Mitsuko vs Sumika:
For whatever reason, last week I didn’t quite piece together that Mitsuko was the killer of Sumika, even though it was obvious in hindsight. Still, we got the reveal this episode and if anyone else was a little slow to the truth they may have been surprised, and I wouldn’t blame them. Heck, last week I was so caught up in the story we were being sold with Ginko and Lulu being the killers that I never even considered Mitsuko’s position in Sumika’s death. It was obvious that she was jealous of her and wanted Kureha to herself, but she played her game well – smart enough that both the characters and (parts of) the audience were fooled by it.
Do I think Kureha really killed Mitsuko though? No. Being sent off a building isn’t enough to confirm that she’s gone, and honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if she pops up next week like nothing went wrong. Poor Sumika, however, is still dead, yet it doesn’t feel like it when you consider how prevalent she still is whenever the focus is on Kureha. I thought the flashback of both the girls racing through the a rainstorm to try and save the garden was possibly the sweetest moment we’ve seen a series otherwise wrapped in sin. There may be death and lies at every turn, but the love shared between Kureha and Sumika does a great job at highlighting just how important their relationship is. I hope we continue to see more of her through Kureha’s flashbacks, because it’s up there as one of my favourite parts of the show so far.
The Invisible Storm:
The concept of the Invisible Storm is still as vague as ever, so I’ve been reading up on theories as to what it might be. One of which that seems most plausible right now would it being the symbol for lesbianism entering society. So far all the bears have shown their attraction to the same sex, but the only humans girls swinging that way appear to be Kureha and Sumika. Could the Invisible Storm be symbolic for the arrival of an alternative sexuality that shakes up the dynamics and rigid enforcement that exists in the human side of the world? Who knows, it’s still up the air, but that would be my best guess so far.
When you also consider the Exclusion Ceremony that took place this episode, it adds weight to that interpretation. Oniyama Eriko (Ise Mariya) declares that Sumika was ‘evil’, which apparently explains why she was targeted by the bears. It wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine that ‘evil’ could be replaced with ‘lesbian’ in this scenario. And as it turns out, Eriko had her own moment of lesbianism (resulting in her lilies turning black) before being targeted by Ginko and Lulu at the end of this episode. I’d say the theory seems pretty much on point.
Repetition in Action:
Each episode of Yuri Kuma Arashi has basically been the same, just with a focus on different characters, a different murder, and different bears. I didn’t like how it was done last week, but for whatever reason I didn’t mind it so much this time around. Maybe I’m just getting used to it, but I’m pretty sure if we’re going to get this same formula for the next nine episodes then I’ll grow tired of it pretty quickly. At least the transformation sequence changed slightly this week.
Overview – What’s Next?
Overall, better than last week for me, but I’m waiting for something to totally flip Yuri Kuma Arashi on its head. We may not get that for a few more weeks, so I’m not being too hopeful. It’s also funny when I consider that Sumika is the one character who has left the most impression on me despite dying fairly quickly into the first episode; I hope to see more of her as Kureha grows into her role and starts shooting down those evil bears.
Teacher x Mother:
Kureha is Evil: