Impression – Yuyushiki, Episode 01

Slice-of-life shows are, for whatever reason, quickly becoming really common these days. There’s a charm in seeing ordinary people go about their ordinary, if not amusing, lives. Still, it can sometimes feel like a lazy route for writers, who use the genre to churn out bland and uninteresting stories to fill up the 24 minute timeslot. Add in the fact that there’s only so many stories you can tell within the genre without it being an exercise in repetition, and the competition to grab viewers can get pretty rough.

yuyu-shiki-49519Yuyushiki is about three best friends, Yui (Minami Tsuda), Yuzuko (Rumi Ookubo), and Yukari (Risa Taneda), who are pretty average high schoolers. They go to school, hang out on the weekends, and take in all the joys of youth. When they notice that the school’s Data Processing Club has zero members, they end up joining the club. What follows is their day-to-day lives as they discuss random things.

That’s really all there is to this show, and I think going into any slice-of-life requires that you lower your expectations a bit. There is no supernatural element, no giant monsters to fight, no magical girl angst; this is a story about three ordinary high school girls. Rather than having some sort of plot, it just drops the audience into their odd conversations. Their conversations run the gamut, from a discussion about the sun to S&M quizzes. Their conversations are so off-topic and unconnected that it makes you wonder how in the world they’ll keep this show going for another 11 episodes.

Still, despite the lack of a cohesive narrative, their conversations are amusing, and part of that is due to their personalities. Yui plays the “straight man” role, often having to put up with her friend’s odd behaviors. As for the other two, Yukari acts as the airhead while Yuzuko acts as the outrageous one, and each girl serves as a foil to Yui. Like YuriYuri, there are some obvious yuri overtones, which are played up for comedy. It’s surprisingly amusing, though I can easily see this getting old quickly if you’re a fan of the previous show.

One other thing I was surprised by is the animation quality. It’s no KyoAni, but the animation is surprisingly smooth. The color palates are light and pleasing to the eye, which helps reflect the easy-going nature of the show. The character designs are all right, but to be honest, I feel like they could be better. It’s not a serious problem, but they lack a certain attention to detail. Still, good animation despite the tone of the show.

If you love these type of slice-of-life shows, then you’ll get some enjoyment out of this show. The characters are amusing, and it’s always great to have a straight-man to deal with the outrageous nature of the principal characters. For those looking for a deep story however, you won’t find much narrative outside of watching three girls looking things up on Google in their spare time. Coincidentally, that’s something I love to do, but even I know that watching me Google things for 24 minutes would quickly lose its entertainment value.

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Lingering thoughts:

  • On a related note, I took an S&M quiz out of curiosity.
  • I am apparently neutral, neither a sadist or masochist.
  • Does that make me boring?

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