I confess, there really wasn’t a whole lot compelling me to watch Yuriyuri. I have nothing against this “Four Cute Girls” formula, but really, how many of these do we need? As someone who isn’t a huge fan of the genre, it really seems hard to tell these shows apart. I’m sure there are very good and worthwhile shows among the group and not so good ones, but I’ve giving up trying to separate them. When I see yet another one on the schedule, I move on.
But I felt compelled to give this one a try based on one element only – the involvement of Masahiko Ohta as director. In the last few years he’s given us Minami-ke (the first and best season) and two seasons of Mitsudomoe, and anime comedy doesn’t get a whole lot better than that. So against my better judgement I decided I’d put it off for as long as I could and, with a quiet day for anime looming against the usual blockbuster Thursday to follow, figured it was time to give it a watch.
I sincerely apologize and I don’t intend to demean these shows, but honestly, I don’t get it. I’m sure some folks feel the same way about mecha shows, or sports series, or shounen adaptations, and that’s perfectly valid. But I see four girls acting cute and being sexualized in a just innocent enough to not seem absurdly creepy way, and all the other details get blurred into obscurity. Maybe there’s something special about this one – I’m certainly the wrong guy to try and guess. I suppose there are hints of actual yuri here and it is in the title after all, but that hardly seems all that unusual for the formula. There was a complete absence of male characters or adults that I can remember – is that unusual? Other than that I can’t guess. None of the four girls stood out at memorable and none of the gags as especially funny. I wasn’t offended or anything, and the animation from Dogakobo was actually pretty decent. The music was suitably perky and the little eyecatch montages of two of the characters were kind of clever. The Ohta effect, I guess.
I tried, I really did. But this just isn’t me. I hope fans of the genre find something they really enjoy in Yuriyuri, because I’d always rather there be lots of good shows than bad ones. That’s the best I can do, I’m afraid.