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Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru (aka Yuuki Yuna is a Hero) started showing after I did my Fall 2014 sampler post. It’s now up to 4 episodes and I’m quite liking what I’m seeing so far.

I’m also going to try very hard to avoid spoiling this one – it’s best to hit the first episode cold if at all possible.

I will note that YuYuYu[1] is deliberately channelling two other shows – one I like[2] and one I despise – but I’m not going to identify them[3]. See earlier comment re not wanting to spoil the first episode.

If you watch YuYuYu, you should be able to guess both once the “Well, that escalated quickly” moment hits.

In terms of the basic setup the main character Yūki[4] Yūna and her friends Fuu[5], Mimori, and Itsuki are the Sanshu Middle School Hero Club who basically do good deeds around town.

Putting on puppet shows for elementary school kids, finding homes for kittens, the usual sort of thing. The puppet show that opens the first episode is really quite funny. There’s also a great comedy sequence in episode 4 that requires liberal use of still frame to read the disclaimers popping up on the screen[6].

Special mention should be made of Mimori[7]. You don’t often see characters in wheelchairs in anime, and the disability issues appear to have been well handled so far. I’m reluctant to be more definitive than that: I’m not disabled in that way, and I can’t really appreciate if things are being well handled or not. Mimori’s disability is being handled consistently at least, and in a way that feels respectful to me.

All things considered this is a nicely realised set of quite characters that are quite easy to like.

There is also some interesting world building going on, including some fiendishly subtle infodumping in background dialogue[8]. One nice touch is that Mimori builds the website for the Hero Club, and if you’ve seen episode 4 you can actually pick up the URL on screen. This very spoilery URL as it happens[9].

Yes, they actually built the website that appears on screen in the show, and it looks almost identical to what you see in the show.

So far I’m enjoying YuYuYu, and I’m looking forward to the remaining 8 episodes. Hopefully YuYuYu will keep focussed and deliver a solid ending to a solid start.

[1] YUYUYU is the generally accepted hashtag for obvious reasons.

[2] Or at least respect.

[3] If you think you know please keep your guesses to yourself and/or use ROT-13 to post your comments.

[4] I could be wrong, but I think her family name is written with the characters for “Courage”. i.e. the title could be read as Courage: Yuna is a Hero with just a little bit of effort.

[5] Oh look another potential Meaningful Name, and one that I’ve been triggering on for years

[6] The CrunchyRoll translations of those disclaimers are beautifully snarky. Given that something is usually lost in translation it does make me wonder how brilliant they are in the original Japanese.

[7] Which I think means “Forest”. i.e. yet another Meaningful Name especially given [SPOILER DELETED] now that I think about it.

[8] There’s one episode where a character is going through some personal issues in her head in class whilst the continuing lecture in the background is giving away all sorts of stuff.

[9] ROT13 if you really must know: Gur lrne 300 fubja va gur qngrf ba gur jrofvgr vf ABG n glcb. Cneg bs gur rcvfbqr 4 vasbqhzc rkcynvaf jul gur pnyraqne jnf erfrg…