I’m pretty sure this was a two-part special so I’m reviewing both for my first impression.

“You thought this was just going to be a cutesy slice of life series? Oh you poor naiive fool.”

Summary:

This is an anime about four girls in a “Hero Club.”  There’s Yuna, the ditzy heroine; there’s Fu, the charismatic club president; there’s Itsuki, the shy club president’s younger sister; and there’s Togo, the elegant girl who uses a wheelchair.  They spend their time in the Hero Club going around and doing good deeds for people.  However, all four girls’ lives unexpectedly change when they are all recruited by the god, Shinju-sama, to protect all of humanity from monsters known as the Vertex.

Creepy.

I seriously was not expecting magical girl shenanigans in this anime.

The girls must fight in a special barrier created by Shinju-sama, and are able to transform by using a special app installed on their phones.  They must defeat the enemy quickly and carefully, as even fighting the Vertex within the barrier causes destruction in the real world.  There are supposedly 12 Vertex in all, and while most of the girls are hesitant to fight at first; they all soon band together in order to save the world that they love.

Yuna’s first transformation was amazing.

Well you’re certainly blunt about things.

My Opinion:

When someone on tumblr joked that this series was a Madoka reboot, I thought it was a lame joke; as the girls didn’t even look anything like the Madoka girls.  And when I started watching the first episode, my eyes practically glazed over by the eight minute mark because these girls were just so BORING; doing mundane club activities.  But then the episode went into its second half, and shit hit the fan.

Yes, this is a magical girl series, and an obviously “dark” one at that.  All the promos for this series (before it aired) made it out to be some kind of cutesy slice of life anime.  Which just makes it all the more surprising when it turned out not to be the case.  The first episode was quite good!  The second episode, unfortunately, not so much.

Although people are getting a bit mad at all the Madoka comparisons, it’s a little hard not to compare the two.  There’s the bait-and-switch genre, and there’s gruesome looking monsters and very dire consequences should the girls fail.  There are also very cutesy character designs for a story that’s quite “dark,” and extremely high-end animation.  However, the comparisons really end there.  And sadly, while Yuki Yuna wa Yuusha de Aru is certainly an interesting series, it’s not really a great one.

There’s some really out of place attempts at humor throughout both episodes… I guess in an attempt to keep things light hearted?  But for a series this somber and serious, that sort of humor did not mesh well.  Also, the girls are rather bland so far.  Yuna is sort of interesting in that she’s so strong-willed, but all the girls can literally be identified by their character archetypes.  Yuna’s the genki ditz, Fu’s the “older sister” character, Itsuki’s the “moe” shy girl, and Togo’s the somewhat depressed but mature girl.  I also really did not like the really weird sexualized imagery that occurred throughout Togo’s transformation sequence.  All the girls have really lovely and lively transformation sequences—and then there’s Togo’s.  Her magical girl outfit uses “tentacles” so that she can move about (since she can’t use her legs) so what does her transformation feature?  Tentacles lovingly wrapped around her body, and a major focus on her boobs.  It’s even more heinous in this case because Togo is wheel-chair bound and the transformation sequence seems to make a big deal out of her disability.  It’s super gross!

Overall, this looks to be a pretty decent magical girl anime, with good animation and an awesome soundtrack.  However, it’s just a little too… generic despite the bait-and-switch genre.  I know it’s unfair to compare this to Madoka, but seriously; I’m getting rather sick of all these “dark” magical girl anime airing lately.  Madoka at least handled the “dark” aspect in a somewhat subtle and symbolic way; while series like Yuki Yuna wa Yuusha de Aru just seem to use it for shock value.  I’m out.

Out of five for both episodes:

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A part of me feels like this series should have stayed a slice of life series…

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