The Moe Corner: YuruYuri

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I’ve recently been re-watching YuruYuri, and now I would like to share my personal opinions on the series, which is, in my opinion, an endlessly fun show with lots of character.

YuruYuri is easy to follow, since it’s basically just a slice-of-life comedy, but with strong yuri elements. However, what helps the series stand on its own feet is its wacky humor and quirky, likeable characters. Kyoko is lovably goofy, Yui is serious without being too dull, and I can’t begin to imagine how they managed to make a running joke about Akari’s lack of presence so entertaining. However, my favorite characters would have to be Sakurako and Himawari. As if relationships are difficult enough with just one tsundere, imagine what it’s like when both of them are equally cold and quick to anger toward one another. It’s freaking hilarious!

Now, as far as visuals are concerned, YuruYuri does the job pretty well, I must say. The animation is fairly clean and fluid, the character designs are very cute, and the backgrounds are beautiful.

Now, since YuruYuri is, esentially, a yuri series, there will be fairly explicit(albeit not very progressive) elements of that genre in the relationships of the characters, and these elements are even closely woven together to the point that they’re somewhat complicated, with half the cast being involved in intersecting character relationships. To illustrate my point, I will give as close to a brief rundown as I can. Kyoko instantly develops a crush on Chinatsu due to her resemblance to the magical girl anime heroine, Mirakurun, but she ends up terrifying Chinatsu and she instead develops feelings for Yui after she stops Kyoko from terrorizing her, and Ayano, the student council vice-president, has her own feelings for Kyoko that she has trouble expressing and instead ends up distancing herself from her. Meanwhile, Ayano’s friend, Chitose, fantasizes about Ayano and Kyoko(Another running gag even involves Chitose suffering sometimes harmful nosebleeds during these fantasies) being together and even makes attempts to push them into a relationship, but Chitose’s twin sister, Chizuru, prefers to see her sister together with Ayano and is openly hostile towards Kyoko, who tries to befriend Chizuru to no avail, usually through dim-witted ways that only serve to irritate Chizuru. Whew. Okay, so that wasn’t quite a brief rundown, but hopefully, I’ve made my point. Even so, the complexity of the relationships has no effect on other aspects of the show, and thus does not harm it in any way.

Next up is the audio aspect of the series. The background music matches the sometimes relaxed nature of the show. The voice acting is fairly a show like this. Every character’s voice matches her personality perfectly, with no problems with tone and pitch. It’s a rare example of a perfect voice cast.

YuruYuri is an incredibly amusing show with plenty of silliness for comedy fans as well as enough yuri elements for fans of the genre. It also brings both of these genres together in an entertaining way. If you enjoy humor or yuri, then this anime should be right up your alley.

Positive: Lots of humorous running gags and laugh-out-loud humor, perfect mix of comedy and yuri.

Negative: Yuri fans desiring more resolution in their character relationships may be left wanting.

Final Score: 14 out of 15

The Moe Corner: Love Live

This took longer than I expected.

Love Live is definitely one of the sweetest, most heartwarming anime that could’ve come out of the industry in recent years.

The story for Love Live focuses on Honoka Kousaka as she discovers that her high school is in danger of being closed down and, after discovering the school idol scene, she forms an idol group with her friends, Umi Sonoda and Kotori Minami, to save the school, later being joined by freshmen Hanayo Koizumi, Rin Hoshizora, and Maki Nishikino, and seniors Eri Ayase, Nozomi Tojo, and Niko Yazawa.

Love Live’s characterization is simply wonderful. Honoka is an excellent protagonist, and her energetic, eager personality is one that I simply could not forget about even if I wanted to.  Nozomi is one of the most entertaining characters I’ve seen in a while, and Nico is absolutely adorable. In general, though, the cast of characters is well-developed and endearing.

As far as visuals go, Love Live is very well-put together in both its art direction and animation. You have Sunrise to thank for that, and while this isn’t the kind of show you would normally expect from the studio behind Gundam and Code Geass, I’ll state that there is quite the number of teams at Sunrise, so the fact that they have talent capable of providing great entertainment in a wider variety of genres should not really be a huge surprise. But I’m drifting off topic. The art style for the anime is absolutely gorgeous, and the well-done animation makes everything move smoothly and consistently.

But of course, with the show’s themes, it goes without saying that it needs to have some good music to it, and the musical direction is wonderful. While the BGM is well-executed, the highlights are the amazing songs performed by the characters, with the catchy, upbeat Start;Dash and the Akiba-centered Wonder Zone being especially noteworthy.

Now, before I get ahead of myself, I’m going to admit that Love Live isn’t perfect. There are a couple of areas in the voice acting where it doesn’t seem to hit the mark. In particular, Kotori’s voice is very high-pitched, and doesn’t match her personality exactly the way it should, and Hanayo sounds a little softer than it needs to be at times. That being said, though, neither case is unbearable, so I can’t really say that counts against it, and aside from this, the acting is actually pretty superb.

Overall, Love Live is one of the best moe anime to come out recently, and one that you owe it to yourself to watch all the way through at least once.

Final Score: 15 out of 15 (Amazing)

Positives: Excellent visuals, great characterization, amazing music

Negatives: Some parts of the voice acting could have used just a little bit more work.

Who’s bright idea was this!?

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2013-10-23/toei-makes-disc-wars/avengers-anime-for-marvel

*facepalm* Has Marvel run out of ideas?

Just listen to this. The Avengers develop discs to imprison the villains, and then Loki traps them in the discs instead, and now a bunch of kids have to release them to fight against the bad guys. Geez. You’d think they’d at least come up with something that was actually like Avengers if they really wanted to do this.