Yuki Yuna is a Hero
Four girls attending school form the "Hero Club", dedicated to helping others in need. Members are given special phones which allow them to chat with each other. Yuka and Mimori are the newest members, so they aren't familiar with everything the club really does. They get a quick rundown as they're transported into a strange world. Twelve strange beings known as Vertex intend to destroy the world tree, and it's up to the hero club to stop them.
The phones allow them to transform into real super heroes. The fights are difficult but go well enough. The true test comes as they learn the truth behind the Vertex and their own powers.
I'm always excited to see an anime blossom from mediocre into something great. This review is intentionally vague, because I believe Yuki Yuna is a Hero is best experienced when allowed to reveal things in proper time. If you don't trust me, and want story details, you'll have to get it somewhere else.
As first Yuki Yuna is a Hero is a strange mix of action and slice of life. Parts deal with school activities of the "Hero Club", in which the girls do nothing special. Then there is their super hero job, where they are required to save the world. They fight mysterious monster invaders in impressive action sequences highlighted with girls yelling out attacks at full volume. It's nice eye candy, but I couldn't feel invested in the fights. It's like watching someone else play a really cool video game.
The first 6 episodes alternate between these modes. While I wasn't taken with it at first, it's only in hindsight that I see how the show develops. The anime is conspicuously laying a foundation for something, but you'd never expect what's going to go on top of it in the next 6 episodes.
This anime gets better with the potential to improve, but I didn't expect it to get as good as it does. The more it revealed, the more I wanted to see. The drama gets heavy, with episode 11 being heartbreaking to watch. I considered skipping the end, thinking "gosh if this has a unhappy ending I'm going to be depressed for a week.". I won't say how it ends, I'll just say if I was unhappy with it, I'd be complaining; and leave it at that.
The characters don't seem anything remarkable at first, but they grow into their situation later on. Mimori is interesting, in that she's confined to a wheelchair. She's probably a little too idealized, as a perfect girl with a handicap, but hard not to like. Although the girls get super powers when they transform, Mimori never regains use of her legs. Instead she overcomes her lack of mobility using ranged weapons which I thought was a cool idea. This anime never trivializes her handicap, and I appreciate the respect that subject is treated with. It's also a key part of how things develop in the story later on.
Perhaps this isn't the best review with all my vague hand waving, but Yuki Yuna is a Hero has all the fixings for a good anime, and mostly pulls it off. Great action, drama, suspense, and a pretty wild twist in the story later on. If you give it a try, DON'T GIVE UP after the first few episodes. It's good stuff worth hanging in there for.
Fu: If we win I'll buy us a meal. So don't die.
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