Format: 12 episodes
Dates: 3 Jul 2012 – 18 Sep 2012
Synopsis: We rejoin Akari, Chinatsu, Yui, and Kyouko of the Amusement Club at Nanamori Middle School in YuruYuri♪♪, based off the popular manga by Namori. Fans of the franchise will be pleased to learn that YuruYuri♪♪ is pretty much a carbon-copy continuation of the first season. What kind of hijinks will the girls get into this time around? Find out in this journey through the everyday lives of middle school girls.
Humor: Light and quirky.
Music: Silly opening and ending songs accompanied by a minimalist soundtrack.
Characters: Cute, likable all female cast.
Bottom Line: The best situational comedy in years.
The title “Yuru Yuri” roughly translates as “easygoing yuri”, “yuri” implying the genre of romance between girls. The title is very much perfect – the show is relaxed and paced smoothly for a comedy. YuruYuri♪♪ hardly deadpan or slow, but it is also not frenzied. The focus of YuruYuri♪♪ is in the relationships between its characters. These relationships distill down into “pairings” that lend structure to the show. The formula is simple enough, and the show executes it perfectly; the result is a wildly amusing anime that is charming, light, and worth a try for all comedy fans.
From a distance, YuruYuri♪♪ appears mundane, campy, and cliché, but the show turns out to be surprisingly intelligent. The humor in YuruYuri♪♪ takes the structure of typical situational fare, but the show demonstrates an understanding of both its audience and the genre. The entire show can be regarded as a veiled spoof of bona-fide “yuri” anime: scenes like Chitose’s fantasies are vague homages to Aoi Hana or Maria-sama ga Miteru. The parody magical girl anime that exists within in the show, Mirakurun, is a satirical to the nature of the contemporary anime. It prominently displays the tropes of the genre such as comically violent fights, a hopelessly airheaded lead, and inexplicable leaps in narrative — spoofs that are easy for any anime fan to understand.
YuruYuri♪♪ features a balanced and likable cast of girls. The members of the Amusement Club form the four main girls, and members of the student council constitute the four supporting roles. The show draws most of its entertainment value from the interactions among its characters. These interactions are surprisingly diverse, ranging from slapstick humor, to elements of friendship, to platonic affection. Besides placing them in comical set-pieces, YuruYuri♪♪ fully utilizes the “meta-roles” of its characters. The show is well aware of the audience’s disdain for Chinatsu and Akari’s ironic role as the lead character, playing off them with running gags of Chinatsu’s demonic subtones and Akari constantly getting ignored.
The humor works on multiple, diverse fronts. A particular favorite episode of mine was YuruYuri♪♪’s depiction of “Comuket,” a suspiciously familiar comic market that takes place in the summer. Besides a hilarious Mirakurun segment, keen viewers will also catch the subtle absurdity of how calm, not crowded, and abundantly-female “Comuket” is. Additionally, there is a flurry of running gags, some spanning back to the first season. See if you can spot the oil drum that carried Akari away during the finale of YuruYuri.
While YuruYuri♪♪ is functionally just a “cute-girls-doing-cute-things” anime with no real narrative or exposition, it is pleasing to see a show firing so well on all cylinders. The show focuses heavily on its best characters, but it does a good job involving everyone in the cast. It sticks to the proven structure for episodic comedies, but it experiments with its storytelling when necessary. With a fine mix of creativity and imagination, YuruYuri♪♪ brings something fresh into a tired genre. It is simply entertainment in its most unapologetic, unabashed form.
The Rating: 9
Reviewed by: kevo