On paper, Yuki Yuni wa Yusha de Aru and Yuru Yuri couldn’t be more different. And, in truth, it’s not just on paper. Aside from the common thread of featuring a primary cast of middle school girls, they’re vastly different. Yuki Yuna is a dark deconstruction of the magical girl genre and an analysis of heroism and sacrifice. Not quite to the absurdly morbid extremes of Madoka Magika, but it’s no Cardcaptor Sakura. We’ll just say that much. By contrast, Yuru Yuri is a slice-of-life comedy whose main character comically gets very little of the spotlight. The main characters live their lives and… that’s about it. However, the creators of both series are all-in on a new original anime project, Release the Spyce.
The synopsis for Spyce is fairly straightforward. The anime features a girl named Momo, attending a high school in the city of Sorasaki. Unbeknownst to everyone, Momo is an agent who works for the private intelligence agency Tsukikage, which protects the city and its people. Under the tutelage of her senior Yuki, and her other friends, they keep the peace in the city. The significance of the word Spyce isn’t made clear, however.
But upon reading that, one has to wonder exactly how much is relates to any of the work of these creators. Yuru Yuri’s original manga creator, Namori, is the lead character designer on the project. And that much is fairly clear to anyone who compares Yuru Yuri with any of Spyce‘s promo art. But then there’s Takahiro, Yuki Yuna‘s creator. A closer look at the filmography highlights a few other works. Takahiro is the original creator of Girls Beyond the Wasteland, which is a slice-of-life romantic comedy. But they’re also responsible for, of all things, Akame ga Kill, which is not light. At all. And therein lies the perplexing element because Takahiro created the original concept for Spyce.
Will Spyce be a relatively tame project, leaning more on its somewhat silly premise and cheerful design elements? Or will it be yet another story taken from the darker reaches of Takahiro’s creative mind? Akame ga Kill is an exceptionally cynical tale in which absolutely no character is safe. There is no plot armor. Yuki Yuna, while dark, does skew more optimistic, even in its sequel series. Which angle will that go, one wonders.
All in all, anime fans will have to wait and see. It could be the series is going to be exactly what it looks and sounds like. Or it could use Namori’s unassuming visual style to contrast anything particularly twisted that Takahiro can come up with. Who knows? Spyce is also inspiring both a serialized novelization and a manga adaptation, the latter of which debuted with a 35-page chapter in Tuesday’s issue of Dengeki G’s Comic. They’re titled Release the Spyce – Secret Mission and Release the Spyce – Golden Genesis, respective. However, no premiere date has been confirmed for the anime, itself, at this time.