Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Yuru Yuri San☆Hai! review

The third season of Yuru Yuri continues following four girls who take over the former room of a tea ceremony club for their own amusement. This time however, there are noticeable changes compared from the last 2 seasons, mainly because the change of the studio itself; from Doga Kobo to TYO Animation studio. Well, then time to review Yuru Yuri San☆Hai!, the third season of our beloved slice of life anime. Haii~ Yuru Yuri, haji mare yo!!

Taking place at the fictional Nanamori Middle School in Takaoka, Toyama, the series revolves around the daily lives of the Amusement Club, consisting of Akari Akaza, her childhood friends, Kyoko Toshino and Yui Funami, and her classmate, Chinatsu Yoshikawa; along with the school's Student Council which is made up of its own set of unique characters.

The story still follows the basic setting from the previous season, with the same casts. The main differences however, is that this time the show is a lot more toned down in term of crazy, whacky comedy compared to its predecessor. Most of the old, favourite antique; from Akarin lack of presence, her detachable hairbuns, Chinatsu supernatural swallowing hairs and even Chitose yuri fantasizing were cut off. Instead, there is more focus on more relaxing, somehow matured atmosphere surrounding the between the cast now. That being said, even if the third season is a lot more 'normal' in comparison, it still works in a way. This is primarily because although some good things may have been lost, some good things have also been gained in the process. The amount of sweet yuri elements between the characters for example, are more pronounced this season. The characters get some truly heartwarming moments together and it's a treat to see. The pacing is just right. No episode seems to be a filler in the sense that personal development or development of at least one relationship is not occurring for a substantial part of it. To sum it up; the quality of the show itself hasn't changed, but the focal point has. Instead of the wacky comedy that it used to be, it is now more of a shoujo ai slice of life anime.

As for the characters, all of the previous casts are back, with the same voice actor no less. The characters personalities remain unchanged. We still have the main four girls, Akari, Kyouko, Yui, and Chinatsu. The good thing about this season is that they expanded the focus not only on the amusement club members, but also the student council; Ayano, Himawari, Sakurako, and Chitose, along with their family and friends. My only complaint is that some side characters have little to no screentime at all, which is really a shame. Some of the side characters are actually what makes Yuru Yuri more unique, and as such should be given a fair amount of screentime as well. The character development however signifcantly improved, showing how some of them matured and become much closer together than ever. Overall, there aren't much to say for the characters if you're familiar with them as they are more or less the same from previous season personality-wise. It is how they interacrt with each other that should become the subject matter now.

In term of art and animation, there is little to no differences in quality compared to previous 2 season, despite the change in studio. The only subtle difference is the toned down colour palette, perhaps to complement with the less whacky comedy the new season had to offer. For the music, the OP is really catchy and decent, but as not as memorable from the previous Yuru Yuri OP. The ED is okay, but not as good as the OP itself so to speak. The OST is appropriate, but it does not stand out much. Considering it is a slice of life anime however, it is neglilible.

To conclude, Yuru Yuri San Hai is an example of a successful formula which does not need to be overhauled. It is simple, light-hearted and fun, with some wackiness and yuri element added into it. Growth and other changes relating to character development and relationships are fine and even expected for an anime that spans for three season no less. Nevertheless, Yuru Yuri San Hai is quite different from what we've seen from Yuru Yuri in the past, but as for whether it's any better or worse, that probably depends on who you ask. Either version works for me at least, albeit for different reasons, and despite everything it is still an incredibly entertaining anime, and that is the most important thing of all.

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