Urara Meirochou Episode 1 First Impressions

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We have quite a few Slice of life anime aired this season and one of them is Urara Meirochou. A 12 episode series about a girl named Chiya arriving at the Labyrinth City in which her main objective is to find her mom who is living in the city. The episode started off well with the introduction of the four main characters and their main purpose of why they are in Labyrinth City. As far as i could see, the series plot line is not too complex to understand as the story would continue where it left from the last episode. The addition of comedy scenes is a plus sign to encourage the viewers to see more.

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The studio that handles Urara Meirochou is JC Staff, the studio famous for producing Toradora and Little Busters series. It’s been a while since they produced a series with 4 girls since 2011 which is Joshiraku. Nevertheless, still quite impressed with the animation and character design of Urara Meirochou, very cute indeed. Background designs aren’t that too saturated and there aren’t any animation loopholes. What’s more, Urara doesn’t keep us at a purely voyeuristic distance to see the cute girls as merely cute girls; it frequently takes it’s magnifying glass a bit closer, and giving substantial development. We learn about their pasts, their motivations and what drives them to want to succeed as fortune tellers. However, where the show could probably take a step back is in the fan service department. Within minutes of the opening episode, we’re given a glimpse of Chiya’s belly with a concerning amount of fetishistic… under boob. Supposedly, simply, a joke based on her history, the scenes happen several times throughout the show thus far and are concerningly sexualized – though they can also be quite funny.

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 Expect quite a lot of scenes of the girls reduced to their underwear – sometimes with appropriate, comedic reasoning… often without. This CGDCT (- cute girls doing cute things) isn’t all that innocent. The closeness of the girls allows for some very romantic or sometimes flat-out homoerotic encounters, but do not be fooled too much. Feminists beware the odd joke or quip, objectifying women as men’s playthings. Sometimes it feels like a trapping of the fantasy-historical setting, but often it leaves a sickening taste in the mouth in a situation that should otherwise be easygoing. Perhaps the last two paragraphs were a bit harsh, but that’s because if you manage to look beyond these relatively small and infrequent trappings, it’s a very enticing, relaxing show. It’s warm color scheme and soft edges are easy on the eyes and, paired with the light music and soft voices, allows for a soothing, easy yet lucid and even amusing experience. It’s a wonderful thing to look forward to in a stressful week.

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