Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru – 04

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YYwYdA takes a second week off from the Vertex to focus on the girls, their relationships, and surprisingly very little on how they are coping with their do-or-die status as heroes. This week it’s Itsuki’s turn to stand under the spot light and man is she worried…about singing in front of her fellow music classmates!

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You two! You will not have much to do this episode!

Playing the episode so low stakes actually works really well. We learn some important details (Fu and Itsuki’s parents were killed by the Vertex some how and the world has been cleansed by a plague some time earlier) but the girls are given tons of breathing room and it sells their relationships. It sells them as people.

Alternatively, while I may find those stakes low, Itsuki obviously doesn’t. She’s lived in her sister’s shadow — willingly — since her parents were killed (somehow?) and is desperate to carve out an identity. A reason to carry on.

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“Don’t worry. You got four of a kind. So that’s a good thing… right?”

Tarot reading plays a role in this episode too, and it was a great framing device for what is no doubt going to be a massacre next week.

Like everything else, the Tarot is played for smiles and laughs. Itsuki keeps flipping death and she’s worried that it means she’ll totally bomb her music singing test.

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So everyone comes together and the core of this week’s mission is established: help Itsuki pass her test. Obviously, the best place to do that is a karaoke bar!

Even with a bathroom confrontation scene between Karin and Fu, the bar scene is totally understated, cheerful, and sells Hero Clubs internal friendships. (Everyone jumping to military attention when Togo sang a military marching song was my favorite highlight.)

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With their help and repeated support, Itsuki finally gets over her fears, wins the admiration of her class (she’s a year younger than the other heroes) and finds what she wants to do: sing.

Then she flops another Death Tarot from her bag while recording a song on her laptop.

…and the Vertex arrives.

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Giving us such a long break from monster fighting, with no expositional dumps in the process is a fantastically brave move on YYwYdA. It not only lulls us into a super comfort zone but it actually gives us enough time and sense of place to care about the girls that I hope get butchered horribly next week.

If YYwYdA does that, then no matter what it does later — no matter how much it wavers — I will be satisfied.

have I just typed that?

Hero Club! 

8_ogk

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Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru – 03

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…And, out of nowhere, a new girl shows up during Hero Club’s fight with the 5th Vertex. She wears a red costume and she’s a badass, easily capable of destroying a single Vertex on her own.

Note: she does not appear to have a ‘charged up tattoo/icon’ like the other girls. However, since we have no idea what the tattoo/icon actually does yet, this may or may not mean anything.

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As you would expect, the new girl becomes a transfer student at Hero Club’s school the following day. Miyoshi Karin is her name and she is a true hero! According to her anyway. (She claims to be chosen from a pool of heroes who’ve trained for years, and that she was specifically chosen because she fits the data the ‘advanced party’ (the hero club) has gathered in their initial confrontations)

Karin-chan is a typical pride-heavy hardhead. Generic, really. She thinks she’s professional, without real combat experience and social skills are minuscule. in fact, her arrogance presumes that she take command of the hero club without a moment to spare.

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Personally, I love the idea that whoever is in charge of the Heroes hasn’t bothered to keep the advanced team informed of their reinforcements, let alone their official command structure. So much so that I wonder if an organization actually exists. I mean, if Karin wore a black uniform, I’d have to wonder if she was actually a villain in disguise!

For now, we’ll have to chalk it up to terrible judgement and logistics. The kind we may expect from an organization that leaves the world in the hands (and emotional judgement) of middle schoolers!

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I’m thankful YYwYdA kept this ‘outsider’ schtick to a minimum. Presuming it was resolved as much as it needs to be here, we can move on and deal with more interesting mysteries.

Otherwise, dragging out Karin’s entry wont be interesting. In fact, she isn’t interesting at all, outside her wonderful costume and surprisingly well drawn practice fighting on the beech!

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Oddly, there were no battles this week. I suppose that would be too cliche, to have the group come together over fighting or to see the value of the other girls in it. That would be too much on Karin’s terms. Lets hope the show sticks to regular battles, though. This slice of life girl social interaction bit was fine… but too much of it risks being dull, unimaginative, and been there done that.

I suppose, too little of that and it’s just a magic girl team fights monsters genre bit? I’m undecided now! The balance is going to be tricky!

7_ogk