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



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

  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.

    1. @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. 🙁

  2. 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.

    1. @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.

  3. 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?

    1. @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.

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