Yurei Deco Review: A Beautiful, Overwhelming Anime

Yurei Deco is a lot, and this description of the series is both a strength and a weakness for the latest offering from Science SARU, the animation house responsible for the likes of Devilman: Crybaby, Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken, Japan Sinks, and two of the short stories in Star Wars: Visions. Taking place in a future world wherein currency is effectively the same as social media "likes", this anime series is the very definition of eye candy, though there are a few chinks in the armor that ultimately stop Yurei Deco from being all that it could be.

To catch you up to speed with the story of Yurei Deco, it's one that follows a young girl named Berry as she encounters a mysterious young hacker known as "Hack", while also being inducted within the Ghost Detectives Club. The main selling point isn't just the artwork from Science Saru, which at times can often be jaw-dropping, but also the intricate and rich world that is presented in the series. Yurei Deco absolutely demands your attention, throwing countless interesting concepts your way when it comes to a world where real life and the life created by the internet have completely fused with one another. There is a lot to absorb here and seeing how a society functions where there is no difference between that of the real and virtual worlds leads to some interesting concepts along the way. 

The idea that currency has been completely replaced by social media standing might not be completely original, with Black Mirror for example weaving a similar story via its anthology series, but it's one that Yurei Deco is able to explore seamlessly and to a point where it won't hold audiences' hands as it crashes them into the environment here. I legitimately admire Saru for this approach, giving viewers a "sink or swim" mentality. This is both a blessing and a curse, as the series demands your attention and if you aren't paying attention, it can pass you by with the sheer amount of events and characters that are on the screen at any given time. The series is constantly dropping viewers into new worlds, as Barry will wake up in the real world, travel into the virtual one to learn alongside her friends, who are all wearing whacky avatars or be dragged into a nightmarish world that houses the mysterious Phantom Zero. It can oftentimes feel like sensory overload, which we suppose is the point. 

While the world itself is a truly intriguing one, the show does suffer from some of the characters introduced within it. Hack for example is a young hacker who takes a page from the likes of Ed from Cowboy Bebop, bouncing around with an energy that could only be found in an anime series, spouting off her tagline of "I love AI" on the regular. Yurei Deco feels like a series that has created this truly awe-inspiring world where there is plenty to explore but didn't take the same amount of care with some of its characters.

Berry herself is your typical protagonist, attempting to get lots of "love", the currency of Yurei Deco, but isn't able to truly shine through in these opening installments. This series feels like Science SARU should have taken the approach of something like the Animatrix or Paranoia Agent, pointing the camera at different characters in each episode without necessarily focusing on a handful throughout. Ultimately, the anime feels like one that demands watching each installment to see where the characters' journey ultimately takes them, but by reviewing parts of the whole, there are definitely some different approaches that SARU could have taken when it comes to its characters over the course of its first three episodes. 

Yurei Deco isn't going to be for everyone, but it is a series that has some absolutely eye-popping animation and more than a few very interesting concepts that are well worth the animation, though you might want to wait for the series to have finished its run before diving in fully. 

Rating: 3.5 Out Of 5

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Yurei Deco's first episode is now streaming on Crunchyroll.