Rina SatouMinami TanakaJuri NagatsumaYuki Yuna
Yuuki Yuuna is a Hero: The Great Mankai Chapter
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2021: Y
Also known as: Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru: Dai Mankai no Shou
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2021
Director: Seiji Kishi
Writer: Makoto Uezu
Actor: Aina Suzuki, Atsumi Tanezaki, Ayaka Ohashi, Haruka Terui, Juri Nagatsuma, Kaede Hondo, Kana Hanazawa, Marika Kono, Minami Tanaka, Naomi Ozora, Reina Kondo, Rina Satou, Shizuka Ishigami, Suzuko Mimori, Tomoyo Kurosawa, Yuko Ono, Yumi Uchiyama
Keywords: Yuki Yuna, anime, fantasy, magical girl
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=23555
Website category: Anime 2021
Review date: 5 June 2023
I liked the first Yuuki Yuuna season, way back in 2014. I also liked the second one in 2017, despite being hazy on how everything fitted together. That's actually two half-seasons that sandwich the first one. Half of it (Washio Sumi Chapter) adapts a prequel novel that's set two years before Season 1, with a different cast, while the other half is a straightforward sequel (called Hero Chapter).
Now, though, we have a third season. It was greenlit at the end of 2018 and the script was written in early 2020, but then COVID put everything on hold. It was eventually broadcast in October-December 2021. Furthermore, yet again, trying to work out where it goes is messy. It adapts two prequel novels (Nogi Wakaba, set 300 years earlier, and Kusunoki Mebuki, set between Seasons 1 and 2) while also being a midquel (?) for Hero Chapter, retelling its events and/or filling it in with bonus scenes. Or something.
Naaaah. Sorry. It's lost me. The episodes aren't bad, but I lacked context. I've watched all Yuuki Yuuna anime to date, but it's been years and it's too much like hard work to put the pieces together. Furthermore, the franchise is pretty abstract to start with. Schoolgirl heroes work for faceless priests, serve equally faceless unknown gods (who? what? where?) and battle unknowable monsters from outside the universe. Or something. The girls have to go through a barrier and fight/shoot weirdthings in weirdspace. They're cursed, unless they're not. Those monsters will keep coming forever, unless they stop. We don't have clear answers for anything. Its universe is a story engine for putting magical girls through hell, basically. The curses were memorable in Season 1, but those seem to have been retconned or cured. Don't ask me. I only watched all the episodes. You'd need to do a dissertation on the franchise to make head or tail of it.
If I could have found a watching order, maybe I might have done a Yuuki Yuuna rewatch from the start... but I couldn't even dig up one of those. Either the internet doesn't care or the task is too difficult.
All that aside, though, the episodes here are fine. The 300-years-ago episodes (i.e. roughly in our present day) are easy to get a handle on and I could empathise with Chikage's self-destruction. Dumb callous online comments are universal. Wakaba's TV speech was cool too.
The misdirection of ep.1 is a laugh. (Idiot girls have loony fun, with no angst or tragedy.) The Sentinels were quite good. The last few episodes and their big battle can be slept through, but you might consider waking up for ep.12's "four years later" epilogue. Also, Yuuna's supposed to marry a tree.
Season 1 in 2014 was dazzlingly clear about what it was doing, but since then this franchise has been animating bits and pieces from all over its timeline. Good material is diminished when you're not sure what you're watching or how it all fits together. I don't know if I'd even watch a fourth season... although I still wouldn't be averse to doing that big rewatch if I could find a chronological order.