It’s been a couple of weeks since YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of This World finished, but don’t worry, there’s still plenty to talk about so I’ve invited Dewbond from the Shallow Dives in Anime back to go over the series on a whole and the final arc – Dela Granto. As with the other discussion posts on this site, it’s best viewed directly on the website. Click Here!
Hey, Dewbond. Thanks for coming back to discuss Yu-No now that it’s finished. We last talked after episode seventeen. It seems like we picked a great spot for a break because it was like a different show after that point. I think we’ve got a lot to talk about.
Thanks, Lynn, I’m happy to be back and talk about what has turned out to be a real wild ride of a show. Let’s just get this out of the way right now, they fucking ate Kunkun.
I still can’t believe it. How could they do that to Kunkun? It wasn’t as if they’d been stuck in the desert for weeks and were desperate. She’d literally just crashed and Amanda was passing Takuya the knife. If only that was the weirdest thing in this part of the show!
I really don’t know where to start, this show went in directions I never really expected and ended in a strange, but good place. How about you try to find us an entry point here.
I guess we should start with Takuya travelling to Dela Granto because that’s when it started. Is Takuya the original Isekai hero?
I think he might be, like we discussed in our previous look at the series. YU-NO is one of the forebears of all visual novels and came way WAY before even before the proto-Isekais were making their mark.
This series broke a lot of ground and it’s crazy to think just how much it might have influenced. It’s not going to win any awards for character names with a mute called Sayless, however! I remember thinking that Sayless was the one that appeared in episode one and kissed Takuya. If only that had been the case!
Well, a lot of girls kissed Takuya, especially in the visual novel which keeps in all the sex scenes. There isn’t a single woman in this entire series that hasn’t gotten with, or gets with Takuya. Some people might have a bucket list, but this guy’s got a fuck-it list.
I’ve not played the visual novel, but is safe to assume he got with his step-mom, both his daughters, his teacher, the news reporter, his classmate, and maybe even Ryuuzouji’s mom???
Not to mention Sayless and Amanda.
Indeed, the visual novel, the OG version was NOTORIOUS for shoving in a panty or boob shot at any chance it could and reflected a time where, I think at least, the VN genre wasn’t taken seriously and had to depend on cheap fanservice to move copies. Fate Stay Night felt resorted to doing that as well. Now that doesn’t mean I’m against it, I honestly think YU-NO could have played more faithful to it’s VN roots, but that is up to the viewer.
Well, it certainly did a good job of making people want to check out the updated version of the visual novel that coincidentally was released the same day the last episode aired. I haven’t taken the plunge yet, have you?
I have, and we’ll talk about that a bit later, but right now I wanna discuss more about the plot. This is probably one of the biggest paradigm shifts and plot turns I’ve seen in an anime. What did you think about the radical story shift?
I liked it but also didn’t like it. Up to that point, I’d loved the show and how gritty and real it felt despite the parallel world jumping. It dealt with real issues and tackled some topics that most would shy away from. Then, it turned into a fantasy story where it dealt with topics that most would give a hard pass to.
It didn’t seem to fit with the tone of the rest of the show and it also moved at a quicker pace both within the story and with the plot. It felt like this part of the story could have easily been a twenty-six episode season on its own, but they squashed it into nine episodes.
I agree in some ways. The first half of YU-NO is honestly some of the best anime I’ve watched since Re:Zero. It’s a gripping story full of twists and turns that kept me at the edge of my seat. The storyline with Ayumi literally had me going “WHAT!” while the plots with Mio and Eriko were well told. The plot change to Dela Granto, I think, makes sense, and will make sense when you have the visual novel to fill out the things they clearly cut.
I do think it was interesting, it was never truly “bad” but it felt like it was constantly on fast-forward the whole time. There is actually a lot of interesting stuff in there like with Sayless, Amanda and the doomed world.
Definitely, but totally on fast forward. We had that girl at the oasis who betrayed them and then showed up at the palace, but it felt like there should have been much more to her story. I also don’t think they gave the endings enough time and it hurt the emotional impact of it.
Yeah, I can see that. It did feel rush, and at least needed another five episodes to help spread things out. Sayless, YU-NO and Amanda are all very important to the plot, and they honestly feel like supporting characters, especially after how well done the first batch of girls were.
The story they are telling it is not bad, this is one of the most famous visual novels after all, but this adaptation seemed to fall into the trap that most stories have: they blow all their budget and time in the first half and are stuck playing catch up in the second, or making ends meet with whatever they have.
YU-NO would have been a superb 50, or even 40 episode series, which would have let the Dela Granto arc really flesh out, but again..there are some really great moments in the second half. Kanna’s story arc before Takuya warps over is quite good.
Agreed. I would have definitely watched another twenty-six episodes. It felt like they wrapped everything up too quickly, especially the cyclical events of Dela Granto. I loved that idea, but it really needed more time. The meteor that forced Dela Granto to separate from Earth and move to another dimension was Dela Granto. That deserved a little more weight, not to mention all the people that died when they crashed it into the Earth.
It all deserved more weight, but it is what it is. Let’s get back to talking about what worked in the series as a whole. How do you feel about Takuya now that all is said and done?
That guy’s got game! I preferred him pre Dela Granto but he certainly wasn’t annoying. I did have a laugh when he recruited everyone to join the revolution in the quarry and their dopey hand gestures. I think the most annoying thing with him after the change was Yu-No. She just annoyed me. Did your opinion of Takuya change?
I actually really like Takuya, both in the first half and second. He’s a different sort of character than the usual miliquetoast heroes that dominate so many Isekai and harem. Like I probably said in our first discussion, the fact that he’s not a virgin helps ground him and make his antics more believable. While he’s a horndog for sure, he’s also quite relaxed and always in control, but not in the Gary-Stu type way.
In the second half, I honestly thought that YU-NO helped further mature his character, giving him someone to protect and care for, letting him see the world through the eyes of a parent. That’s also true with Kanna, who he is still determined to save despite being away from for years.
I liked that Kanna waiting for him meant that he couldn’t use the Reflector device without abandoning her. It raised the stakes. I still think they underplayed the parental responsibility with Yu-No. She was kidnapped and he got over it pretty quickly and then she was potentially going to be sacrificed and he again got over it pretty quickly. I’m going to assume that’s down the pacing, but it got a little frustrating.
I have to disagree, I think he did care about YU-NO, the anime just didn’t have the time to show it. Once he finds out that she’s alive, he only wants to save her and protect her. He also is torn up about the idea that she has to give up part of her being in order to save Dela Granto. I can see your point, but the show does take some time to show their parental bond, just not enough.
Things like Takuya discovering YU-NO was brainwashed, or him trying to escape the mines, could have been whole story arcs unto themselves.
I know I may sound disparaging but I did enjoy it, admittedly the first part much more, but I did like all of it. As I said, I think it was just rushed for the final part. What would you like to focus on next then? The ending or one in particular?
Let’s talk about the ending. I must say, that I did really like the first Ayumi we see ends up being the god-emperor, it was nice to see that all the parallel worlds weren’t forgotten. Not so much the flying sperm that decided to attack people. That was just fucking weird.
Yeah, the sperm was bizarre even by Yu-No standards. I feel like this is where they really sped things up as we had Ayumi’s ending, Eriko’s ending, Amanda’s ending, Yu-No’s ending, Kanna’s ending, Mio’s ending all in one episode. No one really got the time they deserved and we were limited to brief glimpses of them.
Yeah, a LOT of shit happens in that last episode, but from what I gather, Takuya warps back, saves Kanna, finds out she is his daughter, then runs off to find YU-NO as he did back in the first episode, then decides to go with her to go…what..to the time before the big bang?
The time before everything. With regards to Kanna, the anime never actually confirmed that she was his daughter. He recognized Amanda as Kanna’s mother but it didn’t appear to me that he put the two together, especially as he just abandoned her for Yu-No.
The other big question is, where is his dad?
Here’s a bigger question, why the fuck is his mom with him in the final shot? She was the priestess before Sayless right?
Yep, but she could have been flung anywhere in time and space. It’s a pretty big unanswered question for the series.
There are several questions, most of which I think will be answered by the visual novel, which overall is what the YU-NO anime was about, trying to gin up hype for the remake. And hey..it worked. I bought it the day it came out and I’m really enjoying it.
Mission accomplished! All in it was a hell of a ride and I’m definitely glad I was on board. I’m now a little envious of those that get to binge the entire series without having to wait a week between episodes. What was the most memorable moment for you?
The Ayumi suicide at the start was probably the most memorable moment for me. It’s still one of the most shocking scenes in the series. Though Takuya getting finger-raped by the old fat guy was…something. Who was your favorite girl?
I’d agree with your moment. That was a shocking episode and not one that’s easily forgotten.
Best girl for me was Eriko and like Takuya, I preferred her school teacher uniform. Which of the girls won you over?
I liked Ayumi, but I warmed up to Kanna as well. I didn’t really care much for Mio, I thought she was the weak link of the series, at least in the first half. I did enjoy Amanda too!
Haha! So, most of them then. You’re as bad as Takuya! Is there anything else you’d like to discuss? Maybe about how Ryuuzouji ended up being a bit crap because Eriko defeated him with one shot?
There is a lot I want to say, but I think I need to play the visual novel before I put down some more thoughts. What I will say though is that I really enjoyed my time with YU-NO, and it was a great series that I would suggest to anyone. I can see the greatness that people have said, and the legacy it had had in the Visual Novel community. It isn’t my anime of the year, but it is for sure on my best-of list.
Also, they totally cut Takuya and YU-NO getting down…YA COWARDS!
I look forward to seeing your thoughts on the visual novel and hope to get in there myself at some point. It’s been a fun series to follow and I can only thank you for putting it on my radar.
Thanks for letting me take part in this conversation as always Lynn.
And that’s about it for YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of This World. One of these days, I will get around to playing the Visual Novel and hope to get a review up, but sadly that’s not going to be anytime soon. We’d also love to hear your thoughts on the series.
And finally, don’t forget to check out Dewbond’s blog – Shallow Dives in Anime.
Thanks for reading.
Other Posts in the Series
- Season One
- Episode 1 – You Know?
- Episode 2 – Parallel World Constitutive Theorem
- Episode 3 – Tears That Can’t Be Stopped
- Episode 4 – Dirtied White Skin
- Episode 5 – Spiral of Tragedy
- Episode 6 – Beyond a Pale Light
- Episode 7 – The Cause of the Curse
- Episode 8 – The Sparrows and Swallows Know Not
- Episode 9 – The Distance Between Him and Her
- Episode 10 – Feelings Overlapping
- Episode 11 – That Kiss, Once More
- Episode 12 – The Secret Under the White Coat
- Episode 13 – An Ordained Fate
- Episode 14 – The Transfer Student’s Friend
- Episode 15 – A Summer That Won’t Come Back
- Episode 16 – Within Unmoving Time
- Episode 17 – A Pale, Ephemeral Vow
- Episode 18 – Twilight in Dela Granto
- Episode 19 – The Bond Between Parent And Child
- Episode 20 – Into the Rafaelo Desert
- Episode 21 – The Quarry Where Demons Rule
- Episode 22 – Escape from the Quarry
- Episode 23 – The Imperial City, Where The Wind Blows
- Episode 24 – The Truth of Dela Granto
- Episode 25 – The Promised Ritual
- Episode 26 – A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of This World
- Bonus Posts