Back to review Yuki Yuna is a Hero after taking a break to try out the Summer 2020 premieres. I actually have one or two more First Impressions to write but those will probably be quick write ups. And honestly, I’m more in the mood for this. Summer isn’t looking too stellar and after reviewing YuYuYu for eleven weeks, putting it on hold for two felt really weird. The flip side was that I took the break to introduce my brother to this show (he shares my overall opinion on it so far) so he and I are going to watch the rest of Season 2 as I cover it.
I actually have see a part of this episode before. One day during my last godawful year of college and while the show was airing, I saw a clip on my Recommended feed on Youtube. It’s the scene where Sonoko invites Washio to enjoy “Kagawa Life” with her. I didn’t know what Yuki Yuna is a Hero is at the time so watching this out of context confused the hell out of me. The only thing I readily understood was how glorious Sonoko’s Engrish is. Kana Hanazawa sounds like she’s having a lot of fun here. Finally after three years, I have now seen this scene in context. It’s just as funny with it…as well as much more foreboding…
Episode 3 is the most slice of life Yuki Yuna has been so far. Team Washio finishes another round of training and Aki-sensei encourages them to take advantage of the downtime before their next fight. From there, the episode becomes a series of vignettes depicting the team’s daily lives, complete with the traditional eye catch announcing the show’s title. One subset in particular revolves around Sonoko’s dreams. It’s all good fun though I can’t imagine watching this in the movie version of this series. This type of structure is so strongly suited for a television episode that it’d feel awkwardly paced if it was in a movie, especially if the rest of the movie (presumably this TV edit’s fourth episode) isn’t like that.
Given the nature of this episode, there isn’t a whole lot to say about this episode, let alone go through each scene one by one. I have two general takeaways from these antics. One, Washio is way more patriotic than her future self and I didn’t think that was possible. Two, Sonoko has an amazing sense of imagination (this character is steadily becoming a favorite of mine). The episode does do some further contrast between Washio and Sonoko though the intent seems more comical. I don’t know if the difference in these two’s writing skills or their love lives are as important of a detail as Sonoko being a more suited leader than Washio.
I’d say my favorite bit was the gang’s presentation for a first graders’ orientation where Washio and Sonoko dress up as soldiers and dance to an anthem sung by the former. That has got to be the peak of Washio’s patriotism. More importantly, it also reminded me of the skits the Hero Club did in Season 1. The tone is obviously a bit different (Fuu was more medieval and chuunibyou with her scripts) but the spirit is there. It makes me think about how these characters would fit in. Washio we of course know joins and I’m expecting Sonoko to join in The Hero Chapter. I wish I could say the same about Gin.
Goodness, that ending really is waving a flag on Gin. The gang is about to hang out and Gin comforts her infant brother who’s crying that she’ll be away for a bit, indirectly saying that she won’t ever leave him. When the sun sets, Gin prepares to part ways saying that Washio and Sonoko are “‘going in a different direction'” than her. In a vacuum, Gin really is just saying her home is on the other side of town. But in the greater context of the narrative, line really worries me. In a manner of speaking and given what we know, Gin does go in a different direction than her friends. Washio even appears to be thinking something similar as she temporarily grabs Gin’s hand before she could leave. She’s come to see Gin as a friend, so much so that saying goodbye troubles her a bit. The scene gets resolved with the trio stacking their hands in a show of solidarity but that honestly makes the ending even more bittersweet.
This episode is very lighthearted but intentionally so. It’s clearly a calm before the storm and I have no doubt in my mind that something is about to go down next episode. Kagawa Life already feels so fleeting…
Thanks for reading!
Watch Yuki Yuna is a Hero: The Washio Sumi Chapter on Amazon