YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love At The Bound Of This World
Genre: Drama, Science Fiction
YU-NO: A girl who chants love at the bound of this world (Kono Yo no Hate de Koi wo Utau Shoujo YU-NO) is a science fiction series based off the 1996 visual novel of the same name. The visual novel was popular during its time and has developed a loyal following that has led to the game getting a hentai anime adaptation as well as a recent remake on modern consoles. In YU-NO, Arima’s father is an accomplished historian who recently disappeared and is assumed dead. After receiving a strange package with a scientific device inside, Arima finds himself in a dire situation involving interdimensional travel.
The first episode of the series opens up with a very short prologue, followed by a pretty standard OP. Once the actual show resumes, the viewer is immediately bombarded by an upskirt shot, followed by a rather fanservice-y interaction between the protagonist and a teacher. The anime’s ecchi source material wastes no time making itself known, and will the introduction will likely turn away quite a few readers. Fortunately, aside from a few dialogues and the teacher’s absolutely horrible character design, the fanservice is mostly light through the rest of the episode.
Outside of the fanservice, this show doesn’t do much to impress in its first episode. The pacing is troubling, expecting viewers to take in facts about the past without questioning them. The presentation is full of abrupt and unexplained references that are frankly uninteresting. The time that could have been spent getting viewers invested in the plot and characters is wasted on meaningless and perverted conversations. This first episode banks most of its appeal on the dialogue and the mystery, but neither are especially captivating. The previous anime season was full of engaging opening episodes like Boogiepop and Dororo, which makes this debut feel underwhelming. None of the characters are rather interesting except for the protagonist’s best friend. The protagonist himself is your typical dark-haired visual novel hero, with a cool personality and endless perverted jokes. We have seen this character before because he is almost every “serious” harem.
The production values of this episode aren’t offensive. Studio feel does a fine job at ensuring that every audio cue hits for maximum effect. The score suitably acts as background music to set the tone of the scenes but doesn’t do anything to captivate or astound the ears. One tune towards the end felt especially uninspired, but otherwise, the sound is standard-fare. The animation is crisp, but there isn’t much need for any crazy visuals in this first episode. The show’s promised science fiction elements will likely test the quality of this show’s visuals in upcoming episodes.
Overall, YU-NO: A girl who chants love at the bound of this world is off to an underwhelming start. There isn’t much substance here, and the rocky pacing makes this far too difficult to get invested into. The fanservice is simply stupid and uninspired, and the characters are pretty generic. This series might be worth a few more episodes for mystery or science fiction fans, but viewers can probably do better with other shows this season.
YU-NO Episode 1
YU-NO just doesn't have enough to engage audiences. It's not particularly exciting, and the characters are boring. I'd only recommend this series to hardcore fans of the source material or genre.