Final Review: Yuru Yuri ♪♪

DISCLAIMER: Anime reviews on this blog will attempt minimal to no spoilers unless other noted. If a review seems dull or shallow, it’s because I’m trying to make sure not to go into too detail for those who are actually interested in the show before or after reading the review or those who have yet to finish the title. If you want further details, there are usually tons of reviews that can be found elsewhere on the internet. Furthermore, anime reviews in general are the sole opinion of the author writing it and thus differ across the users. There is no such thing as a “right answer” only a majority agreement. You are free to have your own opinions and thereby free to state and/or argue/debate in the comments section below or on the Fansub TV Forums. The review is not necessarily meant to serve as a recommendation but rather a personal opinion of having completed the series.

Yuru Yuri ♪♪ (hereafter known as Yuru Yuri 2) is the sequel to the 2011 surprising hit of the same name. The Amusement Club continues their usual antics with a slightly greater focus on the supporting characters from season 1: Himawari and Sakurako. Like the first season, Yuru Yuri 2 was simulcasted on CrunchyRoll during the Summer 2012 anime season.

Yuru Yuri 2 is very similar to Yuru Yuri unsurprisingly with the exception of a greater focus on Himawari and Sakurako. Yui, Chinatsu, the twins, and Ayano didn’t seem to play as big of a role this season though I do recall the episode where Chinatsu’s scarf turned out to be one heck of a mosaic. The show continues to have various little fun antics with episode 11 (The Akarin who Leapt Through Time) being the best of them all. Akari remains one of my least favorite characters in this show but that episode suited her incredibly well when she attempted to rewrite history (i.e. season 1) yet came to realize that changing history would change who she is now. Conclusion wise, the show is the same old same old except with a nostalgic twist by bringing back some of the “classic” moments from both series. It’s fun but I personally started to see this series getting old. It just doesn’t have the same feel as say Hidamari Sketch, which after 3 seasons continues to hold strong every step of the way.

Art continues to be a drag on this show. Backgrounds are plain and lacking in detail. Character designs are basic and very generic. Animation quality improved marginally since the first season and considering that Doga Kobo also worked on Natsuyuki Rendezvous this season and nothing else since Yuru Yuri season 1, it’s pretty evident overall that this is the current limit of this studio. At the least, however, I was hoping they would mix up the colors a little. Too many things use the same color (e.g. uniforms and backgrounds seem very close in tint)  make it “hard” on the eyes. It’s not blinding but just straight up irritating.

OP/ED themes continue to drag on this show. It’s catchy but not something that I would listen to outside of the show on a normal basis. Background and sound effects remain average. Seiyuus continue to be decent for this show. Same old same old. I personally prefer the themes from season 1 though or at least YuruYuruYuruYuruYuri~

Enjoyment? To be perfectly honest, I’m at a lost for words like I was for the first season. Unfortunately, it’s for a different reason this time. I just didn’t feel the same type of series in this second season. It had its same fill of jokes and slice of life antics but it failed to go beyond what its first season counterpart could already do, which I guess I was looking for in a second run through. The shoujo-ai aspect was also not as big of a theme this time and the show reran a lot of the same old jokes over and over.

Overall, K-ON! and Hidamari Sketch are better titles than this at the end of the day. Personally, I prefer Natsuiro Kiseki as a more apples to apples comparison, though they all fit into the slice of life cute moe girls genre. This is certainly an alternative to the aforementioned titles but I will say that this sequel lacks rewatchability let alone value compared to the first season. Or better yet, Minami-ke trumps all of the above!

 

Story and Character:

  • Premise (0/1): Same old same old.
  • Character Personalities (1/1): Still loving the character personalities in this show. Akari continues to be unique character and her older sister is even more interesting.
  • Character Development (1/2): We learn a bit about Himawari and Sakurako due to the greater focus on them. Not much more.
  • Character Usefulness/Presence (1.5/2): Same old cast. Yui and Chinatsu felt useless this time around. The twins and Ayano weren’t exactly meaningful either.
  • Pacing: (0.5/1): Felt slower than the first season. Not as much progress or interesting interaction between characters.
  • Reasonable/Plausible (1.5/2): Time machine episode was great but a bit out of wack.
  • Conclusion (0.5/1): Same old same old. Brings back classic comedy of Yuru Yuri.
  • Total: 6/10

Art and Animation:

  • Backgrounds (1/2): Basic and average
  • Character Designs (1/2): Basic and generic
  • Fluidity (1.5/2): Some inconsistencies but other wise fine
  • Visuals/Special Effects/Flashiness (2/2): Too much of the same color and lacking in variety.
  • Art and Animation “Expectation” (1/2): This is Doga Kubo’s limit evidently. Not much improvement since season 1 granted that it’s been only 1 year since.
  • Total: 6.5/10

Sound and Music:

  • OP/ED/Insert Themes (2/3): Catchy themes that fit with the show.
  • Background Music (1/2): Average
  • Sound Effects (1/2): Average
  • Seiyuu (2/3): Seiyuus are still fresh and inexperienced yet continue to do a fine job for this show.
  • Total: 6/10

Enjoyment:

  • Amusement (2/2): Amusement factor is there with the same old same old
  • Weekly/Next Episode Anticipation (1/2): Anticipation dwindled over time despite high amusement factor
  • Presentation (1/2): Lots of room for improvement. Needs better hooks
  • Re-watchable (0/1): Little to none
  • Recommendation (1/2): K-ON!, Minami-ke, and Hidamari Sketch does better at what this show can do in the same two seasons time frame.
  • Value (0/1): Unlike the first season, this one didn’t live up to its hype.
  • Total: 5/10

Preliminary Score: 7/10

Final Score: 6/10

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