Episodes: 6 (or 7 – if you consider the recap episode to be part of the series proper)
Genre(s): Mahou Shoujo, Drama, Slice-of-life, Fantasy,
Aired: Nov 2017 – Jan 2018
Also known as: Yuki Yuna is a Hero: The Hero Chapter; Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru – Yuusha no Shou; 結城友奈は勇者である -勇者の章-
Summary: Sequel to Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru.
Review: Unlike the ambiguous watch order for Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru – Washio Sumi no Shou and the original series (some will say that WaSuYu must be watched after YuYuYu while others will claim that WaSuYu can be watched before YuYuYu), Yuha no Shou can only be watched after the other two series as it’s essentially the conclusion to the YuYuYu franchise (unless if Studio Gokumi wants to adapt even more prequels at a later date).
To its credit, I believe Yusha no Shou answers, or at least presents alternative solutions to, the long-standing questions on what it means to be a hero and what it means to be human.
The former has been present near the very beginning of YuYuYu due to Yuki Yuna’s decision to jump in and fight Vertex borne from her earnest desire to be a hero. But then twists and turns emerge which serve to pervert the duties of a hero into being one of sacrifice, of becoming a martyr for the greater good and for everyone else. This perception of being a hero is off-putting to some viewers which negatively affect their enjoyment of the series. But in Yusha no Shou, this skewed viewpoint is called out and deemed to be flawed while an alternative agreement is reached. Furthermore, Yuna actually realizes that keeping things to herself shouldn’t be her first resort, which is something she’s always held to her heart since YuYuYu. At any rate, I hope that this turn of events can at least partially satisfy dissenters.
As for what it means to be human, the theme has been subtly active since YuYuYu around when Togo Mimori tested the limits of the faeries’ intervention and when the girls figure out the price they have to pay for Sange. However, it was more fully fleshed out in WaSuYu, which takes place in a time before the girls could shrug off injuries and rely on Sange and which shows Gin’s moment of triumph in which she screams about what it means to be human while pushing herself to save her loved ones. And then the familiar Sange system was implemented which left adults who were in the know wondering if the girls could be considered truly human.
In my opinion, the revised Sange system introduced in Yusha no Shou, which does away with the previous payment system that was inherent to using Mankai at the cost of only allowing the girls to use Mankai a single time, in a way describes the path the girls find themselves on towards the end of the series. Do they continue to rely on Shinju-sama and follow its convoluted system which demands sacrifice (i.e. use Mankai) or do they forge on without its protection or guidance? The metaphor is not exactly perfect, but that was what came to mind as I watched the finale.
If I had to express disappointment in the series, then I would have to say the fact that a a few details are left to interpretation. Call it inconsistent pacing; call it scrapping world-building for supplementary materials; call it whatever you like. I do believe infinitezentih provides a few answers to some of the mysteries, but as a whole we’re really left to fend for ourselves and come up with our own answers. That isn’t to say that the ending and the series isn’t satisfying as a whole, of course. But I do feel like this is something that had to be said.
On a more positive note, the addition of Sonoko to the cast really improve the show as a whole since she is able to push the plot forward during key moments. Her calm, analytical behavior serves to ground the other members who are more prone to acting rashly or becoming overwhelmed by emotion. Plus, she’s a yuri fan.
Speaking of yuri, well, it was there in YuYuYu and it was there in WaSuYu. So should it come to any surprise that it was here in Yusah no Shou? People such as myself will cling onto these comfy, cozy moments as we try to cope with the emotional roller coaster that is Yusha no Shou. Personally? I’ve always been a big fan of Fuu x Karin and I’m very pleased with how my favorite ship received its fair share of moments.
A solid conclusion despite nitpickers like me who want everything to be explained. The questionable stance on what it means to be a hero is addressed and the girls, and the society as a whole, are finally able to move forward while embracing what it means to be human. You’re gonna want to hear from someone else if you want explanations on flower language or the symbolism, however.
Just don’t watch this series before YuYuYu and WaSuYu, please. Don’t call this franchise a Madoka rip-off, either.