Anime / Yuki Yuna Is a Hero

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Welcome to the Hero Club. Everything will be fun from now on! note 

"Give a good greeting."
"Try not to give up."
"Sleep well, eat well."
"If you're troubled, talk to someone!"
"You're likely to succeed if you try."

Yuki Yuna is a Hero, a.k.a. YuYuYu, is a Magical Girl Warrior series which aired during the Fall 2014 Anime season. It was developed by Studio Gokumi and main writer Takahiro, the same guy who wrote Akame ga Kill!, from Minato Soft, the same company who wrote Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!.

In the past, most of humanity was destroyed by a virus, with the Japanese island of Shikoku surviving thanks to the appearance of a divine tree called the Shinju, asking only for worship in return. Three hundred years later, Shikoku has prospered under the Shinju's guidance, allowing the people to live happy, ordinary lives. One such girl is Yuki Yuna, your everyday Ordinary Middle School Student who enjoys being with her friends and eating snacks. Yuna, her wheelchair-bound best friend Mimori Togo, Fu Inobozaki and Fu's younger sister Itsuki all make up the Hero Club, a special school club formed to do good deeds and to help people. At least, that's what they were told.

Everything changes one day when the girls' cell phones abruptly start ringing in class. Before they can react to the "Forestize Warning" alert that their cell phone screens display, everyone and everything around them goes completely motionless, followed by the sky splitting open and the world being overwritten by an unearthly forest. Fu has to give the rest of the Hero Club the quick rundown on what's going on before the first Vertex attacks. As it turns out, the Hero Club is quite literal, and the girls have to fight to save the world.

Several other aspects of the universe, collectively called the Yuusha de aru franchise, have been introduced:

    The Yuusha de aru Franchise 
  • Washio Sumi is a Hero (WaSuYu) note  — A prequel novel taking place two years before the anime, centered on the previous Hero team: Sumi Washio, Sonoko Nogi and Gin Minowa (serialized from April - November 2014).
    • Washio Sumi Chapter note  — an animated adaptation of Washio Sumi, released as three movies in 2017 and comprising the first half of Yuuki Yuuna's second season.
      • Washio Sumi Chapter: Friendsnote  (released March 18, 2017)
      • Washio Sumi Chapter: Spirit note  (released April 15, 2017)
      • Washio Sumi Chapter: Promise note  (releases on July 8, 2017)
  • Sonoko After — A short novel that serves as an epilogue to the anime, tying it and Washio Sumi together (published in January 2015).
  • Yuki Yuna is a Hero Club Member note  — A comedic 4koma detailing the Hero Club's daily life, eventually including Sonoko.
    • Yuusha de aru All-Stars — A continuation of the 4koma featuring characters from Yuki Yuna, Washio Sumi, and Nogi Wakaba.
  • Yuki Yuna is a Hero: Memories of the Forest note  — A video game released for the PlayStation Vita that takes place between episodes 3 and 5 of the anime, centered around the Hero Club meeting a mysterious girl within the Jukai.
  • Nogi Wakaba is a Hero (NoWaYu) note  — A second prequel novel, this time taking place three hundred years before the anime, centered on the very first Hero team of Shikoku, the leader of whom is Sonoko's ancestor (serialized from July 2015 - January 2017).
  • Yuki Yuna is a Hero: Hanayui no Kirameki note  — A mobile tower defense game featuring every single Hero across every story, along with two new Heroes from the Christian Era: Sekka Akihara of Hokkaido and Natsume Kohagura of Okinawa.
  • Kusunoki Mebuki is a Hero (KuMeYu) note  — An upcoming light novel series taking place between season one and two of the anime, detailing the story of a group of Hero candidates being called by the Taisha to the Golden Tower for a special duty.

Compare Puella Magi Madoka Magica, a similarly dark take on the Magical Girl genre which has been argued by some to be the show's primary inspiration. Contrast Lyrical Nanoha and Senki Zesshou Symphogear, works which themselves are dramatic at times but ultimately play the genre completely straight.

This series has been licensed by Pony Canyon USA for release in America, along with an English dub.

A second season of the anime has been announced for March 2017, the first six episodes being an adaptation of Washio Sumi titled Yuki Yuna is a Hero: Washio Sumi Chapter and the second half being a proper sequel titled Yuki Yuna is a Hero: Hero Chapter.


FORESTIZE WARNING - Tropes are approaching. Please deploy to protect humanity.

  • Acid-Trip Dimension: The Jukai, the alternate world where the girls fight to stop the Vertex.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The Washio Sumi Chapter movie trilogy expands the plot of the original novel it was based on by adding more scenes relevant to the story and to the main trio's relationship as well as by giving their once unnamed teacher a name that possibly connects her to one of the characters from the Nogi Wakaba novels in the adaptation.
  • After the End: The story is said to take place 300 years after the "Anno Domini Era," during which a virus wiped out much of humanity until the Shinju appeared and saved what was left. Nevertheless, the world has returned to a peaceful, prosperous state not unlike modern-day Japan. Episode 10 reveals that in reality, the gods sent the Vertex to destroy humanity, while the remaining gods who sided with the human race joined together to become the Shinju and preserve what was left within a barrier; the Hero Club's island of Shikoku is all that remains of humanity, and the rest of the world is a blazing hellscape.
  • A House Divided: The premise of Hanayui no Kirameki: some of the gods within the Shinju have begun to rebel, causing it to lose power, and it's up to the various Heroes and Miko across history to quell the rebellion and reunify the Shinju.
  • All Deaths Final: Sonoko After states that while the Shinju can return the sacrifices of the Heroes, he can't bring back the dead, meaning that Gin Minowa and Fu and Itsuki's parents aren't coming back.
  • All Just a Dream: The plot of Jukai no Kioku happens in a dream world Sonoko created using her one of her twenty-one fairies, which would explain why the girls can use Mankai without penalty in-game.
  • Alternative Calendar: The series takes place in Year of Shinju 300, marking the time when the Shinju appeared during the apocalypse of the "Anno Domini" era.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The focus of Chapter 11 of Nogi Wakaba; the writer was a part of a group of survivors took refuge in an underground mall in Osaka, but when food started to run low they began to kill the old and sick (including the writer's sister), and then they began to turn on one another. When a few people destroyed the shelter's barriers to look for food, some Vertex got through and killed everyone inside. By the time the Hero team arrives all that's left is a pile of bones.
  • Attack Its Weak Point:
    • While their attacks can injure a Vertex's body (and must do enough damage to immobilize them), they'll regenerate from it; in order to actually destroy a Vertex, the Heroes have to surround it and pray to make it expose its core. However, merely exposing the core doesn't make it all that vulnerable - they have to do damage the hard way, and the cores don't make it easy for them at all.
    • Togo's Mankai form in has enough raw firepower to expose a Vertex's core without the need for sealing. Karin's Mankai form is so powerful that it can destroy Vertex in a single hit, core and all, at the cost of being extremely fragile.
  • Awful Truth:
    • The true purpose of being a Hero is to become a sacrifice to Shinju.
    • The truth about the outside world, which is an almost literal Fire and Brimstone Hell where the Vertex infinitely regenerate.
  • Battle Aura:
    • Whenever a Hero activates her Mankai, she initially emits a huge one in the shape and color of her respective flower.
    • When Yuna forcibly enters Mankai from her human form in episode 12, her aura instead takes the form of a cherry tree, which then rapidly blossoms.
  • Beach Episode: Episode 7 has a reward for the heroes in a day at the beach. as these episodes are typically lighthearted and frivolous, but episode 7 uses the fun and happiness to conjure unease in the viewer as a prelude to the Awful Truth.
  • BFS: Fu's weapon, which she can make even larger as one of her attacks. It grows even larger in her Mankai form, with just the handle being as long as she is tall.
  • Big Eater: Fu and Yuna to a lesser extent. This also extends to Yuna's fairy Gyuki, who tries to eat everything in sight including the other fairies.
  • Bittersweet Ending: At the end of Nogi Wakaba, the Taisha have managed to form a ceasefire with the Vertex at the cost of using six miko as human sacrifices, but only Wakaba and Hinata have survived the war and the Leo Vertex remains The Unfought. Despite this, Wakaba and Hinata work together to ensure that humanity will be ready to fight the Vertex again someday.
  • Blessed with Suck: Mankai gives a Hero incredible amounts of power at the expanse of losing a bodily function, a sense, or maybe even limbs.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: To a lesser degree, but the animated adaptation of Washio Sumi shows what it looks like for girls to battle gigantic Kaiju without the protection of the fairy barriers, with the Heroes being covered in bloody cuts and gashes after each battle.
  • Bolivian Army Ending:
    • The main narrative of Washio Sumi ends with Sonoko facing down three Vertex alone and activating her Mankai. The anime reveals that she won, at the cost of activating Mankai twenty times.
    • The Shiratori Utano is a Hero chapter of NoWaYu ends with Shiratori facing off alone against a massive Vertex army that she has no hope of defeating, with her miko Mito faithfully watching her final battle. That Suwa fell along with everyone in it was already a Foregone Conclusion, however.
  • Boobs of Steel:
    • Fu is the oldest girl, has the second biggest rack, and swings a BFS that puts the Buster Sword to shame.
    • Togo doesn't lose to Fu in the breast-size department, and carries enough firepower to completely shift the tide of the battle in the second episode.
  • Book Ends: The first episode begins with a puppet show in which Fu plays the Demon King and Yuna plays the hero. The last episode ends with a skit in which Fu plays the Demon King and Yuna plays the hero.
  • Boss Warning Siren: More like a Monster of the Week Warning Chime, but the "Forestize Warning" on their smartphones is rendered like it came out of a Shoot 'em Up and accompanied by a rather strident ringtone. The "Emergency Warning" ringtone that sounds when Togo is blasting holes in the Shinju's barrier is downright alarming (which is probably the point).
  • Break the Cutie:
    • Fu at the end of episode 9.
    • Chikage in Chapters 14 and 15 of Nogi Wakaba.
  • Breather Episode: Episode 7 is this, coming shortly after the climactic battle in Episode 5 and right before Episode 8, which leads to the second half of the plot. It's even titled "Idyllic Happiness."
  • Bullying a Dragon: The people of Chikage's village in Chapter 15 of NoWaYu, and especially a group of bullies that had always tormented her before she became a Hero. Chikage completely snaps and would have killed them all had Wakaba not shown up to stop her.
  • Bureaucratically Arranged Marriage: In this case, a “bureaucratically arranged friendship” rather than a marriage. After Togo’s first tour of duty as a Hero ended and she was released from the hospital, the Taisha deliberately arranged to have her family move next door to Yuna’s family, because they knew Yuna had extremely high potential as another Hero and wanted the two girls to become friends.
  • Buxom Is Better: The subject of one of the Visual Novel scenarios (Fu's Determination) is Fu, Itsuki and Yuna trying to come up with ways to make their breasts bigger to compete with Togo. This leads to some... interesting lines:
  • Call Back: Washio Sumi Chapter has a few callbacks to Nogi Wakaba:
    • The Great Seto Bridge has markers representing the families of the Heroes of NoWaYu, including the Nogi, Uesato, Doi, Iyojima, Takashima and Shiratori families, along with the Washio and the Minowa. Chikage Koori's family is notably absent.
    • The girls' teacher and leader, unnamed in the novel, is named Aki-sensei in the movie, linking her to the miko Aki Masuzu from Nogi Wakaba.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The series presents itself as a Magical Girl Warrior show with a heavy emphasis on the girls' everyday lives, and even after the girls temporarily lose physical functions as a result of fighting, they manage to take it in stride. Then comes episode 8, which reveals that their disabilities are permanent, and they will continue to lose parts of their body as long as they continue to fight, with the bearer of bad news being a former Hero who used Mankai so many times that she became completely bedridden. After this, things get progressively worse until they reach Evangelion levels of dark and depressing.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Like most magical girl shows, each girl is represented by her respective color:
    • Yuna is pink, Togo is blue, Fu is yellow, Itsuki is green, and Karin is red.
    • In Washio Sumi, Sumi is blue, Sonoko is purple, and Gin is red.
    • In Nogi Wakaba, Wakaba is dark blue, Yuna is pink (again), Chikage is red, Tamako is orange, and Anzu is white.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The Vertex attack at the Great Seto Bridge which Fu and Itsuki's parents were killed is the same one in which Sonoko used Mankai twenty times to drive the Vertex back.
  • Converse with the Unconscious: Togo constantly talks to an unresponsive Yuna in the final episode. It eventually helps Yuna to break out of her coma.
  • Cool Big Sis: Fu, as the oldest of the club, acts like a big sister that is responsible for everyone.
  • Cooldown Hug: Itsuki delivers one to Fu in episode 9. Yuna delivers one to Togo in episode 12.
  • Cool Guns: Togo's arsenal of sniper rifle and dual magical pistols.
  • Cosy Catastrophe: The series takes place on something of a post-apocalyptic Earth where the section of Japan the girls live on is the only surviving area. Aside from the Shinju-sama worship you wouldn't notice it as everyone and everything is pretty normal. Notably, they still code mobile websites in (English) HTML and Jquery. Also, the mall offers Gelato.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique:
    • Mankai, a Super Mode activated by borrowing power from the Shinju itself. It gives a Hero great power, but the Shinju will require a sacrifice afterward; namely, one of a Hero's bodily functions.
    • The Trump Card system featured in Nogi Wakaba, in which the user channels the full power of a fairy, is less extreme but still described as having the possibility to be this, with it causing the user extreme exhaustion after use. However, there are fairies which the Taisha have warned should not be channeled under any circumstances. Yuna channels one such fairy, Shuten-Douji, upon witnessing Tamako and Anzu's deaths.
  • Darker and Edgier: The series as a whole becomes this, but the Nogi Wakaba is this from the beginning, starting off with Wakaba and Hinata having to watch their friends and classmates being eaten alive by Stardust as well as Chikage's backstory. The manga adaptation even calls it "The Cruelest Chapter of the "Yusha de aru" Series!"
  • Darkest Hour: The end of episode 10: the revelation that their disabilities are permanent and that continuing to fight will further destroy their bodies has left Fu a sobbing wreck. Furthermore, it drives Togo to let in thousands of Stardust and Vertex to destroy the Shinju in the hopes of delivering a Mercy Kill to her friends.
  • Dark Reprise: Episode 10's ED features a very quiet piano reprise of the ending theme with Togo as the sole singer, with much more somber lyrics driving home her decision to destroy the Shinju.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: After initially appearing to be in the same vein as Madoka,note  it takes a hard turn towards reconstructing the genre's tropes by showing that even in a setting as dark and unforgiving as this one, fighting hard enough and trusting your friends with The Power of Love can overcome any obstacles, but you're going to have to work for it and push with everything you've got.
  • Despair Event Horizon: It comes for Fu when she discovers that Itsuki will never get her voice back and for Togo when she finds out the truth about the world.
  • Disc One Final Boss: The "final" Vertexes in episode 5.
  • Disability Superpower:
    • The Hero System seems to compensate for severe disabilities, as shown with Togo's transformation mitigating her inability to walk by providing her a means to move around.
    • Later, each time Karin loses a body function from her Mankai, a brace appears as a part of her transformation, beginning with her arm, her leg, her ears, and finally her eyes. Her arm and leg braces appear to grant her limbs movement, as shown when she joins up with the other girls.
  • Doomed by Canon: Only two of the characters in the prequel light novel Washio Sumi Is a Hero are accounted for in the show itself (though crippled and in Sumi's case, amnesiac and under a new identity). And sure enough, Gin dies over the course of the book, though it is heavily implied her cellphone was upgraded and given to Karin.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune:
    • Both the opening, "Hoshi to Hana" ("Stars and Flowers"), and the ending, "Aurora Days," are sung by the voice actresses of the main cast (minus Karin).
    • "Inori no Uta" ("Song of Prayer"), which is used as the ED for Episodes 4 and 9, is Itsuki's Image Song
    • Togo is the sole singer of Episode 10's ED, while Yuna is the sole singer of Episode 11's ED.
    • The opening of Washio Sumi Chapter, "Sakiwafuhana" ("Flower of Happiness"), is sung by Sumi's voice actress.
    • The ending of Washio Sumi Chapter: Spirit, "Tamashii'' ("Spirit"), is sung by Gin's voice actress.
  • Don't Try This at Home: Several of these disclaimers appear as Karin tries to demonstrate to Itsuki how safe popping multiple supplements at once is. It isn't.
  • Driven to Suicide: In Episode 9, Togo mentions that she attempted suicide over ten times between then and episode 8, only to fail due to her fairies stopping her. We even see her first attempt in episode 10.
  • Dwindling Party: NoWaYu bills itself as the "cruelest chapter," and it's not kidding. Main characters die, and they die horribly. By the end of Chapter 18, only Wakaba and Hinata are left alive.
  • Dual Wielding:
    • Karin's weapon of choice is dual wielding katanas.
    • Similarly to Karin, Gin dual-wields axes in the light novel. Since Karin is using Gin's terminal, it's only natural that she would emulate her fighting style.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: All Heroes recover from their wounds (even Nogi Sonoko) and lose contact with the Taisha, meaning they won't have to fight anymore.
  • Engrish: One of the posters in the club room rather notably says "Brave Clab." This is corrected to "Brave Club" in the Blu-ray/DVD release.
  • Evolving Credits:
    • Togo's Magical Girl form appears in the OP after Episode 2. Karin appears in the ED after Episode 3, and then in the OP starting in episode 5.
    • Itsuki sings a special song for the closing credits of episode 4.
    • Each character has a flower on her costume that gets filled in as she gets closer to using her Mankai, and these flowers are shown in the OP.
    • All the girls are healthy and walking in episode 12's ending, after they recover from their wounds. It also features them all singing in harmony.
  • Evolving Music:
    • The ending theme changes depending on the focus on the episode. In two instances, it changed entirely, but in other cases it is merely covered by a single character rather than the cast. However, the sections of the song used are also changed depending on the character.
    • The series makes very powerful use of silence, especially in episode 9, as Fu worries about Itsuki's voice and tries to make things better by being cheerful and silly (and fails). It's a stark contrast to the Hero Club silliness of before, and it gets worse in episode 11, when Itsuki tries to shake Fu out of her funk. Her mouth is moving but the only sound is an airy background ambiance.
  • Experience Meter: Every girl has a flower-shaped one on their Hero outfits (Yuna on her right hand, Togo on her left breast, Fu on her left thigh, Itsuki on her back and Karin on her left shoulder). Expending lots of magic causes one of the flower's five petals to light up, and when all five are lit up the user will be able to activate her Mankai.
  • Fairy Companion: They're cute representations of Japanese youkai and spirits, and are summoned from the girls' cellphones. The fairies grant the girls their weapons while they're in their Hero forms, and also can protect a Hero from significant damage. They'll even protect a Hero from herself.
  • Fanservice:
    • Prominently featured in the merchandise and bonus materials (including official dakimakura), but the anime itself only has a relatively small amount besides a few brief cheesecake shots.
    • While the other transformation sequences have minimal fanservice, Togo's involves rope bondage to go with her method of transportation being ribbon-tentacles (as well as a rather gratuitous shot of her bust).
    • The Visual Novel included with pre-orders of the first BD volume cranks up the fanservice a few notches. For example:
  • Fate Worse Than Death: The girls gradually become more disabled with every use of Mankai. Sonoko has lost the use of one eye, one ear, her senses of smell, taste, and touch, and the use of all of her limbs. Karin gets it even worse as she loses both her eyesight and her hearing after using Mankai just four times. If they decide they've had enough of being living vegetables, they cannot even kill themselves. The guilt over being responsible for exposing her friends to this future drives Fu nearly insane, and Togo decides she would rather end humanity's existence than accept that fate.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: How Yuna defeats the final Vertex.
  • First-Episode Spoiler: The fact that it's a Magical Girl series at all isn't clear from the promo image, which looks like it's from a mundane Schoolgirl Series. The first half of the pilot is pure Slice of Life and indicates that Yuna is a "hero" because she's in a "Hero Club" that does volunteer/charity work. Then the Forestizing hits...
  • Flanderization: The supplementary manga, Yuki Yuna wa Yushabu Shozoku (Yuki Yuna Is a Hero Club Member) exaggerates everyone's personalities. Justified, as it's a gag 4koma:
  • Flower Motifs: Apart from her color, each girl has a flower that represents her. Yuna is a cherry blossom, Togo is a morning glory, Fu is a wood sorrel, Itsuki's is a chain of Solomon's seal, Karin is an azalea, and Sonoko is a purple rose.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The opening itself has this in its lyrics:
      Ah, though there is nothing that fascinates humans more than the truth,
    • In episode 2, Fu remarks that for someone who just became a Hero, Togo acts surprisingly experienced. She's more right than she knows.
    • In episode 2, Yuna tries to cheer up Togo with pressed flowers. In episode 7, the team collects pretty seaweed-flowers for her as well. In Episode 10's flashback, she wishes that the flower-pressing club would give her an invitation. Her wish immediately comes true as she gets an invite from the Hero Club, where the girls are represented with floral imagery and their bodies slowly crushed.
    • Taisha said the girls health issues have no neurological reason and they would get better. They get better in the finale.
    • Yuna's and Togo's colors are red/pink and blue. Togo and Yuna duel in the last episode.
    • Togo refers to herself as a "deserter" in episode 2.
    • Fu's offhand joke about taking back offerings after a while turns out more important than one would think.
    • In the VN, Itsuki draws the Strength tarot when she does Yuna's fortune. She then explains that the Strength isn't represented by the lion depicted on the card, but by the woman gently taming it. This foreshadows how Yuna defeats the Leo Vertex in Episode 12.
    • Before the battle in episode 5, Fu gives the Hero Club a pep talk. Each girl's response foreshadows something that they're going to lose:
      • Yuna looks forward to the meal that Fu promises them, but she's about to lose her sense of taste to the Sange.
      • Karin boasts that she's going to destroy the Vertexes. In the end, she has a very small role in the battle and that causes her to doubt her own worth.
      • Itsuki references her dream of becoming a singer, and then loses her voice to the Sange.
      • Togo vows to fight for the people and the nation. However, when she learns that protecting the people requires the sacrifice of Yuna and the rest of her friends, she turns her back on her ideals and instead tries to help the vertexes.
  • From Bad to Worse: The eighth episode marked the appearance of the thirteenth vertex. However, it was Gemini-type, known for being the symbol for twins, so that should be the end of it, right? Nope.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: In the Jukai no Kioku Vita game, Togo can't move with left stick like the other girls; instead, she relies entirely on jumping with her ribbons.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Yuna does this to Togo in episode 12.
  • Guns Akimbo: Togo is capable of dual wielding pistols in reverse grip.
  • Hair Decorations: Yuna's peculiar hairclip becomes a notably prominent headpiece after she transforms.
  • Handicapped Badass:
    • Togo is confined to a wheelchair in her normal form. Her legs are still useless when she transforms. This does nothing to stop her.
    • The true nature of Mankai means every hero will become this given enough time fighting the Vertexes.
  • Hate Plague: In Chapter 15 of Nogi Wakaba, Hinata and the Taisha discover that using the Trump Cards can not only debilitate the body but also corrode the mind, making the user more prone to negative behavior. Chikage, who is already mentally unstable, is the most prone to this.
  • Head Pet: Gyuki, Yuna's Fairy Companion, seems to spend a lot of time perched atop Yuna's head outside of combat.
  • Heroes "R" Us: Taisha act as this, providing support and information to the Heroes while also ensuring that their families are granted special privileges. They even provide for episode 7's Beach Episode.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.:
    • Fu in episode 9 when she finds out Itsuki will be mute for the rest of her life. She attempts to destroy the Taisha for misleading them, and even after Itsuki calms her down she's still incapacitated for much of Episode 11.
    • Togo has one after she sees for herself the truth of what the world has become in Episode 10.
    • Yuna has a brief one in episode 11 when she learns that Togo deliberately let thousands of Vertex in, and realizes that by fighting the Vertex she'll have to fight Togo too. She is actually unable to transform due to not knowing what to do.
    • Nogi Wakaba is a Hero introduces Uranophobia Syndrome, which is this as a progressive mental disorder that affects people who witnessed the first Vertex attack and eventually leaves them as Empty Shells. Chikage's mother is in the later stages of the disease.
  • Heroic R.R.O.D.: After defeating the final Vertex in episode 12, Yuna is left in a comatose state for what is implied to be several weeks. She gets better.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Fu's and Itsuki's parents were Taisha workers who were killed while evacuating civilians during a Vertex attack specifically the climactic battle of Washio Sumi.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Tomoyo Kurosawa deliberately sings badly in episode 4 during several scenes where Itsuki is struggling to sing in front of other people because of her shyness. The rest of Kurosawa’s vocal work for the series, especially in episode 9, shows that she’s actually a very good singer.
  • Homage:
    • In episode 1, Yuna is seem doodling a little character called Curry Neko (Curry Cat). While the possible reference went over the Western audience's head, Japanese fans were quick to take the scene as a shout out to Inu Curry (Dog Curry), the art group responsible for Puella Magi Madoka Magica's witches and labyrinths. The scene itself feels very similar to one from Madoka's first episode.
    • Another franchise that gets a lot of shout outs is Dragon Quest due to the obvious Yuusha theme of both series. The 4koma manga makes a direct joke about the game. The "hero" outfit Yuna sometimes wear looks similar to Roto's outfit. Some fans even believe that Fuu being an ex-cheerleader and Itsuki a fortuneteller is a sneaky reference the sisters Maya and Meena from Dragon Quest IV, especially after some prototype design sheets of the show revealed that Itsuki was originally a much more serious counterpart to Fuu's liveliness, making the similarity even stronger.
  • Hopeless War:
    • The Vertex is unending in number, and the big ones are being continuously reconstructed outside Shinju's barrier. In Sonoko After, Sonoko states that even with the Hero System, humanity would eventually fall.
    • As of Sonoko After, the Taisha have begun trying to avert this by mass-producing the Hero terminals and going on the offensive to reclaim the outside world.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: The Heroes' faeries prevent any attempts at suicide. Considering the alternatives, this is not a kindness.
  • Improbably Female Cast: Lead writer Takahiro stated that he created the series with the intention of not showing any male characters. Justified, as later on it's revealed that only young girls can become Heroes because young girls have always been human sacrifices.
  • Image Song: All of the main cast (including Sonoko) get one courtesy of a character CD released in 2016, besides the insert songs in the actual show itself, along with a group song titled "The Baton of Courage."
  • Insert Song:
    • "Inori no Uta" ("Song of Prayer"), sung by Itsuki, which serves as the ED song for episodes 4 and 9. It's the song that Itsuki recorded and submitted to an idol audition site.
    • Yuna and Karin have a duet in Circle Triangle Square during the karaoke scene in episode 4, while Togo sings "Kokon Musou" ("The Unparalleled in History"), a patriotic ballad.
  • Instant-Win Condition: A Vertex simply reaching the Shinju is apparently enough to destroy it. The Gemini Vertex tries to exploit this by simply running past the Heroes and making a break for the Shinju while dodging all of their attacks, but it's done in by the vines of Itsuki's Mankai.
  • Invisible Parents:
    • Yuna has family but they're never shown.
    • According to the visual novel, Karin has a brother that works at Taisha and her parents are alive, yet she lives alone. It's implied that they aren't very close.
    • Togo's mother isn't mentioned until the final episodes of the anime, and even then only appears in a flashback. She didn't even appear to take her daughter from the hospital. Her father is never shown at all.
    • In ''NoWaYu", Chikage oddly averts this with both her parents showing up and having lines of their own, which is very uncharacteristic for a franchise that avoids showing adults, especially adult males.
    • Also averted in the Washio Sumi movies, where we see both of Sumi's and Gin's families, but oddly enough, Sonoko's aren't shown...
  • Kaiju: The Vertex are huge, completely alien monsters. With one exception.
  • Kid Hero: The Hero Club. As the series goes on, it's revealed that they're more like child soldiers though.
  • Kill All Humans: The Vertex seek to destroy the Shinju, which would have this exact effect. Later, it's revealed that they were sent by the heavenly gods with the specific purpose of cleansing humanity.
  • King Mook: The Leo Vertex appears to be this; it tends to hang back in battles and it has the ability to fuse with other Vertex. It's also the Final Boss of Jukai no Kioku, only it has a purple and gray color scheme to emphasize the fact that it's a part of Sonoko's dream.
  • Letting the Air Out of the Band: When Yuna's attempt to raise Togo's spirits falls flat.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Sonoko's dream world in Jukai no Kioku, in which using Mankai has no consequence and the girls' lives as Heroes don't affect their everyday lives. At the end of the game, Sonoko even asks you if you want to stay or return to the real world, Sonoko says that she can't blame you.
  • Lucky Charms Title: On the OST CD, several of the track titles have only stars for titles (such as ☆☆☆☆ and ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆), with some also having five asterisks. They represent the Vertex (who are named after constellations) and the Heroes (the asterisks look like flowers), respectively.
  • The Masquerade:
    • Most of the world isn't aware of the Vertex or of the Heroes who protect them, although Washio Sumi shows that cities with greater Taisha influence are aware of it to some degree. Meanwhile, nobody outside of the Taisha is aware of the world outside the Shinju's barrier being a Fire and Brimstone Hell where Vertex reproduce infinitely.
    • Sonoko After reveals that the Taisha eventually plan to break the masquerade, revealing the truth about the outside world and mass-producing terminals to open the Hero system to the general public.
  • Miko:
    • The Heroes' Mankai forms have this appearance, with detached sleeves and all. In-universe, Miko are girls who are able to hear Shinju's voice directly, and the Taisha get their information through their interpretations.
    • Togo has the powers of both a Hero and a Miko. Sonoko After states that such people are called "Messiah."
  • Minor Living Alone: Karin. The sisters are orphans and live alone as well.
  • Mundane Utility: In the VN, the girls end up using the Hero System for a concert. Hey, it saves on costumes and special effects and that way Togo can move around the stage without her wheelchair.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Karin's Mankai form essentially has four external arms each armed with a large katana.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Fu has one of these moments in episode 9 when she realizes that Yuna had completely filled her Mankai gauge trying to stop her Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
    • Togo has a similar moment in episode 12 after Yuna manages to change her mind about destroying the Shinju:
      Togo: I started something awful.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Togo's plan to destroy the Shinju, and the ensuing battle, caused the Shinju to come to believe in human courage after seeing Yuna's determination. This led it to give back the sacrifices of the Heroes as well as allowing the Hero System to be upgraded to the next stage, allowing for mass production in exchange for the fairy barriers (and Sange as a result). If Togo hadn't forced the issue, Sonoko states that the Shinju would've been destroyed eventually.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: The girls' fairies provide a barrier that protect them from significant damage, although if they take enough hits they can still de-transform due to exhaustion. The fairies even protect the girls from harming themselves.
  • Not Disabled In VR: Zig-Zagging Trope. Togo is normally in need of a wheelchair. Then the Hero System comes and Togo's powered-up form is quite versatile, highly mobile and hardly hindered by her bad legs. Then more of Hero System comes into the light, starting the "Free disabilities for everyone!" campaign. And even that is not enough by the time of story climax, the wheelchair changes hands.
  • Not so Fast, Bucko!: The Stinger of episode 7. Even with the Vertex dead, the battles aren't over.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Both played straight and averted, in different ways. They became heroes and thwart the vertexes, at times for the price of their bodily functions. However, Taisha gave them luxuries (and eventually worship) as recompense.
  • Off Model: Noticeable in episode 8; the way that Sonoko's lower body is drawn made many fans believe that her legs had been amputated.
  • One-Man Army: Togo basically becomes this in episode 2. The same can be said for Karin in episode 3.
  • Plot-Based Voice Cancellation: When Togo is about to get some important information from Sonoko in episode 10, the audible part of the conversation is cut off by Togo’s phone ringing and Yuna leaving a message. The only clue the audience has to what Togo is actually hearing is the expression on her face. However, the content of the cut-off conversation is quickly made apparent at a later point in the same episode, merging this with Show, Don't Tell.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The fourth of the Hero Club Tenets ("If you're troubled, talk to someone!") gets broken a lot. The conflict of the entire second half of the series can be chalked up to the Taisha being needlessly secretive to their Heroes, leading to some rather depressing turns of events. In fact, when they ask Sonoko to stop Fu's Roaring Rampage of Revenge against them as well as Togo's Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum, she outright blows them off as they brought that whole mess upon themselves by witholding extremely important information for no real reason and says that she'd rather trust her fellow heroes. As of Sonoko After, the Taisha seem to have learned their lesson: they plan on revealing the true nature of the world to the general public and making the Hero system available to the entire public. Togo worries that this may be taking it too far, especially considering seeing the truth herself was enough to make her try to destroy the world out of despair.
  • Power at a Price: Mankai. Every activation requires the Heroes to sacrifice an aspect of themselves. The sacrifice can range from inconvenient to downright life altering, but multiple activations will severely cripple the user.
  • Power Fist: Yuna's weapon of choice. Her Mankai are a pair of super powered fist on mechanical looking arms that act when she does.
  • Prequel:
    • Washio Sumi is a Hero, following the adventures of the previous team of heroes, Gin Minowa, Sonoko Nogi and the titular Sumi Washio.
    • Nogi Wakaba is a Hero takes place 300 years in the past, in the first days of the Divine Era, and follows the very first team of Heroes (of which Sonoko's ancestor, Wakaba Nogi, is a member).
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Yuki Yuna is cheerful, passionate, and outgoing girl who specializes in hand-to-hand combat. Her best friend in the Hero Club is Mimori Togo, a thoughtful, analytical history buff with a talent for computer coding who is a crack shot with a sniper rifle.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Fu sets out to destroy the Taisha after she learns that Itsuki's dream was to be a singer and that her voice wouldn't come back. It takes the combined efforts of Karin, Yuna and Itsuki to stop her.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: This series has them in spades, when they aren't outright romantic in nature:
    • The anime has Yuna and Togo, although in Togo's case, it's straight-up romantic.
    • Washio Sumi has Sumi and Sonoko eventually developing one of them, although it's destroyed by Sumi's Sange-induced amnesia.
    • Nogi Wakaba has Wakaba and Hinata (who brags about having an extensive collection of Wakaba photos), Anzu and Tamako (the latter of whom even jokes about them going out) and a developing one between Yuna Takashima and Chikage.
  • Series Fauxnale: Invoked in episode 5. The girls fight all the remaining seven Vertex at once, and the first four girls get their Next Tier Power Ups. The battle culminates in Yuna destroying a Vertex whose soul is so big that it's visible from space. Oh, and there's some romantic moments between Yuna and Togo. All of this adds up to an episode that feels like a series finale...even though the series is not even half over.
  • Shout-Out: Yuna's first transformation involving the sequential appearance of partial armor parts while attacking is highly similar to Kamen Rider Kuuga's first transformation.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: When Yuna tells Togo that they should protect the world regardless of cost because they're Heroes, Togo responds that she doesn't care about being a Hero if she can't protect the people she loves, completely shutting Yuna down.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Little of the pre-air promotional material featured Karin or Togo, if they appear at all.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: The series starts off very much on the idealistic side; even after the girls suffer health problems as a result of fighting, they find ways to take it in stride. However, in episode 8 things begin to move rather quickly toward the cynical end when it's revealed that their disabilities are permanent and that continuing to fight and protect the world means sacrificing more and more of their bodies. This leads to more than one of the girls deciding that the sacrifice isn't worth it as Yuna desperately tries to keep her friends together, and by the end of episode 11 things seem to be firmly stuck far on the cynical end. However, the ending manages to smash right into the idealistic end of the scale and keeps going, with Yuna convincing Togo that their existence as Heroes is worth it if they have each other, everyone uniting once more to save the day, and with the girls recovering from their disabilities. And yes, this story is coming from the same guy who gave us Akame ga Kill!, which falls right on the opposite end of the scale. More importantly, Yuna is compared to another magical girl protagonist who happens to be a Wide-Eyed Idealist and the embodiment of hope to her friends.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Averted with the Vertex. In episode 2, three of them attack at once. Then in episode 5, all of the remaining Vertex attack at once.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Tougo vs. Togo vs. Tougou, Yuuki Yuuna vs. Yuki Yuna, Fuu vs. Fu...note 
  • Spoiler Opening:
    • Averted. The anime went through the trouble to keep Togo and Karin out of the OP until they officially joined the Vertex-fighting team.
    • Played straight in that the girls are fighting enemies who are clearly not Vertex. Episode 10 reveals them to be Stardust, who combine in great numbers to form Vertex.
  • Super Mode:
    • Mankai, in which a Hero borrows power from the Shinju to vastly increase their power, combines this and Limit Break. It can be activated when all of the petals on a Hero's outfit light up, which happens by fighting Vertexes. Karin likens it to leveling up after gaining enough experience, although as Sonoko explains in Episode 8, it's more akin to becoming a human sacrifice.
    • The Heroes in Nogi Wakaba is a Hero can't use Mankai because it wouldn't be invented until 297 years later, but they can access a spiritual database of various "concepts" across Japan, a technique called a "Trump Card." Yuna Takashima uses this to channel a storm god and use a Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs version of her Hero Punch. It's stated that this takes a toll on the body and is later revealed that it also takes a toll on the mind.
  • Superpower Russian Roulette: Yuna's first price is relatively mild compared to her friends, but her second price is much heavier, taking away both of her legs. Similarly, Karin's first two prices are an arm and leg, but her third and fourth prices leave her deaf and blind when Togo and Fu only lost a single ear and eye, respectively.
  • Super Wheelchair: Togo's Mankai gives her a flying battleship bristling with cannons to ride around on.
  • Stellar Name: On Togo's tactical screen, each of the 12 Vertexes has a name corresponding to one of the 12 constellations of the zodiac.
  • Tarot Troubles: Itsuki does Tarot readings occasionally. In episode 4, before a test in music class that she's really nervous about, she gets Death four times in a row.note  And then a fifth time at the end of the episode.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The Hero Team in Washio Sumi has some shades of this at first, and they struggle during their first fight due to their conflicting personalities. However, this fades very quickly as they become Fire-Forged Friends.
  • The Faceless: Most background characters don't get their faces shown.
  • The Magic Goes Away: By the end, the girls have lost their Hero powers, seeing as how the Vertex attacks have been "postponed indefinitely" and so the Shinju no longer needs sacrifices. This is inverted by Sonoko After, which reveals that soon any girl who wants to become a Hero will be able to when the Vertex attack again.
  • The Stinger: After the end credits of a few episodes.
  • Time Stands Still: The girls' first warning when a Vertex is about to attack, even before the Forestize Warning.
  • Tone Shift: The series takes a very dramatic change in tone by the wham episode.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Udon. It's the favorite food of every single named character (even Sonoko), with several scenes devoted to the girls enjoying udon after school. Udon was even served at the Mankai Matsuri, an official YuYuYu event. It should be noted that Shikoku Island, where the anime takes place, is famous for its udon. According to Sonoko, the Taisha originally tried fighting the Vertex by launching udon balls at them, taking Noodle Incident quite literally. She says that it may have been a joke. Nogi Wakaba is a Hero reveals that Tamako actually tried this.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: It's subtle, but looking closely at this promotional art hints what the Heroes lose when they go Mankai.note 
  • Transformation Trinket: The girls' smartphones serve this purpose, by means of a special app that Fu had everyone download when they joined the club.
  • Tragic Dream: Itsuki wishes to be a singer but loses her voice halfway through the anime. This is subverted by the finale, when her voice returns.
  • Unbroken Vigil: When Yuna falls into a coma after the final battle, Togo is constantly by her side for what's implied to be weeks. Besides being her best friend, Togo also feels guilty about her actions directly leading to Yuna's coma.
  • Unusual Euphemism: During episode 7's Furo Scene, Fu asks Togo how she got so "megalopolis." Fans haven't let Togo forget about it.
  • Unwanted False Faith: Girls chosen as heroes are treated like goddesses by the Taisha. The girls who are aware of this, Togo and Sonoko, are not very comfortable with it.
  • Virgin Power: It's stated that only "pure" girls can become Heroes, although what exactly "pure" means isn't elaborated on.
  • Visual Novel:
    • A bonus one bundled with the show's first Blu-ray, made of ten Slice of Life, mostly comedic short stories and some backstory fluff here and there. It's stated to take place between episodes 4 and 5.
    • A second VN, titled Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru S and containing ten more Slice of Life scenarios, was bundled with the sixth volume BD release.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot:
    • Played for Laughs with Karin, as she got sick gorging on health foods in front of her friends.
    • Togo is heard retching and is then shown wiping her mouth after witnessing the true state of the world outside of the Shinju's barrier.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Episode 8. Togo and Yuna learn that the Sange is permanent. They learn this by way of Sonoko, a former Hero who used Mankai so many times that she lost almost all of her bodily functions. But don't worry, at least they can't die!
    • Episode 10. Togo learns who she was in the past, and that outside the wall is an infernal hellscape that resembles the surface of the sun, and that the Vertexes will never stop coming... And decides to destroy the world to release her friends from the pain.
    • Chapter 4 of Washio Sumi is a Hero, in which Gin is killed in action.
    • Chapter 13 of Nogi Wakaba is a Hero, where the Heroes are ambushed by a "perfect Scorpio Vertex" (likely the one from the anime), the girls' Trump Cards do absolutely nothing to it and both Tamako and Anzu are killed in horrific fashion.
      It was a "perfect Vertex." The enemy's true form. The white monsters the heroes had been fighting up to now had not even been Vertexes.
  • Wham Line:
    • Episode 8 has one that precedes several more:
    Sonoko: "I've finally summoned you...Wasshi."
    • Episode 9 has a few of these:
    Music Agency Representative: "My name is Fujiwara and I'm with Iyono Music... Are you Inubozaki Itsuki's guardian?"

    Karin: "What do you think you're doing?"
    Fu: "I'm going to wreck the Taisha!"
    • Episode 10:
    Togo: "I'll end this wretched world."
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Becoming a Hero means that the girls will live forever, but using Mankai in battle will mean that they'll become progressively more crippled.
  • World Tree: The "Shinju-sama" (whose kanji translates to "God Tree") is stated to be this. The Vertexes are trying to destroy it, which will destroy the girls' world as well. As it turns out, this is played literally. Episode 10 shows that the remaining gods siding with humanity has merged and erected a tree-shaped barrier the size of Shikoku Island, as a last desperate attempt to keep the remaining humans from the endless Vertex wave.
  • You Are Worth Hell: After Togo claims that the Heroes' existence is a living hell, Yuna responds by saying that even if they're doomed to keep destroying their bodies, it's not a hell because they have each other.

Alternative Title(s): Yuuki Yuuna Wa Yuusha De Aru

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Anime/YukiYunaIsAHero