(Note: This post was written after watching just the first episode)
Urara Meirochou is a 2017 Winter season anime from J.C.Staff. Quite frankly, I decided to watch this series because it looked cute asf. But what added to my anticipation waiting for the series to start was when I checked that Urara’s source was 4-koma manga. Some of my favourite anime have been adapted from 4-koma manga (like K-On! and New Game!), and so I was hoping that Urara would be another good one. Settings wise, this is a standard moe narrative involving CGDCT (cute girls doing cute things).
The strange thing is, however, for a CGDCT anime, I thought that I felt some dark implications in its tone. For one thing, Urara had a rather muted colour palette instead the bright, poppy, and cheerful colour palettes I’ve comes to expect from modern anime like New Game! or Konosuba. Not only this, I thought that the leaf reading and kokkuri scenes were actually trippy and fairly serious in tone compared to its contemporaries dealing with magic and spirits.
I’m having a hard time putting this feeling into words at the moment but the vibe of Urara is strangely reminiscent of 2000s era anime in that it has an “earthy” feel to it. On top of the colours, the outlines are more in sketches than clean and minimal lines that are stylistic of modern anime. And just… how shall I put it, the plot feels more like a shonen anime than a moe anime — there is adventure waiting to be had.
There was some ecchi too. And I couldn’t believe that they somehow brought ecchi into an anime depicting 15 year old girls. But although it’s obviously catering to a certain audience, I kind of appreciated the playfulness of it rather than straight up ecchi fanservice. Feral is apparently the new savage.
Towards the end of the episode, it seemed like the writers needed to force the plot into the 20 minute time frame, because all of a sudden, there was this cliche ecchi scene involving skirts and a rather noticeable background music shift. But I would have to say that this was the only time the story’s immersion broke.
Overall, I think this will be one of the more popular anime of this season due to how cute it is. I’m looking forward to watching more of it.
Edit: My roommate Edward got back to Vancouver just a few days ago, and we decided to kick this year off with Urara’s pilot. Cheers to another fun year of watching anime together!
Image is from Urara Meirochou