Takuya has just been informed that his dad, who had been missing, has passed away. He’s taking it well and acting fairly normally—flirting with his teacher, making fun of other girls, and acting otherwise acting outlandishly. But there’s more to his dad’s story than a mere disappearing act, with a connection both to a strange artifact that Takuya receives and a construction project that brings with it abnormal weather and…an elf girl?
Oh gosh, where to begin…The first half of YU-NO feels like a bad piece of fan fiction, the kind where the author jumps right into the action, info dumping everything through terrible dialogue. In fact, I can just see the summary for the story (I’ll use Oregairu here but feel free to insert one of dozens of similar titles): Hikigaya wakes up from a nap on the school roof to see Hiratsuka sensei, but what’s this? Why is she dressed in a clevage-bearing outfit and showing him her panties? Even crazier, Hiki’s parents are dead and he’s about to go on a journey into space and time! Yes, that’s a pretty accurate description of the opening for this show—it’s bad. Real bad. The second half is better, though, as the action begins to move. Still, the problem here is that the writing in the series is for kids, but the sensibility is for older audiences. It’s like Yu-Gi-Oh or D.N.Angel but with ecchi and perverted jokes. I could accept the world if this was for younger audiences, and maybe even enjoy the show (again, like D.N.Angel), but it wants to go somewhere else. That perhaps worked with the 90s visual novel on which its based (I give it points by the way for a brief scene of 90s-ish arcade action), but not in anime form.
YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this World can be streamed on Funimation.