Welcome to the second half of my YuYuYu review. As previously mentioned this part of the review will contain massive spoilers so it is highly recommended only viewers who have seen the show continue reading. I will be discussing several topics regarding my experience with the show and how I view it as a whole.
Here’s part 1 which is the series review:
1: Alright the first order of business is the following: YuYuYu is not a dark anime. Some examples of anime that involve “torturing adolescent girls (With or without super powers) who are tasked with saving the world from destruction” that are dark include Day Break Illusion, Black Bullet, WIXOSS, Gunslinger Girl and Madoka Magica. The central theme that makes these shows dark are the exploration of how sick, demented and evil humanity can be when either pushed to extremes or they are simply molded into malevolence for whatever reason. YuYuYu does not go that route. Yes the circumstances and price the girls have to pay to protect the world is high but it comes off more as somber than disturbing. In this show’s case it has a group of zealots (I think they’re zealots) known as the Taisha who follow an archaic method, which has also been used in the aforementioned examples and more, of protecting the planet; by sacrificing virgin maidens to aid or appease the gods all for the greater good. Again this is more unfair than disturbing. Also technically nobody “turned heel” on the show, they either became filled with rate and guilt or had given up hope/run out of options.
By the way, this scene is not dark. Keep in mind Togo must have done A LOT OF RESEARCH before attempting this risky test. She knows what is at stake after getting the shocking reveal. She was basically in “pinch” mode and wanted to learn the truth by any means necessary. Of course she had to be careful.
To put it as simply as possible YuYuYu is an emotionally driven anime, not one that explores the dark side of humanity.
2: The pacing. So much foreshadowing and hints leading up to the shocking reveal near the show’s climax that made me want to applaud the writers for how they slowly had events unfold and not go directly for the chaos. Now this has the price of missing the opportunity for some “mainstream bait” because it has been proven that many humans who consume entertainment media have short attention spans. On the other hand this slow and steady pace of storytelling in the span of 12 episodes while making as few missteps as possible is the sign of a well thought out script that did what it was supposed to do, get the viewer who waited invested so when the big reveals came one after the other said viewer was hooked and it could possibly lead to new viewers catching up in the meantime. Again the events were already revealed to viewers with the golden tree in the beginning of the OP, images showing the Heroes covering parts of their bodies and the burning red planet in space. Clever foreshadowing.
3: The ending. Here I will discuss why the ending worked. First of all there was no “Universal reset” button. After many hurdles and Yuna literally knocking some sense into Togo and reassuring her everything would be alright our heroes fought tooth and nail baring the unspeakable amount of pain they were enduring at the time from Mankai henshin, combined all their power and successfully thwarted the ultimate Vertex assault of an ultimate death ball aimed at the Shinju-sama’s core. The Vertex took a massive blow, so much so that their forces were indefinitely immobilized to the point of uncertainty of whether their forces could regenerate anytime soon.
After the battle the Shinju-sama apparently released our heroines. I think for most viewers it was clear that whenever the Heroes went Mankai they sacrificed part of their bodies in exchange for a major power boost transformation. The Shinju-sama used that power to reestablish the shield against the Vertex. Once the Vertex were defeated and the Faerys sacrificed themselves to restore energy to the barrier the Shinju-sama relieved out Heroes of their duties and let them live their regular lives anew. What made this moment work are several parts:
-The world in the barrier suffered tremendous damage from the ultimate Vertex assault, more so than usual fights. Who knows how many lives were lost or severely injured outside of what the news reported.
-The girls did eventually recover from their disabilities BUT…once again going back to the show’s main theme of struggling and overcoming challenges our Heroes still had to work hard to regain their motions such as Togo having to get used to walking all over again and Itsuki slowly getting her voice back. She spoke slowly for a while before fully recovering. Even though the time was limited to show the recoveries what we did get was effective enough to hit the FEELS right where they count. Also this is an anime. We can 0nly speculate how long the recovery process was.
4: As for this message it simply means Team Yuna’s story ended. If money talks it could mean other legends could be told of other Hero groups. Remember that one time during the story it was mentioned that Team Yuna was not the only group of Heroes in the world. It could mean that the world Team Yuna protected was one of others. It could mean there are other barriers around the world with remnants of the human race being protected by gods of (possibly) different religions in different sectors. After all, where did Karin come from? Which sector sent her? It is possible any questions viewers have could have been answered in the “Wasshio Sumi wa Yusha de Aru” light novel prequel or, again if money talks, could be a sign of another legend.
Lastly YunaTogo’s conclusion. Basically a typical case of “the internet wanted a happy ending but if it does not go the way THEY wanted it to happen, activate rage mode”. This is a common case not only in anime but any fandom across the globe. The sad truth is this trend will continue long after my generation moves on wherever we will go. Anyway long point short what awoke Yuna from her WORLD SAVING COMA was not the power of friendship but the power of Togo’s love. As I mentioned in the review Togo’s feelings for Yuna were beyond “best friends”. Togo came to visit Yuna each and every day. When Yuna recovered only Togo was there and only she needed to be. Sometime during the climax Yuna noticed how strong Togo’s feelings for her were and in her own way reciprocated. A promise to always be together. Some will call it corny but this is what I look for in dramatic yuri. I have said this before but “I love you” is not always necessary to get the message across. I did not want to make this example but I am sure Togo’s devotion reminded some viewers of a certain time traveler, though obviously a far different route.
Need more proof? The following is not fanfiction:
Even after all I explained here I did not even mention the connection of the Heroes’ misfortune with the way some War veterans who lost everything are treated to this day despite their sacrifices for their country.
In the end I hope all this was interesting coverage. Watching this show was most fulfilling. However, for people who thought everything I said was drivel there is another coverage post that…speaks more the internet’s language, shall we say. Thanks goes to fellow Yuri Council member Neko Haruka for the find: