“I Can’t Get a Kiss”
The Princess Who Gave Up on Kisses:
My main criticism of Yuri Kuma Arashi so far has been in its repetition and recycling of scenes, and whilst we got some recycled scenes in this episode again we also broke away from the formula that the first three episodes adhered to. I mean, who would have guessed Lulu would become the most interesting character of the entire cast? I mentioned that she stuck out in the first episode, but I never would have considered her particularly interesting or expected much depth to her character or backstory. As it turns out, she does, and it was a much welcomed alternative to the murder-of-the-week we’ve had until now.
You could say that Lulu’s backstory defied my expectations, not only in how it delved into her character, but how it went to before the meteor shower and shifted towards the Bears’ side of the world. Lulu fits into this fairytale world as the princess of the land – the favourite child, that is, until her little brother, Mirun, is born and he is crowned the new heir to the kingdom. We got our fair share of gags that Lulu has provided each episode (mainly of her repeatedly trying to murder her brother as he goes on search for a Promised Kiss), but this time we get to see what her real motives are both in the present and the past. Her poor little brother only wanted to give her what she wanted, and it seemed to be going into an endless cycle until he suddenly died offscreen. Lulu’s reaction? I’d call it disappointment with a tinge of sadness; she wanted to be the favourite child again, and she got it, but at a cost that felt so very wrong. Yet she wasn’t the one who killed him.
This all ties back to one of the first scenes of the episode where we see Lulu choose between giving up on either kisses or love. She doesn’t think twice about sacrificing kisses, instead sticking with love – with Ginko.
Ginko is a mystery at this point, but I expect to see her past fleshed out fairly soon. She labels herself a ‘Criminal Bear’, which I would pin down as her being the true killer of Lulu’s brother, due to Lulu’s dream of with the honeypot being returned to her by her brother, and then waking up to find Ginko doing the exact same thing. I can’t say why she went after Mirun – if she did – but I wouldn’t be surprised if it has something to do with Kureha’s mother. We got straight up confirmation that she now holds her mother’s necklace – something I noticed from the very first episode.
Overview – What’s Next?
It’s obvious that Kureha and Ginko are linked somehow. However, in typical Ikuhara fashion, it’s impossible to predict the details at this stage. We’ve got slight hints here and there, but I hope we get a flashback episode for both Ginko and Kureha like we had with Lulu. Lulu is now the most fleshed out character of the series, which isn’t something I was expecting. As it turns out though, the focus on one particular character made this possibly the best episode so far. In Ikuhara we trust.