December 28, 2012
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Right after starting middle school, Akari Akaza joins the Amusement Club which is composed solely by her two childhood friends, Kyouko Toshinou and Yui Funami. Chinatsu Yoshikawa, Akaza’s classmate, becomes a member after finding out about the dissolution of the Tea Club. The Amusement Club, situated at the tea room facility since the Tea Club disbanded, has no clear purpose, being free for the girls to do whatever they want.
YuruYuri is approximated as “Easy-going Yuri” and has nothing to do with Yuri from Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3. As per its title, YuruYuri is prima facie another slice-of-life anime set in a junior high/middle school setting with a minimal plot. Upon closer inspection, YuruYuri is in fact a brilliant interpretation of the potential for slapstick comedy underlying everyday situations. Coupled with its depiction of rather more curious aspects of friendship, YuruYuri follows the story behind a remarkably diverse cast of characters and their oftentimes unreal adventures. Through its outrageous, over-the-top humour, YuruYuri delivers amusement that is fairly difficult to top, and in conjunction with its character dynamics, YuruYuri ultimately presents a superior series about the implications of specific types of friendship and interaction at the middle school level. If asked, I would likely sum up the series in one word as ‘depraved’, but it is precisely this element that drives the entirety of the humour in the series. Moreover, if I were asked about my favourite character, it would probably be Akari on the virtue that she suffers at the hands of fate more often than the others, and despite that, somehow manages to maintain her cheerful mannerisms.
- From left to right, we have Toshino Kyouko!, Akari Akaza, Yui Funami and Chinatsu Yoshikawa. Because this review ventures outside the scope of my website, I’ve taken a new direction and have omitted screenshots from the anime. Instead, this page is to be graced by some of the various thoughts I’ve had about the series, as well as some cool-sauce art.
- Akari is an ordinary character and thus, satirises the genre of anime as being populated by exuberant characters, creating a setting where ordinary people will distinctly feel drab, or even invisible. In fact, Akari’s lack of a presence forms the basis for some jokes against her, leading her to pout. Viewers may also pity her for all that she goes through.
- Members of the student council from left to right, regardless of depth in the image, are Ayano Sugiura, Chitose Ikeda, Rise Matsumoto, Sakurako Ohmuro and Himawari Furutani. Despite having enough characters to branch off onto its own show, their inclusion liven up the series substantially. Each of the characters have their own unique personalities, including Ayano’s tsundere tendencies towards Toshino Kyouko!, Chitose’s insane fantasies, Rise’s endearing lack of audible speech, Sakurako’s cheerfulness and Himawari’s elegant speech patterns.
- Kyouko is considered major protagonist in YuruYuri. An optimistic and selfish blonde girl, she is often causing Yui trouble and crushing on Chinatsu, who resembles her favorite anime character, Mirakurun, but also displays a remarkably caring and sensitive side, as well. Despite her lazy attitude, she often gets high scores in tests after cram sessions. She enjoys eating rum raisin ice cream and is also a talented dōjin artist. Her presence livens the anime up, especially with regard with respect to the way she speaks and addresses other characters.
- Akari’s odango hairstyle is imagined to possess funnel-like characteristics, in a manner not too dissimilar to Chiyo-chan’s pigtails from Azumanga Daioh. Polite and timid, she is overshadowed by the other characters, but from a personal perspective, her lack of any defining characteristics is a defining characteristic in its own right.
At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is whether or not I recommend YuruYuri and its successor, YuruYuri♪♪. I personally picked the series up after an intriguing forum signature compelled me to check out the series, and I do not regret it. This series is comedic gold and quite worthwhile to check out for its unique take on humour, unless the reader is a mortal enemy of the entire slice-of-life genre.