I feel a strange sense of deja-vu doing this, which is pretty fitting considering some of the events that occurred in the second instalment of everyone's favourite casual yuri-fest. I suppose those of you that didn't watch this show might be wondering if this season added anything more than a couple of music notes. The answer to that is yes. And no.
It's a tricky one to evaluate really, especially when it largely comes down to the quality of the gags. You may also know that I'm no good at second seasons, so I can't say I went into this completely without worry, as much as I loved the original.
I firmly believe it has broken the curse of the shoddy sequel, and I would even go as far as saying this is better than the original. See why I think so after the jump.
Yuru Yuri is a tough anime to sell to a friend. I mean, how exactly do you describe it? 'Cute girls do cute things' doesn't quite work for the entire show, and it's more than a straight-up comedy. You can't call it a yuri when it really doesn't ever get that far, and shoujo-ai is a description I can't be bothered to explain when I could move on and convince someone to watch Pani Poni Dash instead. I think the best course of action is to just say 'Yuru Yuri is pretty good, now shut up and watch the first episode', then attempt to explain it if they aren't going straight for episode two. This is probably the reason why the show doesn't have as many viewers as it deserves, so before I even try to talk pros and cons, just give a couple of episodes a go. What's the worst that can happen?
For those of you that haven't seen this show yet, Yuru Yuri focuses on the school-lives of four young girls and their Amusement Club. Akaza Akari is a sweet girl that has the unfortunate ability of fading into obscurity, Funami Yui is the smart, dependable member of the group, Yoshikawa Chinatsu is a terrifying girl who has a crush on Yui, and Toshinou Kyouko is Toshinou Kyouko. However, while they certainly spend a lot of time in the limelight, there are plenty of other girls around the school to help stir up some trouble. Incidentally, there's not a single guy in sight, as far as I can remember. Perhaps this is where the yuri comes in? I have no idea.
If you are new to the show, you should definitely start with the original series before checking this one out. In all honestly, there's not going to be a massive difference whichever way you watch it, but the character introductions and a particular episode in the second season are going to be best enjoyed in the order they aired in. There are also a few small things that would be affected, such as the opening joke poking fun at Akari and her problems with staying noticeable. It's all up on Crunchyroll for free anyway, so you may as well!
As for comparisons between both seasons, there really isn't much that can be said. The second season was more enjoyable than the first, but then there isn't much difference either. There are new jokes, a few new characters and more crazy antics, but it's best considered an expansion pack to the original series. If you didn't get along with the first instalment, this one isn't going to do much for you.
The signature Yuru Yuri art style returns once again, so expect to see vibrant colours and those overly-large eyes that don't fail to stare into the depths of your soul. It certainly seems that the animation team has stepped it up a little, as even though the difference is pretty negligible, everything seems to be just that little bit more straightened out, cleaned-up and catchy. I think it's pretty clear that plenty of hard work went into making sure the sequel didn't fall flat behind the original, and I'd say it certainly paid off.
I mentioned a few months back about how I didn't particularly care much for the new opening, and that I much preferred the ending theme. Well, I still prefer the ending, but that opening music certainly grows on you. It's still not as catchy as I'd have liked it to be, but competing with the original was always going to be a tall order. I was going to put the newest opening here so you non-watchers could see it, but apparently it's not allowed on Youtube. Here's the terrifying music video of the voice actresses instead:
I mentioned it in my Final Impressions article for the original series, and I feel I need to make the same point again. Please do not be put off of this show simply because of the word 'yuri' in the title! The show is all about the comedy, poking fun at the female characters and their quirks. Sure, a lot of the time there are yuri vibes, but this is for the show to take hold of and exploit for the sake of a good laugh.
Yuru Yuri is great fun, and it brings plenty of new tricks to an extremely worn out genre. You know you're on to a winning formula when the comedy is driven by jokes, and not by moe and merchandise. Now, how about a season three?
From other sites around the web