Sanshu Middle School has a Hero Club, students (girls) who are dedicating themselves to helping those that request it. One day, they are suddenly caught in a ray of light and transported to a strange forest, where evil monsters known as Vertex are seeking to destroy the Shinju (Divine Tree), which would, in turn, destroy the world. Using a special app to transform into heroes imbued with magical powers (App? Yes, they have to use cell phones to transform, kind of like “The Irregular”), these girls must now become genuine heroes in order to protect their world. That is the premise behind “Yuuki Yuuna Wa Yuusha De Aru” (“Yuuki Yuuna is a Hero”).
This is another in the “Girls Who Save the World” genre, as they do battle with these Vertexes (and I though the plural was ‘vertices’. Splitting hairs?) The original staffing was four, but one got added later, and the line-up for the Home Team is, left to right:
Now, in this ‘strange forest’ (so called, as it defies any other caliber of description), Togo has the use of her legs. She is messed up, owing to a car accident that took her ability to walk and some of her memories, so she is ported about in her wheelchair. The girls are able to work together to defeat these foul and fetid creatures, but still have time for normal activities. In fact, Itsuki is trying out to be an idol singer for some massive girl group (and if it was AKB 0048, I would have bust a gut).
But something happens along the way and the girls learn the hard way that being a hero requires sacrifices in more ways than one or what could even be imagined. This was interesting for me, as when you get ‘edge’ (that part of the show where it gets hard and dark), these ladies face those hard truths and have to make some very difficult choices. You know, it pays to read the entire contract and just don’t click on the box that says “I have read all the terms and conditions”. Although it did start out as a squealing girl show (like “Vividred Operation” or “Symphonia”), it became “Black Rock Shooter” and you actually felt sorry for these folks. What are they going to do? What can they do? One of them does something that may ultimately have been a bad call, but it’s just too hard to tell.
If you don’t like your shows all sunshine and lollipops (despite the slightly contrived ending), I would certainly give this one a tryout. Things in the strange forest are certainly colorful and fanciful and the creative palette was brought out for that aspect of the show, and the ending arc fight is certainly a treat for the eyes. I just wish they were able to maintain the pace for the full run of the show and not have these ‘pit stops’ and other events that kind of sapped the strength on the show with some maudlin side stories. And if you just want to see cute girls in flirty outfits, well, it might work better for you.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Good concept for the approach)
Plot 7 (Initially interesting, but bogged)
Pacing 7 (A little too fast and loose)
Effectiveness 7 (A bit of a bombshell in the middle)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Overall 7 (Just not enough information to help)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Remember the Five Rules.