OP: 「Chochocho! Yuru Yuri☆Capriccio!!!」 (ちょちょちょ！ゆるゆり☆かぷりっちょ!!!) by Nanamori Chu☆Goraku Bu (七森中☆ごらく部)
“It is The Beginning of Amusement”
Yuru Yuri is Back!:
After a few TV specials throughout the year, Yuru Yuri is back in full for its third season, and it’s almost like it never left. Perhaps it’s easier for me to say that since I only caught up with the second season and the TV specials last week. However, I did watch the first season back when it aired in 2011, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I wasn’t sure if I would still get the same kick out of it after jumping back in four years later, but the episodes whizzed by and before I knew it I was all caught up again. I can only sympathise with long-time fans of the series who had to go through a 3 year drought before getting to this point. At least it’s here now, eh?
If you watched the TV specials you may have noticed the new style that Yuru Yuri has going for it – if you haven’t seen the specials, you might have felt it this episode. There’s a very good reason for that, as Dogakobo are no longer producing the show. Instead, we’ve got TYO Animations and a brand new staff working on it. After catching up with the bright, vibrant, cartoonish second season (much like the first) I was surprised by the sudden shift of style and gag delivery that TYO Animations is going for. The colours are more muted, there’s less quick cuts and in-your-face jokes, and the pacing has mellowed out. I thought the hour-long special in particular was a step down compared to what came before it (though the general art/animation/realistic backgrounds have improved), but thankfully these weekly episodes seem to be heading back in the direction of the original. Still, if you go back and compare this episode to an episode from the first or second season, there is definitely a noticeable difference.
Stars of the Episode – Chinatsu & Akari:
While I’m sure everyone has their favourites (most likely TOSHINO KYOUKO!), there were two stars of this episodes, and lucky for me they are my two favourite characters: Yoshikawa Chinatsu (Ookubo Rumi) and Akazi Akari (Mikami Shiori). I couldn’t ask for any more, because both of the longest gags this week heavily featured them. The first (and best) was the ‘King Game’, when each player drew a chopstick with an assigned number – one of the them the ‘King’ who has the ability to demand a random number do anything they wish. This results in a handful of cute/funny moments that put a smile on my face. I very rarely laugh out loud with Yuru Yuri, but I don’t think it’s that kind of show in the first place, so I don’t mean that as a complaint. However, Akari and Kyouko spinning around a hundred times and then fainting was hilarious, as were Chinatsu’s many reaction faces as she attempted to draw the King chopstick in order to command Yui to marry her. Of course, love never comes easy to the girls of Yuru Yuri, so it didn’t work in her favour. Still, her many attempts and her dedication was enough to make her the highlight of the episode.
Akari’s scene with Sakurako’s younger sister was another amusing moment, mainly because it reminds us all how pathetic Akari is. And I say that as a positive, honestly! I love our pitiful protagonist for her normalcy and her inability to stand out. Seeing her trip over and scrape her knee, spill her cider, and make a dozen or so worried expressions after feeling inadequate in comparison to a younger girl – all those moments are why I love her so much. We can never have enough Akari! Also, the recurring black coffee gag always gets me. She never has luck with that particular beverage, does she?
Overview – First Impressions:
I wouldn’t consider myself a massive Yuru Yuri fan, but it’s a pleasant show that’s incredibly easy to watch, and having it back is a nice addition to any season. I’m still unsure on how I feel about the change in studio and staff: on one hand it looks better, the animation is smoother, and the realistic environments adds a new dimension; but on the other hand it just doesn’t feel like the Yuru Yuri we all enjoyed in the first two seasons. It’s not bad by any stretch, perhaps it will just takes some time to get used to it. Ah well, I’ve got a full cour to adjust, and I’m sure by the end I’ll be satisfied with whatever Yuru Yuri San☆Hai! delivers.
Note: There are currently no plans to blog Yuru Yuri San☆Hai! on a weekly basis.
In other news: I posted an Anime Summer 2015 Review on my personal blog. Feel free to check it out and see what I thought of the past season – I even ranked all 24 shows I watched in order from worst to best.
ED: 「Acchu~ma Seishun!」 (あっちゅ～ま青春！) by Nanamori Chu☆Goraku Bu (七森中☆ごらく部)