Yuki Yuna is a Hero: The Great Mankai Chapter Episode 4

Yuki Yuna is a Hero: The Great Mankai Chapter Episode 4

Chopping Trees

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I think Yuki Yuna is a Hero: The Great Mankai Chapter Episode 4 was pretty bad. The only thing I’d say was good about it was the soundtrack at times. Other than that, it seemed to have a lot of flaws.

Before I get into some of the actual issues I had with the series, though, let’s look at some of the superficial ones. I’ve never been a huge fan of Yuki Yuna’s combination of Shinto religion and space/mecha stuff. But the tree chopping ceremony in this episode really made me notice it.

When the sapling was originally planted, I didn’t mind that there was a whole ceremony to go along with it. It’s a divine tree in a magical girl anime — whatever. But when the ceremony for removing the tree was to “pretend” to chop it down as part of a ceremony, I couldn’t take it seriously.

Mebuki Kusunoki from the anime series Yuki Yuna is a Hero: The Great Mankai Chapter
Mebuki Kusunoki

Also, it was never explained why the tree was dying, right? We were just told that it’s dying and so the Sentinels needed to bring the sapling back. But, considering how well the sapling seemed to have been doing, would leaving it not have been preferable?

I get that there’s a potential risk with doing that. If they leave the sapling where it is and the main tree dies, then everyone who lives in the world supported by the tree will be erased. But at the same time, I feel like the possibility of having two trees outweighs that risk.

It seems like a second tree would help to protect the first. And as it stands right now, humanity doesn’t have long anyway. If they don’t expand outward, they’re just going to fade away.

Miroku Who?

Now, onto some of my real complaints with the episode and season at large. So, we’re 4 episodes in and I still don’t really know the new characters aside from Mebuki. And a large part of why that is has to do with how the girls look and act as Sentinels.

I still don’t know which girl is which when they’re wearing their Sentinel outfits. Half the time Mebuki has red hair instead of black hair, all the blonde girls look the same, and Shizuku’s entire personality changes. That makes it a bit difficult to learn the new characters.

So when Miroku “died,” I honestly had no idea who she was. After the episode, I had to look up which one she was. And in case you’re wondering, yes, I had to look up the names of every other character I’ve mentioned or will mention in this review other than Mebuki.

Miroku Yumiko "dying" from the anime series Yuki Yuna is a Hero: The Great Mankai Chapter
Miroku Yumiko “dying”

But, why is this really a problem? Maybe you think it’s fine because by the end of the season I’ll know all of their names. Well, not knowing who a character is really makes their “death” scene a lot less impactful.

I had absolutely no emotional attachment to Miroku. However, as it turns out, she didn’t die after all. So I guess the fact that her “death” wasn’t impactful doesn’t matter at all in the end anyway.

The series is relying way too heavily on names to differentiate the characters. That would work if we were already very familiar with the characters. Like, if Yuna was a Sentinal, I’d recognize who Yuna was if they said her name. It’s not working right now, though.

Maybe it’s for the best Miroku didn’t die in this episode. Now they can save her death for when I know who she is (I now know she’s the rich girl, by the way).

“Yuki Yuna isn’t a Madoka Clone”

Something I’ve definitely said in the past is that Yuki Yuna is a Hero is just a rip-off or clone of Madoka Magica. Yuki Yuna fans always get very defensive about that, but I think deep down they know it’s kind of true.

Yeah, Yuki Yuna is different in a lot of ways, such as its focus on the Shinto religion and mech-like transformations. But it’s also a dark magical girl anime that came out in the aftermath of Madoka Magica.

Madoka Magica didn’t invent the dark magical girl genre, but it did cause an explosion of interest in it. So I view Yuki Yuna in much the same way I view a lot of the worse isekai anime that came out a few years after Re:Zero and KonoSuba blew that genre up as well.

Togo accepting her role as a sacrifice from the anime series Yuki Yuna is a Hero: The Great Mankai Chapter
Togo accepting her role as a sacrifice

Why am I bringing this all up, though? Am I just trying to trigger the Yuki Yuna fans? No. I’m bringing it up because of the sacrifice Togo chose to make in this episode. She agreed to sacrifice herself to save everyone else and opted to erase her existence from the world at the same time so her friends wouldn’t miss her.

If you’ve ever watched Madoka Magica, that should sound extremely familiar.

But, as with basically everything in Yuki Yuna, it does the “lite” version of what Madoka Magica did. Yuna notices Mebuki erased herself immediately and her friends all rush to her bedside in the hospital where she wakes up.

I’d still like to know how she got into the hospital, though. Wasn’t she sacrificed? Normally you don’t get taken to the hospital after you get sacrificed and have your existence wiped from the universe.


What do you think of Yuki Yuna is a Hero: The Great Mankai Chapter Episode 4? Did you like it more than I did? Was there anything else about the episode you didn’t like that I didn’t mention? And are you able to keep the characters straight? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of Episode 5 is available now.

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