Complete Watch Order of the Yuki Yuna Series

A group of middle-schoolers become magical girls with special powers granted to them by their god, Shinju, to defeat weird-looking monsters trying to destroy said god and humanity.

That would be an extremely simplified version of the more complex reality of Yuki Yuna is a Hero (Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru or YuYuYu), an original anime series released in Fall 2014 by Studio Gokumi and directed by Seiji Kishi (Angel Beats, Assassination Classroom, Tsuki ga Kirei director).

When the anime first came out, it didn’t particularly grasp the attention of many westerners until the last few episodes. In Japan, however, the series caught the eye of many and quickly rose in popularity. In fact, it was the fifteenth-best selling animation in Japan in 2015’s first half, having sold 58,961 Blu-ray/DVD copies by June 7 of that year, outselling the likes of Your Lie in April, Aldnoah.Zero, and Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works.

In the three years between then and its second TV series, this once single-entry magical girl story expanded into a large multimedia phenomenon across manga, light novels, visual novels, and video games. With a new TV series releasing in Fall 2021, we’ve developed an overview on all of the entries in the Yuki Yuna is a Hero universe. 

The presentation of the entries will be shown in the recommended watch order. Each entry will be referred to alongside its shortened name adopted by the fanbase and community, i.e YuYuYu, WaSuYu.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s punch our way through the Yūshaverse!


Main Series

 

Yuki Yuna is a Hero [YuYuYu] (TV Series)

Released: Fall 2014

Availability: Crunchyroll, Amazon Prime

What it’s about: The YuYuYu anime is an original story set in Year 300 of the Era of the Gods, or the Divine Era, a period where humanity lives in peace thanks to the Shinju, a fusion of Gods, and to whom humans pray daily for its gifts, blessings and protection. The planet is, however, threatened by large monsters called Vertex that are set on destroying humanity.

The story follows five girls — Yūna Yūki, Mimori Tōgō, Fū Inubōzaki, Itsuki Inubōzaki, and Karin Miyoshi — middle school students, who are chosen to be Heroes by the Shinju. Their mission? Use their newly acquired magical powers and combat techniques through the Hero System to defend their island of Shikoku from these invaders. Unfortunately for them, the world they live in isn’t what it seems, and the Taisha, an organization that serves as the bridge between the Shinju and humans, holds many secrets about the state of the world.

The anime holds a mix of lively slice of life moments, cute comedy, and action scenarios with great choreography. Studio Gokumi elevates the series with a vibrant color palette, on-point voice acting, and a breathtaking music track composed by MONACA of Nier Automata-fame. All these polished elements returned for the future anime installments of the series.

YuYuYu is the starting point of the Yūshaverse, as it builds the foundations of the world, such as the Hero System, the Shinju, the Vertex, and the Taisha — concepts which are necessary to progress through the franchise since the other entries don’t necessarily repeat this information.

A manga adaptation was published on November 26, 2014.

A spin-off 4-koma manga, Yuki Yuna is a Hero Club Member (Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha-bu Shozoku), was published between July 30, 2014 and June 30, 2016. The spin-off was partially adapted into short anime episodes in Spring 2017 and received a sequel manga, Yuki Yuna is a Hero Club Member Punitto! (Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha-bu Shozoku Punitto!), which was published between December 16, 2017 and September 25, 2018.

 

Washio Sumi is a Hero [WaSuYu] (Light Novel)

Release: Spring 2014

Availability: Online via fan translation

What it’s about: Set two years before the events of YuYuYu, in Year 298 of the Era of the Gods, WaSuYu (Washio Sumi wa Yūsha de Aru) details the lives of three newly appointed Heroes — Sumi Washio, Sonoko Nogi, and Gin Minowa — the predecessors of the girls from YuYuYu. The Hero System and combat abilities used against the Vertex aren’t quite as refined in this story due to a difference in the Shinju’s mindset, which directly impacts the events of YuYuYu.

The story has the same characteristics: it’s split between light-hearted slice of life moments that allow the characters to bond, tense and gripping emotional moments, and epic fight scenes with the survival of humanity at stake.

The Yūshaverse begins with WaSuYu but should not be a newcomer’s first entry, despite releasing earlier and chronologically taking place two years before YuYuYu.The three heroines in WaSuYu are already familiar with several of the world’s aspects and, as a result, a lot of the setting and lore isn’t directly showcased. In contrast, since three of the five girls in YuYuYu start off clueless, along with the story’s longer length, the audience discovers the world beside them.

A manga adaptation was published on June 30, 2014.

A spin-off 4-koma manga, Washio Sumi is a Hero Side Story: Heroes’ March Song (Washio Sumi wa Yūsha de Aru Gaiden: Yūsha Koushinkyoku), was published between August 30, 2016 and March 31, 2017.

 

Yuki Yuna is a Hero: The Washio Sumi Chapter [WaSuYu] (Movies/TV Series)

Release: Summer and Fall 2017

Availability: Amazon Prime

What it’s about: Three years after its release, the light novel of WaSuYu was adapted twice: first as a trilogy of 45-minute long movies during the summer of 2017, and then again as a TV series during the Fall 2017 anime season. 

The two releases are almost identical, save for minor differences in Sonoko’s diary entries, so it makes no difference whichever of the two is watched. The adaptation is faithful to the light novel, with only a few creative liberties in the third movie and sixth episode for a better translation from text to image, adding brilliant visuals, music, and voice acting to heighten the original experience.

While not necessary, it is still recommended to check out both the animated works and the light novel. The anime adapts the events well into a visual medium and adds some nice original details, but does omit some information from the light novel. However, if you have to pick one, go with the anime, as the pacing, build-up, pay-off, and organization of the story is better, leading to a richer experience.

 

Sonoko After [YuSoSo] (Light Novel)

Release: 2015

Availability: Online via fan translation

What it’s about: YuSoSo (Sonogo no Sonoko) is a single light novel chapter released after the TV series of YuYuYu ended. It serves as a short epilogue. Sonoko Nogi — one of the three girls of WaSuYu — is back in action and is now a major character alongside the YuYuYu heroines. The contents are light-hearted, but also foreshadows a future event in Kusunoki Mebuki wa Yūsha de Aru, a later entry in the franchise.

A second chapter was released the same year, Second Hero Diary, and follows YuSoSo. The girls come across old documents in Sonoko’s house dating close to 300 years in the past, and one of those was written by a certain Wakaba Nogi, Sonoko’s ancestor. This chapter serves as the precursor to the next entry, Nogi Wakaba wa Yūsha de Aru, and the bridge between generations.

 

Nogi Wakaba is a Hero [NoWaYu] (Light Novel)

Release: 2016

Availability: Online via fan translation

What it’s about: What is the Hero System? When and how was it conceived? What is the origin of the Era of the Gods? What, exactly, are the Shinju, Taisha, and Vertex? What world are these girls living in?

NoWaYu (Nogi Wakaba wa Yūsha de Aru) serves as the origin story of the Yūshaverse and the root of all events, mysteries, and terms used in it. Chronologically, the story of NoWaYu predates all the other entries by about 300 years, taking place between 2015 and 2019 CE/AD of our calendar. It follows six girls, led by Wakaba Nogi, who form the first-ever Hero Team to fight off the new menace aiming to destroy humanity: the Vertex.

The ending of this two-volume story marks the change in the calendar system used by the population of the Yūshaverse, switching from the Gregorian Calendar’s CE/AD to the Era of the Gods.

A manga adaptation was published between June 30, 2016 and January 25, 2018.

A spin-off 4-koma manga, Heroes’ Room (Yūsha no Heya), was published between August 17, 2015 and November 25, 2016. A second 4-koma manga, The Rookie Heroes’ Menu (Shinmai Yūsha no Oshinagaki) started serialization on July 30, 2021.

 

Shiratori Utano is a Hero [ShiUYu] (Light Novel)

Release: 2016

Availability: Online via fan translation

What it’s about: ShiUYu (Shiratori Utano wa Yūsha de Aru) is a bonus chapter at the end of — and takes place concurrently with — NoWaYu’s first volume. While the six girls of that story protect the island of Shikoku from the Vertex, this chapter features Utano Shiratori, a Hero protecting the area around Lake Suwa, and her life.

Utano is the only Hero in the Nagano area and is accompanied by her shrine maiden friend, Mito Fujimori. ShiUYu should be read after Chapter 10 of NoWaYu, at the end of Volume 1.

 

Yuki Yuna is a Hero: The Hero Chapter [YuShou] (TV Series)

Release: Fall 2017

Availability: Amazon Prime

What it’s about: The Shinju, the guardian deity of humanity, is weakening. After being active for over three centuries, fending off invasions, protecting what’s left of Earth, and powering up the many Heroes who fought for its safety, the Shinju has little power left, and it and the Taisha are growing desperate. Meanwhile, the Heavenly Gods, a group of Gods that opposed humanity over 300 years ago and are responsible for the creation of the Vertex and the state of the world, are launching a larger offensive to end it all. The five Heroes from YuYuYu plus their new comrade Sonoko Nogi from WaSuYu must face their biggest obstacle yet and resist the imminent end of the world.

YuShou is a solid conclusion to the events of the Era of the Gods, featuring the arguably most emotional moments of the franchise that tightly wrap everything up. It also answers many questions the audience may have had from the first season of the TV series, while also rewarding light novel readers with references.

This story aired as the second half of the second season of the TV series. The first half adapted WaSuYu.

 

Kusunoki Mebuki is a Hero [KuMeYu] (Light Novel)

Release: 2017

Availability: Online via fan translation

What it’s about: At about the same time when YuYuYu started, Mebuki Kusunoki, a serious Hero-in-training, competed against Karin Miyoshi to become a full-fledged one. However, she lost and failed the qualifications, leaving her jealous and ashamed. A few months after the end of YuYuYu, Mebuki, alongside other girls, are summoned by the Taisha and, after being told the truth of the world, are given the role of Sentinels, warriors with the mission to investigate the state of the world outside of the Shinju’s protective barrier around Shikoku.

Despite their new abilities and weapons, the Sentinels in KuMeYu (Kusunoki Mebuki wa Yūsha de Aru) pale in comparison to Heroes and hold just enough power to survive the harsh hellish landscape controlled by the Heavenly Gods. They stand no chance against the Vertex. Mebuki aims to become an exemplary Sentinel and prove to the Taisha that she is worthy of being a Hero. But to accomplish such an ordeal, she must first learn to cooperate with her comrades, which she fails to understand.

For the most part, KuMeYu occurs between the end of YuYuYu and the start of YuShou, but should be watched after YuShou, as KuMeYu spoils the ending of YuShou.

A spin-off 4-koma manga, Kusunoki Mebuki is Training Now! (Kusunoki Mebuki wa Tokkun-chū), was published between September 8 and November 25, 2017.

 

Yuki Yuna is a Hero: The Great Mankai Chapter [YuDai] (TV Series)

Release: Fall 2021

Availability: HIDIVE

What it’s about: Announced back in August 2020, and with a PV released in August 2021, a third season of the TV series has started airing during the Fall 2021 anime season. Considering the ending of YuShou and how well it concluded the series, many wondered what a sequel could possibly cover. The first two episodes quickly answered that question, but in a way that many fans may not have expected.

YuDai is not a sequel and instead takes place before and during YuShou. Both seasons occur during the same winter, Fū is still in middle school, and all the references point to the final major battle of YuYuYu, not the one from YuShou. The girls from KuMeYu also take central stage, as this new installment seems to be adapting that story. As such, YuDai looks to be a complementary season of YuShou, showcasing events that happened around the same time or “the other side of the coin” if you will. With both Heroes and Sentinels together, the true path towards victory shall reveal itself.


Side Material

 

Yuki Yuna is a Hero: Special First Time Bonus (Visual Novel)

Release: 2014, 2015, 2018

Availability: Downloadable via fan-translation

What it’s about: The Yūshaverse has three visual novels under its belt. They are all short in length — around three hours each — and each feature 10 episodes of relaxing and funny slice of life moments between the girls, such as activities of the Hero Club or simply the characters hanging out and solidifying their relationships. Occasionally, a few plot points are mentioned.

When to read:

The first visual novel takes place between episodes 3 and 4 of YuYuYu.

The second one (Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru S) takes place after YuSoSo.

The third one (Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru A) takes place immediately after YuShou and briefly explains the new state of the world.

 

Yuki Yuna is a Hero: Memory of the Forest (Video Game)

Release: 2015

Availability: Unavailable and untranslated but has a full playthrough on YouTube

What it’s about: Memory of the Forest (or Jukai no Kioku) is an action game developed by FuRyu for the PlayStation Vita. The story is based on the events of YuYuYu, but with alterations and unique elements that are supervised by Takahiro and Studio Gokumi. The girls encounter a mysterious figure inside the Jukai, despite being a place where only Heroes and Vertex should exist.

The game has two components: an Event Mode telling the main story of the game in a visual novel-style format with 99 different episodes, and a 3D Action Mode featuring the members of the Hero Club as playable characters in battle against the Vertex. Each character has its own moveset and powers and needs to repel the invasions threatening humanity.

When to play/watch: After YuYuYu.

 

Silver-Colored Memories and Sonoko in Reminiscence (Bonus Chapters)

Release: 2017

Availability: Online via fan translation

What it’s about: These two short chapters are bonus stories included in the Blu-rays of Spirit and Promise, the second and third movies of WaSuYu respectively.

Silver-Colored Memories takes place during WaSuYu and features a light-hearted story where Sumi and Sonoko help Gin prepare a birthday present for her younger brother.

Sonoko in Reminiscence takes place after the events of WaSuYu, during Year 299 of the Era of the Gods. It centers around Sonoko’s life in the Taisha’s care after the climactic battle against the Vertex. While not mandatory to read, this story adds some important context to the Yūshaverse and Sonoko’s character and situation, so it’s advised to do so.

When to read: After chapter 3/episode 2/Movie 1 of WaSuYu for Silver-Colored Memories. After WaSuYu for Sonoko in Reminiscence.

 

Yuki Yuna is a Hero: Bouquet of Brilliance [YuYuYui] (Mobile Game)

Release: 2017

Availability: Unobtainable outside of Japan but available on YouTube via fan translation

What it’s about: Some of the Gods making up the fusion of the Shinju are starting to rebel and, if they succeed, it will lose too much power to sustain the remains of humanity. In this dire situation, the Shinju has summoned Heroes from all eras in a pocket dimension within itself. The summoned Heroes must suppress the rebelling gods to preserve their future.

With the popularity of the Yūshaverse in Japan, a mobile game was destined to happen. In the vein of Fate/Grand Order, where servants from various timelines are gathered, YuYuYui (Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru: Hanayui no Kirameki) is part of the franchise’s canon where Heroes from all time periods are gathered together. The gameplay is divided between visual novel-style interactions of traditional slice of life moments, tactical battles like Fire Emblem: Heroes, a retelling of the series’ previous stories, and an original story featuring new characters.

When to play: After at least YuYuYu, though it is recommended to be familiar with all the stories and characters featured.

 

Hero History Apocrypha [HHA] (Light Novel)

Release: 2020

Availability: Online via fan-translation

What it’s about: This entry is a three-part spin-off based on NoWaYu. Each story focuses on a new character during the early days of the Era of the Gods, but none of these girls are Heroes. HHA aims to showcase smaller-scaled stories and the feelings of regular people during those trying times. All three stories revolve around and tie into the series’ main events. 

The three stories are Uesato Hinata is a Miko (Uesato Hinata wa Miko de Aru or UHiMi), Fuyou Yuna is Not a Hero (Fuyō Yūna wa Yūsha de Nai or FuYuYu), and Karasuma Kumiko is Not a Miko (Karasuma Kumiko wa Miko de Nai or KaKuMi ).

When to read: Recommended after KuMeYu, but can be read after NoWaYu.

 

Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru Churutto! (TV Series)

Release: Spring 2021

Availability: Not legally available

What it’s about: Churutto! is a short 4-koma-style anime spin-off of YuYuYui. All the characters featured from the mobile game and the franchise itself are drawn and animated in a chibi art style, reminiscent of many 4-koma manga. 

Each episode lasts 5 minutes, and the characters are involved in various cute and funny situations revolving around the franchise’s bizarre obsession with udon. (Yes, really. In every single entry, the girls are seen eating and talking about udon more than a few times.)

When to watch: Any time after YuYuYu.


And there you have it: all the current entries and sub-entries of the ever-growing Yūshaverse. In the seven and half years of its existence, the franchise expanded exponentially into nearly every type of entertainment medium, making it a large, but tightly constructed world. 

Despite having several creative minds working on their own section of the series, every entry of the Yūshaverse (perhaps excluding the PS Vita game) is considered canon. In the minds of many, the Yūshaverse has long since solidified its status as one of the greatest magical girl series.

We hope this comprehensive list gives both returning fans and newcomers alike a clearer overview of the series.

Enter the world of the Yūshaverse and become a Hero yourself!

Alexis joined Anime Trending during the Winter 2016 season. He contributes as a content creator and database coordinator, collecting and handling data for every season's characters, couples, and genres. He possesses the innate skill of always rooting for whoever loses in a love triangle.
Leave a Comment!

Leave a Reply