As there was no new episode of YU-NO: Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of This World this week, I’ve invited Dewbond from the Shallow Dives in Anime back for another discussion post. So far, we’ve discussed Parallel Paradise and How Not to Summon a Demon Lord and both were a lot of fun. This time we will, of course, be discussing YU-NO and trying to figure out why no one else is talking about it! As with the other discussion posts, it’s best viewed directly on the website. Click Here!
Hey, Dewbond. Back so soon? I suppose I should start this discussion by thanking you for the recommendation. I only started watching YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of This World because you were so adamant that it was not being fairly represented in the blogging world.
So, you know that I love YU-NO and I know that you love YU-NO, but it’s about time we put all our thoughts together and work out exactly why. Oh, and thanks again for joining me once more.
Not just the blogging world, the entire anime community seems to be sleeping on this show, even people who might have jumped on the show for it’s ‘controversial’ aspects. I’m happy to join you here and talk about, especially before the next episode or two when things are apparently gonna get REAL weird.
Indeed. We were left with quite the cliffhanger, but we’ll get to that later. Shall we start on the controversial aspects? I was hooked from the first episode, but it wasn’t until the episode with Takuya’s step-mother, Ayumi that I was really aware of just what a fantastic show this was. That episode was brutal!
Absolutely, and I want to discuss that, but first I think it is important to talk about YU-NO and its place among the anime and visual novel community. This isn’t just some run of the mill seasonal anime entry, nor is it an adaptation of just any visual novel. This is an adaptation of THE visual novel. How much do you know about YU-NO now that you’ve watched it?
I knew you were here for a reason. They’re something I’ve been meaning to get into, but as of yet, I have not delved into the world of visual novels. Hit me with your YU-NO knowledge. I can take it!
Don’t ask me for the nitty-gritty, but YU-NO is considered to be the forebear of all visual novels, and introduced techniques in divergent storytelling that were apparently revolutionary at the time. Spilt timelines, alternative paths, different endings, everything that is considered standard for any Visual Novel (VN) started with YU-NO, and is the forebear for several famous pieces of work. Both Steins Gate and Fate Stay Night have name-dropped this work as a direct inspiration to those works.
It’s hard to see why it wasn’t given as much attention then. You’d think something as prominent as that would have a large fan base that would have been all over this. Maybe it doesn’t help that Steins Gate and Fate Stay Night are already established in the anime community and I’m sure there are many that don’t move between mediums, but still, I haven’t really seen much about it at all, negative or positive. That’s great for me because I am covering it and it’s definitely one of our more popular series of reviews.
Yes, it has been a thrilling ride, and especially that first Ayumi arc, tell me what were your thoughts on that?
I’ll be honest, after the first time, I saw where it was going. There was a moment where Takuya and Ayumi were talking at the side of the road and everywhere other than where they were stood there was a barrier. I knew she was going to throw herself in front of a car, but that didn’t make it any less effective.
Then, watching Takuya repeat the day over and over trying desperately to stop it from happening was unreal and each time Ayumi killed herself it got worse. As tragic as it was, I couldn’t help but admire how well it was done. That was the moment, I knew I was watching it to the end. How was it for you?
Well, I think like many people, I thought YU-NO was a standard harem show from the title poster, but it is very clear right off the bat that it is nothing like that at all. The story has an arc for each girl and starting off with Ayumi, his step-mother was probably best because it really hooked me in.
I didn’t see her first suicide coming, and the scene where Takuya walks in and sees her in the tub with the slit wrists, I was pretty much like “What? WHAT? I got to fucking know what happens next!’ What happens next just keeps ramping up the stakes, even when Takuya keeps trying to mulligan it with his portable little time machine. Some of Ayumi’s suicides are REALLY fucking disturbing.
The one with the bag taped over her head was particularly disturbing, especially the small details where she’d been clawing at the floor as she suffocated. I’m so glad he managed to talk her around in the end. After all that we really needed a happy ending and then we got to see what happens when he resolves an arc.
It’s back to the beginning where everything is slightly different. I loved that. I think it’s a great idea to be able to focus on the different arcs like that, knowing that it’ll all come together at the end… well, hopefully. I wouldn’t put anything past this show.
The following story arcs are pretty good as well, especially with Kanna, whose role in the story is dropped throughout the other character arcs, what did you think of the idea that she was probably some sort of prostitute or being blackmailed into sex, cause that shit keeps showing up time after time in the other arcs.
Yeah, I do like how they overlap and we’re always learning a little more about the characters and the major storyline. I really enjoyed Kanna’s arc although was surprised at the lack of use of the reflector device. Obviously, that then made it impossible for Takuya to go back and fix things, forcing him to push on. I also enjoyed Mio’s arc for the mysterious structure within the mountain and then Eriko’s arc was cool. Admittedly, it’s Eriko so it had to be cool! It’s also worth noting that Kanna is at least sixty years old too.
Eriko’s got real fucking weird though, she became some sort of time-cop after her…was it fiancé? Got killed? YU-NO goes some really strange places with its story, but it’s wrapped up with some really thrilling, and disturbing moments, especially for Kanna, did you see what happened in the last episode?
Yes, do you mean the fight with Hojo? Eriko the time-cop showed up again. I didn’t mind her story, there had been lots of hints about her being from another time. It’s was fairly early on when she mentioned about how Takuya had told her that’s how teachers dress. So, thanks Takuya. Talking of strange places, I think that’s where we are heading.
Hopefully, we’ll get to see the blonde naked elf that kissed Takuya back in episode one again.
Yeah, I’m like 90% sure that is actually “YU-NO”, you know… the title of this show. But yes, there has always been a sense of mystery lurking behind what is a normal thriller type of story, but the fact that is story has taken some rather insane turns makes it all the more alluring to watch. Now, what do you think of Takuya himself?
I think that’s YU-NO too. To start with, I wasn’t overly enamoured with Takuya, but he’s grown on me a lot as the series progresses. Again, even the Ayumi arc did a lot to boost him. I couldn’t help but be impressed with how he kept fighting to save her. How would you rate him?
Takuya feels very much like a prototype harem and Isekai light novel lead, which he very well might be, because again, he could be considered one of the first of his kind. I see a lot of Issei in him as being a perv who wears it on his sleeve but is a good man. I also see a lot of Sakuta from Bunny Girl Senpai with his dry humor and “doesn’t give a shit” attitude.
However he does feel a little rough around the edges and sometimes “undercooked” compared to other male anime leads, but I chalk that up to this being a straight adaption of a near 20-year-old visual novel. I like how he actually isn’t a virgin and was apparently having an affair with one of his teachers, which sets him apart from pretty much almost every male anime lead.
True. He is probably the blueprint for a lot of those characters. So, talking of Mitsuki, is that it for her? Is she just destined to die no matter what?
Well we have plenty of story left, and who knows how it is going to go, but that seems to be the sort of thing for her, that no matter what you try, some people are just meant to die, which makes her character tragic, I kinda wish that there was a flashback episode showing their relationship.
Speaking of which, shall we talk about the Fanservice? Or rather, lack thereof?
Absolutely. There’s been some here and there, but certainly not enough to scare away all the regular crowd who moan about an errant panty shot or boob jiggle. Even the beach episode was particularly tame.
And the irony of it is, is that YU-NO is an erotic visual novel, there are sex scenes all over the place, trust me I looked, and you can see it in the anime. You can see where those sex scenes were supposed to go.
So, now I have to check out the visual novel!
Well, the thing is, is that the visual novel is being remade, it’s coming out this October with new visuals that are in line with the anime. It’s coming out uncensored on (of all things) the Nintendo Switch, and probably Steam.
It’s probably going to be the first visual novel I actually buy, because as good as the anime is, there is always stuff that is cut out for the sake of time. So seeing the series again, with up to date visuals and a 2019 polish is going to be really great.
Might be worth buying a Switch then.
Quite possible, now YU-NO doesn’t need the sex scenes. Just like Fate Stay Night, they are half in half in their effectiveness, but it has been interesting watching each episode and going “Oh they probably fuck here,” cause it is quite obvious when you go back and rewatch some of the episodes.
I’ve not seen any of the original one, but if it’s twenty years old, a remake would certainly be worth it, especially if they use the same style as the anime. It would be interesting to see if those scenes do make any difference to the experience.
Yes, I’m going to be buying it just to see if they kept consistency with the original, and I want to see what they cut. It really shows how effective and good the show is and how sad it has been that it’s pretty much gone under the radar for the general anime community.
I agree. It’s certainly been much better than a lot of the shows that got more coverage and praise. I feel like I’d like to check out the original VN too and see what’s changed. I think there’s obviously a lot that can be learnt from a series like this.
Absolutely, and I think that is all we can really say about YU-NO right now. Overall I have found that this is the sleeper hit of the year, and I encourage anyone to check this anime out. This is a piece of history and vitally important to the Visual novel.
Don’t let the poster tell you otherwise, just like Bunny Girl Senpai, there is more to this show than what you think. It still hasn’t ended yet and I’m sure things are going to get real weird, I hope we can meet again and discuss the ending of the show and see if YU-NO is able to stick the landing.
Thanks for stopping by for a chat. I’m sure we’ll find more to talk about after the next nine episodes. As you say, things are about to get weird and I for one can’t wait. It’s definitely worth checking out and if you’re still not sure, just have a quick look through the episode highlights, but don’t dwell too long there are spoilers and this is a show that I think it’s best to view spoiler-free. I also think it’ll be a great show to binge too.
Thanks again, Dewbond. It’s been great!
So, there you have it. That’s what we thought about YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of This World, so far. There’s a lot more to this series than it just being a harem anime and it really is worth checking out. It’s one of the originals has no doubt influenced a lot of other works.
Also, don’t forget to check out Dewbond’s blog – Shallow Dives in Anime. His blog recently reached its first birthday and now Dewbond is about to re-watch an old friend… The Testament of Sister New Devil!!!
Thanks for reading.