URAHARA, a harajuku-spin on the classic magical girl theme. An incredibly colorful anime, which is something you can determine quickly just by the poster and the first few seconds of the first episode. This is something I already personally enjoy as someone who has embraced Harajuku culture and fashion growing up the colorfulness of it all has inspired me and what I enjoy to this day.
URAHARA was based on a webcomic by Patrick Macias of CrunchyRoll called PARK: Harajuku Crisis Team. The character designs were created by an artist named Mugi Tanaka who creates Otaku-themed designs for a store located in Harajuku named PARK and is the artist of the colorful webcomic.
With this information, let’s continue with watching the show!
We start off the anime with what seems to be a scene of distress, something to look forward to seeing at the end of this episode perhaps. Our main character, Rito, is being apprehended by an alien whom may be making her cause havoc. The situation isn’t entirely clear as we turn to her two friends Mari and Kotoko who are trying to stop and save her.
After this preview scene, and after the opening scene finishes, we’re treated to a view of some lovely fashion as well as introduced to the setting of the famous shopping strip “Takeshita Street”
Rito is making her way down Harajuku to feed a cat, a stray cat she may consider her own, some fish sausage.
After what seems to be a daily duty she has of feeding the cat she goes to what appears to be a store of sorts and meets with her two friends Mari and Kotoko.
I feel with an anime like this one, a liking for the characters is very important, as the plot usually isn’t too much of a heavy one. A set of characters can either make or break an anime in my eyes but I have confidence in these girls as they have adorable designs and a good dynamic. Who doesn’t love a good anime about friendship and teamwork?
Mari is introduced as an aspiring model, singer, dancer and idol. prepping herself for an upcoming audition. Kotoko hypes Mari up and is very supportive of her friend, exclaiming that ultimately Mari is a girl who makes beautiful clothes.
I like these two a lot already, they seem to be very positive forces on each other and Mari embraces every compliment towards herself.
Kotoko has what looks like a mini butterfly tablet that can tell the future, so far seems to be small things like when Rito will be on time, or what her Grandma will do that day!
Though, it’s bound to have a positive impact on their combat, so I look forward to how that small butterfly tablet comes into play.
The three main girls take some time to converse before opening up the store they all own together for the day. Here we learn Rito is the designer for the clothing that Mari more than likely sews.
She also designs desserts as they own a fashion shop that treats you to a delicious sweet as well.
An odd man later enters the shop dressed strangely even for Harajuku, talks nonsense then leaves only for..Ah yes. Only in Harajuku do aliens with lush eyelashes invade.
I can guarantee that’s no complaint though as the design of these aliens fit with the theme and setting of this anime, it’d be odd otherwise.
After some debating of where to go to avoid this the three girls decide it’s best they stay at their store PARK, for they don’t want to leave Harajuku. However, before they can make it there…
A NEW CHALLENGER APPEARS
Introducing us to a new character, bound to be related to the aliens, seeing as she fell from the sky in a baby bottle. Her design and outfit choice based around shrimp, she appears to be quite a cute character. A character caught by the aliens, apparently. …She doesn’t seem to traumatized about it, in fact, quite casual.
The shrimp you see around her neck can also talk, It’s introduced as a pet the aliens kept but is now her pet. It’s name is Ebifurya and honestly, I don’t trust it.
These aliens, which they name “scoopers”, make world landmarks disappear, in an attempt to find culture for themselves. An interesting concept of “culture thieves” as they call it, seeing as that’s literally all the aliens are there for. This creates the story of this anime as they fight to destroy these aliens once and for all to save the culture of Harajuku, and the world!
This anime gives the perfect magical girl anime vibe with friendships to adore, lovely visuals, some insight on Harajuku culture, and goofy lines. I look forward to continuing this anime this Fall.