Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Who would've thought it- Yuru Yuri season 2 was the least irritating show of yuri interest that aired this past summer. (The other two being Lagrange season 2 and Horizon season 2.) I still can't call Yuru Yuri good, but I liked its second season more than its first.
Our "protagonist" Akari is the same as ever. She gets some character development in Yuruyuri's penultimate episode, but it's ultimately passed off as part of a story Kyouko wrote. Oh well.
This show uses the fake-story-within-a-story idea more successfully in other episodes- the first episode, which imagines what it would be like if Akari were the most popular girl at her school, in a parody of the girl-who-all-the-girls-want character type in yuri that was actually kind of amusing; and the final episode, in which the Amusement Club members, the Student Council members, and Ishigaki-sensei act out Snow White, in their own way, in their school play as their bewildered older and younger siblings watch from the audience.
Speaking of siblings- one moment that I quite liked was Himawari, after hearing Sakurako's older sister Nadeshiko speaking kind of intimately with someone on the phone, asking Sakurako if Nadeshiko has a girlfriend, to which Sakurako responds by indignantly asking Himawari if she drank the orange juice that she wanted to drink herself, since Himawari's breath smells like oranges. Sakurako isn't evading the topic- it's just one of many examples of her being spacey and food-obsessed. But the point is that Himawari isn't curious about Nadeshiko having a girlfriend because "Omg, it's a girl!?"- it's because she wasn't aware that Nadeshiko was in a relationship. And that's pretty nice.
Chinatsu's wondering about whether it is weird for her to go out with a girl during her and Yui's "date" stood out to me because, other than that brief moment, the characters in this series don't have any anxiety at all over whoever they like being a girl also. The marriage registration form from the flashback to when Himawari and Sakurako were little kids is divided into a "Husband" side and a "Wife" side, suggesting that Yuruyuri's version of society is heteronormative, but you wouldn't know it by how the characters behave. Even though I know better than to credit Yuruyuri's creator with being progressive regarding real life lgbt rights simply because of that- that it's just Yuruyuri's creator, Namori, wanting to write some light, mindless, not-reflective-of-real-people-at-all fantasy entertainment for an otaku audience, I do like the lack-of-conflict-stemming-from-liking-another-girl aspect.
I still don't care about Yuru Yuri's characters- although thankfully, this season improved on them by including some evidence of genuine affection between Himawari and Sakurako instead of just showing them snarking at each other and expecting us to see it as true love. We also learn that Chinatsu's older sister Tomoko has a crush on Akari's older sister Akane, poor Tomoko. Otherwise, the yuri is the same as in season 1.
As a slice-of-life comedy, it's still not all that funny. But I got a little more amusement out of it this season than I did last season and it worked as something bright and colorful to watch when I wanted to shut my mind off. So for what it was, it was okay.