Anime Spotlight: Yuyushiki

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(left to right) Yui, Yuzuko, Yukari

The more I think about it, the more I still can’t believe this worked as a 12-episode, 20-minute anime series. The content itself comes off as a show that should be a show that’s at the very least half the runtime, like 7-9 minute episodes. But Yuyushiki every episode finds a way to still be interesting the whole 20 minutes and is absolutely hilarious and entertaining the full way through.

The show itself is essentially a slice of life high school comedy about three friends, Yui, Yuzuko and Yukari. Each other them are unique in their own way, Yui is the blonde-haired level-headed but shy girl, Yuzuko is the off her rocker crazy (yet actually super smart) pink-haired girl and Yukari is the either random or dead asleep violet-haired girl. Each of them are unique, they have their own light backstories and mixing them together brings arguably my favourite trio in anime.

Yui, Yukari and Yuzuko at the Data Processing Club

The story is pretty straightforward. The majority of each episode is spent with the three girls at the Data Processing Club, which really just amounts to them sitting on computers and Googling random facts about a certain topic that day and writing their findings in an odd, but humorous manner on the whiteboard before they leave. These sections of the show are however not they key parts to me, they merely serve as the brunt of the random jokes, given how random some of the topics they search are. The jokes can involve a variety of things ranging from puns, to just plain shouting out false information that pulls out the random “WTF?!” from the viewing audience once in a while. But they are always entertaining and serves as a fun addition to the show.

Yuzuko and Yukari creepily watching Yui sleeping at their sleepover

Any time you spend away from the Data Processing Club is far more entertaining from all aspects in Yuyushiki. While the club sections are generally hilarious, the outside scenes can mix in humor with very adorable and meaningful moments. The relationship between these three girls is so key to this show working as well as it does, you really see just how strong the bonds are between the three of them, no matter how many times Yui smacks the shit out of them (especially Yuzuko) for the hijinks they start with her. Their bonds even remind my girlfriend of a real friendship she has. She associates herself with Yuzuko, while one of her best friends reminds her a lot like Yukari and the relationship between those two characters are very reminiscent of her own real-life friendship.

Now I don’t think it was fully intended in a show like this, but at some parts of the show, I feel like there’s a very small, hidden love between Yuzuko and Yui, albeit it could just be a love between two best friends, almost like they’re sisters. But like I said, a few moments happen in the series where I actually wondered if maybe Yuzuko saw Yui as something more than just a friend. Obviously as we’ve seen in anime, girl-on-girl isn’t an uncommon sight, but this show doesn’t fall into those types of shows that usually display these kinds of moments (albeit those shows also have far more sexual content) as much. Either way, it’s a tiny extra dynamic that made the relationship between the three that much more interesting.

Yui, Yukari and Yuzuko at the pool

That’s not to say there aren’t a few moments of a sexual nature in the show, though it’s not like they’re going around in various states of undress and staring at each others’ breasts. But there are moments where they’re in swimsuits and Yui is pointed out from it, since she is a shy girl and often comes off a bit like a tomboy, yet she’s in the skimpiest swimsuit of the three and looks like a goddess when she is dressed like this. There’s a few random moments as well where there’s either intentional or unintentional camera angles, like Yoriko’s butt being front and center. The girls also at various points note her large breasts and at one point Yuzuko tries to get Yoriko to let her touch them, but to no avail. So there’s some points where the content becomes a bit ecchi, but not to the extent of girls being in their underwear or naked, covering up.

Yui laughing her ass off while Chiho and Yuzuko look on in awe

The pride and joy of Yuyushiki however is the animation style and of course, the various crazy faces and body motions used with certain emotions. The solid white eyes are in full force in this show, while Yukari often employs the (still weird to me) “my eyes look closed the majority of the time I’m around” cliché. There’s also a ton of odd body motions in the show, which when some of my favourite shows ever are like FLCL, that’s always going to be a major plus.

So if you’re looking for a relaxing sit down that doesn’t demand your absolute attention with a crazy in-depth storyline, heavy action or the potential of certain death, Yuyushiki is right up your alley. It’s hilarious and is a pretty good representation of a set of friends going through the motions of high school. It’s probably my favourite anime that I’ve watched in full with my girlfriend, so it’s a great show for couple to watch too.

Probably the closest thing to super ecchi in Yuyushiki (in terms of official artwork)

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