Yuki Yuna is a Hero – Ep. 8

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

First School-Live!, now this. I know it’s coincidence but those two shows do share its knack for mysteries and eight sure feels like an important number right now.

I was under the impression there’d be a second wave of Vertex but as it turns out, the Hero Club is called back into action to fight one straggler, that speedy sentry from Episode 5. A little weird, even the characters point that out, but whatever. I’ll go with it. My focus is on the fact that everyone again thinks this is the end. Maybe this is a whim but I have a feeling there’s more fighting in the coming episodes. This is starting to feel like a running joke, YuYuYu.

As I expected, everyone except Karin (poor girl) has indeed received new fairies. This includes Mimori getting a fourth one. Two more and she can pass it off as a team of Pokemon (though maybe it’s more like Digimon given the use of an app). Even after the B part of the episode (see below), there’s no direct confirmation that the number of fairies is connected to Mankai but I remain suspicious because it’s far too coincidental.

The action this time around is pretty brief, right down to how quickly some of the characters get to show off the weapons their new fairies grant them. There are however a lot of neat and interesting details thrown in. The transformation sequences have been appropriately updated, add Fuu’s eye patch and removing Itsuki’s voice. Honestly, Fuu looks a lot of cooler in her Hero form with the eyepatch (still wish the chuunibyou was real though). I wish Itsuki was still writing on her notepad during all this (just use one of those wire things to hold the pen). Karin has a really nice moment where she joins Yuna for the first strike. She admits she wants to attack alone but knowing Yuna wouldn’t agree to that in the first place, she readily teams up with her.

Most notably, now that the gang has a inkling about how Mankai works, they either hesitate to fight or fight for the sake of each other. Karin wants to fight the Vertex because she’s the only one who hasn’t been affected by her powers and she hides that under guise of acting gung-ho. Fuu wants to land the finishing blow because she’s the leader and thus feels responsible for the whole team. Yuna ends up being the one to eliminate the Vertex and her emblem is partially colored in again. She claims to be excited to try her new power but I see that as a lie. Out of anyone in the cast, Yuna is definitely the one most keen on helping others. I can absolutely see her taking the kill if it means her friends don’t lose parts of themselves for a little bit longer.

Speaking of which…

After the fight, Yuna and Mimori finds themselves teleported to a shrine in another city. There, they meet Sonoko Nogi (Kana Hanazawa), a heavily bandaged and bedridden girl and a former Hero. The imagery in this scene is downright surreal. A girl lying in a hospital bed on a shrine (which foreshadows how revered she is by the Taisha despite the state she’s in). In the background, there’s a mangled, ruined bridge. The scene takes place at sunset but there’s a lot of shadows cast upon the characters as they converse. It all feels like a dream and for a while, I thought that it was until Sonoko reveals she simply summoned Yuna and Mimori with magic.

Sonoko confirms what the Hero Club have been fearing: using Mankai results in Sange, an aftereffect in which something in your body ceases to function. In fact, Sange happens because the Heroes must use their bodies are a toll to use Mankai. They are effectively serving the Shinju’s will as sacrifices. Granted, Heroes can’t die from this but that’s a rather moot point, as demonstrated when Sonoko reveals her body is in its current state for using Mankai so many times. Though I saw this reveal coming a mile away but the execution still makes it hit hard. What I love most about the scene is everyone’s expressions. Yuna and Mimori are shocked and disturbed as they should but Sonoko relays the information to them with a tranquil, soft spoken voice, only breaking down and crying at the end. She acts content with how things gone but it’s possibly a ruse. The editing and especially the music also help elevate the scene.

The most alarming detail about this B part isn’t the info however but rather Sonoko’s interactions with Mimori. When she meets her and Yuna, she calls out the name of her precious friend, Wasshi (which sounds more like a nickname). Yuna asks Mimori if she knows Sonoko to which she says she doesn’t, resulting a brief frown from the former Hero before playing things off. When Yuna and Mimori introduce themselves Sonoko, she sounds a little puzzled at the latter’s name. As Sonoko cries, Mimori unknowingly feels compelled to wipe the tears away. When asked about her ribbon, Mimori explains she knows it’s important to her but she can’t remember why and apologizes that she can’t. All the signs are pointing towards Sonoko being the friend Mimori can’t remember and the original owner of the ribbon. Does mean that she’s Wasshi?

Sonoko mentions fighting with other Heroes and that got me speculating. Assuming Mimori is Sonoko’s friends and the number of fairies correspond to the number of times you activated Mankai, I’m starting to think Mimori might’ve been a Hero long before the start of the story. That’d not only justify her having three fairies by default but it can also explain her paraplegia. Perhaps she can’t walk because her legs were offered up for Sange. The only thing I’m unsure about is that assuming the number of additional does correspond to the number of times you use Mankai, that means Mimori used the ability three times. If the first sacrifice was her ability to walk and the third was her sense of hearing from one ear, what was the second? I’m disturbed by the idea but my guess is that might’ve actually been her memories. Perhaps that’s a stretch since it’s something more abstract but it would line up given what’s been implied so far.

And of course, I must again ask anyone reading this to not give any spoilers, no matter how close I might be on something. I know it sucks but bear with me here.

The episode concludes with Yuna and Mimori getting a ride back home. I can’t wait to watch them relay the news to the others. Poor Itsuki is going to have to put that singing career on indefinite hold. Fuu and Karin especially won’t take it well considering their affinity to the Taisha. That darn group knew the truth this whole time and skirted around it. Also, there is now the question of whether or not the characters can break the cycle. Yuna seems determined to find one though that actually kind of worries me. Knowing her, she’d do anything to help others and I’m afraid that soon mean anything.

Thanks for reading!

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3 thoughts on “Yuki Yuna is a Hero – Ep. 8

  1. The episode where they tighten the screws and (as they say) _everything changes_.

    “Karin has a really nice moment where Yuna joins her for the first strike and though she objects to it a little, she agrees to team up with her friend.”

    You’ve got that partly backwards – Yuna jumps first, then Karin join her. (Or we might be reading the same thing slightly different.) Either way… the end is the same, they attack _together_. That’s the important part.

    Can’t decide if Karin is still despondent over being “lesser” than the others (from not matching their sacrifices), or is trying to protect them since being uninjured she (theoretically) has the least to lose. One more reason why I think she is Best Girl.

    A hell of an episode and one of the ones I was not looking forward to re-watching. We’ve grown to care about the Hero Club, and it _hurts_.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rewatched the fight and no, you’re right. I mixed up who jumps first and who joins so I fixed the sentence a bit.

      With Karin, I feel it’s a little bit of both. Her pride still prevails but given how much the club has grown on her, she’s definitely more selflessly driven even if she won’t outwardly admit that. Hence why I’m very curious to see how she’ll react to the news. She was practically raised for slaughter and knowing that, will she hesitate to get kills or will she be even more motivated to risk herself for the team?

      I can’t decide who’s my favorite right now. Karin has a lot of personal growth going for her but I’m so, so curious about what the deal is Mimori.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “I can’t decide who’s my favorite right now. Karin has a lot of personal growth going for her but I’m so, so curious about what the deal is Mimori.”

        I do have a minor advantage in that respect… I’m just making my case as the series progresses. 🙂

        Mimori… I’ve taken a stab at writing several times over the course of your reviews, but everything is so tied up with events past, present, and future that I always ended up deleting what I wrote and eventually gave up.

        Liked by 1 person

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