Yuri Kuma Arashi – 06


…And then Princess Backhair was banished to the forest.

Funny how I always get the fairy tale episodes. That’s not a complaint, by the way. I’m totally down with these bear-themed fables.

When loved ones die, those left behind have to learn to move on. Usually an episode 1 death of a side character is just something to give the main character motivation that carries them throughout the series. You kill off some rando and that acts as a nice spark to get things going and make you feel bad for those left behind to mourn. As for the one getting killed, well, they’re generally just a tool used to make a powerful first episode so they’re forgotten. Yurikuma is an interesting exception to the anime that I’ve seen in that the sacrificial lamb continues to be important – even after death.

Let’s be real here: Sumika has an awful lot of screen time for a dead person. By all means, she should have been abandoned as soon as she died. As a member of the audience, I met her, she kicked the bucket, and that was pretty much it. I didn’t have enough time to get attached to her so I was ready to move on as soon as her funeral began. However, I think this lack of time given for us to form an imprint of Sumika is intentional. Me caring for Sumika as much as I care about the amount of rainfall in New Zealand in 1992 (i.e. not at all) makes Kureha’s obsession with holding onto her seem all the more odd. It’s a nice contrast that makes you really, really want Kureha to just move on and start paying attention to Ginko. Maybe if I had grown to love Sumika over a few episodes then I would also be upset that she gone. I’d be right there with Kureha saying “fuck these other chicks, bring back Sumika!”.


Is this what happens at sleepovers?

Mourning after a death is fine. It’d be weirder to not be affected by such a major event. However, Kureha takes it to an unhealthy level by refusing to open up to anyone. It’s like she doesn’t want to make another friend because she’s convinced Sumika will somehow come back to her. This sort of denial is detrimental because it makes Kureha blind to the kindness being offered to her, and therefore blind to any possible happiness she could achieve. Until she moves on from Sumika’s death, she’s going to be bitter and depressed.

But at the same time, as we learn more about Sumika…her death (retroactively) became more sad to me. Now that I’m starting to learn about her and how dedicated she was, I actually wish she could have stuck around longer. I really loved seeing Kureha read her mom’s incredibly personal story to Sumika while the two warmed up in bed (not sure how being naked helps with that but whatever). It makes it clear that Kureha does crave that sort of closeness, but has trouble imagining that kind of relationship with anyone other than Sumika. In fact, most of the characters here have very rigid fixations or obsessions with only one other person. Maybe it’s a message that being too dependent and obsessed with someone is unhealthy. Once Kureha learns to trust someone other than Sumika, she’ll become happy. Once Ginko stops being so jealous and possessive of Kureha, she’ll become happy as well. Of course, it’s rarely that simple, but it would certainly help smooth over some of the rough edges at the very least.



After seeing Kureha close herself off so much and wallow in her own misery, it’s nice to see her try to let people in. She’s becoming more openly fond of Ginko and Lulu, which is good. Unfortunately, she also trusts a cult of school girls who try to assassinate her on her birthday. Not the best start to turning over a new leaf, is it? She should have just stuck with her sexy, apron-wearing roommates. The good news is that seems to be happening now that she’s been explicitly told to get over herself and pay attention to the bear who risked her life to grab a crumpled up letter. Ah, the start of a beautiful friendship.

…Or maybe not. Yurikuma is not the kind of show I expect to be able to actually make predictions about because well…it’s hard to know what’s happening. And even if you know what’s happening, that might not be what’s actually happening. So of course this big shift is paired with Ginko coming closer to revealing her big sin, which appears to revolve around how Sumika died. Ginko may not have eaten her, but she didn’t stop another bear from doing so.

As much as the show pushes us to root for Ginko x Kureha, I’m actually more invested in what happens to Lulu. She’s just such a sweetheart. She tends to Ginko lovingly all night long and when she wakes up and runs to Kureha instead of thanking her…Lulu never complains. When Ginko jumps into fire for another girl…she doesn’t complain. Lulu is a selfless matchmaker who isn’t utterly obsessed to a yandere level with one other girl. She doesn’t want to keep anyone for herself. Yet, despite this, she does not claim to love anyone. It’s sad, but I hope she gets happiness in whatever form truly makes her feel good. Maybe it really is vicarious happiness through getting Ginko a girlfriend, or maybe she wants something for herself too.



A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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14 Responses to “Yuri Kuma Arashi – 06”

  1. skylion says:

    Funny how I always get the fairy tale episodes.

    IKR! I hope they mix it up. I wanna fairy tale episode!

    I like how they’ve developed Sumika. When we meet someone we don’t know much about them at first, and one of the things we know about Kureha is that she lost her friend. As we get to know her, we get her insight into Sumika and that makes us appreciate the couplehood they shared, and the need for Kureha to move on.

    I swear, the Mother is some sort of storytelling sorceress. It gave me that, “all this has happened before, and all this will happen again” vibe that BSG played heavy with.

    • BlackBriar says:

      IKR! I hope they mix it up. I wanna fairy tale episode!

      Hahaha!! You sound like Karakuri displeased for hardly getting any character death episodes when she and Sumairii were Tag Teaming Akame ga Kill!.

    • Highway says:

      I think this *has* happened before: When the principal killed Kureha’s mom. Perhaps that’s the same fate that awaits Kureha in a few years if she’s with Ginko.

    • Overcooled says:

      Sorry to hog all the fairy tale episodes! Although…not that sorry because I like them a lot :3c

      It’s really interesting how they’re making Sumika such a key topic for the show when she’s..well..dead. And I’m starting to like her more and more even though I’ll never actually see her again. But yes, these flashbacks are really useful for making us like Sumika and for some bonus Kureha characterization.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    The most bizarre fairy tale the series has presented yet and you can imagine the ones before were already there. How they manage to top themselves is anyone’s guess. Plus, I must say, for a dead character, one that gets dealt away with at the start; Sumika gets mentioned quite a lot. For a deceased, she’s as ever present as say, Aika Fuwa from Zetsuen no Tempest where that series (a two-cour) started off with her already dead and any screen time she got were through flashbacks and a small trip back in time yet she was still a huge necessity.

    Is this what happens at sleepovers?

    If so, then I’m impressed. Though it’s probably gone that far because it’s only two of them. 😉

    Cliché as it may be to have Kureha read that letter again with Ginko in front of her after saving it from getting burned, maybe now she’ll finally start letting go of her unhealthy obsession. I get the feeling Lulu isn’t going to be a neglected third wheel. Odds are all three will be on equal grounds.

    • Overcooled says:

      I’m pretty sure it can only get weirder from here. We’ll just have to see…how.

      Ah, I dropped Zetsuen no Tempest halfway through so I forgot about it, but that’s another good example.

  3. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Steph has lost it completely. I guess that happens from excessive abuse. Steph leading a mob… x_x

    My poor Tsukiko~~. So unfortunate in love.



    To end this: Life Cool.

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