The Nihon Review Forum

The Nihon Review Topic Discussion => Anime => Topic started by: TypicalIdiotFan on October 18, 2014, 11:38:39 AM

Title: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on October 18, 2014, 11:38:39 AM

Not sure exactly where this falls on the sliding scale of magical girl anime dramatics, but the first two episodes have mostly played it straight with gorgeous visuals and a short, but pronounced cast of characters.  There are already obvious setups for angst, mostly coming from our crippled Togo girl (though her transformed self is an inspirational homage to Doctor Octopus), and the links between her disability and the timing of the first battle Fu participated in (which was bolstered by the "damage" done to the real world should the magical fighting area be corrupted or damaged too hard).

Otherwise, though, I'm just waiting to see where this goes.  There is already the oddity of them being selected for more than one fight so quickly, and the nature of the beings attacking Shinju-sama, whatever that is.  The opposing foes are neat looking and somewhat unique in their designs and attacks, and teamwork seems to be a requirement.  We'll see where this goes.
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on October 24, 2014, 04:44:52 PM

I've seen serious characters before, and I've seen dedicated characters before, but I don't think I've ever seen the serious and dedicated character be such a damn tsundere to everyone for everything ever.  I wanted to strangle her by the end of this episode.  Jesus Christ.

Also, we've already dealt with several of the Vertex's, yet they're talking about level ups?  Unless they start handwaving that shit for whenever they want, I assume that there are either more enemies than we think, or the shit is going to go full battle royale later.
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: Mori on October 25, 2014, 05:51:41 AM
My thoughts:

I was not a fan of having a new character hijack the entire episode without any actual warning, but I suppose transfer students aren't exactly new in this genre.

Also, these sorts of episodes where nothing important happens compromise my capacity to take this show seriously. Well, if it just wants to be about cute high school girl friendships with magical girl elements, I could enjoy it for that. However, if it wants to go up a level, stuff needs to happen soon.
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on November 04, 2014, 12:55:17 AM

I always find characters who can't sing hilarious, and I don't know why.  I think it is just the massively over-the-top way it is presented that does it.  Like, we know these seiyuu can actually sing rather well, because that seems to be one of the requirements to be one in the first place (THIS IS NOT UNIVERSALLY TRUE), and so when they're called upon to play a "terrible singer", they just go nuts.  Almost like what they think terrible singers sound like, or maybe what they hear other people sound like because they already sing so good.  I dunno.  It's still funny to me.

Also, death flags everywhere.
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: Mori on November 07, 2014, 07:11:45 PM

... Okay, what happens now?
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on November 08, 2014, 03:11:35 PM
We find out that the girls turn into the Vertexes.
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on November 22, 2014, 06:50:33 PM

Episode 6 was definitely the respite for our heroes.  We did learn that there are drastic consequences heretofore not known about the BANKAI er MANKAI system, but overall you could tolerate a little fly in the ointment so long as the job was completed.  I was actually expecting 7's post credit ending to happen at the end of 6, because that's usually how it goes.  The characters think their job is over, figure out a way to live normally after such an ordeal, and then blammo, the swerve hits.  In this case, they got a good almost 2 episodes of relaxation in before fate decided to start ****ing with them again, so that's unique.  I knew it was coming, but at the same time, if they'd have actually ended the girls' ordeals back after episode 5, I would have both loved it for the originality of not doing the obvious predictable move of keeping the plot going and hated it for being a half a season's worth of waste of time.
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on November 29, 2014, 05:45:44 PM

And there it is, the big reveal that had already been speculated at but now thrown right in their faces to deal with.  The horror of being a magical girl in this universe, is to become a quadriplegic cyclops with a cult of followers.  So there's SOME upside at least.
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: SQA on November 29, 2014, 10:51:57 PM

And there it is, the big reveal that had already been speculated at but now thrown right in their faces to deal with.  The horror of being a magical girl in this universe, is to become a quadriplegic cyclops with a cult of followers.  So there's SOME upside at least.

How far have Magical Girls, as a genre, fallen when having a cult is the best possible outcome?  Henshin scenes are dark, man.  I tell you.
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: Mori on November 30, 2014, 02:34:13 PM

I am okay with this reveal since it places everything we've been given so far into perspective. This is turning into a story about adolescence, though it's still a fairly depressing take on the idea. Those boring slice-of life episodes we had to wade through are suddenly valuable now that we know that they won't having those experiences again.

In any case, I am now curious regarding Togo's story before she entered the club.
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on December 06, 2014, 01:35:53 AM

This was your best episode of the week, APR folks.  That was amazing.
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: Mori on December 06, 2014, 03:11:00 AM

So Taisha's approach to keeping them in the dark is to feign ignorance. Seriously? Even without someone revealing everything beforehand, it's difficult to image how long such a smokescreen will last before people start asking questions. It's also curious how they even managed to rope Fuu into this bizarre conspiracy in the first place, but then this is an alternate world that revolves around some deity (or bureaucracy) called Taisha, so their "common sense" might differ.

What bothered me most in the episode, which the characters themselves didn't draw too much attention on, is that Togo tried to kill herself several times since the reveal. It's a serious response you would expect from the situation, but then the story brushes that aside to focus on the faeries instead.
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on December 07, 2014, 11:32:49 PM
I kept thinking about that, and I came to the conclusion that it was purely scientific on her part.  She already had that conversation with the cripple, so she, like Yuna, knew more than anybody what kinds of stakes they were dealing with.  I don't think she was ever deliberately trying to end her life, but the Faeries don't know that.  Still, you had to actually make it look legit enough to try it.  I seriously doubt she would have actually killed herself, but risking serious injury to prove the theory was probably worth it in her mind.  I mean, she's already disabled, how much worse could she make herself?

It is also possible that the first attempt was an accident.  Considering her disability, it is easy to see that maybe she got into a bad situation and the Faeries bailed her out.  Upon witnessing it, maybe she decided to see how far down the rabbit hole went.  She didn't seem suicidal to me, nor did she seem as such to the other girls.  It was all academic.
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: Mori on December 08, 2014, 03:52:49 PM
^ That would be the most reasonable way of looking at it given all we know about the characters, but it did strike me as something of an off moment. Suicide attempts aren't just things you casually reveal after all.

At this point, now that they've reached a stage of acceptance, I'm just waiting for the silver lining. Their lives are already pretty much ruined to be sure, but they really deserve some scrap of consolation for everything they're going through... Or maybe it's too early to say they've accepted it since Togo, who happens to have lost more to the system than the rest of them combined, wasn't present anywhere in that last scene. But that's just wild speculation, I suppose.

Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on December 21, 2014, 05:59:21 PM

This second half has been ****ing amazing, and we're heading into tragedy and suffering with aplomb here.  Amongst the characters, it is easy to see Togo as a fatalist antagonist, but she has her justification and rationalization, even if you don't agree with it.  In this way, neither side in this conflict amongst our heroes is a villain, per se, but there is such a thing as idealistic inequality.

If anything, both sides can agree that the world is pretty screwed up as is, but neither side has a realistic or agreeable approach to fixing the problem.  Togo's option is to just nuke the world and end it all; a mercy killing for what she sees as a never-ending cycle of suffering.  The others' only want to maintain the status quo because they don't like the idea of dying, but they don't have an alternative to fix the problem.

Yet.  I imagine Yuki Yuna is going to come up with something, and we'll see what kind of miracle that this show has in store for us.
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: Mori on December 31, 2014, 06:53:32 PM

These last three episodes have indeed been amazing. This is where the series' resemblance to Madoka becomes truly apparent, given that the themes parallel each other pretty well.

Similarly, we have heroes faced with the futility of their struggle who are then given a choice: to give up their ideals or to continue fighting despite, or even because of, how meaningless it all seems. It's a choice between looking at the future with apathy or with hope, represented by Togo's and Yuna's positions respectively. And it just about fits that the resolution isn't based on any kind of certainty, but a kind of desperate, irrational faith (though what faith isn't irrational?).

If there's anything I didn't like about these three episodes, it's that the overall resolution was much too convenient. It's as if Taisha just stopped caring after that final battle. Of course, the implication is that the battle still continues, but there's no clear reason for them being relieved of their role without explanation, especially when much of the climax is spent coming to terms with the nature of the world.
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on December 31, 2014, 07:04:08 PM
Yeah, that did seem like kind of a weak ending.  I didn't really want bleak and destructive either, but we basically get a reset button for everything the girls did, so there weren't any consequences whatsoever.  Granted, the consequences that existed in the first place were retarded and cruel, seeing as how the God in question is using these girls to protect itself and what is left of humanity, I find it odd that it would require massive sacrifices on their part in order to use some of its power in which to help protect itself and what is left of humanity.  It seems a little silly for the system to be in place to effectively PUNISH the girls for doing a good job.

However, what also makes this work is how little we know about the God and the Taisha that support it.  We don't know WHY the God demands sacrifices for the mankai powers.  Perhaps it is simply necessary.  A fuel or a catalyst for not only that power, but the creation of a faerie to aid the girls in doing their job.  It still doesn't quite make sense that the God can simply give BACK what was sacrificed, but he hasn't done so in the past for any of the other girls who came before our heroes.  You'd think that, if Yuki Yuna can somehow convince the God to fire her and her friends from active duty, that the God would have instituted some kind of retirement plan to begin with.  I mean, the girls who are crippled, or at least the one we saw, had a shit ton of faeries and wasn't really on active duty anymore, so why was she still crippled?  Why not just call back the faeries and restore her condition?

It is this cruelty that seems to make the least sense, but that is because we don't know the relationship between the God, the Taisha, and the rest of humanity.  Maybe the God doesn't really WANT to protect these people.  Maybe it is only doing so because it has an agreement with the Taisha to take girl body parts when it gets hungry.  Maybe this God is a ****ing monster, but it was the only thing between life and obliteration at the hands of whatever the hell is going on outside the barrier.  Who knows.  All we know is what we know, and that leaves a lot of questions unanswered.  Certainly, the story of Yuna and her friends is done, but the battles aren't over, and someone else is going to have to pick up the slack.  I wonder, then, what will Yuna and everybody do knowing what they know.  Will the Taisha just leave them alone, considering how many secrets they have regarding the world everybody lives in?  Maybe we'll get a fanservice OAV that'll explain everything.  Maybe.
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: Mori on December 31, 2014, 07:34:16 PM
I always just saw it as some sort of eternal stalemate between Shinju and the Vertexes. Shinju selects suitable warriors who then literally sacrifice their entire selves for just a little bit more power to stop the advances of the Vertexes, and when they're all spent, more warriors fill in the gaps, ad infinitum. This makes more sense once we learn that Taisha trains and conditions its own warriors for this very purpose. It's all very utilitarian, but it made a lot of sense for me until that ending. The ending with all the sacrifices becoming null really screws up everything I thought I knew about the system, and it somewhat weakens the point of the entire confrontation between Togo and Yuna in the end.

For now, this seems like a bit of a cop out for me, especially for what I thought to be a relatively good story.
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: SQA on January 01, 2015, 05:25:14 AM
I liked the setup better when it was called Mortal Kombat.

Just saying. :)
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: The Big Guy on January 02, 2015, 01:54:08 AM
To be honest, I really liked the ending because it didn't have the consequences that you guys think were so important. It actually highlights a key difference between this show and Madoka, that the girls in the show are not really getting anything out of this terrible bargain. At least in Madoka the girls got something (a wish) out of the deal, and thus still need to pay the price even after Madoka changes the sysyem. Here, they literally get nothing, so why should they have to pay? Considering that most of the girls didn't even have a choice whether they wanted to participate before being sent into battle, they should get off scot free. Not sure why they let them off easily after they tried to destroy the world, though, but Taisha in general seems to be a benevolent organization overall.

As for screwing up the system in place, I agree with TIF that it works only because we know so little about Taisha, the God, and the nature of their powers. Considering that Taisha was actually telling the truth (intentionally or not, I have no idea) about them recovering from their health problems, it raises a lot of questions about how much information that the show presents can be taken at face value. For example, my take on the Faeries were that they were the manifestations of the power (health problem) that were taken away after they use Manzai. If that were the case, if the Faery were to return to the user's body, it would eventually fix their health problems. As for TIF's point about why they didn't give back the completely crippled girl's body if they weren't going to use her, the implication was they still needed her if the main party failed. I'm not sure if that is exactly the case, but the series is ambiguous enough that I can make an educated guess.

One more point of speculation, is there actually a God in this series? The fact that the God gives power through cellphones makes me a little hesitant to believe it isn't actually man-made, which would explain why Taisha is able to control it and take the powers away. The fact that this series is thought-provoking in the first place makes me think this was one of the best shows this year. Color me impressed.
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on October 13, 2017, 12:18:19 AM
Sumi Washio no Shou 1:

TV adaptation of the films that act as a prequel of sorts to show us what happened to Togo, the ultra crippled loli with a cult, and the third member who had been mentioned by name but never shown.  I guess this is supposed to answer a few of our questions about the mankai system, Shinjyu-sama, and Taisho, maybe.  I don't now.  But hot damn did Togo still have some stonkin' great tits back in 6th grade.  Her henshin sequence is almost as vulgar as her older incarnation.  She's not alone either, I think these henshin sequences have just gotten more and more lewd.

As usual, the Vertex is an interesting and unique construct that someone in the writing department apparently has ****ing fun making, because boy howdy these things are weird and creative.  As the starter episode, we're essentially right back where Yuki Yuna started from, but the audience now knows better, and since this is a prequel, we know tragedy is coming.  They're sure greasing up that ball by giving us this sappy friendship story, though.
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on October 22, 2017, 10:26:27 PM
Sumi Washio no Shou 3:

I'm only mentioning this one because the entire episode was omake filler stuff, and for some reason Sumi is the buttmonkey of this show.
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on October 30, 2017, 11:31:54 PM

And here comes the darkness.  Not that this isn't something you shouldn't already know since it was mentioned in the original show as happening, and what led to the creation of the mankai system.  So, keep watching.  We've got two episodes of backstory left to go before we start the real Yuki Yuna sequel with episode 7.
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on November 03, 2017, 07:10:21 PM

Okay, that got me.  I generally don't react to character deaths in most shows because, more often than not, death is a quick and / or unseen thing, and nobody really gets any closure, because you rarely are shown it.  In this episode, they devoted the first half to the funeral and passing of Minowa, and it was God damned tragic.  Seeing the family members talking, reacting in various ways, and the little brother finally losing it.  Then we actually get to see her, resting, at peace, in her coffin.  That's when it hit me.  There is something very... real... about watching someone laying there, motionless, without any life inside of them.  In those moments, you can easily relate to a moment of your own when you had to say goodbye in such a fashion.  Funerals are for the living, not for the dead.  The dead are gone, and so what is left is to allow the living to mourn, to say goodbye, and to move on.  When Sumi was "allowed" to be the first one to lay the flower on Gin's deceased body, I lost it.  That was way too rough to deal with.

I don't even care that much about these characters.  I know Sumi from the first series, of course, but the other two I have only gotten to know here.  It really isn't the fact that Gin herself was dead that got me, but the waves of emotions delivered by the characters strongly through effective animation, swelling powerful music, the bright lights, and even the background sniffing of mourning audience members... it was all too real.  Way too real.

I don't get emotional at anime most of the time.  This one got me.  Good job.
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on November 14, 2017, 03:23:44 AM

Yeesh.  I mean, I know we as the audience know that the mankai system is a broken, horrible thing that destroys the lives of little girls, but there was zero buildup to the system being horrible.  I know we covered that already in the first series, but we go in one battle to Sumi turning into Togo because she loses her memories and legs that quickly, and Sonoko becomes the living corpse we see her later in the span of seconds.  Maybe they refined the system after that.  I don't know.  All I know is holy shit did that escalate quickly.  Almost like they were running out of time and had to get to the new seas... ahhh ha ha ha.

Anyway, second half is the real second season of Yuki Yuna is a Hero, so if you've been waiting for this point, episode 7 is where it starts.  C'mon down.
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on November 28, 2017, 02:45:23 AM

Recap episode, with Togo narrating for us, in case you forgot anything that happened to these girls in the first series.


Begins the real second story of Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru, and it had me going for a bit until the end.  So Taisha is up to their usual ****ery, huh?  I know these guys exist to serve Shinjuu-sama and try to keep what remains of their world alive, but sometimes they just pull some gnarly ass shit with little girls and give it about as much consideration as Ted Bundy.  The suffering will never end!
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on December 19, 2017, 08:44:00 PM

Well this is grim, but one of the problems with having a show that has repeatedly put their characters into grim situations, but then got them out of it with all damage healed, is that when you do this enough times, putting them into grim situations no longer has any oomph.  Yuki Yuna is dying you say?  Wont survive until March you say?  Yeah, sure, right, whatever.  Togo will fix it.
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on December 27, 2017, 04:58:26 PM

Or, maybe not.  We are now at the bleakest moment in the entire series, even moreso than anything seen before.  Yuki Yuna has to make an ultimate sacrifice, already burdened by a curse that will end her young life, in order not to allow the other people to even live, but to allow humanity to become something else so that they can be ignored by the flames outside the wall.  Holy crap, her sacrifice wont even stop all this shit from happening, it will just change the chessboard.  What a goddamned grim situation to be in.  Marry Shinjyuu-sama, die young by the hands of your God, and everybody turns into Tang so the flames wont hunt them anymore, or don't marry Shinjyuu-sama, die young and cursed by the flames, and everybody else dies too.

Meanwhile, Taisho, as usual, is hiding something.  They had other plans, other scenarios, that could save humanity and prevent Yuna from having to do this, but as Aki-sensei points out, there wasn't enough time for them.  Not for Yuna, not for Shinjyuu-sama, and not for whatever the **** just came through the ****ing wall.  There is one last order from the Taisha to the remaining heroes:  stall that thing as long as possible until the ritual is complete.  That's it.  Not "stop the enemy and live happily", not "sacrifice yourselves to keep the cycle going", but just "delay that thing or we're all ****ed."

And now I start to get a clearer picture of things, I think, of what Shinjyuu-sama is, why they're surrounded by a field of flames and Vertexes, and why all this is happening.  We know that this is all that is left of humanity, but what if this isn't just all that is left of humanity, but all that is left of humanity after Armageddon?  What if the world has ended because God, the Abrahamic God, has ended the world, and Shinjyuu-sama, being a Japanese God of sorts, protected what remained of "his" children from Ragnarok?  Something Aki-sensei said there really stood out to this theory.  It appears that what we're seeing here is a war of Gods, in a way, with the All Mighty trying to bring final judgment and Shinjyuu-sama holding things back.  How, or why, is still not known.  It starts to make sense, though, that once humanity transcends to "godlike" beings, that the judgment day of humanity would no longer apply to them.  So what if what we see outside is literally Hell?  Cast into the lake of fire by the Lord following the fall of Heaven and Earth?  Can five little girls possibly stop a wrathful Jehovah?

As an aside, that last thing that broke through the wall gave me serious Independence Day flashbacks of the alien crafts flaming through the skies after entering atmosphere.  This is probably not a coincidence as directors love putting their own touches on neat shit they saw once when they were younger, but if it is more than a simple homage, then remember to aim for the ****ing cannon!  The cannon is the weakspot!
Title: Re: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru!
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on January 05, 2018, 07:32:19 PM

Heh, the cannon was the weakspot.

I don't have any damn clue what happened here, but it was an asspull to end all asspulls.  Apparently Shinjyuu-sama put all of its last remaining power / strength into Yuna and let her pull a Gurren Lagann.  That's basically all you need to know.  Also all the Taisha people got turned into wheat.  Apparently that is what "becoming close to Shinjyuu-sama" was.  You got plant'd.  I saw this once before, I think it was Blue Seed.  What is it with Japanese gods turning people into shrubbery?

Anyway, I don't have a problem with the happy ending, because of course that's what was going to happen.  Nobody has the balls to end everything on a downer.  Considering the monumental forces involved in this, one little girl with a brave heart and a little bit of a God's power destroying the very thing that has been threatening them all throughout their recorded history seems like a bit much to swallow, but whatever.  It is what it is.  Yuki Yuna is a hero, after all.

The first series was a solid 8 or 9 because of how well it was executed.  This one was more of 6.  The first half was a backstory we kind of wanted but at the same time didn't do anything.  It didn't really explain the Mankai system, the source of all the evil and pain in the first series, with a level of satisfaction.  While it does help set up the conclusion of the show, knowing about all the girls who have died in the past wasn't that important.  The second half was actually two arcs combined into one, and rushed so badly that they had no oomph.  In two episodes, Togo disappears and is rescued, then we get four more episodes dealing with Yuna's eventual ascent to godhood.  I liked the themes explored in the second half, I just think it needed a good full 13 episodes by itself to really give it impact.  Instead they rehashed the films into a series for a quick money grab, then gave us a rushed story of pain and suffering and glory.  Meh.  I'll still remember this show fondly overall, but the second half was a downer.

7/10 overall, averaged between first and second seasons.