YuruYuri comes to Blu-ray from NIS America an adaptation of a manga from Namori. The basic theme of the series is right there in the the title “Easygoing Yuri”, or, to be more specific, a rather lighthearted middle school/high school comedy in the yuri or “girls love” genre. The series revolves around the day to day lives of middle-school student Akaza Akari, her childhood friends, Toshinō Kyōko and Funami Yui, and classmate Yoshikawa Chinatsu who together form the school’s Amusement Club, inside the abandoned Tea Ceremony Club room. The story also involves members of the school’s Student Council, Sugiura Ayano, her sidekick/assistant Ikeda Chitose, longtime childhood friends and rivals for the Student Council vice-presidency Ōmuro Sakurako and Furutani Himawari, and the Student Council President Matsumoto Rise.
If there were any other anime series this one might be comparable to, it would be The Daily Lives of High School Boys, minus the homo-erotic sexual references in the case of the latter. It really has no overriding story arc, but rather offers a simple, day-to-day look into the often absurd situations that these very likable characters get themselves into, usually due to the inane behavior of the flighty Toshinō Kyōko, whose free-spirit, immeasurably childish behavior, and overwhelming desire for club member Chinatsu – owing to her uncanny resemblance to Kyōko’s favorite manga character – often get her and her friends into trouble. That, and the rivalry/flirtation between Kyōko and Ayano, who harbors a secret crush for Kyōko and manifests it as anger and frustration. In fact, there’s a whole circle of “crushes” going here, Ayano secretly likes Kyōko who makes no secret about how much she wants to “kiss” Chinatsu, who is in love with Yui because she thinks she’s “cool”. Meanwhile, there’s some latent sapphic love between longtime friends Kyōko and Yui. Chitose has a vivid fantasy world, often imagining sexual scenes between her friends, causing her numerous nosebleeds. She also rather masochistically seems to like being “scolded” by Ayano. The only odd one out here is Akari, but the running joke through the series is she is invisible, and doesn’t really stand-out, and is therefore being replaced as the main character.
The animation is cutesy and colorful, almost like an old Nintendo game or Hello Kitty. It avoids chibi – I can’t say I miss that, chibi bugs me to no end – yet still manages to convey a comical and often childlike approach. I don’t know how well regarded this series was as a manga, but as anime, it is certainly pleasant enough and quite humorous.
We get a serviceable AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement of the digital animation to Blu-ray from NIS America. While there’s a veil of softness over the image overall, colors really pop and the visuals are clean with little anomalies to speak of.
A fine Japanese LPCM 2.0 stereo (48kHz/16-bit) soundtrack is provided. Dynamics seem a little limited as the levels seem basically pushed towards the highest most of the time, but dialogue is clear and stereo panning is nice and wide.
Typical of NIS America releases, there isn’t much on-disc, but the premium slipcase packaging and hardcover art book are a plus for collectors.
- Clean Opening
- Clean Ending
- “B-Side” Previews (1.78:1; 1080p.24; 00:02:56)
- Art Book
The Definitive Word
This happy-go-lucky, lighthearted anime series is fun to watch, and well done on Blu-ray from NIS America. For fans of the yuri and high school genres, this one is recommended.
Additional Screen Captures