Surprise, surprise. Another day and another anime about lesbians.
I’ve tried to use this space to focus on specific moments that I enjoyed from anime this year. When planning this I felt obligated to include a moment from Yuyushiki since it was one of my favorite 2013 anime. Unfortunately, by its very nature Yuyushiki doesn’t lend itself to referring to a singular moment since the show itself is nothing more than a series of little moments with none standing out above the rest.
The magic of Yuyushiki was in how it captured the nonsensical transient experiences of daily life so effectively without anything actually happening. It’s cliché at this point to call one of these all girl slice of life anime a show about nothing but in Yuyushiki’s case the label is more apt than normal.
Despite this complete lack of important life-altering events (hell, even K-ON had its share of major development points for its characters) Yuyushiki manages to still stand out among the slice of life crowd because of the chemistry between its characters. Whether it’s Yuzu-chan’s charming stupidity, Yukari’s adorable “WAKARU~” or Yui’s begrudging affection for the two idiots, Yuyushiki’s main trio managed to endear themselves to the viewer even without any real plot to engage the viewer emotionally. I think the smaller cast here helps a bit. Most anime of this mold have a main cast of at least four that tends to expand during the show’s run. In Yuyushiki’s case the main cast numbers only three and while other characters come and go there are no real permanent additions to this main group of three. This dynamic allowed the three to develop slowly over the course of the show in a way that wouldn’t be possible if the limited screen time had to be split between a larger cast.
The best moments of Yuyushiki occurred when the three Yu’s were together in the “data processing club” which is a glorified “let’s faff about the internet all afternoon club.” Anybody with a bit of curiosity and an internet connection knows how easy it is to get caught in a tailspin of Wikipedia pages and Google results when researching a topic that interests you. (usually a topic of little overall importance if we’re being honest) Yuyushiki manages to elegantly capture this experience with the daily flights of internet fancy the club experiences. Whether it’s ice cream or whales or dogs and cats there’s something unmistakably familiar about the way they drift from one page to another while the conversation drifts from one topic to another. It’s in the familiarity of this experience and in the interplay of the characters during these precious moments that Yuyshiki really shines.
Yuyushiki, like most shows of its ilk, was a slow burn with the relationships and gags slowly building throughout its run culminating in a final episode that is on my short list of favorite episodes of the year. In the end, Yuyushiki reminded us that it’s not always the big events that matter but rather the precious little moments that can, over time, add up to something special. It’s something we all would do well to remember as we rush through this crazy mess of little moments we call life.