Ayumi gets egged in a slow-moving episode of YU-NO.
Overview (Spoilers Below):
As the lightning strike scares continue at the construction site, Ayumi decides to schedule a community briefing to let everyone know what’s going on and what GeoTech is doing about it. Unfortunately, the briefing doesn’t go down that smoothly; the company hasn’t actually discovered much about the cause, and they aren’t delaying the project either. After a hostile TV interview, Ayumi comes home drunk and Takuya realizes that even with his dimension traveling device, he would never be able to prevent her tears.
Well, this episode felt a whole lot like the community briefing that takes place during it. There aren’t many answers and there’s not a whole lot going on. Honestly, the pacing and plot of this show are just so weird to me, and Tears That Can’t Be Stopped definitely isn’t doing anything to change that opinion.
I guess that good point about not much happening outside the characters is that we get to spend more time observing how they think and behave. Pretty much the only arc going on in this episode was Takuya’s relationship with his stepmom Ayumi. There’s certainly some pros and cons to how the show goes about developing this dynamic, but let’s start with the positive. The two of them bond really nicely after the passing of Takuya’s dad/Ayumi’s husband. The opening and ending scenes especially hit home, where the two of them are just taking comfort in one another’s company. And that’s where things get worse.
Takuya might be taking a little too much comfort. In this episode alone, he walks in on Ayumi in an undershirt, makes a joke about taking off her panties, and gets super blushy when her breasts rub against his back as he’s carrying her to her room (something the camera definitely highlights). Even if they weren’t related, these things would be kind of gross, but with the whole ‘stepmother’ angle, it’s just creepy. At least neither one of them seems specifically interested in the other, although those were some leading questions about ‘who likes who’ that they were asking each other.
The tone and humor of YU-NO are still falling flat for me. There were a couple of solid gags, like how Takuya replies to Ayumi’s question of if he likes anyone with famous scientists and Elizabeth Taylor. Also, I cannot get over Takuya and the foreman’s interactions. They hate each other so much and I love it! As the only character even more reprehensible than Takuya so far, the foreman is a good villainous guy to pit him against, and they have some A+ banter. One weird thing I noticed: why the hell does the school nurse randomly tell Takuya Kanna’s medical history when he walks in and asks?
This time around, the English dub is a little less impressive. Eric Vale is still doing an okay job with Takuya, but I’m not enjoying Dawn Bennett’s performance as Ayumi. Her voice is just a tad too high and makes her sound less like a stepmom and more like a high-schooler. Though that may be the intention after some of the events in this episode… Kristen McGuire is doing a great job as Kanna, though. And the foreman is so funny: “Somebody had to save the day, and it sure wasn’t you.” Takuya’s reaction to learning that Ryuzoji has gotten rid of all his furniture and begun sleeping on the floors is fun: “Gotta admit, that is pretty strange. Seems mostly harmless, though.”
The third episode of YU-NO is strange. There’s lots of corporate PR speak coupled with sexualized moments between Takuya and his stepmom. It makes for some weird tonal shifts, and it doesn’t help that nothing else interesting is going on. We still don’t know anything new about those lightning strikes, or Kanna, or where she got that strange necklace from. Maybe by next week, the show will have uncovered more answers than GeoTech’s experts did?