English Dub Review: YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of This World “The Quarry Where Demons Rule”

 

Overview (Spoilers Below):

After seeing his daughter Yu-No kidnapped at the end of last week’s episode, Takuya is imprisoned in a quarry. It’s basically a full-scale mining operation, complete with excavating so-called ‘holy stones’ and hand-carving coffins to be used in the rituals for the priestess. There’s even the requisite spiky red-headed bully who thinks he’s above everyone else.

Takuya spends many months in the quarry before finally figuring out a way to leave… only it doesn’t work, and he’s put in a cell to be taught a lesson. Luckily, he meets Amanda, the leader of the resistance – and Ailia’s sister.

Our Take:

Things always looked darkest before the dawn, and that’s certainly the case in this week’s episode of YU-NO. Takuya is sentenced to slave labor for the Divine Emperor, working all day at the quarry to mine holy stones. At least he has a few friendly fellow prisoners to keep him company, like the chipper Kartz and the foreman Deo. Life goes like this for a while: about a year, I believe, which seems like a hell of a long time. I’m not sure why the show needed to insert that bit of exposition about how an entire year has passed. It didn’t really add to my viewing experience in any way. Regardless, The Quarry Where Demons Rule was a fine episode, but nothing spectacular.

Basically the entire episode is filled with Takuya and his life at the quarry. Honestly, it’s not very interesting, to begin with. Kartz and Deo are mediocre side characters who fit neatly into their stereotypes, bright green hair and all. And even into former stereotypes, in Kartz’s case. He seems to be an exact replica of Yuki, and I’m not exactly sure what the point of this is. They act too close in a manner for it to be a coincidence, so maybe this is one of Yuki’s distant ancestors? What do I know? (Really, Kartz even tries to call Takuya ‘boss’, which is weird any way you spin it in English.) Deo is suspiciously nice. As the foreman, I expected him to be some kind of double agent, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Maybe I’m just paranoid from the whole betrayal last week.

The episode did pick up once Takuya began putting the pieces together. The quarry was where the ruins under Mount Sankaku came from back in the normal world, so Takuya has to set about putting his knowledge of that landscape to use in escaping from his current predicament. What complicates things is that mysterious beams of electricity from the Tower of Garzel seem to zap inmates who try to get lost – much like the lightning strikes back in Takuya’s homeworld. When he eventually finds a way out, he runs to Kartz and Deo and tells them he’s about to escape. But in a hilarious twist, they would rather stay in prison because a new female prisoner has arrived. (During the scene, this was absurdly funny, but later on, we find out why they remained. They’re working for the resistance of which she’s the leader!)

The dub this week was okay, although none of the new characters voices really stood out to me. There were some funny lines, at least. And I think it’s super fun that the guard who always gets speaking lines is randomly referred to as ‘Guard 21A’ in the subtitles. “Guys, aren’t you coming? Most important meal of the day!” I don’t know why, but it cracked me up to hear a random prisoner named Deo say this. “Next time, I’ll kick his ass.” Takuya seems like he would flourish in prison. “You wanna eat him?” The look Takuya gives Kunkun almost makes me think he’s briefly considering it. “Considering I was on my way to punch the guy in the face, how could I refuse?” Guess our boy is getting recruited!

The Quarry Where Demons Rule is an alright episode of YU-NO. It certainly didn’t break any new ground or set a new level for novel storytelling, but it provided enough of a new setting and characters to be interesting. I would’ve liked for Kartz and Deo to be fleshed out a bit more, and for Takuya’s search for the exit to get more screen time, but all in all, a solid stage is set for his joining the resistance next week. Hopefully in time to rescue poor Yu-No!

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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