Yuki Yuna is a Hero: The Great Mankai Chapter Episode 1

Yuki Yuna is a Hero: The Great Mankai Chapter Episode 1

The Joy of Youth

The last time I watched or wrote about Yuki Yuna was in April of 2018, so it’s safe to say it’s been a while. As such, I don’t really remember all that much of what happened before this season. But, I do remember that Karin was my favorite girl.

However, right at the start of this episode, we’re reminded that the girls of the Hero Club are no longer actual heroes. They won their final battle and are now able to live out their lives as regular middle school students.

I appreciated that reminder, but it lead into something I had forgotten I disliked about the Yuki Yuna series. Despite it being over three years ago, I definitely remember complaining in one of my reviews about how Yuki Yuna rapidly jumps between different scenes.

Sonoko and Fuu in a band from the anime series Yuki Yuna is a Hero: The Great Mankai Chapter
Sonoko and Fuu in a band

Originally, that complaint had to do with the series jumping back and forth between slice of life and action content. We’d be watching the girls doing stuff for their club, and then suddenly there would be a battle against whatever the monster things are called.

What happened in this episode wasn’t quite as jarring, but it still bothered me a bit. This time, the episode jumps between scenes of the girls doing various activities with their newfound free time.

They start a band (and quickly break up), they go to karaoke, they play airsoft, and they go camping. I don’t think I would have minded seeing all of this if it was in a quick montage. But because of the length of these scenes, they felt more like skits.

Unfortunately, if this first episode is anything to go by, that complaint of mine isn’t going to be addressed.

Laid-Back Camping

Let’s focus on the camping portion of the “montage” for a bit. This portion of the episode reminded me of a few other things, most notably that Sonoko Nogi wasn’t originally part of this group of heroes.

From what I remember, the Hero Club started off as just including Fuu Inubouzaki, who then recruited her sister Itsuki, Yuki Yuna, and Mimori Togo. I’m pretty sure Karin Miyoshi then joined later. If I’m wrong, sorry.

Sonoko was the girl who we were first introduced to when she was wheelchair-bound and wrapped in bandages. She’s the one who explained to the other girls that being a hero isn’t all sunshine and rainbows — they’re doing some serious damage to their bodies without realizing it.

Sonoko Nogi in a chicken kigurumi from the anime series Yuki Yuna is a Hero: The Great Mankai Chapter
Sonoko Nogi in a chicken kigurumi

I don’t exactly remember what the twist of Yuki Yuna was. I know it wasn’t as extreme as the twist in Madoka Magica. Instead, it was something like the more the girls use their hero powers, the more damage they do to their bodies. And at some point, that damage becomes too much.

It was also revealed that Sonoko used to form a hero trio with Togo (also known as Wasshi) and Minowa (who I don’t remember at all). Minowa died somehow and Togo lost her memories of both Minowa and Sonoko until fairly recently.

Basically, the entire camping scene was included just to remind us of these previous events, for which I’m grateful. I think doing a recap like this is way better than having an episode fully dedicated to recapping or a recap flashback within an episode.

Sure, there are still plenty of things I don’t remember. But, I was reminded of all the major events that have taken place, which is all I really need for now.

Recalling the Heroes

At the end of Episode 1 was another scene that reminded me of something I forgot — I know, there’s a lot of that. The heroes in this series are selected by “God” or something, and they’re forced into their hero duties by the followers of this God.

Yes, I think Yuna, Togo, and Itsuki all voluntarily became heroes, but it had something to do with their predisposition to become heroes. And once they become heroes, they’re not able to change their minds.

Additionally, the fact that these girls are heroes isn’t a secret like it is in a lot of other magical girl shows. The heroes are effectively state-sponsored militants who fight to protect everyone else living in this world. I think that was one of the big issues they had when they found out the truth of their positions; they’re child soldiers by force.

Yuna, Togo, Sonoko, Fuu, Itsuki, and Karin from the anime series Yuki Yuna is a Hero: The Great Mankai Chapter
Yuna, Togo, Sonoko, Fuu, Itsuki, and Karin

Anyway, the scene at the end of the episode shows some followers of the God coming to Togo’s house, implying that she’s being called upon to fight once again. At this point, I don’t know what the enemy they’re going to be fighting is.

I thought the enemy was defeated. So is this a brand new enemy? Are there more of the same type of enemy that have shown up? I don’t know. But, what I’m hoping is that this season will be less about the girls fighting against these enemies and more about them fighting the institution that forces them to be soldiers.

If all they’re doing is fighting against the same enemies, then how would this season be any different from the previous ones? I’m guessing this is going to be the season in which they finally do end their fate of being heroes. Which is to say, I’m assuming this is the final season.

Conclusion

What do you think of Yuki Yuna is a Hero: The Great Mankai Chapter Episode 1? Do you remember much from the previous seasons? Do you mind the anime jumping between scenes as much as I do? Let me know in the comments.

Also, you may have noticed that I’m writing this review on the day Episode 2 aired. I didn’t watch this episode when it aired last week. So to make up for that, my review of Episode 2 is going to be tomorrow. And then the reviews of Episode 3 onward are going to be on the Fridays when they air.

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Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and Toma for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month, as well as Key Mochi~ for supporting at the Senpai tier. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My review of Episode 2 is available now.

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