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Serious warning here folks: if you haven’t seen episode 8 Blessing of the Gods[1] of Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru then I’m about to massively spoil elements of it.

Don’t go behind the “more” cut unless you’re ready for that.

Seriously, stop now. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Oh. So that’s what the flowers are for.

The flower motif in the OP has been explained: the girls’ power up (Mankai) is like a flower blooming to full beauty or power.

Flowers wilt (Sange) after they bloom. Every time they Mankai, they will Sange by losing parts of themselves. The parts that have been lost have been incredibly well tailored to each of the characters[2]:

Character What Was Lost Why It Sucks
Yuna Yuki Her sense of taste Yuna is the heart of the group, and helps them to bond over social events and food she can no longer taste.
Mimori Togo Hearing in her left ear Togo is in a wheelchair, and dependent on hearing to perceive what’s happening behind her[3].
Fu Inubozaki Sight in her left eye Fu is more a mother than a sister to Itsuki, and is constantly watching over her.
Itsuki Inubozaki Her voice[4] Just before the Mankai Itsuki embraced a dream to become an idol singer one day.

The losses are permanent. That’s made very clear in Blessings of the Gods.

Note that Yuna is really close to her second Mankai, but she’s not the one who worries me[5].

The key here is that there’s a minor compensation of each hero getting an additional fairy to help her as part of the Mankai/Sange process.

Togo has been here before. And it’s about to get worse

Togo now has four fairies, which is why Togo worries me more than Yuna or Karin right now. Here’s where the wild mass guessing and the planting of Epileptic Trees begins.

Togo was Wasshi, and her Sanges in order were:

  1. The use of her legs
  2. Her memory of being Wasshi
  3. Her hearing in her left ear.

After the second Sange, Togo was fed a new identity and a story about a motor vehicle accident. The Taisha then relocated her to the Sanshu Middle School Club.

Although she can’t remember it, the loss of her friendship with Sonoko Nogi haunts her in some way, and explains why Togo still insists on not being addressed by her given name. Togo isn’t ready to get that close again.

Just who, exactly, are the villains here?

YukiYunaEp8Screenshot2

Source: Same. Taisha fashion style…

There’s already been some speculation on my twitter feed, and off line that the Shinju-Sama and Taisha are not the good guys. Sending Togo back into the fight like that is brutally manipulative, and the question is whether they’re justified in doing so.

Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru exists on a new calendar within a sealed world, so there are shades of RahXephon here[6]. Just like RahXephon, what’s outside and trying to get in may not be the villains they appear to be from the inside.

At this stage I don’t know who the bad guys are, but I’m starting to lean towards the Taisha[7].

Now what?

With only four episodes left to go, Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru will have to wrap this up quickly.

I will say that Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru is a definite watch once recommendation right now, but needs to deliver a solid ending to stay that way[8].

Random Snarky Bits

[1] Possibly the most spectacularly misnamed anime episode in recent memory, certainly of the season.

[2] Thanks to my pathfinder GM for pointing these out. [3] It’s really hard to turn your head around far enough whilst seated – it’s why I have mirrors on the trike.

[4] This is possibly the one that hurts the most to see.

[5] Karin also worries me since Karin hasn’t experienced Mankai/Sange yet.

[6] I really should rewatch RahXephon one of these days and review it. I might even understand it this time.

[7] Creepy cultist masks? Never a good look.

[8] At least I only have to wait 4 weeks to find out instead of 18 weeks like Log Horizon season 2.