Genre(s): Slice-of-life, Comedy
Aired: Jan 2017 to Mar 2017
Also known as: うらら迷路帖
Summary: All girls aspiring to become fortune-tellers gather in Meirochou, the town of fortune-telling. Chiya, a wild child who was raised in the mountains, meets Kon, who is always straight-laced; Koume, who loves all things western; and Nono, who is shy to a fault. Their adventures of apprentice fortune-tellers are about to unfold!
Review: This was probably the prettiest show I reviewed this season (Winter 2017). Unfortunately, that’s all this show really had.
J.C. Staff was balancing 3 shows this time and it seems like Urara Meirochou received most of the time and attention since it was beautifully animated. The characters (who looked and acted ridiculously cute, by the way) almost never looked off-model. Watching the show was a fluid, fun experience. As for the characters, they all held qualities that distinguished them from being completely flat moeblobs at least.
The story itself, however, leaves much to be desired. While it could be argued that each episode depicts the girls learning (and growing from) important life lessons, I personally found any morals that could be considered as integral to the narrative to be both shallow and buried under too many layers of moe.You can only sit through so many episodes where they rediscover the meaning of friendship and courage. The series definitely picks up towards the latter half and a sense of plot progression actually emerges, but for some that may be too little, too late.
I will applaud how the story properly used foreshadowing, however. Events that occurred in earlier episodes were referenced and actually relevant later on. It’s always irritating whenever things are rushed and not properly explained, which was thankfully not the case here.
The universal concern many viewers had (including myself) was the fact that Chiya would not stop flashing her belly. I get it. Yes, fanservice is prominent in many anime so this shouldn’t be considered an issue. Yes, Chiya has a feral dog motif and this is how she demonstrates her willingness to comply and submit. But it still comes across as being creepy, since she’s only 15 years old and looks even younger, and overdone, since she tends to do this very frequently. Perhaps the fact that is even allowed is a failing of the anime industry in general.
Speaking of motifs, there was also a consistent flower motif for the four main characters. I can’t really distinguish flowers by sight (excluding the lily, of course), but it was nice to see how a specific flower was associated with a different character. Furthermore, the flower motifs were still relatively restrained and would only appear ever so often. As a result, I never felt that Urara Meirochou became too flowery.
I have nothing but praise for the OP and the ED. They’re catchy and sound really cute. Just make sure you’re wearing headphones when you’re listening to the song if you’re worried about being exposed as a weeaboo. The instrumental OST did not leave an impact on me since I can’t recall any of the tracks.
As for the yuri, it’s actually quite abundant! Shipping fans, rejoice! Apparently the author of the original source material wrote and drew plenty of yuri doujinshi, so it’s probably all intentional here, folks. There’s even a few kisses here and there
but never on the lips.
Urara Meirochou certainly is a cute and pretty show. However, there’s not much substance to be found. Give it a watch if you aren’t irked by the concept of 15 year olds flashing their bellies and if you’re looking for a light, fun watch that doesn’t really require thinking to enjoy.
If you’re looking for more pretty shows featuring cute girls that can be enjoyed without active use of your brain, I would recommend watching Gochuumon wa Wsagi Desu ka? While GochiUsa does include such elements (as well as a girl who’s learning how the how-to regarding a craft), it also features girls of differing ages and retains its episodic nature from beginning to end which sets it apart from Urara Meirochou. Shipping fans would also have a field day with GochiUsa.