First Impressions: Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru

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Being a hero is fun and easy when you control the outcome by staging a puppet show in a classroom full of kids.  The outcome is never dangerous and always safe.  But what happens when your dreams of protecting people becomes real and the fate of the world rests in your hands?

fpyukiyuna1Synopsis
Yuki Yuna is a second year middle school student who is also part of a “Hero Club.” They work to help anyone in need by taking part in anything from assisting other clubs, cleaning the seaside,  even entertaining young kids.  Though things become a bit terrifying for the senior club leader Inubouzaki Fu when she receives a notification of the “Team” passing a test.  While she contemplates telling her sister (and club mate) Itsuki, she keeps silent.

The following day, while the four club members attend their classes, the world suddenly stops.  That is except for the club members Yuna, Fu, Itsuki, and Mimori.  The world around them begins to change into an alternate dimension, and after they find each other, Fu begins to explain a secret she has been keeping from them.

fpyukiyuna5Turns out Fu was once a part of a team before that fought beings called “Vertex” that threaten to destroy the land by attacking the heart.  Now in a new year and club, she was notified of the Hero Club’s possibility of being selected to continue the fight.  Though there was a possibility that they would also have never been called upon.

Now that they have been chosen upon the first Vertex’s arrival, the phone apps they installed upon joining the club become active and will grant them the power to fight the Vertex and protect Earth.  After Mimori acknowledges her inability to fight because she’s wheelchair bound, Fu requests that Yuna take her to safety.  After Fu asks her sister to leave as well, and she refuses, the two transform and charge into battle.

fpyukiyuna14When things begin to look grim, Yuna finally charges into battle as well and helps them destroy the Vertex.  The following day, Fu finally explains the entire situation to them and apologizes for not speaking up sooner.  While Mimori is angered by the fact that Fu put everyone’s life in danger, the group find themselves transported once again into another Vertex fight.

This time around, Mimori is unwilling to stand by once again.  Instead, she uses her app and transforms.  Using ribbons to move her from place to place, she takes aim with her guns and strike down one of the 3 targets.  Itsuki destroys another with her strings while Fu slices and Yuna punches the other into oblivion.

Now a full team of four, they await the next Vertex that will threaten their home.

fpyukiyuna7Thoughts
Wow, what in the world just happened? For those that listened to our preview of Fall 2014, we noted how the synopsis didn’t match the PV and genres. Girls playing with puppets, Slice-of-Life School genres. Nothing matched the talk about fighting bad guys. We just figured they’d act it out with puppets.

Sure enough, the show suddenly breaks into Puella Magi Madoka Magica-like arenas and girls start changing into magical girls. My brain just broke and my skull exploded in an odd mind-blown reaction. No doubt, up until that point I was seriously dismissing this show as a boring school club show.

Now, given the setting change, I’m still not sold on this show, nor is my above reaction a completely positive thing. Except that the change caught my interest much more than if it continued what it was doing prior to the setting change.

fpyukiyuna17That’s because everything outside of the battles is quite goofy dramatic, unbelievable (I know.. neither is magical girls), and honestly boring. To be honest, besides the wheel chair girl Mimori being a much appreciated design change, the characters themselves are boring and uninteresting. This could possibly change with time though.

Speaking more on my appreciation of Mimori’s design choice, it’s truly nice to see them take the effort to design a character that isn’t perfect physically. Then when it came to her springing into action, they didn’t “fix” her. She remained unable to walk which actually surprised me and made me smile. Not that I want her to be unable to walk, but that it wasn’t a cure-all situation.

On the flip side of the realms, the battles are quite interesting. Even the second encounter had an element of strategy placed on their target using ricochet to shoot. Each of the combat abilities were a refreshing change too. Throwing out trope wands and magic for swords, knuckles, guns, and wires.

fpyukiyuna19There’s definitely a question as to if this show will take a dark route similar to Puella Magi Madoka Magica, but I highly doubt it. The dark mood breaking during the second episode really proved that they don’t want to keep a serious tone. However, I’m interested in what limits they will push going forward.

In the end, they surprised me, I’m interested. Even if I’m keeping a magical girl mindset, let’s see if it can break some tropes.

Oh and by the way, I’m totally calling Mimori being a past fighter as well.  No info on how she got chair bound?  Loss of memories?  Having 3 familiars?  Yeah.. a past prodigy!  Not only is she stealing the Sword Art Online Sinon snipe angle, but she also looked a bit Homura’ish.  And that implies things for those that have watched Madoka Magica!

This show is streaming on Crunchyroll.com!

Episode 1: Yuki Yuna is a Hero
Episode 2: Noble Thoughts

THUMBS UP!

THUMBS UP!

IMPRESSIONS VERDICT:
Good

Pros:

  • Nice twist
  • Decently done CG
  • Good character designs
  • Good combat sequences
  • Unique enemy strategies

Cons:

  • It’s a magical girl
  • Characters are boring
  • Bit hard to take seriously
  • Outside of battles, things are boring

Impressions are based on a single episode and don’t necessarily reflect the series as a whole. Unless dropped, we will continue to give updates on thoughts and impressions of the series as time goes by.

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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.