Yuki Yuna is a Hero – Ep. 5

Note: I’m watching Yuki Yuna is a Hero blind. Please do not post spoilers in the comments.

Series finale already? That was fast.

Okay, I know there’s seven more episodes left and another whole second season afterwards but come on. If I somehow didn’t know any better, this episode could’ve fooled me as a series finale.

It goes all out with the action. For starters, the heroes have to fight all remaining seven Vertexes all at once and the numbers aren’t the only issue. They send in a decoy, combine into one giant Vertex, and they even secretly send in a scout to the magic tree while everyone isn’t looking. That one combined Vertex even screams “Final Boss” with its brutish power and its soul being so huge, it floats in goddamn space! Conversely, the heroes counter by unlocking their Mankais. I would’ve been fine with just Fuu’s but as it turns out, everyone but Karen (poor girl) unlocks theirs for the battle.

Now, I must concede that I do find this all very entertaining. With set pieces like these, how can I not? I mean, what other anime have a magical girl punch a giant pyramid with oversized gauntlets in space? I personally can’t think of too many. It also helps that it really does feel like a battle to the death. There are some serious close calls throughout this episode. Everyone gets knocked down by the combined Vertex’s lasers. Fuu almost drowns in a orb of water and then almost get burned to a crisp. Yuna and Mimori are forced to fall through the atmosphere and risk burning up after fighting defeating the final soul in space. Itsuki exhausts just trying save those two. Everyone lives in the end, which actually surprises me, but for a good half-hour, I really did get the impression that one of them might not make it.

Design-wise, the Mankais do look great. I really like the slight miko inspiration to the outfits, denoting the power they’re drawing from the Shinjuu as well as their determination to serve and protect it. Also great is how everyone gets powered up versions of their weapons and meanwhile, Mimori gets a stinking ship with laser cannons (this is how Yuna got to the final soul in space by the way). That’s so ridiculous that I have to love it but I can’t be the only one who thinks this girl keeps getting all the cool stuff.

Considering Fuu’s and Karin’s place in the team, how Mankai informs us of their character is pretty interesting. Fuu being the first one to unlock Mankai is fitting. She is the leader of the group and she’s the most desperate to defeat the Vertexes and keep her friends alive. That Karin is the only one who doesn’t unlock Mankai is also pretty telling. For all her doubting of the others’ abilities, it is ultimately the others who do the heavy lifting and win the battle for the team. I don’t expect Karin to go dere dere just yet but I think she does recognize their strengths. When she informs the Taisha of the outcome, she sounds really proud that her team has won and even calling the Hero Club by its full name.

The ones that resonates most in this episode however are Yuna and Mimori. There are some really heartwarming moments involving these two in this episode. As they fly off to space, they stand side by side, something they can’t do in their civilian forms. Despite using up her Mankai, Mimori still stays behind long enough to catch Yuna after she defeats the Vertex. As they fall back to Earth, they hold hands, practically accepting that they may die together. All this does bring a very intimate angle to their relationship. I don’t want to hold my breath on any actual romance. I’ve seen enough magical girl anime to know that there’s a good chance that the yuri subtext will remains as subtext. Even so, this episode does a superb job showing how much these two mean to each other.

My biggest concern with this episode is where will the show go from here. The fighting can’t surely be over at Episode 5. No way, the next seven episodes is just the club doing more puppet shows and retrieving more stray kittens. But are the heroes just going to have to fight more Vertexes or is there an even bigger threat that they’re unaware of? And while Karin’s Mankai remains to be seen, the fact remains that we’ve seen four of the five in just one episode. What else is there for them to obtain? Another level of Mankai? I can only imagine what an upgrade to Mimori’s ship would look like.

Mind you, I do look forward to what’s going to happen next. YuYuYu has been a fun ride so far and if the next seven episodes are as good as the past five, I’m all for it.

OP: “Hoshi to Hana” by Sanshuu Chuugaku Yuusha-bu


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3 thoughts on “Yuki Yuna is a Hero – Ep. 5

  1. I’d have to go back and check, but I think Karin also included herself a member of the club when she reported to the Taisha. Either way, by explicitly crediting the Club and/or tacitly adding herself, it’s an important character moment. Her dedication to the goal of defeating the Vertex is complete, and to a certain degree she’s selfless about it… She’s not so self centered to not recognize valor in pursuit of that goal.

    Went back and checked, and she does… “We, the Sanshu Middle School Hero Club”.

    Also look at her reactions at the end, right after Yuuna and Togo crash back to earth. She’s genuinely concerned for them, and cries in relief when everyone is revealed to be unharmed.

    At this point, I submit that you should be reconsidering your original choice for Best Girl. (And making clear my own partisan bias.)

    And now, I can talk about something I’ve been bursting to talk about since you started this series… The OP. The *evolving* OP that reaches it’s final form in episode 5.

    The director insisted that they make three different OP sequences so that there were no spoilers in the OP. Togo’s henshin scene doesn’t appear until Ep 3’s OP (it’s first appearance is in Ep 2), and Karin doesn’t feature as a club member until Ep 5.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Crap, forgot to mention Karin’s reaction to the gang surviving. I’ll make sure to add a sentence about that before I get to Episode 6; really like that part.

      I’ll admit, I’m finding Kairn the most interesting of the characters…but does she have a giant spaceship? Didn’t think so 😛 lol.

      Oh, I really like how “Hoshi to Hana” evolves overtime. I’m always a sucker for when OPs and EDs change accordingly to the progression of the story and it fits pretty well here with the team steadily growing. I only have one nitpick with the last version and it’s that you have one shot of Yuna and Mimori in town, then Fuu and Itsuki, and none for Karin.

      I’ve actually been meaning to include screencaps for the other versions of the OP. I sometimes hold off on that since when watching a show for the first time, I don’t know what shots actually change so I usually just screencap the first version of an OP once and wait to see all the versions. Like, with Magia Record, I didn’t know the OP would change overtime so I needed to change some of the screencaps I did for its first version and make some for the subsequent ones (haven’t upload any though because I’m still deciding if I want to finish reviewing it). Now that I’ve seen all the versions for “Hoshi to Hana”, I’ll include screencaps in the near future.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Glad you noticed the evolving OP, it’s one of the cooler parts of the show. I didn’t want to say anything earlier because I was relying on that video for reference and would have been spoilerish to post before now. (Though I guess I could have pointed the evolution out… mea culpa.)

        “I’ll admit, I’m finding Kairn the most interesting of the characters…but does she have a giant spaceship? Didn’t think so 😛 lol.”

        I don’t usually choose Best Girls based on their giant attributes. 🙂 🙂 🙂 (lol)

        It is interesting that the paraplegic Togo has a vehicle, while the other girls have exoskeletons… except for Itsuki’s which is more “angelic” for lack of a more fitting word. Reflective of her innocent nature? Though going back and looking at pictures it seems to be informed by Buddhist iconography.

        Like

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