It’s time, once again, for ev’rybody to come aboard HENTAI HUMP-DAY!
What’s that? It’s not Wednesday? Well, I figured it would be appropriate to post this return on Singles Awareness Day.
This is the official beginning of my ELF retrospective on our long countdown to the new Yu-No anime, and we start off with… the old Yu-No anime. Swell.
Before we start, a moment to reflect on how much I hate Nutech DVDs, and the early DVD era as a whole. My copy of Yu-No is a four-DVD box set, holding the entire four-episode series. Yep, one episode per DVD. They also had a bad tendency of hiring actual porn stars to do voice work AND they would promote the fact on the box, sometimes with pictures of the porn stars in question. Wow, featuring the voices of Jenna Jameson and Kobe Tai? EVEN MORE REASON FOR ME TO IMMEDIATELY SWITCH TO JAPANESE! And on each of these DVDs, you get special features like… image galleries! Yeah, exclusive screencaps of the episode! Wow, it’s just like pausing the real thing! IIRC, ADV was guilty of this shit too, but at least they would include scans of promotional material along with the screencaps.
Our hero this time around is Takuya, a generic male with no discernible character. We start of the anime off with him being on the lake for no given reason. We can surmise that he followed a girl named Ayumi to a secret rendezvous with her friend Mitsuki.
Takuya never expected to see this… and he also didn’t expect to see a mysterious naked chick randomly appear in a flash of green light, give him a ring, and just as suddenly disappear.
Remember that mystery chick, because she’ll be important later.
After that shiny distraction, Mitsuki notices Takuya (naturally) and pulls out her gun (unnaturally). Apparently, she’s been looking for “the key,” which Takuya now has possession of. Anyone who’s been paying attention now realizes that “the key” is that ring. Let’s see how long it takes for Takuya to register the connection.
Meanwhile there are TWO MORE girls at the lake that night for reasons we may never know. The first is Miyo, the drill-haired tsundere classmate of Takuya.
The other girl is a dark-haired girl named Kana/Canna. We know nothing about her currently.
So, how does Takuya get out of this situation? Well, his ring glows and everyone gets warped to another place. Mitsuki freaks out for some reason, and LET’S DO THE TIME WARP AGAIN! Takuya gets warped again, but Ayumi gets left behind despite chasing after Takuya and Takuya not wanting to go without her. Because drama takes precedence over magic following consistent rules.
Takuya is suddenly indoors now, but he finds his way to Ayumi (and Miyo, who’s there as well) and tells her about what he saw, but it sounds ridiculous. Oh, and we finally learn what connection Ayumi has to Takuya: she’s his step-mom. Fun.
At this point we’ve stockpiled a huge amount of mysteries, but the current one is: where the fuck did Takuya warp to? Did he travel to the past? Is this an alternate reality? The former sounds reasonable, but we never see any evidence to support it. Takuya NEVER mentions going through familiar days where the same events happened. So, is it just an alternate reality where almost everything is the same except that scene at the lake never happened? Something like that just seems pointlessly convenient.
After Miyo leaves, we cut to Kana in a love hotel, apparently having sex with a person we never see. Literally not a hint of this person; not even a speck of skin. At the end of the scene I almost thought she was masturbating, but some of the poses she was in made that impossible (unless she was telekinetically manipulating a dildo, but… well, fuck, that’s about as plausible as anything else in this anime so far so why not).
So, there’s no explanation for this scene at all. It was nice though. At the very least, it establishes the fact that Kana… isn’t a virgin? Okay… Is this going to be relevant?
Next day at school, we’re introduced to another female we can look forward to…
Actually, that’s Nurse Eriko. She’s… there.
Oh, and more interaction with Miyo. Every time we see Miyo, we learn… absolutely nothing, really. By this time we’ve established that she’s tsundere for Takuya, and Takuya displays absolutely no interest in her. And not even in the comically hostile “no way I’d ever be interested in a girl like her!” way; he’s completely apathetic to the idea that they would ever be a couple. And for good reason, too: we soon learn that he’s been having an affair with his teacher, Mitsuki, for some time now.
So uh… quite a life our hero’s been living. It seems like the biggest mystery right now is actually what his “normal” life is like, because so far his attitude and actions have been affected by the strange circumstances that literally STARTED this anime. It’s like we started at episode 2!
Anyway, Miyo butts in and disapproves of teacher-student hanky panky (and WE GET IT, she likes him), forcing Takuya to leave.
On the school roof, we get a scene with Ayumi and get briefly introduced to Toyotomi, who seems to be part of whatever conspiracy Ayumi and Mitsuko are part of. We also get an audio clue when we see his ring, so we know to be suspicious of it… even though it doesn’t look any different from any other ring.
On his way out, we see Nurse Eriko pass him by and give him what I like to call the “clue-bye.” Completely unprovoked and carrying an air of “I know everything about what’s happening, but I’m only going to briefly allude to it for no particular reason,” Eriko says “there are many outcomes to any situation, and the reality will morph accordingly.” It seems that Takuya’s actions will simultaneously change the past and the future… I guess?
Out of nowhere, Miyo pulls Takuya off to her mansion for… no stated reason. But out of sheer coincidence, Takuya reads a book of hers that his father also read. It turns out Miyo was interested in the writings of Takuya’s father, especially regarding the town’s legends and the supposed ruins of an ancient advanced civilization. Yes, we are just now learning about Takuya’s deceased father. Together, they go to an old well that supposedly holds a secret passage linked to the lake. There, Takuya mysteriously disappears in another green light. Kana is there too, and we learn she also has a glowing green stone. So… that’s two things we know about her: she’s not a virgin, and she has a shiny pendant.
Takuya reappears in the classroom, apparently to a time when he’s not as close to Miyo… which is saying something considering I can barely tell what the fuck their relationship is. Or at least, that’s what I’d like to say, but, again, nothing seems familiar to Takuya so it’s difficult to claim this is the “past.” Also, Eriko shows up again, looking completely different.
She tells Takuya that “nothing is absolute,” as if that means anything. Outside the school, he bumps into Kana, who tells him that Ayumi’s research needs to stop, as the “fire of life” is not for people of this world.
Not content with the amount of unanswered questions thusfar, the anime throws one final element into the mix: a student appears and offers to show Takuya the truth of Ayumi’s research.
Thus ends episode 1, an awkward exercise in mystery setup and character introductions, but not so big on character establishment.
Did I forget to mention that Mystery Girl showed up again? Yeah, this time she’s calling Takuya her father. As we see in episode 2, she seems to have some kind of connection to Kana, saying they’re “the same” and share a connection. Oh, and we start the episode off with Miyo and Kana having sex for some reason. …Okay, random. Kana doesn’t seem too into it, but she’s not resisting either. Pretty chill of her.
Back to Takuya and green-haired girl: they find a mysterious blue rock in Ayumi’s lab. The girl steals the rock and runs off. Takuya loses his ring while trying to get away.
The girl shows up at Miyo’s mansion, apparently having been hired by her. Oh, and Miyo now has her own “key” ring. Takuya collapses in the park and sees Kana before passing out and seeing Mystery Girl again. She provides no new information.
Takuya wakes up next to a naked Kana. He takes it well enough. Kana says he used too much power but refrains from providing any important information despite knowing more than Takuya does at this point. He sees the green-haired girl and chases after her but loses track of her and finds Kana instead. He finds out that Kana has been selling her body because “that’s the only reason (she) can exist in this world,” whatever that means. Miyo shows up with a glowing stone and seems to be looking for the “key.” Kana’s pendant seems to be similar but isn’t the true “key.” Takuya grabs Miyo’s stone and teleports, seeing a vision of Ayumi. Then he teleports back. Then he teleports again. Because powers. Meanwhile, green-haired girl has Ayumi captured and molested by girls until she gives up her ID. Apparently, this takes place in an alternate timeline where she didn’t raid the lab with Takuya, since she learned Ayumi’s ID when Takuya provided it.
Toyotomi conveniently rescues Ayumi and brings her home. His motives are not pure. And Takuya shows up just in time to get NTR’d, apparently.
So, Toyotomi tells Takuya to forget about Ayumi and leave her to him. Kana shows up for some reason and tells him not to listen to him because… it’s important somehow? Mystery Girl Yu-No appears to be talking through her, saying if he forgets about Ayumi, he’ll never see “Mama” or Yu-No. We currently have not been given a reason to give a shit.
Somehow, Takuya snaps back to the park, where Kana and Miyo are arguing. Kana throws her pendant into the lake, which appears to temporarily break Miyo’s brainwashing… It turns out the pendant is the “fire of life,” and she needs it to live, but she sacrificed it to stop whatever was possessing Miyo. Eriko’s there too because she’s involved, remember? This ends episode 2.
If you came away incredibly confused about what the fuck just happened… Congratulations, you’re sane.
Okay, so let’s take a step back and try to make sense of this. Ignore trivial things like the order of events. Here’s what we know so far: Yu-No gave the “key” to Takuya, and contact with the “key” or similar objects unlocks his ability to travel between timelines / realities / whatever. The “key” is connected to the “fire of life,” which may be what Ayumi and Mitsuki are looking for in the lake (and Toyotomi is involved somehow), and it probably has something to do with the ancient civilization Takuya’s father wrote about. Miyo is also looking for this ancient civilization, but while doing so got possessed by an unknown presence. Kana has an unknown connection to Yu-No and is in possession of the “fire of life.” Eriko… knows stuff.
That’s a whole lot of nothing, but I guess the main mysteries revolve around the identity of Yu-No, the ancient civilization, and the power of the glowing rocks.
In a mysterious fantasy setting, Eriko and Mitsuko break a mute “priestess who knows everything” out of… someplace. They let her go, and it seems Takuya is supposed to make her happy because… fate can be changed. Whatever that means.
We skip to Takuya in Ayumi’s lab before green-haired girl steals the rock. He notices the ring on the floor. Right. The ring that he dropped WHILE HE WAS TRYING TO ESCAPE AFTER THE GIRL STOLE THE ROCK. What the actual FUCK is going on here?
We skip to Takuya screaming at Kana’s lifeless body. The only way to save her is for Takuya to master his power. Eriko finally speaks up, saying the ring is a guide, and time is not fixed.
Takuya returns to the lab and this time takes the rock himself and teleports out. The rock acts as a replacement for the pendant, saving Kana’s life. However, Miyo reawakens, apparently still possessed. Kana approaches her and destroys Miyo’s ring. Turns out that was what was possessing her. Huh. Could’ve done that earlier.
Now, it’s time for Takuya to jump one more time to save the past…? To save someone who’s been waiting for him.
With Takuya’s next jump… we switch over to following Miyo, who is now in a fantasy world and gets discovered by a young Yu-No. There’s a mute woman with her, and her father is an older Takuya.
Meanwhile, a mysterious evil knight has his men rape all the priestesses in a temple as advance payment for locating the missing high priestess. Mitsuki, Eriko, this tragedy is all on you. I hope you’re satisfied.
So, Miyo is trying to make sense of her current circumstance and decides the best thing to do is to make Takuya ditch Yu-No while they’re watching her swim and try to seduce him.
For no reason outside of Miyo’s steadfast spoiledness, she succeeds and making Takuya have sex with her while Yu-No witnesses.
So, we learn that the mute woman is Selles, and Takuya meets her shortly after arriving in this world. Mitsuki finds the two and dies shortly after. Why? Because “this world is killing her.” In her dying words, she explains that this world is Della Grand, and he’s here to protect Selles. It seems Mitsuki really is from “our” world, and she only wanted to continue Takuya’s father’s work. She admits she really did love Takuya though… even though she was sleeping with his step-mom and pulled a gun on him in the very beginning of this series… It kinda comes off as bullshit to give her death more weight than plausible. Anyway, Selles is left with Takuya, and I guess they just traveled together for a long time until they got married and had Yu-No.
When they return home, those knights that were sent to locate the High Priestess? Well, they located her. And raped her. And hey, Miyo and Yu-No just got delivered to them, so might as well rape them too. While Takuya watches. Swell.
Yu-No gets abducted and brought to the new head priestess. Of note, her genitals are censored by mosaic, making the “TOTALLY UNCENSORED” proclamation on the DVD box a complete and utter lie. Yu-No feels pain throughout her body, and the priestess informs her that she will soon awaken into an adult body. For reasons.
That’s the end of episode 3… It’s like we jumped into an entirely different anime. Despite having far more continuity within the episode as a whole, the mysteries of the first two episodes remain unanswered… except for the fact that we now know Yu-No is literally Takuya’s daughter with some woman he had yet to meet.
Episode 4, we open up with Miyo locked in a dungeon with other women. Kana shows up out of freaking nowhere and rescues her. Eriko and Takuya show up soon and encounter the now-older Yu-No.
The hero team escapes to Grandia, the central computer that controls Della Grand. Yeah, apparently a giant computer designs and controls this world – it’s essentially “fate.” Still no explanation for the glowing rocks yet though.
It seems people from the “real” world cannot be easily affected by the computer… but that doesn’t explain why Mitsuki died while everyone else seems to be fine.
Kana admits she’s faintly related to a priestess of this world. Relevance unsure.
Takuya rampages through the temple to take revenge for Yu-No and Selles, but he seems completely unaware that Yu-No is one of the priestesses now… though he does quickly realize that the identity of the other priestess is Ayumi.
And the leader of the knights? It’s Toyotomi.
So, apparently, Toyotomi is behind all this shit.
Turns out, the previous priestess, Kaytia, adopted Toyotomi and Selles, but as priestess, she was destined to be sacrificed. As it turns out, being “sacrificed” means being sent to another dimension, and Kaytia would eventually give birth to Takuya. So, the source of Takuya’s powers seems to be a combination of him being a child of two worlds as well as having priestess blood. Kind of a convoluted way to find out, but glad there was an answer.
In the fateful showdown between Toyotomi and Takuya, Toyotomi proves to be completely insane and utterly powerless, so Takuya kind of easily kills him. Kind of a letdown.
Turns out the true final showdown is in Grandia. Takuya is stopped from killing Yu-No, giving Yu-No the opening she needs to kill Takuya instead. Ayumi ends up killing Kana because… literally FATE. We’re not entirely sure what Ayumi’s plan was, but it likely involves sacrificing a priestess to Grandia to manipulate fate. Alas, apparently, all of Ayumi’s actions were put into place by Grandia itself for the sole purpose of the priestess sacrifice, but Grandia’s plans are upturned when Miyo sacrifices herself instead. During her “sacrifice,” she sees a vision of her future life… in her world’s past… as Kana’s mother.
Back in Grandia, we learn that Ayumi was brought over to Della Grand way back in the beginning of this series. Before Takuya dies, he gives his ring to Yu-No, then apologizes to Ayumi for not being there for her. It seems entirely possible that so much could have been avoided if he just fucked his step-mom.
Yu-No sacrifices herself to Grandia in an effort to fix things, and we see flashes of multiple realities where Takuya lives a life of peace, fucking the many girls in his life. So thanks, Yu-No! You’re the Blick Winkel we truly needed!
And in one final timeline, Yu-No reunites with Takuya and asks if she can be a woman to him and not his daughter. Takuya does a bullshit little pass-off by saying “with your mother’s blessing,” knowing full well Selles is mute AND dead.
So, that was the 1998 Yu-No OVA. It had a lot of good ideas in the mix, but the execution was godawful. It tried to cover far too much and didn’t have enough time to do so. But even in this imperfect adaptation, it should be obvious to see where games like Ever 17 and Virtue’s Last Reward took inspiration. And hell, even Scrapped Princess, though I think Scrapped Princess learned the wrong lessons.
Strangely, the game focuses a lot more on Takuya’s father’s research, in that Takuya actually gives a fuck, and there’s this whole mystery of whether or not his father is actually dead or just in another dimension. The lack of this plot thread is very noticeable considering it’s the cause of a lot of confusion in the first two episodes.
It’ll take a small miracle for the PS4/PSV adaptation to get a localization, but that’s something I can pray for. Luckily, if it never happens, the original PC game does have an English patch.