It’s actually really surprising that Yuru Yuri hasn’t been reviewed here on YR yet. It’s one of the staples of the genre, and something that’s definitely needed on a yuri blog. So even though it’s a few years too late, it’s finally time to review it~
Now that she’s a first-year in middle school, Akari has joined her friends—second-years Kyouko and Yui—in the Amusement Club… where they don’t really do much. Residing in the disbanded Tea Ceremony Club’s room, the trio get a new member when a classmate of Akari intends to join the Tea Ceremony Club but decides to stick around after being told it no longer exists.
Length: 12 Episodes
Genre: Comedy, School, Slice of Life, Yuri
This brief description sounds like almost every other slice of life in existence, but where Yuru Yuri differentiates itself is by how much the emphasis is placed on the yuri. Things got off to an alright start, as there were flashes of what the show could be, but it took a few episodes for it to really hit its stride. By the time the girls visit Comuket [sic], it’s pretty clear that the show is gonna be a fun ride. You have some of the situations you’d normally encounter in the genre (like the obligatory beach episode), but for me at least, familiar situations such as this didn’t end up feeling clichéd at all. I think that’s primarily due to the quality of the comedy, as well as the characters. Despite the fact that there isn’t much of a comprehensive plot, this is one of those shows where there are so many memorable moments that it’s hard to pick a lone favorite. For me, it’s probably something involving Kyouko. There are far too many candidates to choose from, so let’s just leave it at that.
There’s the occasional moment where things slow down a bit, like the flashback to when the girls were young and playing in the park—or the scenes involving Rise—but generally, there’s a consistent flow of funny occasions. So the story largely consists of cute girls fawning over cute girls, and though that’s not the most ambitious premise ever, damn it, it’s still entertaining as all get-out.
First things first, Toshinou Kyouko is an international treasure that should be cherished and celebrated the world over! Okay, now that I got that out of my system, let’s talk a little bit about the characters, Kyouko included.
Where do I begin? The cast of characters is a near-perfect blend that complement each other extremely well. It’s pretty funny how the show is self-aware of Akari’s meager presence, and it becomes a running gag throughout the season. She may be phased out every now and then, but it is hilarious when you forget that and don’t even notice that she’s missing. Poor Akari…. I already mentioned her briefly, but I just have to do it again. Kyouko’s easily my favorite character in the show, and probably one of my favorites in all of anime. She always makes everything more entertaining, and the show simply wouldn’t be the same without her. Yui’s kind of like the glue that holds the group together, so someone as level-headed as her is definitely needed. Chinatsu eventually grew on me, even though I was annoyed by her a lot of the time. I guess she’s not so bad after all. Chitose’s yuri delusions are great, and even though I prefer her sister, Chizuru’s drooling is pretty awesome, too. You can’t go wrong with a tsundere, and having Kyouko as the object of her affection makes Ayano an even better one. Himawari and Sakurako might have been a little bland had it not been for their fierce rivalry that brings out the
best worst in them. You just want them to hurry up and kiss and make up already.
In most other anime, any one of these girls might be the main source of entertainment, but not here. An improvement that I feel could’ve been made is we could’ve seen more of Himawari and Sakurako. They performed surprisingly well in our Best Yuri Pairing tournament last year, and their scenes together were cute, it’s just a shame that there weren’t more of them. I would’ve been willing to sacrifice Rise’s screen time in order to make that happen, though at least Nana was enjoyable, so I guess it’s not too bad. All in all, I loved the characters and think that as a comedy ensemble, it doesn’t get much better than this.
When it comes to slice of life anime, it feels like you can just copy and paste the animation (and audio) portions in all of these reviews. It’s been five years since this premiered, but I don’t think it looks that out of place among more modern slice of life anime. ‘Tis the nature of the genre, and that works out to the show’s favor. All the small visual touches here and there do wonders for the comedy, so there’s always something interesting to gaze your eyes upon. For an anime such as this, that’s really all you can ask for.
Much like the animation, there isn’t anything particularly great about the audio, yet all the bells and whistles you’d expect are present and accounted for, and they contribute to the comedic mood quite nicely. One thing I loved how was how voices match the characters to a tee. The casting was spot-on, so whoever’s responsible for that deserves a raise. Both the OP and the ED are memorable, and they maintain the fun personality of the show, though I slightly prefer the ED. Overall, the audio plays an important role, and even though it’s rather subtle, it accomplishes its goal and adds an extra layer to the hilarity.
With a name like Yuru Yuri, of course, you’d expect a lot of yuri content, and it’s most definitely present. Well, there’s no actual romance in this anime, and all of the yuri takes form in the way of comedy, but it’s still great that it’s there and that there’s so much of it. For comparison’s sake, KinMoza and GochiUsa also have some yuri content (two pairings for the former and a yuri character for the latter)—but from a yuri standpoint—they both still seem to pale in comparison. Kyouko is infatuated with Chinatsu, Chinatsu has it bad for Yui, Ayano’s like the rest of us and likes Kyouko, Himawari and Sakurako secretly admire each other, Chitose and Chizuru add even more yuri in the form of delusions… the yuri’s literally everywhere you look. As much as I enjoyed Himawari x Sakurako, Ayano x Kyouko has to be my favorite pairing here. Chitose’s nosebleed-inducing delusions between the two probably play a role in that, but it was great to see tsundere Ayano struggle to maintain her cool. That scene in the final episode involving Chitose was probably the greatest thing ever, and it nearly made up for the lack of legitimate kisses throughout the rest of the anime. Speaking of kisses, how about that Chinatsu x Akari kiss, huh? Poor Akari, indeed…. Comedy and yuri is naturally a great combination, and even though something a bit more serious would have been the cherry on top of this yuri sundae, you certainly can’t say that what we got was anything but delicious~
Yuru Yuri should be required viewing for any self-respecting yuri fan. If you enjoy yuri, comedy, or slice of life anime, you have to watch it. It’s really as simple as that. Since there are now three seasons, that means three potential reviews to write. Lucky me… and unlucky YR readers. 😛
Total Enjoyment: 9