Original Run: July 14, 2018 - September 29, 2018 Number of Episodes: 12 Genre: Comedy, Harem, Supernatural Based on the Series Created By: Tadahiro Miura
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs. Reader discretion is advised.***
Kogarashi Fuyuzora (voiced by Yuki Ono) is a powerful spirit medium. As a child, Kogarashi was often possessed by a wide variety of spirits. Although this caused him to have a difficult childhood, he was able to master many unique skills. Now much older, Kogarashi has made peace with his connection to the supernatural world and has found a cheap place to live as he beings the next chapter of his life.
However, Kogarashi’s new home, the Yuragi Inn, is said to be incredibly haunted; a rumor that couldn’t be truer. Given his vast experience with the otherworldly, Kogarashi wasn’t worried. To his great surprise, though, Kogarashi has never encountered a ghost like the one which resides at this former hot spring hotel.
Bound to the Yuragi Inn is the spirit of Yuuna Yunohana (voiced by Miyuri Shimabukuro). Yuuna has no desire to haunt or cause trouble to anyone. Nevertheless, most people tend to run away at the mere sight of her (assuming they can see her at all). Kogarashi is the first human to not only befriend Yuuna, but he also commits himself to alleviate her lingering regret.
Despite his earnest desire to help, Kogarashi quickly discovers living with a ghost isn’t the easiest thing to do. Still, whatever may come, he will not leave Yuuna to feel lonely ever again.
To cut straight to the point, Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs was bland, boring, and not very fun. This was one of those shows which refused to deviate from the expected. In a way, it was impressive how by-the-book this was. If you’ve seen any harem anime, then you have already seen this series.
To really give a sense of what it was like to sit through this show, I first need to describe to you the opening scene.
Outside at a hot spring, we meet our titular character Yuuna Yunohana. It’s not clear why, but it appears something is bothering her greatly. She seems sad and full of fear. She is also floating away. A desperate Yuuna reaches her hand out to main protagonist Kogarashi Fuyuzora. Fighting with all his might to rescue Yuuna, Kogarashi gives one last, heroic stretch of his arm. Unfortunately, the two drift away from each other and Yuuna vanishes.
This scene was important because it set up what this series was going to be; or, at least, it brought forth a stark reality which needed addressing.
As a ghost, Yuuna took the form of a young, probably high-school-aged girl. Whether or not the Yuuna we saw looked as she did while she was alive, it didn’t matter. Yuuna had died in such a way that left her with lingering regret. Bound to the Yuragi Inn, Yuuna was unable to pass on in peace. Thus, would it not be fair to assume Yuuna’s death was particularly tragic?
Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs had forced its hand. It would need to reveal Yuuna’s death because, by this story’s own admission, any ghost which couldn’t move on to the next world would eventually become an evil spirit. Also, as is the nature of a harem anime, this series put emphasis on romantic relationships. Maybe it’s just me, but if the person I cared for the most were a ghost, how they died would be something I would like to know.
How Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs handled Yuuna’s death, and the meaning of its opening scene was the defining aspect of this series. It told us what this show’s main goals and priorities were. For the time being, I will leave the topic as is. There are a few other points I wish to discuss first.
As I’ve already mentioned, Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs was a harem series. In such a regard, this series was…still quite average. To give credit where it’s due, this show didn’t fail because of its harem tendencies. If anything, this was the one area where this story was the most successful.
Based on Anime Hajime’s definition of what a harem anime needs to have in order to be successful (interesting harem routes and a strong harem center) Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs was on the right path. Granted, this show fell on its face with its harem routes – i.e., the characters vying for the center’s affection – but more on that later. However, I will give special highlight to the caretaker of the Yuragi Inn Chitose Nakai (voiced by Sayaka Harada) because her storyline had the potential of being fun.
No, the area where this series did well – not just comparatively, but actually – was with its center, Kogarashi.
For a harem center to be good: First, the center must be likable. I realize that is a rather broad criterion, and yet, Kogarashi more than met it.
Throughout this series, Kogarashi proved time and time again he was willing, and happy, to go out of his way for his friends and fellow tenets at the Yuragi Inn. He was aware when others were troubled and always tried to make situations less compromising – he even avoided one or two potentially humiliating exposures. Kogarashi knew how to stand up for himself and could hold his own in an altercation. In addition to that, he would strive to avoid physical confrontations, and his first response rarely resorted to violence.
There is a quality to certain male characters I despise. This can often be found in series where action scenes are likely to occur, and it’s when a male character refuses to fight a female opponent. No matter the circumstances, if it means fighting a woman – even if said woman is a highly trained, highly skilled warrior who is instigating the aggressive behavior – the man won’t raise their fists because hitting a girl is wrong. This does not make a character chivalrous. It makes them look like a whiny little ass-hat who thinks that losing to a woman somehow emasculates them in some way.
For a while, I thought Kogarashi would be one of these male characters. To my relief, he wasn’t. If he could find a way around a fight, Kogarashi would take it regardless if his opponent was male or female. However, if someone left him no choice, gender became irrelevant. He did what he had to do.
The second requirement for a harem center to be good: There needs to be a reason why the center should be the center. I have seen enough harem anime with lead characters who were wimpy, rude, disgusting, perverted, obnoxious, and extremely unpleasant. Nevertheless, everyone fell in love with them for some reason. If the center is the center merely because the story made them that way, then I guarantee such a series is not worth your attention.
Fortunately, Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs made it clear why Kogarashi was the object of affection for so many characters. He was the kind of person others could rely on at the most critical times. With every one of his female admirers – and by the end of this series there were a lot of them – Kogarashi did something that, believably, would have made them interested in him.
The tragedy of all this was, Kogarashi was simply too good for this show.
Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs was what I would call a bad ecchi anime. It wasn’t bad because it was an ecchi. Instead, this series was a bad ecchi because it focused on the superfluous.
If characters are nothing more than chiseled features, muscles, boobs, and ass, then they aren’t really characters. Nice assets lose their appeal when that is all there is. People with nice assets are much more fun to follow if they have personalities. And when someone has a well-defined, interesting personality, everything else becomes, as they should be, secondary.
Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs was a bad ecchi anime because what should have been secondary was made primary.
Let me give you a quick rundown of the “characters” in this show:
Yuuna was unbelievable. Anyone who is as oblivious, exposed, and quick to embarrassment as Yuuna was, must be a pounding headache to be around. Her constant surprise-erotic mornings got old fast. But according to this show, we should have been fine with this because Yuuna had big breasts.
Sagiri Ameno (voiced by Rie Takahashi) was a demon-fighting ninja who had a bitter hatred towards men. A hatred so bitter, it was unexplained. This prevented Sagiri from comprehending when situations were clearly not Kogarashi’s fault. For instance, on multiple occasions, Kogarashi fell screaming from the sky and landed in the girl’s bath because Yuuna had tossed Kogarashi out the window after she freaked out upon waking up with her nearly naked body wrapped tightly around him. As the rational person Sagiri was, this meant Kogarashi was obviously trying to sneak a peek. But once again, this wasn’t a problem because Sagiri had big boobs.
Yaya Fushiguro (voiced by Yui Ogura) was a petite girl who had cat ears and a tail. That’s all I have to say to that.
Nonko Arahabaki (voiced by Ai Kakuma) was a prolific drunk in a constant state of undress. She also had the most enormous boobs. Again, that’s all I have to say to that.
The aforementioned Chitose Nakai was a character I liked because she had a potentially good storyline. The keyword being “potentially.” Other than what could have been, despite Chitose being the oldest tenant at the Yuragi Inn, she looked like she was in middle school. Therefore – and I say this sarcastically – this meant Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs could have all the benefits of a loli character without any of the creepiness.
Koyuzu Shigaraki (voiced by Anzu Haruno) was an actual loli character. So then, what the hell was the point of Chitose?
Oboro Shintou (voiced by Mikako Komatsu) was another big breasted ninja-like character who instead of despising Kogarashi, tried to have sex with him at every opportunity.
Lastly, there was Chisaki Miyazaki (voiced by Eri Suzuki) who I remember being rather prominent in this story, but I can’t recall why. She too had big boobs.
Have you figured out the problem yet?
There were EIGHT possible harem routes in Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs. However, we should stop pretending this series was a harem anime in the first place. This show was adamant about focusing on Yuuna and Kogarashi’s relationship. That meant there were seven pointless characters who did nothing except waste your time.
Ultimately, that is the best summary of this series. This was a giant waste of time. The animation wasn’t special, the characters (as I described) were boring, this series did nothing worth remembering, and overall, it wasn’t fun to watch. I’m glad to be done with this one.
But Odyssey! What of the opening scene you talked about? How did this show handle this oh so important moment?
It didn’t? Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs never addressed or mentioned it again. Instead, this show left that job to a second season I highly doubt is coming.
For some reason, I had some high hopes for this one. There was nothing about this show that signaled it was going to be good, and it wasn’t.
This series had one decent character, but he had nothing to work with. The main harem was shallow, the ecchi elements were an attempt to fill in for a nonexistent story, and this show refused to address the critical narrative bits that could have fixed everything.
Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs is one you can skip.
But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this show? What would be your advice concerning Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.
Post Edited By: Onions