Anime Review

Anime Hajime Review: Yuru Yuri

Original Run: July 5, 2011 - September 20, 2011
Number of Episodes: 12
Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life
Based on the Series Created By: Namori

***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Yuru Yuri. Reader discretion is advised.***

Series Synopsis

Akari Akaza (voiced by Shiori Mikami) is excited to finally be reunited with her two childhood friends Kyoko Toshinou and Yui Funami (voiced by Yuka Ootsubo and Minami Tsuda). Together, these three make up the Amusement Club, and they are ready to spend their time lounging about.

Even still, given their personalities, particularly the loud and boisterous Kyoko, the Amusement Club can’t help being the center of attention. This becomes, even more, the case when three becomes four following the addition of new club member Chinatsu Yoshikawa (voiced by Rumi Ookubo).

Now, you may be asking yourself, what exactly does the Amusement Club do? Well, if Akari, Kyoko, Yui, and Chinatsu are any indication, the club is happy to do whatever may come its way.

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Series Positives

How was Yuru Yuri?

It was fine.

Trust me, more than anyone, I wish I had more to say than just that.

(But if you think that’s sparse, wait and see how tongue-tied I become during the Series Negatives section.)

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To its credit, Yuru Yuri was an above-average slice-of-life comedy. This series’s well-received reputation isn’t undeserved, and it is quite the standout in such a broad genre. Admittedly, I’m not sure what this show did that allowed it to rise higher than others, but its popularity isn’t a fluke.

Yuru Yuri was funny, as well as a thoroughly enjoyable watch.

So, if I had to think of one thing this series did that allowed it to be as strong as it was, it would have to be its cast. Or more to the point, the integration of this rather extensive collection of characters. By the end of the series, there were nearly a dozen names and faces that were regularly involved in what was going on. More impressively, though, everyone had the right amount of screen time to be excellently entertaining.

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The Amusement Club dominated much of Yuru Yuri’s personality, but everyone else, most notably the student council, added to this show’s overall charm. Essentially, no one in this series felt undervalued.

For instance, Sakurako Oomuro and Himawari Furutani (voiced respectively by Emiri Katou and Suzuko Mimori) were the definitions of filler characters. If you were to remove either of them from this show, nothing much would change; maybe we would lose a few one-shot jokes. Nevertheless, whenever they did appear, with or without the other characters, even after an extended absence, they were instantly recognizable and fit right in with whatever was going on.

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Imagine that same level of inclusion but with much more prevalent side characters such as Ayano Sugiura or Chitose Ikeda (voiced respectively by Saki Fujita and Aki Toyosaki).

A slice-of-life anime lives or dies by its characters. Therefore, it is no surprise that the best examples of this genre also have some of the best casts in all anime. Yuru Yuri succeeded as a slice-of-life comedy because it succeeded at crafting characters that were worth following.

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Series Negatives

Oh man, this section is going to be even harder to write than the last one.

I’m not having difficulties because I think Yuru Yuri was a flawless masterpiece. No, this show was, through and through, a slice-of-life anime, for better or worse. If you enjoy this type of series, then there is no reason to think you wouldn’t like this one, too. However, the opposite is true, as well.

What I can say is that if you haven’t watched Yuru Yuri, you’re probably going to get more enjoyment out of it than someone who has already seen it.

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To this show’s credit, it did have replay value. The humor, situations, and characters were worth a second viewing. Unfortunately, and this goes back to what I said about not understanding why this series managed to be so popular, Yuru Yuri wasn’t exceptional.

I’m curious to see what happens down the road. There are two more seasons to this show, and although I have seen season two, I have never seen season three. That makes me wonder what it will be like to look at this series through a critical eye without any prior expectations.

Until then, you’ve got to ask yourself if this is the right anime for you. Again, if you enjoy slice-of-life comedies, then you’ll find this one to be better than most. Conversely, I don’t see how Yuru Yuri is going to convert anyone to liking this genre who already doesn’t.

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Final Thoughts

Sometimes when writing one of these reviews, I can point to specific examples that explain why a show is either good or bad. As it happens, though, sometimes a show is just inherently good or bad, so it is hard to explain.

I wish there more I could say than this series had strong characters, funny humor, and a relaxing atmosphere. I don’t want to leave it at that. However, that is what this series had, and in my head, that sufficiently paints the entire picture.

This show plays to the audience that likes this kind of anime. As it so happens, I am among that audience, thus, shockingly, I had a lot of fun with it.

As a result, I am more than happy to tell you that Yuru Yuri has earned a recommendation.

But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise Yuru Yuri? 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.

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