Yuki Yuna is a Hero Season 2 Episode 3
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 3 of
Yuki Yuna is A Hero Season 2 ?
With an episode title like “Everyday Life,” you can't expect much action, adventure, or high drama this week, but what we get instead is probably the funniest episode of the franchise to date.
The first series definitely had its downtime episodes where the characters just relaxed, recuperated, and goofed off, especially around the middle of the series after they thought they were done with their hero business. However, while the original series definitely had its humorous moments, I don't recall it ever descending into outright prolonged silliness like this episode does. Basically, it becomes a 4-koma-style sketch comedy for much of its run, with lots of relatively short jokes spoofing on things like how Gin rarely dresses girlishly or how Washio apparently became possessed by her national pride streak at an early age; she and Sonoko even dress up in military-style costumes to instill gung-ho patriotism in the first-graders, which they later get punished for thanks to overdoing their efforts. Some of the funniest bits are Sonoko's dream sequences, especially the first one involving the trio giving an idol-like performance before an audience of cats. Granted, dreams are typically bizarre because they connect unrelated elements as the mind stretches itself out, but I still have to wonder about the kind of mind that would connect idols and cats in that way.
The whole National Defense Mask thing might be a bit controversial in other contexts, but I didn't sense much intent beyond continuing the running joke about Washio's obsessions, and the light chipper tone certainly helped with that. (It's not on the level of GATE or some other anime with much more blatant nationalistic undercurrents.) On another front, Washio getting a bloody nose over Gin in a dress isn't the first time that the franchise has vaguely hinted that Washio/Mimori might be into girls, so it's hard to tell if that was meant to imply something more than throwaway silliness.
In the realm of more general series observations, one big difference between this series and its predecessor that I previously neglected to bring up is the way that families are involved. In the original series, the Inubozaki sisters lost their parents as part of their backstory, but neither Yuki's nor Mimori's parents ever made an appearance even though they were still alive. In this series, we have met Washio's (adoptive) mother and now Gin's family too. I'd be curious to know why this change was made, since there's little reason why this series couldn't have dodged that element as well. Also conspicuous in their absence so far are the fairies and Mankai forms. Granted, the latter didn't appear right away in the first series either, but the absence of the fairies seems like an important detail, especially since we know from Sonoko's words in the original series that her group did have them by the end of their stint. Presumably something will happen to bring them into play?
I also can't shake the sense that this episode is the calm before the storm. Factor in Gin's notable absence from the original series and certain scenes late in the episode come across as red flags. But we'll see what happens. For now, the episode works well enough as an exercise in frivolity.
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