Note: I’m watching Yuki Yuna is a Hero blind. Please do not post spoilers in the comments.
Oh past me, if only you knew.
So this is awkward. I speculated in the last Yuki Yuna is a Hero that the main plot of The Hero Chapter is everyone rescuing Togo. Well, I apparently need to eat my own words as “Where’s Wasshi” has been concluded…here…in the second episode of six. How unexpected.
But let’s first talk about the episode itself.
Right off the bat, I love that one of the first things the Hero Club does in their search for Togo is check with the Taisha. It wouldn’t be the first time they’ve been up to something and it wouldn’t be the last either. And technically, it is later revealed that they were involved in some way though the implication is that their memories were erased so they end up claiming unawareness. Understandably, the Heroes barely buy it. Can’t say I blame them considering the Taisha’s track record. It’s only when Sonoko uses her influence within the Taisha and gets the same answer that they do.
Checking with Taisha does at least come with a consolation. Sonoko comes back with a suitcase containing everyone’s old phones and with that, their Hero powers. It’s a new system this time around, one that doesn’t eventually cripple its user. Basically, the Hero’s gauge starts at full and each petal now represents a set number of times her Fairy can protect her from harm. Mankai is still accessible though only if the Hero gauge is full, thereby implying it can only be used once per battle. Once it is used, the gauge is emptied out and the Fairy can no longer put up a barrier, leaving the Hero vulnerable like Washio’s team were during WaSuYu. Given this setup, I’m assuming each Hero will only have their default fairy to work with. I’ll admit that this kind of bums me out. I really like all the arsenal Togo had in Season 1 and I guess we’ll never see Sonoko’s 20 other fairies. Then again, the powers more fairies brought to the table was never really explored so I can live this.
Honestly, this is a really great shakeup to the Hero system. It’ll force our Heroes to decide between offense and defense and stick with one over the other once a decision is made. In theory, anyone could die if they’re not careful and while I doubt anyone will die (God, I hope I’m not jinxing this), that there is now a possibility is noteworthy and will play into YuYuYu‘s stakes and tone from here on out. More importantly, we’re doing something different here. I love how the powers work in Season 1 but I now know the twists behind it and you can’t have the characters suffer the same way twice and expect it to elicit the same reaction. A shakeup such as this is preferable. Plus, it now means that each “chapter” of YuYuYu has its own form of the Hero system which I think is novel.
Really though, the real upside to the changes is that I can appreciate the Fairies again without all that creepy baggage surrounding them. I can look at Karin’s fairy and laugh at the only two phrases it knows again!
I really enjoy watching everyone’s reactions to using their powers again. It’s necessary but understandably, the girls are on the fence at first due to bad memories and mistrust with the Taisha. This is especially the case with Fuu who evidently still feels guilty for dragging her friends into the Hero business. I’m a little surprised that Sonoko trusts the Taisha’s word about the system upgrade. Considering her experiences, I’d imagine her to trust the Taisha the least. Then again, I suppose her faith in the claim is the best way in which everyone would feel more at ease about transforming again. Also, the person Sonoko talks to about the new system…could that be Aki-sensei? That has to be her, right?
Now that they have their old terminals back, locating Togo gets considerably easier. The app confirm she isn’t in the mortal world anymore, leading everyone to assume she’s somewhere outside the wall, in the realm beyond. So everyone ventures off beyond the wall to find her.
And here’s where things start getting really weird. Once the group go beyond the wall, we learn that the place Togo is trapped in is located in a black hole. Vertex notably emerge from it, which may explain why they haven’t caused a ruckus in some time. Sonoko takes everyone there (I didn’t mention this in the last WaSuYu review but of course, Sonoko has a pirate ship) and Yuna volunteers to venture into the black hole. There, Yuna enters some sort of astral plane and her spirit separates from her body, the two halves staying connected via what resembles an umbilical cord. I swear, I’m not making this up!
From there, Yuna experiences Togo’s memories (thank goodness, Togo remembers in exposition) and we learn what exactly happens to the latter. Apparently, the Taisha informed her one day that hellfire from the realm beyond is seeping through the hole Togo left in the wall back in Season 1. Blaming herself for this, Togo volunteers to be a sacrifice for the ritual necessary to suppress the flames, resulting in her disappearance and her friends forgetting about her. Like I said in the last post, I love that YuYuYu is actually addressing Togo’s actions further, rather than sweeping it under the rug like at the end of Season 1.
I didn’t say it in the last review but the whole pocket dimension Togo is trapped in is really unsettling. The monochrome aesthetic alone does the trick though I’m further unnerved at how the “sky” and “surface” get less gray the closer they meet at the horizon, the center line being completely white. And poor Togo. You find out her spirit and body have been surprised like with what just happened to Yuna and it’s her spirit that’s been set aflame. Her body meanwhile is trapped and slowly sinking into some sort of mirror, as though to say her sense of self is fading and she is becoming a part of the void she’s trapped in.
Naturally, Yuna will have none of that and pulls Togo out of her prison. Doing so almost kills her though ultimately, she manages to break her friend free. We then see Togo recovering in the hospital with everyone by her side which in a vacuum, is an uplifting enough scene. It’s a nice reversal to when Togo woke up alone and with no memories. However, it seems that this action will not go without consequence. While pulling Togo out, an emblem of some sort on Togo’s spirit disappears and reappears onto Yuna’s. The very last scene of the episode, we learn that the symbol is still there only now, it’s on Yuna’s actual body. The implication is that Togo’s role as the sacrifice has now been passed onto Yuna. And judging by the dialogue, everyone is convinced that Togo gave enough life force for the ritual and go back to living normally, Yuna is keeping this a secret.
The part that puzzles me most is that Yuna is actually in the mortal world again. I’d imagine that if Yuna is the new sacrifice than she’d be left in that void and everyone’s memories of her would be erased. Granted, that would be repetitive and kind of dumb so I’m glad the show is taking a different direction. But if Yuna is still the new sacrifice, what’s going to happen to her?
To say I’m confused after this episode is an understatement. Maybe I shouldn’t have assumed rescuing Togo would be the plot of the whole series but I really did not expect her to be rescued so quickly. Yet, here is the second episode where that very much happens and with that thread addressed, we’re now left with an even more mysterious and foreboding one to take its place. To be fair, I very much prefer things this way. The last thing I wanted YuYuYu‘s sequel to be is pedestrian so to see it throwing me on a loop excites me.
OP: “Hanakotoba” by Sanshuu Chuugaku Yuusha-bu
The song pumps me up so much that it disappoints me that the OP is just recycled footage.
ED: “Yuusha-tachi no Lullaby” by Sanshuu Chuugaku Yuusha-bu
Thanks for reading!
Watch Yuki Yuna is a Hero: The Hero Chapter on Amazon