Yuru Yuri OP Single – Yuri Yura Rarara Yuru Yuri Dai Jiken – Review

Album Title: Yuri Yura Rarara Yuru Yuri Dai Jiken
Anime Title: Yuru Yuri
Artist: Yuka Ootsubo, Rumi Okubo, Shiori Mikami, Minami Tsuda
Catalog Number: PCCG-1197
Release Type: OP/ED Single
Release Date: July 20, 2011
Purchase at: CDJapan

Track Title Artist Time
1. Yuri Yura Rarara Yuru Yuri Dai Jiken Mikami Shiori, Ootsubo Yuka, Tsuda Minami & Ookubo Rumi 3:50
2. Yuru Yuri I <3 U Mikami Shiori, Ootsubo Yuka, Tsuda Minami & Ookubo Rumi 3:24
3. Yuri Yura Rarara Yuru Yuri Dai Jiken [Karaoke] Mikami Shiori, Ootsubo Yuka, Tsuda Minami & Ookubo Rumi 3:50
4. Yuru Yuri I <3 U [Karaoke] Mikami Shiori, Ootsubo Yuka, Tsuda Minami & Ookubo Rumi 3:21

Review: Yuru Yuri‘s first season is an unapologetic, silly, and pointless anime with a cast of moeblob middle school girls throwing off intense yuri vibes. Basically, it is an anime perfectly tailored to my taste, so I enjoyed it greatly. The cherry on top of this loli-rific festival of wonder is the fruity and ridiculous opening theme. “Yuri Yura Rarara Yuru Yuri Dai Jiken” is a distillation of so many elements of the generic “low class” anime song: high pitched voices, “sing yelling” choruses, and voice actresses singing in character to the most embarrassingly silly lyrics mankind can conjure up. But you know what? That’s exactly what Yuru Yuri needs. Its presence at the start of each episode is a proud declaration of its identity. The OP gives a brief exposition on the show’s characters, art design, personality, and subject matter (nothing) using the animation and this song. “Yuri Yura Rarara Yuru Yuri Dai Jiken” is essentially the anime in song form — to enjoy it one must suspend all reservations and embrace the silliness, much like the anime itself. In this role, “Yuri Yura Rarara Yuru Yuri Dai Jiken” is a paragon of what all anime opening themes should strive to be.

I was mildly surprised by the tight structure of the song. The drum single in the background provides subtle but critical support to keep the song together rhythmically. There are three “phases” of the song, all of them catchy enough to be classified as a “hook”:  the signature “yuriyurararara yuruyuri” intro and outro, the speedy verse, and the echoing chorus. The four voice actresses sing together pretty well, harmonizing beautifully in the chorus. The three component parts also fit together very well, transitioning smoothly, resulting in a criminally catchy song that sounds silly and cute, just like the show.

The lyrics are complete drivel; every stanza of the verse is a completely different set of crazy ideas. They are about candy and tigers and whatever else seems to cross the girls’ minds. They also sound completely goofy, in any language. Take for example, this line from the second verse of the song (unused in the OP).

iroha ni hohe to de omikuji GET YOU
I LOVE YOU nyan nyan rou nyan nyaku nyan nan nya nyon

This earworm of a song is exactly what Yuru Yuri needs — and it’s a catchy, upbeat, and enjoyable song to boot. It would be strange if the opening theme was some kind of orchestral, gothic piece performed by Kalafina or something. “Yuri Yura Rarara Yuru Yuri Dai Jiken” is genius because it’s vapid, campy, and embarrassingly fun to listen to.

My esteemed colleague Aftershok curiously attacked this song during his review of the second season’s OP single, giving it an unofficial “Awful” rating. I found this a bit out of place, as he was supposed to be reviewing the (inferior) season 2 opening. So today I set things right and give “Yuri Yura Rarara Yuru Yuri Dai Jiken” its fair chance to earn a rating it truly deserves.

Rating: Excellent

p.s. The B-side is more of the same. It’s pretty fun to listen to as well, but lacking most of the energy I found in the A-side.

kevo

kevo' is a contributor for the Anime Instrumentality Blog. I usually post when I am randomly compelled to review an anime album or soundtrack, or some other special topics. Besides anime music, I like classical, pop, and electronica. kevo's blog

11 thoughts on “Yuru Yuri OP Single – Yuri Yura Rarara Yuru Yuri Dai Jiken – Review

  • September 11, 2012 at 1:50 pm
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    Hey! Good review, esteemed colleague. A few points, though:

    I did mention in my review that I liked this song! It’s trashy and retarded, but I still liked it, haha. This is the sort of song that wears its badge of “Awful” with pride. It’s not ashamed of being terrible, screechy, and vacuous – it’s proud of it. That’s what makes it appealing, I think, but that’s also what makes it bad music. I like cheap, greasy cheeseburgers, I adore them, but that doesn’t mean they’re good for me, nor are they particularly good food. That was more or less my opinion on this OP, which seems to mirror yours more that it seems!

    I would also like to address your assertion that this is a “paragon of what all anime opening themes should strive to be,” which I disagree with wholeheartedly. Sure, this is a fun, cheery opening song that fits the show, but I refuse to believe that being mindless garbage in terms of meaning and composition is a standard that all OPs should strive for. There’s a certain pricelessness in being intelligent as well as entertaining, and this is something that this opening just does not accomplish.

    Finally, you touch upon a gripe that I have with these sorts of songs sung by groups of 3 or more members. You mention that the actresses sing in harmony together in the chorus, which simply isn’t the case. They are singing the same note, albeit in staggered sequence, so they are singing in unison. This is the issue. If you’re going to go through the trouble of assembling all these members to be a part of this singing group, why do you have them singing in unison ALL THE TIME? It’s especially atrocious with idol groups across Korea and Japan like SNSD (with nine!) and AKB48 (with 9001!). If you have so many members, think of all the beautiful harmonies and interweaving polyphony you could potentially accomplish as a part of the production. Think how incredible it could be to have 5 SNSD members singing a chord to the ninth while the remaining four relate a complex, layered tapestry of a chorus. Why don’t they do this? I don’t claim to be an expert, but I’m assuming it’s because 9 of them are pretty and 8 of them suck at singing. This may be a bit of a tangent, and, to be honest, I don’t really hold it against seiyuu groups like these that were brought together for these one-off OP recordings.

    Enjoyed the review, though, sorry for the sermon!

    Reply
    • September 11, 2012 at 9:14 pm
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      I just have to chip in for your third point to give my wholehearted agreement! That is precisely the reason I hardly ever listen to seiyuu groups at all. Hearing 4 people singing the same line is boring enough. Hear 4 of them half shouting it is just torturous. Doesn’t help that many of their singing voices start sounding the same after a while (likely to be because shows which require such OPs tend to fall under certain categories, which tend to be driven by a few female stereotypes, who all end up sounding the same).

      Reply
    • September 11, 2012 at 11:12 pm
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      With regard to your last point, I’m obliged to tell you this: Well-said. That’s a problem that I have with idol groups too. Even just splitting half among harmony and melody would be better than having all sing in unison, because frankly that sound gives me a headache. Then the practice of dividing lines equally also piss me off because the good singers have too short snippets for them to stand out as good, and terrible singers get too much attention from deaf fans who apparently appreciate music with their eyes.

      And with that said, I’ll pass on this single, thanks.

      Reply
    • September 12, 2012 at 9:59 pm
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      “There’s a certain pricelessness in being intelligent as well as entertaining, and this is something that this opening just does not accomplish.”
      Then we are at a irreconcilable juncture. I would normally call this out as elitism; what more right do you have than I to claim a certain song is or is not intelligent? I believe Yuru Yurararara Yuru Yuri Dai Jiken” is very intelligent — it has self-realization of what it is, what it has to do, and how it is going to do it. Not only is it an earworm, it’s a perfect fit for the anime it’s attached to.

      I will admit I was being a bit facetious in my technical analysis of the song. No, the arrangement is not overly complex, nor is the structure unique. None of them really have a lot of vocal talent, but who cares? Music is art; there’s more than one way of measuring its worth. Jackson Pollack could probably not paint as beautifully as van Gogh, but it’s not all about the technical mastery of brush and paint, but the meaning behind the work that matters. I admit that the seiyuu (and most seiyuu) cannot sing, but it’s the atmosphere and mood they create that makes the song great. I don’t WANT beautiful harmony in Yuru Yuri’s OP, I want dissonance. I want to hear an earworm sung in character, like how middle schoolers would sing. This is what anime music IS. Of course there is value in “good singing” but I don’t think that’s the only way to take anime music.

      Reply
      • September 12, 2012 at 11:01 pm
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        I wouldn’t call it irreconcilable! Where I think the divergence is occurring as per your response above is our definitions on the word “intelligent,” a word I honestly shouldn’t have been throwing around. It seems that you interpreted that in the vein that the song is clever and savvy enough to know what its context and setting are, and I totally agree. I made a very similar admission in my review of the second season’s OP. What I meant to imply was not a sense of elitism but a more objective question of whether or not the song was built with the intent of being (sorry, more loaded terminology) “intellectually and artistically satisfying.” Is the song written just to fill the 90 seconds before the show, or is there meaning and artistry put into it? You mention that the “meaning behind the work” is what matters. Is there really a whole lot of “meaning” behind this tune? You’re absolutely right about it being catchy and appealing, but does any of it give the hint that it’s anything more than that?

        You compare van Gogh and Pollack, paralleling how “Daijiken” is like the former – less “beautiful,” but just as valuable. I’d say that, if a “good,” “artistic” song is a van Gogh piece, “Daijiken” is a crudely spray-painted penis sprawled across an alleyway wall. Is it amusing? Yeah. Is it gutsy? Yeah. Is it intellectually and artistically satisfying art? I’m not so sure.

        That’s the point I’m trying to make. You’re right that anime music can be whatever it wants. It can create fantastic mood and atmosphere. It can be an earworm, and it can be a perfect fit for the show. But if it wants to be good music, the value must lie beyond just being entertaining or well executed. Though context is definitely an issue when it comes to anime songs, I believe these rating scores (Excellent, Awful, etc) should be a product of being great music as well as a great fit. If it fails at either, it hasn’t done its job.

        Lastly, I don’t want to be a downer, and I see the point you’re trying to make, but there’s no dissonance (at all!) in this song, haha, it’s all just light and fluffy consonance all the way through! Sorry, seriously, I don’t want to be the guy mentioning this nitty gritty meaningless stuff, but just a note.

    • September 13, 2012 at 11:26 pm
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      Aftershok, I am a bit baffled by your comments. You claim this song to be mindless, terrible, vacuous garbage. I am actually wondering if we are even talking about the same song! But while we are on the topic of ‘terrible music’, I wonder what actually constitutes as being terrible. When we are talking about something as subjective as music, I find it impossible to objectively rank it at all. Anything beyond that would probably constitute as elitism.

      I also find it curious as to why you would misquote Kevo on one of his strongest points. Perhaps you weren’t being serious and were simply disparaging him on his ‘poor’ taste in music but since you have missed the point, I will refresh you on what he meant. The OP is a perfect representation of the show itself, and thus achieved what all OP’s should strive for. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter because I enjoyed the both the show and the OP. You elitists can go commit Seppuku for all I care. In fact, the world would probably be a better place.

      Reply
      • September 14, 2012 at 5:58 am
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        I think there are really a few misunderstandings here… Firstly, Aftershok has already clarified: it is garbage, but enjoyable garbage precisely because it is so unabashed about it’s lack of intelligent and artistic material. I feel that the parallel he drew to Lucky Star’s opening impeccable. Indeed, I tip my hat off to anyone who can convince me why that is a musical masterpiece. I personally think it’s messy cacophony. But who cares? It’s addictive! (Ok, the 1.5min one is. The full one gives me a headache.)

        And calling us elitists simply because we judge music differently is a little unnecessary. We are merely people who feel that good music is defined by strong musical attributes as well as fitting in with the anime context. If asserting one’s belief is ‘elitist’, may I then point out that you asserting that representation of a show is the sole purpose of an OP/ED, and that any other viewpoint is unacceptable, is fundamentally elitist as well?

      • September 14, 2012 at 6:46 pm
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        If I believed that this is a musical masterpiece, I would have rated it so.

        That said, I disagree with the idea that this is messy cacophony at all. I think the song is quite good regardless of the context it’s in. I can’t explain it in musical terms, but it sounds good.

        Music (to me) is about enjoyment. If someone wrote a song about stinky cheese performed with an out of tune harmonica syncopated with a bagpipe and it sounded nice and made me happy, is it good music. It is worth more than a thousand baroque symphonies that would have lulled me to sleep. I’d be lying if I said that usually find seiyuu-pop like this enjoyable, but I like this song. Even if the anime didn’t exist, I enjoy the sound and energy in this tune. To quote one of the best musical groups of all time, the Backstreets Boys, “I don’t care who you are, where you’re from, what you did,” as long as the song sounds good.

        Also, while Kian and I said that and OP/ED should strive to be similar to the show, you are the only person to use the phrase “sole purpose” in this thread. I never said that. I said that it’s something necessary for anisongs to do. I have never said that it’s the only metric to judge anime songs by. I am trusted to write for an anime music blog; I will point out if I think the song sounds like crap. So one more time: from a musical perspective, I believe that “Yuruyurararara Yuru Yuri Daijiken” is an enjoyable song (especially the full version).

      • September 18, 2012 at 10:19 am
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        Kian, I believe your comment about how those who disagree with you should commit suicide is a bit uncalled for, but the gist of what I’m trying to say is summarized well by Jen.

        You seem to believe that the objective evaluation and comparison of anything “subjective” is inherently inappropriate and is in itself an elitist act. It must be difficult for you to visit sites like ours, or any website or publication anywhere on the planet that rates or reviews anything. Yet, for some reason, you go on to relate how much you liked the show and the song. Your next point is that “elitists” (who seem to be people that just disagree with you) should go and die.

        So it is not ok to talk about music objectively and “rank” it with our opinions, but it IS ok for you to talk about liking it, and “elitists” who disagree with you should die? Interesting.

        I would like to translate your comment:
        “I agree with Kevo’s objective ranking of this music, but it is not OK to objectively rank music. Those who do are elitist, and they should commit suicide, though I am not elitist even though I just dismissed the opinions of everyone who disagrees with me.”

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  • September 30, 2013 at 12:45 am
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    Good work, keep it up.

    Reply

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