Review for Yusibu Collection
I’ve spoken before of my unerring ability to pick the wrong show from a trend to watch. Back when anime was going Nobunaga Oda crazy, I watched the direst of the lot, Nobunaga the Fool. When Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun was the flavour of the season, I was watching The Comic Artist and His Assistants, and when everyone’s favourite show was The Devil is a Part-Timer, I was watching this, Yusibu, or to give it its full English title, I Couldn’t Become a Hero So I Reluctantly Decided to Get A Job. This was also when anime were competing to see who could have the longest title and the cutest abbreviation. The difference between this and the preceding poor choices is that I recall quite enjoying Yusibu, certainly to the point where I was looking forward to watching it again.
All Raul Chaser wanted to be was a hero, and with his band of like-minded adventurers he was on the verge of qualifying. Only then the demon king was defeated, and the whole hero business went to the dogs. That’s why he’s now working as an assistant at Magic Shop Reon, trying to shift magical appliances to the public. He became resigned to the fact that he would never achieve his dreams, and would wind up spending his life in the retail industry. Then one day, the magic shop gets a new employee, Fino Bloodstone who just happens to be the daughter of the defeated Demon King, and she has a lot to learn about living in the human world.
The twelve episodes of Yusibu plus the OVA are presented across two DVDs from MVM.
1. I Couldn’t Become a Hero, So I’m Working the Cash Register
2. The Demon King’s Daughter is Learning Customer Service Expressions
3. Beware of Strange Items Sent From Headquarters
4. The Daughter of the Demon King Works at a Convenience Store
5. I Couldn’t Become a Hero, So I Snuck Into a Rival Store with the Daughter of the Demon King
6. She Couldn’t Become a Hero Either, So She Reluctantly Decided to Get a Job
7. The Demon King’s Daughter Visits a Normal Household
8. The Demon King’s Daughter Welcomes Customers in a Swimsuit
9. How the Demon King’s Daughter Spent Her First Paycheck
10. I Wanted to Become a Hero and She Didn’t Want to Become a Demon King
11. I Couldn’t Become a Hero, But I’m Going to Rescue the Demon King’s Daughter
12. I Couldn’t Become a Hero, So I Decided to Get a Job
13. My Sister Came to Visit Me, Her Brother Who Couldn’t Become a Hero
Yusibu gets a 1.78:1 anamorphic PAL transfer on these discs, with the speed-up that implies. The image is clear and sharp enough for DVD purposes, with no signs of aliasing or visible compression. The artwork is as bright and colourful as you’d expect from a comedy show, and the character designs are likeable and memorable. This being an ecchi harem comedy, you’ll get all the casual nudity that was censored in the streamed version, and the animators rewrite the rules yet again when it comes to booby bounce physics. If you want greater clarity, the Blu-ray will be the logical option.
The sole audio track on this release is a DD 2.0 Japanese stereo track with optional English subtitles. The audio is fine, no drop-outs or glitches, and the dialogue is clear throughout. The stereo does a good job of bringing the few action sequences across, particularly towards the final episodes, but this is generally a comedy piece, so sound design isn’t a priority. The subtitles are accurately timed and free of typos, but both discs have rather obvious pauses at the layer changes.
The discs present their content with static menus. Madman have again started writing the episode titles on the menu screens as well as the episode numbers, although the menu format is still their usual template. In this case, the episode titles are so long that they are split across two pages in the episode select menus. Madman have stripped the episodes of the usual Sentai translated credits though.
The extras on disc 2 amount to the textless credits (one of each), and trailers for Mayo Chiki, Oreimo Season 2, and The Severing Crime Edge.
The Devil is a Part-Timer had a great premise and a cast of fun characters, and it went and squandered it all. Yusibu has a comparatively weak and bland premise, and it has a cast of stock characters, primarily to populate another by the books saucy harem comedy, yet it does the best it can with what it has, offering consistency of writing and character through its run. By that token I should prefer Yusibu, but The Devil is a Part-Timer still has more charm. Having said all that, Yusibu is still an entertaining, funny, and saucy waste of time, with a protagonist perfectly relaxed in showing the fan service that certain audiences crave. This is one of those shows that would have been censored by sunbeams and steam when it was streamed on Crunchyroll, and in this home video release, you get to see the whole nine yards.
Yusibu presents an interesting alternate fantasy world, one that follows the usual RPG rules, where heroes band together, head to the demon world armed with swords and magic, to defeat the Demon King and make names for themselves. Raul Chaser is one such wannabe hero at the start of the show, only someone actually goes and defeats the Demon King, throwing the whole economy of heroes and demons out of whack. With no Demon King left, there’s no more need for heroes, and so Raul has to get a mundane job in the real world. He winds up working in retail. This is also a world where magic is a utility, the way electricity is used, and Raul works in a magic shop, selling the sort of everyday appliances that we use, only these TVs, washing machines, air conditioners and microwaves work on magic. This is also a bit of a nostalgia fest, as this is technology from the eighties and nineties, with Raul’s shop still stocking blank video tapes and audio cassettes.
Raul still wants to be a hero at the start of the show, so it’s only with reluctance that he took that job. All of that changes when Fino applies to work there. Now Raul is in charge of training the new recruit, only it turns out that Fino is the late demon king’s daughter, coming to the human world from the demon world to find work. The difference between her and Raul is that she has no intention of following in her father’s footsteps. She’s fascinated by the human world, but has no experience there, judging everything by her upbringing as a demon, so a whole lot of the comedy in the show is of the culture clash sort. She’s the kind of person who threatens a customer with disembowelment if they fail to take her up on a special offer. Raul has his work cut out making Fino respectable, and that includes dealing with her total lack of modesty. But Fino’s enthusiasm for working in the magic shop is infectious, and Raul gets motivated too, especially when a rival, more powerful magic shop opens in the area. It’s the kind of store wars that devolve into bunny girls versus a swimsuit summer sale.
This show is definitely not light on fan service, but it’s never exploitative or nasty; except for Captain Picard showing up once an episode on a dragon-drawn mini-Enterprise chariot to buy a light bulb and grope a salesgirl. The only weak point in the show for me is the need for there to be storyline through the episodes. There was a time when these sort of ecchi harem shows used to coast on their comedy and not really bother too much with narrative, but ever since light novel adaptations have become a thing, shows like this tend to get serious towards their conclusion and start talking about feelings and character development, which would be a good thing in other shows, but in shows like this stick out like a sore thumb. In Yusibu, the demons and the heroes decide they want a demon king back so they can go back to business as usual, and they try to force Fino to take on her father’s mantle. It’s up to Raul Chaser to venture into the demon world and rescue Fino. It’s still played for laughs and without any real sense of threat, but the more serious edge is at odds with the purely goofy tone of the rest of the show
Thankfully, this time around the show finished on the right saucy comedy tone, as this collection has the OVA episode that wasn’t streamed on Crunchyroll when the show was simulcast. Raul’s little sister Myuri still believes that her brother is a hero, and when she visits, Raul enlists his harem to help keep her from finding out the truth. It somehow ends up at a hot springs where the battle against the ‘demon king’ and her minions usually winds up with the defeated ‘demon’ stripped naked.
Yusibu doesn’t really do anything different, and its magic technology is only a brief spark of originality, but it hits all the right notes for a harem comedy, and is a whole lot of fun to watch. When I think of how Testament of Sister New Devil turned out, Yusibu’s sauciness is a work of genius in comparison. It’s well worth a watch if you’re in the mood for such a show.