We follow the continuing slice-of-life misadventures of the Nanamori Middle Girl Amusement Club as they ... amuse themselves.
If YuruYuri commits one massive and persistent sin through the course of the franchise run, it is that of repetition.
You can almost paint a typical series episode by numbers: Akari will be overlooked due to her "lack of presence" at least twice (at least once with the matching "Akari~n" sound effect). TOSHINŌ! KYŌKO! will be called out by her unknown rival, tsundere student body president Ayano, mostly because she is blatantly in love with Kyoko, who is blatantly in love with Chinatsu (as Mirakurun), who is blatantly in love with Yui-sempaaaaaaaai and will inevitably create some utterly unspeakable work of "art" or "writing" for her muse. Chitose will take off her glasses, fantasize about Ayano and Kyoko doing something, and nosebleed. Sakurako and Himawari will squabble because they are blatantly in love with each other and aren't willing to admit it.
Pretty much, that's precisely what you get, with a few minor diversions, such as finding out the full extent of the mildly upsetting truth about Akari's seemingly friendly and reliable older sister Akane, possibly the one person in the series for whom Akari is anything but invisible. We also get to spend more time with Chinatsu's older sister Tomoko (blatantly in love with Akane who is blatantly in love with ...) and Sakurako's slightly snobby older sister Nadeshiko, who may very well be one of the few girls in the series with a bonafide reciprocated relationship. (PROTIP: her significant other is not a dude.) Another trend is the increased woobification (if you will) of one of the club girls: weirdly, I'm not talking about Akari, though she still is subjected to plenty of Crowning Moments of Personal Failure.
The opening and ending themes are similar, there are lots of callbacks to previous episodes, right down to having the annual field trip to the same city. There is a rather amusing late-season episode which stars Akari as the protagonist of a certain Mamoru Hosoda film (gamely attempting to reassert Akari is any sort of protagonist at all, really), but the vast majority of this series relies on familiarity rather than cleverness, which to many viewers may be a disappointment.
Others may simply be comfortable being entertained by that very familiarity, because the cast just sells these characters so effectively - sure, they might be going through the motions of a slice-of-life show, but it comes off so earnestly that it really isn't bothersome to watch, and, more importantly, doesn't actually feel like going through the motions, which is a pretty important distinction. Since it's just twelve episodes, it's not like your spending an interminable amount of time, either, though one hopes the next season might come with more progression and innovation. (The OVA special released and set between seasons 2 and 3 is covered in its own review.)
What we get is still a lot more exciting than watching them try to be a tea ceremony club.
I really did want to drop this a star for its lack of originality, but in the end, the deficits are insufficient for me to consider this a truly bad series. Cute, fluffy, charming, and never remotely in the running for an Anime Grand Prix. — Carlos Ross
Recommended Audience: Early teens and over. Suggestive fantasies, nosebleeds and the occasional forced kiss are the only real objectionable content. It is clean show in general for a show about teenage girls chasing after each other. Some people might also be offended by how much the universe seems to hate Akari.
Version(s) Viewed: Digital source, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (12/12)
YuruYuri S2 © 2011 Namori / Ichijinsha / 7FEC
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