“I Will Never Forgive You”
She Really Died:
It was pretty clear by the end of last episode, but we got confirmation that Sumika is in fact dead. I genuinely thought she’d be a character that would stick around for a while, but her death is being used to effectively paint Ginko and Lulu as villains, as well as giving Kureha even more reason to hate those man-eating animals. I liked seeing her shaken by the loss of her friend and lover, both in her failing to shoot the bear targets as well as allowing her to have a quiet moment in her room, reflecting on all that’s went down so far.
If there’s one thing I’ll take from Sumika’s death, though, it would be that no one is safe (except maybe the three main characters). Murder is going to be prevalent in Yuri Kuma Arashi, as another has fallen victim to the bears’ hunger. This time though, it’s not Ginko and Lulu who are the assailants…
Bears, Bears Everywhere:
I was right! Kind of. In my Honeypot Theory I originally suspected that both the teacher and Mitsuko had something to do with the bears, with one of my suspicions being that they themselves are bears. And it turns out I was right, as Mitsuko reveals herself to be a bear at the end of the episode, eating another victim in a similar fashion to how she saw just one week ago. It was easy to think she was harmless in this whole affair, but I had my suspicions about her and I’m glad I predicted it. Now to wait and see if the teacher also is in on this, which I suspect she is in some fashion. It would be ridiculous for her not to be at this stage, wouldn’t it?
Another bear we see is Yurikawa Konomi (Koshimizu Ami), who attacks Kureha out of jealousy for being the object of Mitsuko’s affections. So let me get this straight so far: Kureha loved Sumika, and Sumika loved her back, but Sumika was eaten by Ginko and Lulu; Mitsuko witnessed the event but kept it secret and now thinks she has a shot with Kureha, but didn’t suspect that Konomi would go after Kureha because of that – though, in the end she did shoot her down, so she was prepared to deal with her at the very least. I wonder what sort of love-shape we have at this point, especially once you factor in Ginko being attracted to Kureha as well. Some six-sided one at this point, I’d guess.
Last week I said Lulu made the best impression of the two transfer students, but this episode was definitely Ginko’s moment. She’s still the same stoic girl who says ‘growl growl’ at the end of nearly every sentence (which should surely be an obvious hint that she’s a friggin’ bear, if you ask me). Her alone time with Kureha was uncomfortable, for sure, and makes me wonder what it is that attracts these bears to Kureha. Everyone wants to lick her lily and I’m sure there’s a reason behind that. Ginko, however, seems to be connected to Kureha at a deeper level (see the Details Digest).
Though this episode gave us a fair amount to ponder on, it could have been so much more. Recycled scenes are another recurrence when it comes to Ikuhara, so I was expecting it to take place in Yuri Kuma Arashi. However, adding in the recap at the start of the episode with the near identical Severance Court and transformation scenes, we lost over four minutes of content. Honestly, it felt very cheap to see the exact same scene (barring two lines of dialogue between Life Cool and Life beauty) rehashed in this episode. I really hope this isn’t going to be a regular occurrence, because it seriously took away some enjoyment on my part.
Overview – What’s Next?
In truth I found this episode to be a little less exciting than the first, mainly because the bizarre novelty has settled in and now I’m wanting to see just how this is going to unfold. Learning the identity of two more bears was a nice surprise, but other than that this episode pretty much followed the same formula as the first. For now it’s still working, providing a good second episode (not great, not terrible), but we do need something to shake things up fairly soon, especially since there’s only 1 cour to work with.
Symbolism of Birds: