The Fall 2015 Anime Preview Guide
Yuru Yuri Season 3
How would you rate episode 1 of
Yuruyuri San Hai! (TV 3) ?
I'm not sure what it is about Yuru Yuri, but there's just something light and entertaining about it. In its third season, the slice-of-adorable-life show continues that trend, and if it isn't exciting – and it really, really isn't – that doesn't matter because the characters are fun and everything is handled with a smile. You really do need to have seen at least season one to get this one even though there's no continuous plot, because Yuru Yuri San-Hai just jumps right in – it's a hot summer day and the girls are lounging around their clubroom. Kyoko suggests that they play the King Game (and I think I like her version of it better than the real one), and when she commands Yui to kiss her finger, Chinatsu loses it. The second third of the episode is about Kyoko in cooking class and the third is a “useless Akarin” segment about her being shown up by a grade schooler. While all three short sections are very basic, they all have wonderful little moments, such as Kyoko's sad attempts to peel a potato or Akari attempting to drink “Masochist Cider,” which I will totally be telling the local orchard to create.
As a first episode, this one really relies on your familiarity with the characters, so if you don't remember who everyone is, definitely brush up on that, because very few names are actually said (or subtitled even if they are spoken aloud). Chinatsu in the King Game is probably one of the best parts of the episode, and she's not even my favorite character; her sheer, insane determination to get Yui to marry her via King Game is just this side of deranged, and she basically becomes more Kyoko than Kyoko as the segment goes on. The cheery obliviousness of the other girls, specifically Sakurako and Himawari, adds to the humor. We see this played out similarly, with the one freaked out girl and the other(s) totally calm and collected in the Akari encounter with the little girl, where she keeps up an internal monologue about her supposed failures as an “onee-san” in true Akari style. And fear not, Kyoko fans – her cooking class section is also good, although unusually for Kyoko it isn't quite as over-the-top as the Chinatsu and Akari parts, which really is a disappointment.
While the character designs with the heads slightly too big and round for their bodies remains, the animation looks nice, albeit limited. Still shots are notably more striking than movement, such as when Akari and Kyoko are collapsed on the club room floor, although Kyoko waving her foot in Yui's face has a nice sense of fluidity to it. Skirts fall naturally around the girls' legs and the only major fanservice we get is a bench's eye view of Akari sitting down, which feels out of place in its prurience. (Even though it's really very tame.) Some of the gags are really funny, such as Chinatsu's deduction method for Yui's number when she mentally morphs Kyoko into a duck or Kyoko's magically healing and re-injuring tendons.
On the whole there isn't much substance to this episode – it's just our girls doing their thing. It's still fun if you enjoyed the first two seasons in its goofy, harmless way, so if you've been missing some light yuri fun, you're in luck: Yuru Yuri's still got it.
Yuru Yuri Season 3 is available streaming at Crunchyroll.
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