It’s been another while since the last Yuki Yuna is a Hero review. That was my decision, I put tackling the old poll on hold while I was checking out the new anime for the Spring season. Writing first impressions for the new shows is done now so it’s time to resume. Hopefully, it’s smooth sailing for this and School-Live! from here on out.
This episode keeps the story in the school setting. In fact, there is no Vertex for our heroes to fight until the post-credit scene. Instead, the dilemma is that Itsuki is afraid of failing an upcoming test in her music class, not because she’s bad at singing but rather, her anxiety causes her to sing much worse. Naturally, the others in the Hero Club pitch in to help her overcome this weakness.
Does this scenario have anything to do with hitting monsters for a mystical tree? Not really but it does tie into Itsuki’s character. We learn in this episode that Itsuki has largely been raised by Fuu, the two having lost their parents at a young age and though grateful, she fears she’s gotten too dependent on her sister. That insecurity has only increased now that the two are heroes and Itsuki finds out the burden Fuu has carried as the Hero Club’s leader. Hence why Itsuki chooses to fight as it allows her to stand alongside her sister, not behind. With that in mind, the music plot is actually Itsuki’s insecurity surfacing in another way. It’s the rare moment where Itsuki must rely on herself and it’s not a feeling she’s accustomed to, resulting in her getting nervous.
There’s a lot of great gags throughout this episode. I particularly love the scene where everyone spend the night doing karaoke, hoping it’d help boost Itsuki’s confidence. While most of the club sings pop music, Mimori sings a patriotic anthem which I can only assume was done to mess with anyone expecting to hear Mimori Suzuko sing idol music again since she was voicing Umi in Love Live! at the time. The fact that everyone but Karin stood up and salute makes it even funnier. Speaking of Karin, this girl provides my second favorite gag where she provides Itsuki various supplements and foods meant to soothe the throat. Fuu taunts her into consuming all of it to prove it’d help Itsuki and while this should result in a very dead Karin, seeing her rush to the bathroom is still very funny. Honestly, I’m just loving how the supposed expert is actually a big source of comic relief.
Eventually, Itsuki is able to overcome her anxiety and pass the test thanks to some encouraging messages left by her friends. That the messages are Yuna’s idea seems deliberate to me. Between this and Karin’s birthday, I keep noticing how considerate she is. And after passing the test, Itsuki becomes interested in singing and you even see her record a demo in the post-credit scene. Her classmates encourage this but the real source of motivation comes from a conversation she has with her sister earlier in the episode. When asked why she takes care of her so much, Fuu says that there’s no real reason other than wanting to work hard at it. Similarly, singing is just something Itsuki wants to try and put effort into but that’s a good enough reason for her.
The most concerning part about the ending is that Itsuki records the demo in private and she’s keeping the goal a secret from Fuu. Even more concerning is the Death tarot falling out of her bag and I get the sense I’m meant to interpret that more literally this time. My Madoka trained brain cannot help but interpret this all as one red flag being waved around very, very rapidly. Perhaps it’s too obvious and therefore, the show isn’t going to kill Itsuki off (yet)…but still, I can’t shake this feeling that show has something in store for this character.
While this episode is Itsuki-centric, there’s a lot of attention given to Fuu. For all her cheeriness, the girl still feels the burden of being the leader. Even after Itsuki said she made her choice to fight, Fuu still feels bad about involving her sister and feels she should’ve done more to prevent it from happening. In the post credit scene, she considers writing a backup message in case she dies which shows how seriously she’s taking the battle. And even outside of that, you can see how mature Fuu is by just watching her take care of Itsuki. She prepares all the meals, wakes Itsuki up in time, and brushes her sister’s hair before eating breakfast herself. When Itsuki says she’s been raised by Fuu, she really isn’t kidding.
What I’m most curious about Fuu though is her relationship with the Taisha. During a montage of flashbacks, we see the Inubouzaki sisters visited by a group of masked individuals after their parents die. My guess that group are members of the Taisha and they were trying to recruit one of the sisters, presumably Itsuki, for formal training similar to what Karin received. Fuu refused but still wants revenge on the Vertexes as they’re apparently connect to her parents’ death (which…what?). So she eventually struck a deal to allow her family to live normally while still acting as a confidant for the Taisha. That would explain why Fuu is knowledgeable about Heroes, Vertexes, and whatnot as well as why she is not formally trained like Karin, something which has been bugging since the last episode review I wrote.
There’s also some tension between Fuu and Karin and I mean beyond the comedic jabs at each other. During the karaoke scene, Taisha sends Fuu a message and not Karin which bugs the latter. Karin still thinks she should be the leader of the team but Fuu appears unwilling to hand the position over. Frankly, I’m siding more with Fuu on this. Even Karin is a professional Hero, she doesn’t have the conscience and contemplation that Fuu has expressed so far. Plus, she has technically seen Fuu lead in the battlefield. That has to be put to the test by next episode.
Thanks for reading!