Anime Review: Yuruyuri Episode 1

Anime Review:
Yuruyuri Episode 1

What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.

Series Premise: Yuruyuri is a weekly television anime series started in July 2011, based on a manga series of the same name. Four junior high school students are members of the “Amusement Club”, where they sit around doing nothing and having fun together.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new window:

ep. tl;dr review: Moe, moe, moe, moe, yuri, moe, moe, moe, yuri, duck, duck, goose!

Episode Summary: Akari is joining her two friends, Kyouko and Yui, on her first day of school in the seventh grade. She decides to join her friends in their extracurricular “Amusement Club”, which is held in the now-defunct tea ceremony club room. When she asks what the club is about, they basically say it’s about nothing but hanging out together. Later, they are joined by another classmate, Chinatsu, whom Kyouko takes an immediate shine to. They discover that Akari doesn’t have much of “a presence”, and talk about ways that Akari could have a greater impact.

My Impressions: This was largely what I expected for a show with Yuri prominently in the title, adapted from a manga that is dedicated to yuri-themed stories. For those who don’t know, “yuri” is essentially short-hand for Japanese comics and stories that involve “girls’ love” — not necessary outright hardcore lesbian porn, but more suggestive and playful girl-on-girl teasing. It’s essentially the female counterpart of “shonen-ai” comics.

But the characters in the show are about thirteen years old, so all really innocent stuff rather than anything serious. So get your mind out of the gutter! Even so, it was quite disturbing to repeatedly see the blonde-haired girl ogling after panties and fawning over one of the other girls in the show. The characters are moe to the extreme, cutesy little Moe-Blobs one and all. Basically your tolerance (or, god forbid, love) of “moe” characters will essentially directly correlate to how much you like this show.

To put it very bluntly (and I’m definitely NOT the first to make the comparison), Yuruyuri is K-On Lite. Four young girls sitting around and doing nothing in particular? Furthermore, they are members of a not-really-a-tea-club? The coincidences are just too painful to pass off, the producers of the show are definitely trying to ride on K-On’s coattails. The difference largely is in the ages of the characters…and also the girl-on-girl stuff is more blatant rather than obliquely implied.

So…the show is not exactly original. There’s not crime in that — after all, given the relative success of shows such as K-On, Azumanga Daioh, Hidamari Sketch, Lucky Star and the like, the genre is being heavily mined at this point. More importantly: Is Yuruyuri any good? Alas, not really. First of all, it doesn’t feel like the show has much of a point. That’s not a fatal flaw, since other comedy shows manage to get away without much of a direction or plot…as long as they are actually funny. And that is where this falls a bit flat. I wasn’t particularly amused by the antics. Perhaps I’m just an old jaded fart, but most of the attempts at humor, largely revolving around PG-rated lesbian joking antics, was more cringeworthy than funny, especially when I was constantly reminded that THESE ARE THIRTEEN YEAR OLD GIRLS. Makes me feel like a dirty old man watching this. Well, at least it wasn’t as bad as Softenni from last season, essentially the same basic story but with the icky underage fan-service stupidity turned up several notches.

The verdict: – Not awful…but underwhelming.


For more information:

Sampling of Online Reviews:

  • “Every season needs to have a K-On clone. This one in particular takes one of those forms, and it goes on to actually being something entertaining. Grade: 5/5.” – The Dere Moe Project
  • “Sure, there are some boob-grabbing and panty-peeking and blushing, but…that’s it!? I want moar yuri T_T *cough* Yeah, like what I said before, I knew it was going to be like this, just implied yuri. Usually non-hetero anime with very suggestive titles are trolls. But maybe that’s the whole point.” – Metanorn
  • “Let’s not mistaken Yuru Yuri with K-On because hell no is Yuru Yuri as good as or better than K-On and I stand by that as a fellow K-On fan boy!” – Sekijitsu
  • “Unfortunately, Yuru Yuri is just boring. The jokes aren’t funny – not over the top enough to be outrageous, and not clever enough to be subtly appreciated – and the situation (new students starting an after-school club in which they do nothing) has been done wayyyy too much lately.” – Rabbit Poets
  • “While the main cast had rather stereotypical characterizations, the flow of the conversation between the cast was well-played, resulting in some great comedy. Grade: 7.0/10.” – Emory Anime Club
  • “It could have been much worse, but the thing is: this remains a show in which nothing happens beyond the antics of a bunch of cute girls. I’m not saying that that on its own is bad, but those series tend to have one really, really big disadvantage: they get incredibly repetitive. Potential: 45%” – Star Crossed Anime Blog
  • “YuruYuri seems to have made the terrible assumption that fans would be happy with a complacent cast and hints of sexuality, but putting such devices in a middle-school slice-of-life show just feels creepy. Grade: 9/25.” – AniMaybe
  • “Yes, you guessed it right. It’s the same cute girls grope each other while doing abso­lutely noth­ing anime that Japan has been shit­ting out for the past few years. Lalala noth­ing to see here.” – The Cart Driver
  • “The series almost has an improvisational and impromptu feel as the characters are so dynamically energetic and sociable – the characters definitely come off as a major part of the series as their powerful striking personalities leaves one entranced to the overall outlook of the series.” – Seventh Style

ROUND ONE RESULTS FOR SUMMER 2011 SHOWS:

Thumbs-up for Round One: Busou Shinki: Moon Angel, Blood-C, Mawaru Penguindrum, Kamisama Dolls

Thumbs-down for Round One: Double J, Morita-san wa Mukuchi, Mayo Chiki, Nyanpire the Animation, Carnival Phantasm, Copihan, Yuruyuri

Coming up next: No. 6, Sacred Seven, Dantalian no Shoka, Uta no Prince-sama, The Idolmaster, Manyuu Hikenchou, Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, Kamisama no Memochou, Nekogami Yaoyorozu, Nurarihyon no Mago Second Season, Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi, Twin Angel Twinkle Paradise, Baby Princess 3-D, Natsume Yuujinchou-san, Usagi Drop, Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Second Season, Rou Kyuu Bu, R-15

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One Response to Anime Review: Yuruyuri Episode 1

  1. Pingback: Anime Review: Recap of the Summer 2011 (after the 1st episodes) | This Euphoria!

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