I’m a bit late in forming my post regarding the series Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de aru, otherwise known as YuuYuuYuu. But because I waited so long, I can go ahead and post spoilers with no ramifications.
Like most viewers of the post-Madoka era, I expect all anime featuring a group of girls and friendship to end in dark tragedy. Three episodes in, I knew it was just a pipe dream… or was it? Like a blind samurai slashes at air until he hits something, I continued watching until I got sick of the stupid death flags in all the earlier episodes. Then I stumbled upon episode eight, and was happily rewarded for my sacrifice in time. Finally the grand cogs in the conspiracy slowly began revealing their oil-stained workings and I began thinking maybe there was hope for this show after all. That is, until the last episode.
Let’s start with the ending, since that’s all that matters when it comes to anime review. At first, I thought, “What the hell? What a cop-out ending.” But after some deep reflection, I realize now this series is actually a manifesto for the deist movement. The resident populace of this series believes in an all-powerful creator, aptly named the Divine Tree, that governs all aspects of life, provides protection and grants great boon. As is customary, all children start their day with a pledge of allegiance and a bow towards the direction of the supposed residence of said entity (eg Mecca).
As the viewers and the main protagonists of the show will come to realize, the religion is not as clean as it would appear and require the sacrifice of young girls to a supposed “Hero System” to fight off evil organisms known as Vertex that threaten mankind, but more importantly pose a danger to the great tree itself. Imagine that an all powerful being requires the assistance of humanity to stay relevant; perhaps this being was not quite as omnipotent as they were led to believe? The truth is revealed, that the “evil” Vertex the heroes were fighting off were the very gods that created the universe in the first place. In a schism of differing opinions, the gods were divided into the two counterparts. One small sect became the Divine Tree and guarded humanity in a barrier while the others ransacked and destroyed all of creation.
As the girls continued fighting, they would lose more and more of their bodily functions until they end up in a bed-ridden state and is of no more use to the Divine Tree. They are enshrined in the local hospital, deified and worshiped for the remainder of their life as vegetables. Our heroes are faced with this reward waiting for them at the end of their continued service and are taken aback. Confusion, fear and worry take over Yuuna’s best friend Tougou and she makes the decision to end the world with her own hands rather than suffer under the thumb of the Divine Tree. This leads to lots of great action sequences and I could not be happier.
Then it all came crashing down. Our little troublemaker Tougou wakes up in bed able to move her legs, which was paralyzed in earlier servitude to her god. All the other victims start to regain their lost limbs and senses, except for our titular main character Yuuna who remains in a catatonic state. Then poof, she’s all right after Tougou visits her in the hospital for some months. The entire episode was the definition of a miracle, one after the other. When asked how she came back Yuuna replied, “Willpower”. The youngest of the group proposed divine intervention which was promptly shot down by the entire group. In their last school play, Yuuna valiantly holds her head high reciting a scripted line about how friendship overcomes all and the Divine Tree attempts to smite her down for her blasphemous heresy, but the girls’ loss of faith and power of friendship nullify whatever thread of power the Divine Tree still clings onto.
The moral message of the show is that you do not need God.