Studio: Dogakobo, TYO Animations
Genre: Comedy, School, Shoujo Ai, Slice of Life
Release: S1 (2011), S2 (2012), Movie (2014), OVA (2015), S3 (2015)
One can only watch too much serious and action-packed shows that you’d eventually wish for some laid-back anime. You know, that generic and slow-paced type that has a moe-sprinkled slice-of-life element to make you forget all the stressful stuff. The kind that will remind you on how simple life should really be. Similar shows include Lucky Star, Minami-ke, Hanamaru Kindergarten and Working! but this time, let’s go ‘girl-to-girl’ with Yuru Yuri!
Yuru Yuri literally translates to ‘easy going’ or ‘slow yuri’ with yuri being a Japanese widespread term/genre involving romantic love between two females in manga, anime, visual novels and other related media. Lesbians, to put it bluntly. But before you conservatives drop the hammer on this show, do know that there’s no ecchi fanservice or borderline hentai here. The yuri part is only used as a catalyst to instigate moe-slapstick comedy in their dire situations to come, which actually is pretty cute.
“It’s a generic moe-slice-of-life anime with those moments of dialogue and acting that could be interpreted as overly homoerotic, but not as much if you know the real context. As funny as it is, the whole “X girls just hanging out and having fun” where X denotes the number of the main cast (which is normally the Four Girl Ensemble), is nothing new to the anime scene. But some people, even myself, enjoy this moment or repetitiveness” -Ampereox
Plot: They’re just simply your ordinary middle school kids hanging out. Akaza Akari, on her first day of freshman year, gets fetched by her childhood friends-slash-seniors of hers by one year, Funami Yui and Toshino Kyouko. Together, they form the Amusement Club of their school that happens to conduct its activities at the already-disbanded Tea Club room.
Unaware of this, Akari’s classmate Yoshikawa Chinatsu heads over to join the Tea Club. Disappointed, the three just let her join the Amusement Club instead and let her stay there until she’s able to reestablish the Tea Club on her own.
Looking exactly like her all-time favorite mahou shoujo (magical girl) from her all-time favorite manga, genius otaku Toshino Kyouko immediately falls head over heels to Chinatsu, and would do anything to get a piece of her. Chinatsu didn’t find this the least bit pleasing, though. Thus the yuri begins!
To her rescue comes the boyish and serious Yui Funami, telling her she’ll protect Chinatsu no matter what- in a non-romantic way, but Chinatsu thinks otherwise. Second pair, confirmed!
Two classmates of Kyouko and Yui joins the full-on lesbo-chaos: student council vice president Sugiura Ayano and member Chitose Ikeda, with the former wanting to disband their Amusement Club since they’re squatting on Tea Club territory despite said club being disbanded already.
Ayano is definitely aware of the disbanded Tea Club. But the truth is, Ayano is crazy for Toshino Kyouko and would find ways to approach her everyday. And this is just one of those ‘ways.’ It’s nice that Chitose supports her all the way.
All the way to the extent that when she takes off her glasses, she goes on ultra-fantasy mode and would think of nothing but Ayano and Kyouko doing ‘stuff’ together. A bucket of nosebleed, for her, is a bountiful harvest. Now that we have harmless yuri couples popping out here and there, of course we’ll need a character who appreciates those sort of stuff! Thus, Chitose was born.
On the sidelines, we have two other classmates of Akari and Chinatsu who are also student council members: the childish flat-chested Sakurako Ohmuro, and the mature big-boobed Himawari Furutani. They’re pretty much a love-hate couple to begin with, and their extremely opposing personalities make them perfect for each other, with one pissed as hell to the other due to a notable difference in bust size.
So what part of the show takes the cake in terms of funny (and disturbing)? Introducing Akaza Akari’s older sister: Akaza Akane! Overly obsessed with her little sister, she’d collect anything Akari related: posters, clothes, underpants, and even a dakimakura (anime pillow) of Akari with signs of kiss marks on it. She’d read siscon manga while that pillow wears Akari’s uniform, and she’d wear her underwear over her head. This secret hobby of hers resulted in Kyouko being extremely shocked as she accidentally stumbles on her room. Akari doesn’t know anything about this, though, and still views her as a godly noble onee-chan.
These are just a few of the funny awkward scenarios of Yuru Yuri which I think even non-yuri fans would come to like and appreciate. The correct way to describe this anime would be mainly about friendship with yuri undertone all for the sake of moe and fun!