Yuruyuri: Happy Go Lily Blu-ray Season 1 Premium Edition (Review) + Pro NISA rant

December 2, 2013 on 3:38 am by Mikoto | In Anime, Legal Buying, Rants n' Ramblings, Yuru Yuri | 7 Comments

Akarrrriiiiiin~!

AKARI~N!

は~い! ゆるゆり始まるよ!

Greetings from college and relentless gaming – I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving a few days ago. If you follow my Twitter, you’ll know that I recently acquired NISA‘s Blu-Ray release of Yuru Yuri season 1 on RightStuf (about three weeks ago?). Thank god I have a PS3 now, for I now have the luxury of enjoying my daily dose of “Akari~n!” in 1080p Blu-ray (no matter how abysmal her presence is). Tales of Xillia, Tales of Graces f, THE iDOLM@STER, watching Yuru Yuri, and trophy whoring back-to-back? Yup, I’m the worst person in the world for wanting these more than a healthy gaming PC with a Blu-ray player.

Anywho, as a person who has our lovable ignored side-character protagonist with hair-buns as my Twitter image and my Gravatar, it’s pretty self-explanatory about how I feel about the series itself. If you like an endearing slice-of-life with an innocent dash of yuri thrown in, then go for it! The question I’m tackling here, though, is: was this release worth the money?

If only they included Tomato pajamas

Nothing missing in the mail, as far as I can tell

As with every other NISA special package releases I’ve owned, this “premium” edition boxset (which is, in fact, the only edition of Region 1 Yuru Yuri that exists…) comes with one those physical extras that exists in the highest affordable tier of the world of physical extras: a really nice hardcover artbook, which I skimmed over ten times (it never gets old). Needless to say, it’s pretty sweet. And it’s packaged nicely with the two Blu-Ray cases, in a very pleasant-looking and sturdy box. It’s practically made to be displayed.

In terms of digital extras? Not much, aside from textless versions of the opening and ending themes, a collection of episode previews, and a few trailers for other anime series NISA has licensed, like Daily Lives of High School Boys Boys (shoutout!). I’m not complaining though, for a fifty dollar Blu-ray I wasn’t expecting much on the side of features. Besides, the artbook has plenty of content and fan satisfaction to make up for it. Oh yeah, and the menu design manages to be pretty simple and fun in spirit of Yuru Yuri, so nothing too flashy or confusing in terms of navigation.

As expected, the video quality is really gorgeous and crisp. However, one downside to this release is that the subtitles are encoded as hardsubs, possibly as an extra countermeasure to keep Japanese fans from trying to get their hands on our cheaper release. If you’re simply watching the show, do not understand Japanese (this is only in Japanese, so no English dub for those who enjoy them), and are watching it subtitled anyway, it’s no big deal. But if you want the show in its original raw format, then the subtitles will probably be redundant and distracting. Personally, I feel that subtitled screenshots are the worst screenshots to take of such beautiful frames because they detract from the artwork (as sort of an irony, I was planning on taking my usual screenshots of this set, but my computer lacks a Blu-ray player). Also, the subtitles make use of Japanese honorifics, so if you’re one of those nuts that goes crazy about words and semantics not being fully localized into “proper” English (i.e. san —>Mr./Mrs.), then it might make your head spin. Thankfully I’m not.

Overall, as long as you’re a fan of Yuru Yuri (it has a cult following for a reason!) and don’t mind not being able to turn off the subtitles, I’d say this is money well worth spending. There’s nothing wrong with the video/audio (nothing could be worse than the BS FUNimation has pulled with their Orange Bricks set for the Dragon Ball series, besides the self-explanatory 4Kids) and it receives the good ol’ NISA TLC in regards to being a premium edition boxset. I’m looking forward to purchasing the second season boxset that’s coming out several days after New Years, especially since the second season contained some of my favorite episodes.

Tangent: Keep up the good work, NISA. Keep doing what you do best. Even if you got some unreasonable dub “fans” on your back for not providing expensive English dubs for niche anime series.

Doesn't know who Sugita is

Like this guy. who somehow has never heard of Tomokazu Sugita (hrm). To be honest, I’d rather them releasing a neat artbook with extra material we wouldn’t get otherwise to them producing an alternate language track that would cater to a wider audience rather than just existing fans (sounds so money-grabbing, right? Oh please).

I might not like what NISA does with some of their video game translations, but I do appreciate them bringing over niche titles for niche fanbases in way that’s both affordable to the company and of watchable/playable quality to the fans. Really, I stick the middle finger at types of fans like that guy. They’re the reasons why the real anime fans overseas get very little obscure titles in favor of the top dogs. It’s fine to enjoy English dubs, but damn.

7 Comments »

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  1. I haven’t watch Yuruyuri (I will probably watch it one of these days), but I find the complaints rather ridiculous and pretty much brings the ugliness of the Anime Fandumb (a topic I wrote about several months ago).

    I admit that while I had mixed feelings about some of their translations in some of their games, I agree that people should appreciate that they are getting niche games and anime series in America besides complaining about the lack of an english dub.

    Comment chikorita157 — December 2, 2013 #

  2. @chikorita157: Yeah, the complaints are unreasonable, like every other typical complaint these types of anime receive. Yuru Yuri goes out of its way in its title to inform consumers that the show is just quaint lighthearted fun, so these expectations for plot are completely unfounded. I admit that anime has been over-saturated with too much of the same old nowadays, but there are still shows capable of standing out despite being part of the genres that saturate the seasons, which imo Yuru Yuri does well.
    And yeah, despite my gripes with some of NISA’s translations, I pretty much depend on companies like them and Atlus (now owned by Sega) to bring me niche games that appeal to my tastes without resorting to imports. With NISA’s anime division, they’re pretty much doing the same thing for anime, which I think is a really good thing especially in the dying R1 anime industry. I could live without an English dub. Granted, I don’t watch much English dubs in the first place (only rare occasions like Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, and even then I’ve watched the Japanese tracks of those). But it baffles me that people even mind (at least, to that degree).
    NISA is bringing over titles for people that are already fans of the series, and I doubt people who demand for an English dub and don’t appreciate the Japanese cast were fans of the series to begin with – people should understand this, and if they want to watch English dubbed anime, they should stick to FUNimation and their popular titles which make them money for English dubs, rather than forcing these practices on smaller and modest companies where such a thing isn’t a goal or realistic.
    It really hurts us fans who are fine with watching anime as it already is and want as many purchasable titles to come to the US as possible. :(

    Comment Mikoto — December 2, 2013 #

  3. if you run the m2ts files (or mpls files) you can bypass the hardcoding of the sub’s. that said, you have to have a bluray drive and purchase anydvd HD to decrypt the protection to get to those. but it is possible to take screenshots without the sub’s. I did it for my katanagatari nisa bds.

    Comment zaockle — December 20, 2013 #

  4. @zaockle: Thanks for that info, I did hear from my friend (Mr. Lex, on-and-off writer on this blog) that people found a way to bypass the hardsubs. A shame that I’d have to shell out extra cash in order to do so, though.

    Comment Mikoto — December 20, 2013 #

  5. […] and having a bunch of cool PS3-exclusive JRPGs in its library (and the Tales of series!), I’m enjoying Blu-Ray anime in glorious 1080p. I kind of wished I can enjoy my Japanese RPGs in 1080p without framerate drops as well, but […]

    Pingback オタクSPOT× Asian ramblings about anime, manga, and other Japanese stuff × » Have a Happy New Years! — January 1, 2014 #

  6. “I admit that anime has been over-saturated with too much of the same old nowadays, but there are still shows capable of standing out despite being part of the genres that saturate the seasons, which imo Yuru Yuri does well.”

    Its been saturated with trends since the 70′s you could say anything past Tetsujin 28, Mahoutsukai Sally, Mazinger Z, Gundam 0079, and Urusei Yatsura is rehash of the same ole same ole. Still from time to time like you said there are still anime that come out that take a unique look at something old. After all Naruto is just the modern day version of Sasuga no Sarutobi so anyone expecting anime to be constantly innovative when its a business first and foremost is naive. With that said I like Yuru Yuri but I’ve only seen the first season is the second season better?

    Comment TsukuyomiMagi99 — March 30, 2014 #

  7. @TsukuyomiMagi99: Well, it doesn’t have to be innovative. Stories can employ similar settings and similar tropes and manage to make themselves stand out depending on how serious the writer is about their trade (not all older anime managed to be like this, but it came in greater numbers than now). My thoughts on the matter bleed into a whole ‘nother topic though, you can look at my comments on Yumeka’s post for my opinion on the matter.

    I actually love the second season of Yuru Yuri way better than the first, especially since there’s much more equal focus on the other characters besides Akarin, Kyouko, Yui and Chinatsu. It’s pretty much everything I loved about the first season, just improved, and personally, my favorite episodes of the series come from the second season.

    Comment Mikoto — March 30, 2014 #

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