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Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru

With the mention of the second season of Yuyuyu coming up, I decided that it is time for an evaluation for season one of the anime, which is the original. The first half of the second season will be dedicated to a spin-off for Washio Sumi (a.k.a Tougou Mimori, one of the main characters in Yuyuyu).

It follows her life before she met Yuuna and joined the Hero Club.
Personally, I have read the novel before and am hyped about this sequel (or prequel), but for now, let's get back to the main aim of this article, which is to highlight the main points I liked about season one.

Note: Spoilers ahead!
Slice of life with some drama and action inside. While that sounds pretty bland, Yuyuyu certainly takes it further with some psychological elements and good voice acting, of which I would cover later.

First about the storyline, Yuyuyu starts in a world that's modern but has very deep-set traditions in it. For instance, they pride themselves on worshiping the God "Shinju" (enshrined on the classroom wall) which they believe to have constructed a world to protect them from harm that's outside their town. It is also well-established that they don't communicate with the outside world much, if at all. This is covered in later spin-offs, which mentions that several individual towns survive on the day when vertexes first appeared. However, they slowly lost contact with each other and are assumed to have been wiped out.

This is an image of how a Vertex look like. They are modeled after the horoscope so this is but one design of the Vertexes.
The town which Yuyuyu is in survived thanks to Shinju, which constructed an entire world to protect the townspeople. It is later revealed that a wall is constructed around the town and everyone within the walls are protected by something akin to at illusion. It acts like a barrier to prevent the majority of Vertexes from entering so there would be only a few at any one time. By stepping outside the wall, you will be able to see the true form of the world. 

Tougou does this in the later episodes and realizes that there are many dark secrets about this world. This forms the basis of the drama and impending sadness in this show.

First, there are the faeries that are assigned to them.
These faeries come in all shapes and sizes and can help to protect the Hero or absorb impact when the Heroes are attacked by Vertexes. They also turn into weapons which can be used. However, the dark side shows that they exist to bind Heroes to their duties and by that it means that they exist to prevent Heroes from committing suicide.

Secondly, they have Mankai and Sange. When the gauge fills, Heroes are able to enter "Mankai" whereby they would be able to unleash a powerful attack. 

After the gauge empties, they will return to their normal mode and this is "Sange". With every round of this, the Heroes gain one faerie, but at the same time lose a body part as an offering to Shinju. The dark side about this is that the Heroes did not know about this and were told that this was a side-effect from over-exertion and that their bodily function will return. This is further fueled when Itsuki, a girl with an ambition of becoming a singer, finally getting enough courage to sing in front of others with help from her friends in the Hero Club, loses her voice due to this. This propelled her older sister, Fuu, to rebel against Shinju.

Thirdly, when Tougou saw the real state of the world, she realized that the Vertexes which they have defeated (they were told that there were only twelve) were constantly regenerating outside the wall and would once again infiltrate them. Hence, it was a never-ending cycle of fighting the same few Vertexes (and more) for the Heroes.

Also, the world rests on the fate of the Heroes. When Vertexes attack, Heroes are typically the only ones able to fight back and as such, if they rebel, the Vertexes will reach Shinju and the world would be ruined. As such, Heroes only have the choice of fighting, going through Mankai and Sange, losing bodily functions, and repeating the entire process over and over again to protect their loved ones, until they finally lose all their bodily functions and are bedridden. At that point, they would be enshrined and worshiped, because they are the being closest to Shinju.
And even then, they would still not be allowed to die. As the number of faeries increase, they would be asked to keep the new Heroes under control and will be used as a preventive measure against them if they do rebel.

In addition, while all these happen, parents of the Heroes would be proud that their child has been chosen, and no matter how crippled their child gets, they would bear with it for the honor of their family. And needless to say, the Taisha (worshipers of Shinju and personnel in-charge of the Hero business) kept a lot of secrets about these from Yuuna and the rest.

Yes, the society is a little messed up there. 

Back to the anime itself, Yuyuyu covers a wide spectrum of genres. It starts with slice of life, with them having a Hero Club which helps out with any activities which their help is required in, They also have recognition and a good reputation for their efforts. Next genre that comes up would be the Mahou Shojo, which is linked to their Hero form. Thrust into the world with Vertexes (evil abominations which hurt humans), they have been chosen to take on the role of Heroes, which can move when time has stopped, to fight Vertexes and keep them from reaching the Tree.
But the charm of Yuyuyu doesn't stop there. I enjoyed the interactions between characters a lot, and thus am able to relate to their actions at time. For instance, how Fuu would rebel against Taisha and Shinju because they took away Itsuki's voice, albeit indirectly. and continued deceiving the sisters by lying that Itsuki's voice and Fuu's sight (and Tougou's hearing as well as Yuuna's taste) will come back.

That, when mixed with a good voice actor, creates the atmosphere of the anime which pulls the viewer into the emotions shrouding each scene. Yuyuyu has its fair share of fun and depressing times, but more than that, I love the moments when they yell because I feel that that is when the voice actors shine as their voices clearly show the different emotions which the characters should be feeling at that point in time.

~ Reina-rin

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