Wonderful new summer anime, Yuru Yuri, embodies the classic ‘school-girl quad’ structure of K-ON! (including the name ‘Yui’), while incorporating the unpredictable hilarity of Nichijou, and the one-way girl+girl love of To Aru Kagaku no Railgun. Give you a decent picture? Yoshi!
Our lead, clumsy, yet enthusiastic Akari, is rudely awaken by former elementary friends Yui and Kyouko, as she promptly realizes she is late for her first day of Middle School. After arriving at school, Akari makes an embarrasing introduction, however when asked by her homeroom teacher, she answers that she plans to join the Amusement Club. Subsequently, Akari joins her Yui and Kyouko in the former Tea Club room, now secretly used as the meeting place for the Amusement Club, and soon discovers that the club’s title is very generous considering the amount of lounging going on inside.
Luckily, Akari has enough enthusiasm to go around, prompting a search for ideas on how to enhance their young Middle School lives, yet to no initial avail (Kyouko’s too interested in Witch Mirakurun and Yui’s simply too cool). Coincidently, a new member arrives asking to join the Tea Club, but is persuaded to stay after Kyouko is enraptured by her resemblance to her favourite anime character—Little Witch Mirakurun.
Upon seeing Kyouko’s obsessive urges, Yui establishes herself as Chinatsu’ protecter, and the quick-learning newbie soon learns to cower behind Yui-sempai. As the proximate meeting rolls around, their is a definite singular focus on dispute between the Enamored, the Terrified and the Protector, resulting in the considerable decline of Akari’s presence in the series. Soon noticed by Kyouko, the other three pitch in ideas to increase Akari’s social presence, with the result being a a few laughs and an insulted Akari. Just as Akari is going to announce her own plan, Student Council members, Ayano and Chitose arrive to address Kyouko.
If while viewing and/or reading about Yuru Yuri episode 1, you felt as if you were watching something strangely similar to K-ON!, then you are probably normal. There were quite a few parallels between the lead’s late wake up, the utilization of a disbanded club’s homeroom, to the playful banter between girls. On the other hand, it presents many unique features, including notably quick exposition development.
The prevalent ‘yuri’ remains very light and playful, of course with the exception of the discovery of Akari’s elder sister’s room, where Kyouko nosey-ly opened the door only to find the walls plastered with Akari photos, the Akari love pillow, and Akari’s missing crab-print panties… @_@. So, we’ll just have to wait and see what becomes of Akari’s sister, later in the season.
As far as the character relationships between all four girls, there is an obvious playful-tease vibe going on, one of the most entertaining styles to watch, in my opinion. The addition of the Amusement Club vs. Student Council situation will surely offer some entertaining dynamics, as we can see the prevalent intensity between Kyouko and Ayano. The impeccable timing of the intervening Student Council closes the episode with a perfect exclamation to Akari’s lack of presence, letting the question hang on until episode 2.