Yuki Yuna is a Hero Season 2
Episodes 1-2

by Theron Martin,

How would you rate episode 1 of
Yuki Yuna is A Hero Season 2 ?

How would you rate episode 2 of
Yuki Yuna is A Hero Season 2 ?

Note: Though this part of the series is a prequel, these episode reviews will assume that the reader is either familiar with the first series or does not care about spoilers for it.

The first half of Yuki Yuna is A Hero Season 2 is subtitled “Sumi Washio Chapter.” The subtitle refers to our perspective character, known here as Sumi Washio but familiar to fans as Mimori Togo from the first series, which will take place two years later. In other words, this is the story of how Mimori became a wheelchair-ridden amnesiac who didn't even know that that she had previously been a Hero, and how Sonoko Nogi became bedridden and venerated like a god.

The first two episodes give very little indication that such a tale of woe is in the works, however. Indeed, the only indication we have that the childish and spacey Sonoko will develop into the person she becomes in the first series is the mental acuity she displays when she demonstrates why she was chosen to be the trio's leader by the end of episode two. On the other hand, the origins of Mimori's personality are plainly obvious; even the loss of her memories didn't put much of a damper on her character, including her fascination with national history, her thorough diligence, and her tendency to become flustered in a crisis. The third trio member, Gin, was never even mentioned in the first series, so what happens to her in this prequel should be enlightening. In some respects, she fills the role that Yuna would take in the first series: goodhearted to a fault and an aggressive melee-type in a fight.

The story also remains lower-key in its execution. To be sure, the girls do get involved in fights against one Vertex or another, with the first episode featuring one big battle and the second episode featuring two shorter ones. All of these are about on par with the lesser fights from the first series; not bad by any means, but nothing that's going to dazzle either. The show's emphasis is at least as much on establishing the girls as characters and enjoying their interactions as they grow into becoming good friends. The first series also put a lot of time and effort into this aspect, but these little character-building vignettes tend more toward outright silliness, which makes sense since these girls are preteens and of course more playful. The dialogue retains the natural flow that was such an important feature of the first series as well, making it all work well.

Washio Sumi Chapter also fully retains the distinctive visual style of the first series, although its execution isn't quite as sharp; I don't remember such rough shots being as frequent in the original. The vibrant musical score that powered the first series is also toned down a little so far, although it has a similar sound. These two episodes follow the same pattern as the first series in handling the Hero transformation scenes: full version the first time, but mercifully truncated versions after that. Interestingly, the fanservice flavor of these scenes seems more pronounced this time (we only saw a touch of that in Mimori's transformation in the first series), and the bath scene in episode two is a little racier than its equivalent in the first series, as if someone decided that the show needed to pander to fans more. Frankly, the series doesn't need this, so I hope it won't be an ongoing trend, although the joke about adults being more impressive offered the episode's best laugh.

While the first series firmly caught my attention in its first two episodes, it wasn't best of the season material for me until closer to the middle of its run. This series could still get there, but it's off to a milder start, and its predecessor's trademark power isn't quite there yet.

Rating: B

Yuki Yuna is A Hero Season 2 is currently streaming on Amazon's Anime Strike.

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