English Dub Review: YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of This World “Dirtied White Skin”

YU-NO gets a little more interesting in an episode filled with mystery.

Overview (Spoilers Below):

Something is going on with Ayumi, but Takuya can’t figure out what. At school, he receives an ominous phone call from GeoTech alleging that Ayumi may be involved in criminal dealings. But when Takuya rushes home, just finds her getting intimate on the couch with Toyotomi.

After meeting with the same TV reporter who interviewed Ayumi last week, Takuya thinks he’s figured everything out – Toyotomi is attempting to frame Ayumi for stealing and leaking company secrets. When he arrives back home, though, he finds Ayumi in the bathroom, unconscious and bleeding.

Our Take:

Well, I’ll start by saying that this fifth episode of YU-NO is a definite improvement in terms of base entertainment. There’s plenty of complicated plot going on in Dirtied White Skin, even if it isn’t always elegantly-executed. And of course, the issues with the characters still persist. Takuya is an asshole who I can’t imagine ever rooting for, which makes everything seem a little less important when he’s the one doing it all.

His, er, mommy issues continue on from last week in full. As the episode begins, he dreams about how his father joked about how he was developing feelings for his stepmom. Flashback Takuya blushes and then promises to always look out for her even if his father won’t. He then barges in on her in the bathroom, only to see her shoot herself through the head. A gruesome beginning and an equally gruesome ending define this episode. At this point, honestly, I’d rather see Takuya get together with Ayumi rather than Mio. Mio’s just a poor high schooler who doesn’t deserve Takuya’s cruelty. At least Ayumi knows what she would be getting into. To be fair, I doubt the show will explicitly lean in any one direction since it seems to like keeping all its options open.

The main plot of the episode revolves around just how evil Toyotomi is. We already knew he was a liar who likes chewing out children with his mean words, but apparently, he now stoops to straight-up sabotage. I’m really wondering what Ayumi knows about all this. Toyotomi does not seem to be her type at all, and there’s clearly some grossness with the way he hangs up her phone call. But she also defends him when Takuya comes home and tries to interfere. Did the job site manager kill Ayumi and make it look like a suicide? Only time will tell.

This week’s dub is okay. I particularly enjoyed Kyle Igneczi’s performance as ‘Captain Douchebag’ (aka Toyotomi). The disgust he has with Takuya’s tired jokes is great: “That joke wasn’t funny the first time, either.” Takuya is not a funny guy, and should just quit while he’s ahead. He clearly has a problem, as even Mio calls him out: “You should find a new joke.” Takuya can be oddly poetic when he’s trying to skip school, though: “Summer is beckoning; I must heed the call.” I loved Toyotomi’s reaction to almost getting punched: “Please not in the face.”

Overall, Dirtied White Skin entertained me more than I thought it would. The plot had more suspense and had me trying to piece things together in a way that previous episodes haven’t. Still, though, YU-NO takes place in a confusing world filled with cliched characters who make bad jokes every single episode. Ayumi may have ended her time in this place, and I’m not sure how much longer I’ll last, either.

Caleb

graphic designer, writer, and animation addict. when i'm not writing words about my favorite shows, you can usually find me skulking about on Twitter. if you want, leave a comment or send me a tweet; i'd love to chat!

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