First Impression: Yuri is My Job!

Shiraki Hime is super cute—and she knows it. Carefully cultivating a perfect and innocent facade, Shiraki is using her kawaii looks and ability to act cutesy to place herself at the top of her school’s hierarchy, with the intention of snagging a boy who will one day be an heir to a conglomerate. However, her plans go a little sideways when she and another girl collide, and the latter injures her wrist during the fall. Shiraki is harangued into taking the girl’s place at work. There she joins several other girls as waitresses, including the seemingly calm and motherly Ayanokouji, at an all-girl’s school themed cafe: “Liebe Girls Academy.” It’s not an easy fit for Shiraki, who bumbles her way through day one. Her biggest gaffe is to call Ayanokouji onee-san, intimating a close relationship between the two. That’s solved easily enough, the manager (she of the injured wrist) explains, as the two could exchange Kreuze (crosses) and become schwesterin (sisters). But when Shiraki chooses to force this new relationship against Ayanokouji’s will, things might start to move from awkward to downright hostile.

Intriguing and funny, though a little obnoxious, episode one of Yuri is My Job definitely has my attention. What the show so cleverly does is combine a number of different settings into one series: a maid cafe, a fine arts performance setting, and a boarding school—the latter two typically being featured in yuri stories. The boarding school is part of an act, which itself creates an interesting perspective as we get to watch these girls play at being schoolmates in a yuri romance. Meanwhile, the customers are absorbed in it (and even review performances online afterwards). The acting is all ad-libbed and done while the maids also serve and talk to the customers, all while remaining in character. This leads to another engaging aspect to the show, which is the theme of masking oneself. There’s obviously the dissonance between the “real life” personalities and their personas, with Ayankouji, whom Shiraki is probably destined to fall in love with during the course of the series, being the most obviously counter to her character. Well, Shiraki is pretty opposite, too, and is a fairly obnoxious lead, though hints at a tragic backstory offer hope that she’ll become more sympathetic. I also found it annoying that Shiraki is basically forced to work off a debt where she did nothing particularly wrong. There was some eye-rolling. But as flawed as the series may be, I’ll continue on to episode two. But those who typically avoid shoujo-ai and yuri series probably need not tune in; I don’t think this series will turn into anything earth shattering that would necessitate trying it out.

Yuri is My Job! is available to stream on Crunchyroll.

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