OP: 「桃色タイフーン」 (Momoiro taifuun) by Haruna Luna
“The Yuragi Inn’s Yuuna”
Some Background Context:
As an avid manga reader, I’m familiar with Miura Tadahiro, the mangaka behind Yuragi-sou. In fact, I’ve been following him since his debut work of Koisome Momiji, which had exactly the kind of love story I wished to see more often within the industry. But apparently that’s not the kind of stuff that flies with Jump’s typical readership. Unfortunately, Koisome Momiji was axed following an arc that was admittedly weak. That said, I’ve always retained hope for Miura-san to strike a home run. His art style is absolutely gorgeous (Shokugeki’s Tosh once worked as his assistant!), and when things don’t get too whacky, his stories can be truly beautiful and compelling.
But eventually, Miura-san found success in milking the tried and tested formula. As a result, his big break came in the form of Yuragi-sou, a series that currently occupies the romcom-ecchi-action niche as a staple of WSJ. Sadly, he’s completely done away with delicate storytelling as a result of this transition, something that I really liked about Koisome Momiji. But I’m happy that he successfully reinvented himself, because the alternative was falling off the wayside and joining the pantheon of aspiring mangakas who failed to make it. So, now that it received an anime adaptation, how does Yuragi-sou fare as a TV series? Here are my first impressions and let’s find out!
Kogarashi Fuyuzora (Ono Yuuki) is a young chap with a heart of gold, despite his alarming circumstances. Despite being crippled by financial issues, due to being possessed by the spirit of a reckless stockbroker, he doesn’t ask people for money when he solves their problems. His happy-go-lucky and plucky attitude earns some degree of respect from me. Incidentally, he also gets thrusted into a lot of situations that result in unfortunate misunderstandings, namely those where he accidentally grabs some boobs or gets an assblast to the face. Don’t you simply hate it when that happens to you?
But being very ecchi turned out to be a double-edged sword for this anime adaptation. On the one hand, the exquisite design of these girls make these kind of moments very rewarding. On the other hand, most of it is completely censored by steam from the hot springs. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like a non-censored version will be airing concurrently, which means that desperate fans will have to wait for the bluray release. For now, it still seems pretty viable, in terms of getting laughs and arousal out of people. But receiving an incomplete product feels unsatisfactory, even if the complete version will roll out at a later date. We’ll have to settle for censorship in the time being, and hopefully, it won’t negatively impact upon your viewing experience too much.
How are the female characters? So far, we’ve only really had proper exposure to one of them. That would be Yuuna Yunohana (Shimabukuro Miyuri), the infamous ghost who haunts the Yuragi inn. From what you can see, she’s an innocent girl who is pretty clumsy and easily gets flustered. Additionally, she really comes with generous packages, a prospect that is bound to please those who prefer well-endowed girls. But that isn’t all. Judging by how the other female characters come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, there will probably be at least one girl to fit the bill for most of the varying tastes out there. They’re all fantastically designed, and I reckon that regardless of preference, people will be in for some kind of treat.
Having read the manga, I knew that this anime adaptation could become a weekly guilty pleasure, but probably wouldn’t amount to anything more than that. In fact, I was partially surprised that Yuragi-sou got an adaptation. In my opinion, even taking the top tier art into consideration, it doesn’t have a compelling story, world or set of characters. Then I remembered that the combination of incredible art style + fanservice is a guaranteed blockbuster. So why am I still here writing about this show? To be honest, I’d have felt guilty about giving it a pass, especially since I’ve always wanted to see Miura-san succeed. Plus it can hit high notes where its target audience is concerned, something I’ll acknowledge despite not being a part of the aforementioned target audience.
Those who subscribe to the holy quartet of ecchi + romcom+ harem + action (e.g. To Love Ru, HSDK, Infinite Stratos, etc) will find familiarity and comfort here. We haven’t seen a lot of the action, but so far our protagonist has been doing a fantastic job of learning from One Punch Man, seeing how he’s been ending most of these encounters in a single punch. Not to worry though. There will be more to the action than simply a punch, provided that you stick around until the anime gets to that point. Anyway, if you have a sexual inclination towards supernatural mischief, then watching this would be a no-brainer. If you hate trivial misunderstandings being levied for humour and generous smatterings of fanservice, avoid at all costs. However, to those of you who are currently unsure about giving this a shot, I’d still recommend giving it a try. There’s going to be a lot of casual fun, with some surprising depth at certain points, where boundaries between life and death come into question.
ED: 「Happen～木枯らしに吹かれて～」 (Happen～kogarashi ni fuka rete～) by Yunohana Yuno (Shimabukuro Mayuri), Miyazaki Chisaki (Suzuki Eri), Ameno Sagiri (Takahashi Rie)