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“Yuri Kuma Arashi”


「ユリ熊嵐」 (Yuri Kuma Arashi)

Kureha’s Crime:

At the end of the last week’s episode – when Kureha’s crime was brought up – I was prepared for the worst, but I wasn’t sure if it was going to be red herring either. Turns out Kureha really was keeping a secret from us all – but in her defence, she only just remembered it after being forced to forget about it in the first place. Last week saw Ginko’s side of the story, where she thought she was the one who decided what happened between her and Kureha after that terrible event. It was a twist to reveal that it was in fact Kureha’s wish that caused the events to unfold as they did, setting up their love and the promise kiss all along. That explains why she was constantly called to the Severance Court, as she was already part of this mess all along. In a way, this makes Sumika’s death less of a blow to Kureha and Ginko’s love, since they were destined all along. But also…

Lady Kumaria:

Sumika was Lady Kumaria? Now, that, I did not expect. Was the human Sumika just put there as a test for Kureha? When the comets rained down, was Sumika really part of it? Was the Lady Kumaria we saw this episode just a manifestation that was only for Kureha’s eyes? I don’t know, but I liked it, regardless. I thought the (kuma) shocks were over now, but this one may have just been the most surprising of them all. I had my suspicions that Sumika was important in the grander scheme of things – we saw her die in the first episode, and return in flashbacks in nearly every episode since. If so, this is definitely a fitting end for her character – and end I don’t think many were expecting at all.

Destined Love:

So in the end, love conquered all. Kureha smashing the mirror, breaking her bounds, and becoming a bear was all stellar to see. I’m glad she finally stood up for what she believed in and did what she wanted after being controlled and played as a pawn the whole way through. And obviously, her and Ginko got together in the end – they both remembered their love for one another, and I’m happy for them. It was sweet seeing them finally kiss, after so much build up. It was worth totally it.

But I do have another question: were Ginko and Kureha killed at the end? It seems like they were, since the girls think they got rid of them, but that one girl definitely saw something different – whether that was them moving on to heaven together, or if it was what actually happened, I don’t know. I’m unsure of a lot of the details with this finale, but funnily enough that doesn’t make it a bad ending. There are several ways you could interpret these final moments, so I’ll choose to believe that they really did die, but were together in the afterlife – similar to Lulu and her little brother. Regardless of whether they are dead or alive, they’re happy now, and that’s all they wanted from the very beginning.

 

 

Information Digest:

Synopsis:

  • A long time ago, a planet Kumaria exploded and its shards fell onto Earth, causing the bears to attack the humans, resulting in the Severance Wall being built to separate them from the humans.
  • However in the present time, two bears, Yurishiro Ginko and Yurigasaki Lulu have arrived to Tsubaki Kureha’s school, disguised as humans.

Previously:

  • Ginko’s story was told in full, showing her time with Kureha, her exclusion from bear society, and how she and Lulu returned to find Kureha again.
  • When Kureha was used to lure Ginko out for the kill, Lulu stepped in and took the bullet, dying for her unrequited love.



 

Details Digest:

A New Love Story?:

  • I wonder what the intentions were behind those final scenes with the new girl and Konomi. Is that a new destined love story, or a sign that humans and bears may be able to live together?

Lulu Lives!:

  • Kind of. It seems like there is a Kuma Afterlife, after all. I’m happy that Lulu and her brother are reunited again.

Overview – Final Impressions:

Yuri Kuma Arashi has been a weird one, but that shouldn’t been much of a surprise, since this came from the brain of Ikuhara, after all. I’ve said it a few times already, but I wish the first three episodes were better than they were. For the most part they were shocking, a little nonsensical, and quite repetitive. If the beginning had been more promising it may have scared less people off, especially since it was on an upward direction from there on. The last few episodes have been truly great, and I’m sure most who stuck with the series can agree with it. This wasn’t just Ikuhara’s excuse for softcore porn, and it certainly did make sense by the end, which many thought it wouldn’t. This was a simple love story wrapped in extensive backstories that tied all the characters together, and once the histories of the characters became clear, it paved way for a fantastic conclusion. I couldn’t have asked for anything else.

I wish more people had stuck with this series, though I must thank everyone who commented on my posts. I feel it’s safe to say that Yuri Kuma Arashi turned out much better than people initially gave it credit for. I have no regrets in blogging it, and wouldn’t change a thing. I’m happy I got to talk about this sweet love story between a bear and human… which sounds a lot weirder than it actually was. Kuma shock!

Epilogue:

Full-length images: 13.

March 30, 2015 at 5:17 pm
16 comments »
  • March 30, 2015 at 7:13 pmGyabo

    Ironically, the series with possibly the vaguest ending turned out to be my favourite finale of the season. By a lot. Vague as it may be, it didn’t feel like things were missing or forgotten; rather, that some things just didn’t need to be explained, which is pretty true to the series as a whole. I went into this show desperate to like it, despite my reservations about the plot, but I didn’t expect to like it as much as I do now. The characters that felt to flat in the beginning turned out to be so lovable, and much more interesting than they initially appeared. Kureha probably had the biggest turn-around for me, and her becoming a bear in the end was a great finish to her character arc.
    I’m also glad Lulu’s little brother made a re-appearance. I thought he’d have a bigger role to play in the story because episode 4 was such a break from the norm that I thought it had to be more important than just establishing Lulu’s backstory, but just seeing him reunite with his sister was surprisingly enough for me. It was really sweet to finally see Lulu treat him properly, too.

    And Samu, what a powerhouse of posts you’ve been lately. Thanks for blogging this show, and all your other final impressions. It’s been fun reading them.

  • March 30, 2015 at 7:55 pmRalicht

    I have been following along with these posts and I have to say that this anime looks very strange. I’m not a huge fan of yuri, but I did love Utena partially because of how quirky and smart it could be. I notice that the same director has worked on both series. Would you say that there’s a good chance of liking this show as well?

  • March 30, 2015 at 9:09 pmGeebun

    At the start of the season I was watching this to see where it would go even though I didn’t find Kureha, Lulu or Ginko all that likable but they grew on me so much and they made this show my favorite of the season that isn’t a carry over or death parade that I have yet to finish.

    I won’t pretend I understood every single weird imagery and story elements they threw at us but at its core it was still a really gripping love story in many ways and I really loved it.

    Thank you very much for covering it even though the comment number was always so low and sorry I didn’t participate more then I did.

  • March 30, 2015 at 9:21 pmWraith

    I was kinda expecting for Kureha to become a bear but somehow I was still surprised to see it happen.

    Thanks for blogging this show, it was the only place I could read reviews for this great show besides Anime News Network and those reviews are amazing.

  • March 30, 2015 at 10:01 pmJames

    The vision the girl had at the end was basically Kureha and Ginko transcending the limitations of the school, which represented a narrow minded view of what is right/wrong.Show Spoiler ▼

    So no, I don’t think the MC’s died, they simply ceased to exist in the eyes of those who couldn’t recognize them but they could still live on in their own world.

  • March 31, 2015 at 4:33 amUnajuuphile

    Kureha & Ginko, dead or not, it doesn’t matter. Like Samu said, it all felt like a happy ending nonetheless. I was tempted to drop this show in the beginning, but with Mr. Ikuhara being one of my favorite people in the industry, I decided to stick with it. The show certainly did not disappoint, and I feel like Yuri Kuma Arashi is the most easy-to-understand and least perplexing of Ikuhara’s works (still confused with what he did with Mawaru Penguindrum).

  • March 31, 2015 at 5:00 amMakise Kuristina

    I came to Yuri Kuma Arashi expecting to be another Sakura Trick but what I got was way different.

    Dead or not, I think it’s up to the viewers to decide and I do believe that Lady Kumaria appeared as Sumika to Kureha.

    http://randomc.net/image/Yuri%20Kuma%20Arashi/Yuri%20Kuma%20Arashi%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2032.jpg
    It’s quite interesting that she felt that she can’t shoot Kuraha-Ginko at the finale. What’s even more interesting was the final exclusion ceremony. That faint spotlight on her throughout the dark auditorium. I would not be surprised if she becomes the next Exclusion target.

    That being said, Yuri Kuma certainly delivered plenty of KUMA SHOCK! right up till the end. It’s imagery and symbolism reaches close to Monogatari series (no, I did not watch Penguindrum so Monogatari is the closest equivalent that I have).

    Still, what’s the hidden message in this series? Is it dealing how conforming society can be to the point where it exonerates those who refuse to conform or adopt an alternative mindset?

  • March 31, 2015 at 5:44 amewok40k

    And the bear-girls went up to Kumaria-sama…
    no storm can harm them anymore!

  • March 31, 2015 at 6:54 amGoukaRyuu

    Someone’s interpretation on MAL made sense. They said that instead of trying to fit in Kureha finally accepted that real love means changing for another instead of trying to get them to change for you. Now, with both accepting themselves and each other for who they are they no longer care for society. Society feels they are dead to them but Kureha and Ginko have transcended to a higher plane in that they live in a world where they have excluded all the bigotry. I wouldn’t necessarily say the girl that went to cyborg-bear was in love with her but had the epiphany that conformity for conformity’s sake and the exclusion of those that are different just because is wrong. And, if even one person can change there is hope for the future.

  • March 31, 2015 at 11:34 amCorey

    I can’t believe i said this…..but this is only the very FEW anime that has made me actually CRY. I shit you not. Could I call this anime a MASTERPIECE. I think so. Better than Madoka? I think so. Something about this Ikuhara series made it better than his other shows. I love this!

    • March 31, 2015 at 9:35 pmInanis

      dunno personally after the first chapter and until the 6th or so chapter i fast-forwarded a lot.

      in general the first chapters were odd, i liked lulu’s and Ginko’s chapter a lot tho…and that ending (the whole last 2 chapters).. that ending tho was really really nice: imho it recovered a lot of points it lost during the first half!

  • March 31, 2015 at 4:44 pmAccess

    Certainly a more satisfying ending than Penguindrum.

    • March 31, 2015 at 8:38 pmPy

      Really? It was certainly more happy, but I thought Penguindrum was *much* more satisfying and heartfelt than Yurikuma–and this is coming from a hardcore yuri lover. That said, Yurikuma actually had a message to send across, and while the execution was a little convoluted, the moral of the story certainly was received.

      • March 31, 2015 at 9:43 pmCarVac

        I found Penguindrum became too weird for me to connect with the characters in the second half, personally.

        The opposite happened with YKA: the weirdness got toned down. Ish.

  • March 31, 2015 at 9:30 pmInanis

    I dont think they died, 2 reasons:

    -Lulu (and her brother) are reunited in the afterlife… i imagine that if Ginko and Kureha had died she would KNOW. But Lulu explicitly said that she doesnt know what happened to those 2 in the end.

    -the school girl went to recover the cyber-bear: she is the only one that saw them “ascend” ..if she instead had seen them die first… i dont think she would have gone back to care for that bear. (the only example of a human-bear friendship she knows of ended with both parties dead)

    Dunno where Lady kumaria took them to… but is my bet they gonna be together for a long long while (as was their wish) ..and thats the only thing we can be 100% assured.

  • April 3, 2015 at 12:30 pmNachtwandler

    All this anime is one long allusion on how Japanese society views lesbians in contrast to overusing them as smth cute in media. And how Ikuhara himself views them. Bears is quite a good allusion here. And Kureha’s final decision is accepting her nature and her love.

    All this anime is made of allusions. Don’t think of them as a real thing