Yay for Yuna!
James F. Neel | Texas, USA | 08/01/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First let me say this is not for everybody; it is best for confirmed fans of bishoujo anime. It fits into the "magical girl" category, much like Sailor Moon, but can be very confusing to the first-time viewer. The basic problem is that it is based on a series of Japanese video games, and if you're not familliar with the series you may feel you don't know who these girls are or what's going on. This 5-episode DVD also has two separate "stories", quite different in tone: one zany and full of visual puns; the other rather serious and dark, with an almost tragic conclusion.
Yuna is a rather stereotypical anime heroine much like Sailor Moon: clumsy, clueless much of the time, slow to anger, and dependant on her friends to get her out of trouble. They provide most of the interest and humor in the series. It is poorly explained that most of them are also super heroines, and former enemies of Yuna. Yuna's best quality is her ability to befriend almost anyone, the "almost" a significent plot device in the three-part second story.
Although the primary audience for the "magical girl" genre is generally the early teen years, this second 3-part story features a lot of fairly intense combat and a rather surprisingly gruesome resolution. Yuna is forced to choose between saving the life of a new android friend, or the entire Earth, a choice which causes her much anguish. Compared to the riotous slapstick of the first two-part episode of this DVD, this is startlingly heavy stuff.
I must stress that as an anime purist, I prefer to listen to the original Japanese voice actors and read the English subtitles. This series boasts many of the excellent voices from the classic Tenchi Muyo! series: Chisa Yokoyama, Ai Orikasa, and Yuko Mizotani to name only a few. But be warned that the English dub has the reputation of being even more inane and vapid than usual for an anime.