Suzuko MimoriYuka OtsuboYuru YuriMinami Tsuda
Yuru Yuri: Season 2
Also known as: Happy Go Lily: Season 2
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2012
Director: Masahiko Ohta
Original creator: Namori
Writer: Takashi Aoshima
Actor: Aki Toyosaki, Emiri Kato, Minami Tsuda, Momo Kuraguchi, Rumi Ookubo, Ryoko Shiraishi, Saki Fujita, Saori Goto, Shiori Mikami, Suzuko Mimori, Yuka Otsubo
Keywords: Yuru Yuri, anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes
Website category: Anime early 10s
Review date: 15 March 2017
It's Season 2 of the junior high school lesbian goofball comedy that's been known to wander into "nothing happens" territory, but hasn't actually pitched camp there yet. Season 1 was okay. It had some laughs. It's the kind of show that's not good enough to recommend, but at some point you discover that you're about to start its third season and you still haven't dropped it. (Probably. Maybe.) There's no way in the world you'll ever rewatch it, but it is actually quite amusing sometimes.
This kind of show is all about the characters, obviously. Are they memorable? Mmmmm... well, they're good enough. I quite like them, but there's an odd echo with the show's fondness for double acts with a wacky blonde and a straight man brunette. (That's "straight" as in "gay" and "man" as in "schoolgirl".) Every so often, I'd find myself confusing certain characters.
KYOUKO-YUI is the most important double act. Kyouko was the star of Season 1, although the show's focused more on the ensemble this time. (Kyouko's also stopped being a dirty old man, although in fairness that was disappearing quite early in Season 1.)
SAKURAKO-HIMAWARI make for a more dynamic combination, though. Kyouko and Yui have known each other forever and get on fairly well, notwithstanding Yui's permanent exasperation. She's the kind of stoic straight man who'll be bluntly honest with Kyouko at all times, but doesn't let that get in the way of hanging out with her. Sakurako and Himawari, on the other hand, fight non-stop and clearly need to go to bed together.
NISHIGAKI-MATSUMOTO also fall into this category, technically, but you'd never confuse either of them with anyone else and they're hardly ever seen anyway. Matsumoto is permanently inaudible and Nishigaki is a teacher who blows things up.
I hardly ever confused Kyouko with Sakurako, despite their shared laziness, mental antics and tendency to annoy their friends. (I only got them muddled once, in ep.7.) Kyouko is a ray of bubbly, hyperactive sunshine and doesn't seem to slow down for anything, ever. She's also very clever, underneath her mad behaviour. Sakurako, on the other hand, is negative, irritable, ignorant and always fighting with Himawari. In the helpful character names people get given in the school play in ep.12, Sakurako is Stupid Elf, which made me go "aaaaaaaaaahhh".
Also, importantly, Kyouko's blonde hair is long and straight, with a ribbon on top. Sakurako's is curly.
Yui and Himawari, on the other hand, are a trap waiting to spring on you. They're both the quiet, dark-haired reluctant life partner of a mad blonde girl. Their hairstyles can look similar. The best way of distinguishing them is probably their hair, though. Yui's hair is actually purple and only shoulder-length, while Himawari's is a muted navy blue and has two little pigtails. It's actually longer than Yui's. It just doesn't look it. (They're also different in manner, with Yui talking like a man while Himawari's ladylike.)
Akari's still likeable. Ayano's still the nicest tsundere you'll meet. Chitose's still a perverted but lovable granny in a schoolgirl's body. However Chinatsu can be puzzling. It's hard to get a bead on her. She's a cute pink-haired girl with a mad crush on Yui, but sometimes her behaviour just didn't make sense to me. Sitting in the closet in ep.9. What is that? She's arguably a stalker (e.g. the photos), her drawings are nightmare fuel and her hair eats things. Seriously. The camera will go close up and there will be a quiet but hellish scream on the soundtrack as a table-tennis ball gets sucked into Chinatsu's hair. The best conclusion I could reach was that Chinatsu was a strange and possibly disturbing person who was trying to act normal and hadn't even realised that... but then ep.12 called her Evil Elf and again I went "aaaaaaaaahhh". (She's actually quite nice, but there's definitely something wrong about her.)
So that's the cast. What about the episodes? Are they iyashikei, or do some of them have content?
Answer... some of them do. The show's happy to spend ten minutes on a silly conversation, but there are some more distinctive episodes. Ep.3 does things with Valentine's Day, works a bit differently when everyone's a girl. (Normally the girls give chocolates on Valentine's Day and then the boys return it a month later on White Day.) Ep.6 has Kyouko selling her home-made doujin at a comics convention again. Ep.7 is a particular standout, introducing everyone's sisters and establishing a whole bunch of relationships we never knew about. Akari's sister might be in danger of being arrested. Ep.11 has Akari go back in a time machine to the show's first episode. (No, really. Of course it's all revealed as a fantasy in the end, but that doesn't mean it's not weird. It also includes the show's one moment to date of standout effort in the animation.) Then, finally, ep.12 has the old anime standby of a school play. The gang do Snow White. In fairness, that's pretty funny.
Do I like Yuru Yuri? Hmmm. Sometimes it's reasonably good, actually. The cast are fine. There are laughs. I don't object to the half-episodes where nothing's happening and we're just watching the girls sit around and talk, but I wouldn't have lasted this long had the show only been that. It's not a show that matters in the slightest, but I'll be continuing with Season 3.