad to see What’s her face and Whatever her name was.
The artwork and animation are a bit dated. It’s pretty reminiscent of the art in Battle Athletes. It’s competent and looks fine but it’s certainly not anything great nor does it really do anything different. The climactic action sequence can be difficult to follow at times, though. It looks like they were trying to rush through it by just throwing things at you quickly.
They did get a pretty good cast on this one. Yokoyama Chisa, Touma Yumi, Orikasa Ai, Araki Kae and Yajima Akiko all make appearances, which may make you question how many Gundam Wing actors they’d have gotten if there were male characters in any major roles and they all give competent performances, as do the other actresses. The biggest problem with the acting is that it tends towards over-exaggeration. Which does kind of work for the series aesthetic, but it does get tiring. The music is from Arisawa Takanori, the same Gent who did the composition for Sailor Moon. His soundtrack in this isn’t as stellar, but it’s still impressive stuff.
There’s quite a bit. Yuna seems to have a thing with at least three different girls, Liavelt, Misaki & one of the girls who shows up very briefly. The series does pack a lot of yuri scenes into its two episodes. Some cute, some funny and some both.
Ginga Ojou-sama Densetsu Yuna has some funny moments and some that are kind of stupid but inoffensive. It has some well done zany characters and some who are pretty pointless. All in all, it is a decent enough little series and provides some enjoyment. My final rating for it is a 6/10. If you’re interested in a tongue in cheek series that pokes fun at magical girl and mecha tropes, you might want to give it a shot. Next week I’ll take a look at Death Parade.