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Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru: Washio Sumi no Shou – 02 »« Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru – A Hero’s Despair, & Hope

Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru: Washio Sumi no Shou – 01

「わしおすみ」 (Washio Sumi)
“Washio Sumi”

If you haven’t seen the original series, watch that first. Then watch this.

Before anything else: If you haven’t seen the original Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru, go watch that now. Do not read further, do not pass go, do not collect three magical girls. This prequel assumes a level of understanding which you’re not liable to have if you haven’t seen the original, so go watch that. I don’t think this is intended to be an entry point into the series. Go, get it done!

Now, for those who have seen the first season, the question remains: should they have eased us into the story more? We meet the characters and almost immediately they’re fighting. Is it the right choice to lean so much on our (presumed) previous knowledge of/experience with the series to skip any of the pesky details like character or world building? Because I have to admit that even though I enjoyed the first series more than many, the sudden lurch into action was off-putting. On the other hand, with only six episodes, should we have expected anything else? Well, maybe not, but that doesn’t mean it’s right. Part of the magic of the original was the juxtaposition of the happy slice-of-life sections with the surreal Vertex battles, and with only a glimpse of the former before battle commenced, this felt stunted.

They did get around to the happy-go-lucky stuff after the battle, but I don’t understand why that didn’t come first. (The specifics of the “victory celebration” could have been changed.) Probably it’s the old misunderstanding, that action keeps butts in the seat and character work supports that. But that’s backwards. Character should always come first, because action without meaning is easily forgotten. Character provides that meaning, and invests us in the character’s success to boot—thereby providing stakes. Knowing the characters makes everything better, so that should always come before any serious action.

So this episode leans a lot on prior series knowledge, for better or ill. How are the characters? Not bad, though they haven’t had time to show anything beyond their tropes so far. Washio Sumi (Mimori Suzuko) is responsible, awkward and shy; Nogi Sonoko (Hanazawa Kana) is weird, whimsical, and overly-friendly; and Minowa Gin (Hanamori Yumiri) is forgetful, hot-headed, and determined. All perfectly serviceable, but it was only in the latter part that they got to interact enough for their characters to come alive—albeit with some spots of dialogue that could use work. You didn’t realize you were using a nickname, Nogi-san? Jeez.

What I did really like was how they ended up besting the Vertex. Their initial assaults were no good, though they did provide two moments of character, those being Sonoko remembering that her spear turns into a shield and Gin drinking the suffocating bubble, the latter of which I really super liked actually. Sonoko’s plan to tank the Vertex’s beam while Sumi chipped away (and eventually take down the bubbles) so they could get Gin close enough to deal the critical strikes was a solid plan, they executed it well, and it hinted at competence that could be vital for this series to ramp up quickly, because we all know where this is going.

We all know where this is going. The crew at Studio Gokumi has their work cut out for them if they want to start crushing hearts with only five more episodes. May Shinju-sama help us all.

Random thoughts:

  • Whatever else has changed, the character designs are still killer.
  • I think the Studio Gokumi crew may think we remember the lore of this world more than we do. The details of Shinju-sama and all that are long lost to me. What I remember are all the character beats, and that amazing shocker of a first episode. I can’t remember if this Long-Bridge was there last time, I don’t recall the Ceremony of Chinka, and I have no idea why the floating gods/animals aren’t there. More explanation might have been smart.
  • This should go without saying, but if you’ve seen the Washio Sumi no Shou movies, please don’t spoil anything for those of us who have not. Mark and use spoiler tags when necessary.

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OP Sequence

OP: 「エガオノキミへ」 (Egao no Kimi e) by Mimori Suzuko


October 7, 2017 at 12:18 am
  • October 7, 2017 at 3:10 amNeoAnkara

    They have to fight first to give them the reason to bond. They fight together and know each other latter to buld more teamwork and friendship. Unlike YuYuYu girls who are forced to fight not knowing anything at first here they are perfectly aware of their duty and what they should do.

    Of course if you have seen YuYuYu you will know what coming next. All I can say is that prepare some tissue for the next few week.

  • October 7, 2017 at 3:34 amMetix

    Thank you for the first impression!

    For the lack of slice-of-life before the first battle, it’s probably due to the lack of interaction between the girls beforehand. Sonoko mentioned that they didn’t get the chance to train together, while Sumi only realized the importance of befriending her teammates after reflecting on the narrow victory.

    • October 7, 2017 at 9:53 pmStilts

      That all makes sense if you accept that the order of events is inviolable. They aren’t, though. The writers could have changed how everything happened so that slice-of-life stuff happened first.

      As I said, it isn’t a mortal sin by any stretch. It was just sub-optimal. It should be fine by next episode.

  • October 7, 2017 at 5:57 amknight

    waste production budget for Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru: Washio Sumi no Shou

    just focus sequel Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru: yuusha no shou

    • October 7, 2017 at 7:59 amLyfe

      You do realize that anime isn’t that expensive to produce right? They will give both shows a similar treatment.

  • October 7, 2017 at 6:28 amEbisu

    About those questions, if I remember well from the ‘previous’ series:
    (Perhaps you’d rather remain blissfully unaware. Muahaha.)
    Show Spoiler ▼

    • October 7, 2017 at 9:58 pmStilts

      On one of your last-season comments:
      Show Spoiler ▼

      • October 8, 2017 at 2:49 amNeoAnkara

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • October 15, 2017 at 6:21 amEbisu

        Show Spoiler ▼

  • October 7, 2017 at 9:55 amRAnon

    In case people forget again, Yuuki Yuuna is a multimedia project. This anime is an adaptation of LN that comes out at the same time as the previous anime.

  • October 7, 2017 at 11:43 amHalfDemonInuyasha

    Aside from what was mentioned previously, I absolutely loved the BGM fight music. Reminds me of stuff from NieR: Automata. especially with the vocals.

  • October 7, 2017 at 7:48 pmdewgong

    Someone please provide with me a quick recap of the first season.

    • October 7, 2017 at 8:45 pmLyfe

      Don’t spoil the experience for yourself by reading a recap and watch the series. It’s only 12 episodes.

      • October 7, 2017 at 10:00 pmStilts

        What Lyfe said. The recap would do you little good. Definitely watch the original first if you’re interested in this series.

  • October 7, 2017 at 8:00 pmLittle Tangerine

    I just watched all of the previous season.
    And now I don’t want to watch this prequel.

    • October 7, 2017 at 9:33 pmBROOKLYN otaku

      I concur.

  • October 9, 2017 at 1:52 amNerv987

    So is this series just the 3 movies split up into episodes?