Chinatsu Chu - Musings on Yuru Yuri

At the time of writing this, this anime is still not ready for archiving. I've been waiting for Tonde to finish subbing the series, and now Doki is coming out with the BD releases. So many incomplete choices!

This was a by-and-by pick for me, as I was wary of an all-girl cast after A Channel. However, this was a purely comedic show driven by characters with defining traits, with a simple story as the backdrop. While the jokes became repetitive and boring  after a while, I managed to make it to the end of the 12-episode series without feeling incredibly irritated. The only thing I didn't like about this series, in the end, was the all-inclusive love polygon that was created.

At least it wasn't clearly ecchi.

The art-style was extremely cutesy, with large eyes, constant blushing, and hearts everywhere. It was also unrealistic, with various impossible colours for hair and eyes (the stereotypical anime look). The character designs were a little strange, in it that I often found myself wondering if they were in high school rather than middle school. Despite these comments, I did like the style; it fit the story very well.

The most touching "friendship" of the series.

This was a comedy-based slice-of-life featuring four main characters, though the cast grew very quickly to include others. I didn't see it from the very beginning, but all the characters were pretty much in love with each other (thus adding to the comedy and channelling the "yuri" part of the title). Other than this little bit, there wasn't much for a larger story. Pieces of information for all characters came out with successive episodes, so the concept didn't get stale, but it was really a very slice-of-life story.


Story Presentation
Given the simple story, this was comedy driven by the characters getting into otherwise unfunny situations. Due to this, this anime did have a little bit of a slow start, when I didn't find the jokes that funny. It really picked up beyond the first episode, right after I got to know the characters better. That's exactly how character-driven anime tend to work, so it did do well on that front. I did begin to get bored with the re-used jokes; how many times could I see Chitose getting an epic nosebleed before feeling it was humdrum? The only thing helping out the anime on this front was its length; were it longer, this formula wouldn't have worked so well.

What disturbing imagery. Why are they all smiling?

This was the strong point of the series; I doubt the jokes would have been any kind of humorous without the strong characters to define them. Of course, when I say "strong", the characters were actually pretty weakly-written with a serious lack of growth. However, the few defining traits that each one got essentially created a strong archetype. When all the characters interacted with each other, it was fun to see because no one person really fell into the background (even with Akari: that was her thing, after all). Had there been more development, I wonder if the anime actually wouldn't have suffered for it; the 2D nature of the characters allowed for the jokes to shine (before they got boring, at least).

There's always a student council for comedy...

Final Words
While I really liked this anime, I had to really work passed the overdone yuri connotations. I have nothing against yuri, but I didn't like how all the characters had to be in love with each other. That wasn't even the bit that bothered me; it was essentially one running joke of forced kissing leaving characters looking quite violated. I worked through it, but it always left a bad taste for me. Overall, this anime is a good watch for the comedy and ridiculousness, and most people probably had no problem with the "all-love" situation.

A big finale.

Scoring - [6.0/10]
After working through the first episode or two, the episodes became really good and it was a fun watch. The only reason I docked points was due to the fact that I didn't like the giant love polygon, but that's really a personal comment.