When Takuya’s father mysteriously vanished, it was a shock, but not nearly as surprising as the package he left behind. With the Reflector device, Takuya is able to jump to parallel worlds. Hopefully, they’ll be some answers somewhere!
What did you watch?
Originally, I had planned on starting my reviews of Gibiate today, but I got the release date wrong, so that won’t be until next week. That makes this the perfect time to bring back one of my older reviews from my previous site. Amazingly, there are still not enough people talking about this series and that makes it another good reason to revive this review.
I had jumped into Yu-No a little late. It was only after Dewbond from Shallow Dives in anime had been screaming from the rooftops about it for several weeks that I took note. Most walked on without looking up, but something about his dishevelled demeanour caught my attention. Was it the rantings of a mad man or was there more to it? I decided to sit down and find out for myself.
When I started there were seven episodes available dubbed. I watched the first five in one sitting. The next day, I jumped back in and once I got to episode seven, I did something that I don’t normally do, I switched to subtitles so that I could watch the next two. I have no preference between subtitles and dubbed anime, but I rarely switch, and definitely not midseason. So, let’s get into it, but watch out, there will be spoilers.
So, Takuya received the Reflector device from his recently missing father and was a little unsure of things. Then, he met a strange girl who kissed him and then vanished. Next, his father’s colleague pulled a gun on him, forcing Takuya to use the Reflector device. Takuya woke up the next morning and it was as if none of it had happened. He went about the day experiencing similar events as before, but it wasn’t quite identical. Then, when he discovered his step-mother unconscious in the bathtub, blood gushing from the cut on her wrist, he knew he had to do something about it.
Takuya repeated the day over and over and over, desperately trying to change the outcome. It seemed hopeless, but he refused to give up and finally, he managed to make a change that didn’t result in Ayumi’s death. With that issue resolved, he continued to investigate his father’s colleague, Ryuuzouji and that lead him on a wild and mysterious adventure through parallel worlds and times. Several answers continued to elude him, such as where was his father and who was the girl that kissed him, but Takuya wasn’t about to give up, not if it meant travelling to every parallel world out there.
What did you think?
This series was a massive surprise. At no point did I think it would turn into something as insane. Originally, it barely registered on my radar, but thankfully that changed. At first, it seemed to be the fairly standard harem story, but then it went dark. Real dark. I was stunned and shocked as Ayumi killed herself over and over again. The worst part was that I saw it coming and each time it broke you a little. That arc of the story was incredible and it ensured that I would watch it to the end, all twenty-six episodes. It wasn’t all as compelling, but it definitely warranted a watch and I’m glad that I did.
What was your favourite moment?
It almost feels wrong to call it my favourite moment, but it was definitely the most impressive part of the series. Takuya had a dream where he saw Ayumi die. When he woke, he ran into her bathroom, afraid of what he might find. Luckily, it wasn’t what he expected and Ayumi wasn’t too happy for him to run in on her while she bathed. Then things slowly grew darker, things got worse and worse for Ayumi and you knew what Takuya would find the next time.
He quickly jumped back and tried to stop it, but no matter what he did, Ayumi kept killing herself. I don’t know how many times we watched her die, but the images were horrific. Seeing Takuya live through that over and over again was unreal. Then, when he finally found a way to stop her, it felt like a weight was lifted. As a viewer, you were able to breathe again. It was just an incredibly powerful arc and it made the rest of the series unmissable.
What was your least favourite moment?
For me, it was the final arc in Dela Granto where things took a rather bizarre Isekai turn. Takuya ended up on a floating island with elves and monsters, he slept with a priestess and had a child. That child rapidly grew up and would you believe it, she was the one that kissed him back in episode one… Yep! You read that right. On top of that, Takuya ended up eating his pet, that had grown up into a dragon girl… Seriously, the whole Dela Granto arc was weird and while the ending tied up most of the stories it really didn’t deliver the emotional response that many of the resolutions deserved. I think they tried to tie up too much at once rather than resolving them through the final three of four episodes.
Who was your favourite character?
My favourite character was Eriko Takeda for obvious reasons… She also had the craziest back story and it turned out that she was an interdimensional cop hunting down the evil spirit that had taken over Ryuuzouji’s body. In the distant future along with her partner, Abel, Eriko was a scientist studying the Tree of Vrinda and looking cause and effect and how they create alternate dimensions. It went full-on crazy science fiction and it was cool. Then, when you consider that she was posing as a teacher in Takuya’s timeline while wearing the strangest and most amazing outfit ever. This series is definitely a bit out there and Eriko fits into that dynamic completely.
Who was your least favourite character?
I think it was actually Yu-No. The whole Dela Granto arc was odd and I’ve already mentioned some of the things there, but Yu-No growing up at four times the normal rate and her affections for Takuya definitely made for a pretty weird finale. In episode one, she kissed Takuya knowing full well that he was her father, but he had no idea. At least, they managed to stop Takuya and Kanna from doing anything as they were also possibly father and daughter, although it was never outright confirmed. This series definitely approached some interesting subject matter!
Would you like some more?
Well, as far for more, there is the original visual novel that the series was based off. Then there was a dubious hentai OVA version made in 1998 that I haven’t seen either. However, the big news is that an updated version of the Visual Novel was released on the same day that the anime concluded. This is no doubt a ploy to make people that felt the anime didn’t answer all the questions to run out and buy a copy. At present, I haven’t done that, but it is something I will keep an eye on. It’s currently $50 Canadian on Steam, but it’s something I am prepared to wait for it to drop a little before diving in. So, I guess I would like more, but I’m not desperate.
What have you learnt?
I’m a huge fan of time travel and parallel world stories and while this didn’t really do anything new (although it’s worth noting that the original visual novel is twenty-three years old) I did enjoy that it was able to mash together a number of different genres into one story. Often times, we’re told that you need to stick to a genre and follow the tropes, but Yu-No didn’t do any of that. It did whatever it wanted and for the most part, it worked really well. One other thing that I will be taking away is the ending and how I feel like it was too hurried. The end of a story is often the defining moment that we come away with and a completely satisfying conclusion is often the hardest thing to achieve. It’s something that I will be aware of with every story I work on.
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