Kono Yo no Hate de Koi wo Utau Shoujo YU-NO Premiere: Episode 1 Review

Title: Kono Yo no Hate de Koi wo Utau Shoujo YU-NO
Length: 26 x 24 minute episodes
Genre: Sci-fi, fantasy, mystery
Year of release: 2019

I’m so glad that the English language has a single word that can sum up this premiere perfectly. Between the first shot of the show being an egregious panty-shot and climaxing the episode with a mysteriously naked girl making out with our audience stand-in for no reason, and you have what can best be described in one word: sleazy. Of course, that’s to be expected: Kono Yo no Hate de Koi wo Utau Shoujo YU-NO (henceforth, YU-NO) is a visual novel that’s had an anime adaption before – this eroge visual novel had a hentai anime adaption. Despite the visual novel being rereleased sans sex scenes, no amount of leafs can be turned over to put the content into truly acceptable territory, even if this is an utterly ordinary standard for ecchi anime. 

YU-NO reigns from an era where all visual novels had the same set of principles, sexual romances and handful of premises. This one drags up the classic alternative universe storyline. It’s a real classic, partially because of the meta-context of story choice naturally discussing alternative histories, but also because it makes every route feel equally valid. Hell, most visual novels of the era were releasing their first chapters as freeware trials and thus had to make sure every route was advertised in that opening chapter; so, naturally, the intro serves as a guided tour of the potential routes, with the drill-adorned tsundere, the MILF, the secretary who offers to fuck teenagers, and the new transfer student. We’re definitely not in unique territory here, folks.

costume design

That said, while the dork of a main character, Arima, is as sleazy as the premise suggests… he’s actually got attitude. Utterly unlikeable, and it’s almost a guarantee that his unsavoury personality isn’t going to suddenly develop him into a better person, but ultimately I can’t help but feel this guy has an edge over the blank cardboard cutouts that the light-novel-adaption trend has served us. Yeah, one of his best moments is suggesting a girl is ratchety because it’s “that time of the month”, but he does have a personality, such as the head-shake he gives himself after his dumb antics are televised. As much as I wanted to dislike him, he’s not, yet, at the point that I cannot stand him.

idiot.jpg

It’s worth getting back to that premise. Alternative universes. There’s a bit of a conspiracy going on as Arima’s father discovered a tool to travel between them, and has, unsurprisingly, gifted it to his son. A well-dressed teacher at his school wants it. That’s the setup, and there’s some potentially interesting ideas to make this alternative universe romp interesting, but the clear direction of changing the routes to a harem means that the story will no doubt feel clustered in fanservice – of all kinds.

I’m morbidly curious by what YU-NO has left to offer. Visual novel adaptions and alternative universe setups often have the ability to say a lot, particularly personal affairs. I do welcome YU-NO’s chance, but as a premiere, this is barely a scrape above generic.

Rating: 2/5

Back to Spring 2019 Premiere Reports

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