Oh, no! It’s a ghost! It’s a haunting! It’s a hot springs! We must protect the world, or at least parts of Japan, from those bad, evil, nasty, mean, ugly, cruel, vicious and rotten ghosts that will bedevil the lives of common citizen who merely want to take advantage of a lovely locale to soak away their stress! Well, things are never as they seem and such is the case with “Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs.” (“Yuragi-sō no Yūna-san”)
He, Kogarashi Fuyuzora, is an exorcist. He has traveled the width and breadth of Japan, sending those poor ghostly souls off to their afterlife. It is time for you to go towards the light. He has heard tales of a hot springs, with a severe haunting issue, and he comes forth to do his duty. But he can’t. Or he isn’t allowed to do so. You see, aside from the fact that the owner doesn’t have a problem with Yuuna Yunohana, that floating spirit who lives here, it appears that some of the more frequent tenants are also not as they appear. You see (left to right):
Sagiri Ameno, a ninja (actually, a kunoichi) who also is a demon-slayer.
Chitose Nakai, the owner of this place, she is a zashiki-warashi.
Yaya Fushiguro, she is a cat god or a vessel for a cat god.
Nonko Arahabaki, an oni who works as a manga artist. She drinks too much.
Our hero decides that he wants to help Yuuna, as Yuuna has no memory of her life when she was alive or how she came to haunt this locale. Rather than the brusque and barbaric approach that an exorcism is, he is going to see if he can gently guide her to the light, so that she leaves on her own terms. Yeah, well, that is to say………..
Yuuna has two problems and we don’t mean the left one and the right one. OK, we do. The first is she is kind of trapped to a room, in that she cannot haunt any other room. The other is, despite being a spirit, there is a substance to her and when she sleeps, her clothing comes off and you wake up to something more wonderful than Folger’s in your cup.
Our exorcist maven also comes to discover that perhaps, just perhaps, not all hauntings are bad and when someone else comes around to do what ‘needs’ to be done, he rises to Yuuni’s defense. Yet, despite all the ‘terrors’ that are brought about, things are, really, rather light and pleasant.
As to the binging aspect, I would say not, but not for the reasons you may think. Some shows work better when they unfold slowly, so you can appreciate how the plot spools forth. Yes, you could watch this show straight through, but I feel some of the subtleties would get lost in a headlong rush, so I would do a measured binging of maybe three or four episodes, take a break (walk the dog, wash your dishes, make your bed), then come back for another round. It would work better for you.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Yuuni is cute, even when naked)
Plot 8 (A nice change of pace)
Pacing 7 (Moves along well)
Effectiveness 8 (Good use of side tales)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 5 (A similar show would be “Maburaho”)
Bingeability 8 (But done with caution)
Overall 8 (Ghosts sure have a lot of spirit)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. What are you doing in my room?