Who is That and Why Should I Care? – #4 Yuri Otani

I have a soft spot for anime that at first appears to be childish, fun, and happy, but turn into dark, depressing and disturbingly mature series with great comments about how we should live our lives. I guess it’s good for me that anime is filled with this type of show then right? I can rattle off a list real fast: Shadow Star Narutaru, Bokurano, Now and Then Here and There, Kino’s Journey…  I think a part of the allure to these series is how the characters at first seem childish but surprise you with what they do throughout the show. Also the contrast between how the show looks, and what the show is dealing with hits you hard. Here is a great example of all this, in “Who Is That and Why Should I Care? – #4 .

Who: Yuri Otani
What Show: Alien Nine
Why You Should Care: 

In the beginning of Alien Nine, Yuri get’s “elected” (no one else want’s the job and she’s an easy target, so they all vote for her) as the class’s  representative to the Alien Party. This at first seems much like being class representative (or class president), and we think she’s annoyed with this because she doesn’t want the responsibilities or something. Of course we quickly learn her job, and that of the others in the Alien Party is to protect the school from invading aliens, with the use of a biologically created hat , known as a borg!  Oh and did I mention even though her life will be on the line every time aliens land on the school ground (which is quite often), she’s not supposed to kill them! The Aline Party must capture the aliens alive. Oh and the aliens are disgusting, and Yuri often gets slimed by them. And you thought your school was rough. This is Alien Nine!

I like Yuri because even though she’s a crybaby she still does her job, even though she didn’t want it in the first place! This huge, vitally important, disgusting and weird job gets thrusted upon her and she never gives up. Sure she cries, complains, nags, and wishes this wasn’t her job, but at the end of the day she tries to capture the damn aliens like she’s told. Sure she’s scared, sure she messes up, but she does what she has to do, despite not wanting to. I think we can all respect that. We all have to deal with our terrible obligations on a daily basis just like her. And they put untold amounts of stress on us. Oh and did I mention she’s horrible at her job and can’t do anything right? I feel bad for her. She’s played by Kelly Ray, who I adore in this role. By the way and some people suggest she’s a metaphor for child abuse survivors!  Wrap your head around that one.

You should totally check out the weird, disgusting, and strange Alien Nine! (The manga is good too!)

4 Responses to “Who is That and Why Should I Care? – #4 Yuri Otani”

  1. jrnemanich Says:

    Everyone should buy this. The DVD is super cheap right now on Amazon, both new and used.

  2. Oh yes people really need to buy this. Great extras and dub from CPM! I suggest the box set they released with the manga if possible. This is the version I own.

  3. Yuri Otani… another one of those characters that falls into the Shinji category of the whiny, useless doormat. A label I find to be a misnomer, because these characters are hardly useless or they wouldn’t be doing what they do and having people yell at them about it in the first place.

    After a period of adjustment, I watched Alien Nine as if it were a dream, and Yuri was the unfortunate person in feverish delirium. I think if someone is having a really bad day at their job, or in life actually, they should think back to her predicament and situation.

    I plan to check out the manga one day, but for now I don’t feel like being thoroughly depressed or mindf*cked.

  4. I too have a counter argument to those who dislike “whiny” characters. Their main point is that the character is unlikeable. And to quote a famous author “I regret to inform you that YOU are also unlikeable. So am I. There’s like this weird but pervasive feeling…that characters aught to be the person you want to be or the person you want to be with….he’s not Edward Collins…but he is the guy you secretly know yourself to be. Which I would argue is in the end much more interesting”.

    Also to quote Justin Sevakis in regards to the dub:

    “I quite like the English version, which is written and directed by Tom Wayland and features the debut performance of Kelly Ray, who never really made it in the voiceover scene and has since moved on. Ray is essential to the film, turning Yuri into a potentially annoying whiner into someone genuinely sympathetic.”

    I really like your point. If someone is having a bad day, they should watch this show. And the manga is quite good, but even more confusing.

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