August 11, 2013
Posted by on
The summer is in its dying days by this point, and I will hopefully have some midseason impressions for some of the series I am following before this week is out. For the immediate present, however, my attention turns towards the second half of Yuyushiki, which I finished long ago but failed to discuss until recently. My interest in Yuyushiki was motivated by its initial premise of data processing, but as time wore on, it was obvious that there was very little in the way of actual data processing: the show is about everything and nothing, occasionally passing to its viewers some interesting trivia. As such, the end product is a very slow-paced show that exemplifies what one might do in the absence of other activities: browse an online encyclopaedia or Google.
- In around a year, I’m probably going to forget about Yuyushiki completely. Then, one day, I’ll be digging through my hard drive, and come across all of the episodes. Taken by curiosity, i’ll take a look and then suddenly recall why it is I came to enjoy this anime. For this final review, I have only ten images, because most of my thoughts at the halfway point still hold true for the present.
- I can’t quite recall what led to this moment, but I can recall its similarity to what happens in Adam Richman’s Man V. Food and the consequences of a spicy challenge. In general, Richman is successful at completing the spicy challenges, with the exception of one challenge in Saratosa, wherein the hot wings in the challenge annihilated him before two minutes even elapsed. Upon seeing the episode for the first time, I hoped that the MCAT would not do that to me, and thankfully, it didn’t.
- Yuzuko and Yukari converse in popping noises that irritate Yui to no end. This was one of the most amusing moments in the latter half of the series, and Yui’s “quit popping already” requests sound equally as amusing.
- The last home economic class I’ve done was back when I was still a high school student. Since then, I haven’t cooked for a class, but I have cooked at parties with friends and at home where required.
- The single most enjoyable aspect about Yuyushiki was the fact that each episode touched lightly on various, diverse topics of curiosity, ranging from ice cream to Japanese interpretations of ogres (not the graphics engine) and solar subjects (e.g. the Maunder Minimum and Zeller’s Congruence).
- While data processing is reduced to what we consider the equivalent of browsing random Google searches and doing Wiki walks, I imagine that most readers would probably have done the same at least once in this day and age purely out of boredom or while procrastinating from other things (say, work and school).
- Yuzuko and Yukari spend a lot of time at Yui’s house, having good times in general and opening up the possibility of jokes and gags otherwise not possible at school. On closer inspection, the best parts of summer always involve either going places or going to a friend’s house. On Friday, I was invited to a raclette party out of the blue and spent the evening chatting with friends while grilling sausages and melting cheese, all the while talking about everything and listening to my friends sing in an unexpectedly epic manner.
- The use of lighting in this depiction of Yui (actually used in the anime; for the curious, it’s in the finale) create a more three-dimensional image with the impression of depth and contour, sharply contrasting the flatter art style seen elsewhere in the anime. However, owing to the content in this image, I’ve decided to not provide links to their original 1080p or 720p resolutions.
- The final episode is titled “Uneventful good life”, a phrase that describes the entirety of Yuyushiki neatly: the anime ends up being a light-hearted series about nothing in particular and comes across as the perfect anime to watch for those lazy summer days following the end of yet another academic year.
- Yuyushiki makes a complete circle and returns to where it started on the first episode, only this time, Yui is a lot more confident and willing to hang with her friends as yet another school year starts.
I’ve kept this discussion short because all of my thoughts have already been exhausted by my previous mid-season post. At the time of writing, I remain pleased with the anime for its capacity to evoke the calm feelings associated with the halcyon days in one’s life. However, there is one additional element that now contributes to this atmosphere that was not considered previously: the anime has a soundtrack that suits all of the moods Yui, Yuzuko and Yukari experience, ranging from relaxing to wistful to elegant, and even chaos. Naturally, some of the songs are more memorable than others, and the best tracks truly convey the atmospherics in Yuyushiki. Thus, taken together, the combined art style, complete lack of a story and the gentle music serve to reinforce that Yuyushiki is an anime directed at reflecting upon and exaggerating the more interesting moments in the older days of one’s life. In general, the high school setting of most anime is intentional for the nostalgic values, but I contend that one’s days as an undergraduate student are equally interesting; it is only when one decides to take graduate studies or enter the workforce where this will become apparent. Beyond one’s undergraduate career, most anime will gradually become predictable and uninspired, largely owing to the fact that there won’t be anything new in a medium directed at audiences in their high school or undergraduate days. For the present, however, anime still remains amusing to watch, even if they bring nothing new to the table. Thus, I do not openly recommend Yuyushiki to all audiences, even though I myself thoroughly enjoyed it. Individuals with an open mind and/or busy, hectic work and/or academic schedules who find some spare time may enjoy Yuyushiki simply because it is so laid-back and whimsical in nature.
This was made after a request to host this for folks at TV Tropes, to help them better illustrate some examples. From the sounds of things, the previous links led to a compromised website, so I hope this new gallery helps.