「秘めた意志」 (Himeta Ishi)
I have no idea how they win this one. I’m not sure they can.
Yuuki Yuuna no Yuusha de Aru’s greatest strength: mixing adorable, warm, friend-filled slice-of-life moments with plotlines of absolute despair, to make the punches hurt all the more for the love we’ve given to these characters. This episode is the most stark distillation of the concept, for not only are the early slice-of-life scenes delightful, but the emotional flurry of gut punches later on, just one (she won’t make it to spring) after another (stuck in a tunnel) after another (she threw it all up) after another (nauseous) after another (so much pain she wasn’t making sense) after another (likes hearing “mata ashita”) after another (scared to sleep with the lights off) after another (there’s nothing she can do)—
Look. When I’m blogging a show, I don’t react to it like I would if I were just watching it. I can’t. My writing brain is in the forefront, and I’m constantly pausing to take screencaps or write down thoughts. That means I don’t experience the emotions as deeply as I would normally. I can still recognize them—if a scene is a 7 on the cry-o-meter, I’ll still be able to tell—but I’ll only experience it as a 4. So when a show I’m blogging can make me tear up, and when I have to pause not to write something down, but to say aloud, “…fuck.” Well. It knows what it’s doing, and it’s doing it well. Damn them for it. I respect them for it.
This series has always been suffused by hope, and even here, in the darkest of hours, it remains. Her friends love her, they are willing to risk taking the curse upon themselves to help her, and Tougou is still determined to save her. As long as the world of flames exists, there is no chance that Yuuna’s body will heal—and I could believe that Mimori, Fuu, Itsuki, Karin, and Sonoko will destroy that entire world, will extinguish the infinite flames to save their friend. Or at least, I can believe they’ll try.
For, despite the hope that remains, it’s but a small hope in the face of a problem with no clear solution, one I have no idea how they’ll solve. Or if they will. I’m glad they’re directly confronting what happened at the end of the original series, because finishing the story that was left undone was always the number one goal of this sequel. That’s the only reason it should exist, so revealing how Yuuna came back, and why she fell to her knees during that stage performance, is priority number fuckin’ one. And we’re getting that, which is excellent. This is absolutely the right path to take.
As long as they can stick the landing. And I have no idea how they’ll do that. With the original season of YuYuYu, they wrote themselves into a corner that required a deus ex machina ending—seemingly. Or it was that in the context of the original series alone. This is trying to get us to that ending we needed, and I have no idea if they be able to make it there. What I do know is that I hope Yuuna is saved—or not—through the actions of the other Yuusha-bu girls, instead of a literal act of God. Though apparently Yuuna is getting married next episode? Jeez. Way to make us come back for another dose of punishment. Well played.
- Fuu-sempai is a weepy drunk while Itsuki gets all giggly? Eh, I still say Fuu-sempai best girl, but way to leap up those rankings, Itsuki!
- S-shipping Karin x Fuu? Yeah, I’ma do it. Shipping furiously!! \o/
- Did Sancho speak with Nakata Jouji’s voice? If so, swiftly approved.
- I like how the spirits are totally on their sides now. In a plotline that’s so bleak (though not as bleak as the prequel, for at least here there’s still hope), at least their spirit buddies aren’t betraying them this time. Probably. Probably.
- Tougou hit her oppai on the screen door. Heh heh heh.
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Full-length images: 29.