Namori’s Yuru Yuri has had two fairly strong series from Dogakobo. My biggest issue with the second was the overuse of Akane and her single unfunny joke. From early October to late December of last year, there was a third series, this one from TYO Animations. Yuru Yuri San Hai. Does the studio transition work to the series’ favour?
Like the other two series, San Hai doesn’t have much in terms of a narrative. A group of junior high girls go about their everyday lives having quirky, and highly Sapphic, fun. It’s primarily a comedic work so the question we have to ask is how well does the comedy fare in this one?
My biggest issue is with Akane, again. We get it, she has incestuous feelings for her little sister. It’s really not funny. It was funny the first time when you used it for a horror parody. Ever since then it hasn’t been funny, it’s just been an unnecessarily creepy element in a light-hearted comedic work. To be fair, though, her role is downplayed in this series and the stuff with her and Tomoko is actually pretty decent. Aside from that, the series is really entertaining with a lot of strong comedic and cute moments. One of the interesting things they do is emphasise the interactions between characters who haven’t had much, if any, time together and it actually works really well, demonstrating a fuller range of comedic possibilities with the set up they have. Overall, the comedy almost always works well and it is quite charming.
The cast of characters in Yuru Yuri isn’t the most complex. However, they are largely charming and they have good interactions for comedic purposes. Sakurako is probably the strongest in this particular series since a lot of the funniest moments, and some of the cutest, revolve around her. Ayano also gets a lot of strong scenes in this one.
The artwork is bright, vibrant and suits the series well. TYO does a good job of replicating the look of the prior series and backs it up with solid animation.
The cast remains a strong point of the series. Ootsubo Yuka, Mikami Shiori, Tsuda Minami, Ookubo Rumi, Mimori Suzuko, Katou Emiri and the other actresses all deliver strong performances. The music is really good too and suits the series well.
There are a lot of cute yuri scenes. Chinatsu’s crush on Yui is still a big thing. Kyouko is still flirting with all the girls. Ayano and Kyouko get some really good scenes. Sakurako and Himawari get a couple good moments of their own. Chitose’s fantasies are as vivid as always. About the biggest addition to this series, in terms of yuri, is that Chizuru gets some scenes with her classmates. The girls in this are homo-erotic to the point that I think it may be heading for a future where they’ve started a poly-amorous coven. I can’t decide whether that would be the greatest or the dumbest sequel of all time. Given the franchise as a whole and its atmosphere, I’m leaning more towards the former.
Yuru Yuri San Hai is an entertaining series with a lot of charm and endearing characters. My one complaint about the series is only really a major problem in one episode. All in all, I think it’s the best instalment of the franchise thus far. Overall, I give it a 9/10. Next week I’ll take a look at Studio Ghibli’s Whisper of the Heart.