Yuri Kuma Arashi – 08

YuriKumaArashi 9-04

Happiness is short lived…

…and with this we draw the curtains on the Second Act. skylion here again. Overcooled is gallivanting out in Unknown Space, hunting scones and being very kind to the natives. I’m sure we will see her next week.


YuriKumaArashi 9-02

Is History more reliable than a Flashback?

I’ve often likened Yuri Kuma Arashi’s storytelling sense to a stage play. Now, it’s not completely resting in that box, as the medium is capable of bending the perspectives and sets as it sees fit, but in terms of blocking, set design, and where to director chooses us to keep focus, it’s very much like a stage. For the past few episodes we’ve been given the history of the actors and the influences on them, and it has all the gild of a performance, faerie tale quality and all.

This is the strength of the show, as it has some very specific things to say about itself and by extension the matters upon which is weighs in. I’ve been treating the show, thus far, as a sort of “take that” soapbox to media and how it chooses to portray stereotypes; and have been reluctant myself to judge or fully weight in, as it pertains to Japanese media, and I have to confess, I’m more than a little ignorant. So, “thus far” is as far as I go this time around.

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Gender blurs

So we have two Unwanted Bears, both of them raised in very fundamentalists ideologies. But I feel that Yurika stands much more in the shadow, moreso than the place she firmly wants to paint Ginko into. She has used the Academy as her private hunting ground in almost all respects, even going so far as to extend the ideology she was brought up in with the student body. Exclusion. That firmly puts things in the boxes, doesn’t it? And like many dogmatic approaches, it absolutely has to have it’s heresy, and it has to have it’s scapegoat. Some of the religious overtones in the show cannot help itself.

With Yuika we have the prime mover. She’s cunning and manipulative at every single turn she goes around. She even fully lives something of a self-fulfilling prophecy from the beginning. I found it delicious in it’s irony that the very thing that “Him” valued was the thing that put him in a box. Best not toy with Bears, as they have their own plans and motivations. Hoist by his own petard come firmly into mind. But I do wonder it that is something that Yurika should be wary of in the future. She was created in an image, so who is she creating in the same fashion.

YuriKumaArashi 9-08

You cannot get more literal than this…

In the past we see what should have been a perfect Yuri love. In that respect, it was one that did have an expiration date. Girls grow, and they do get married and have children. I think this is something that Yurika forgets, and it’s the start of her real darkness. Boxes can and should expand. The happiness she felt for Reia could have had an extension to Kureha.  But love in a box isn’t real, and soon the jealousy and rage take over. So it wasn’t her love that was tainted or made unpure.

So from that we can track Yurika’s train of thought all the way up the the final scene on the roof, with the Judgmens in full orchestration. So far Life Sexy has been a decent narrator, I do wonder what other role he has to fulfill in the future. But since the Academy is her turf, she knows everything that goes on there, including what really happened to Sumika. Trust her to have that news delivered in the most shocking of fashions.

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The Promised Kiss?

I have to admit that I’m coming headlong into some older mysteries about the show. We’ve had “eating” and “death” taken as metaphor without a basis since the beginning. So in what respect does Kureha’s bullet represent the Promised Kiss? How well does that play into the storybook relationship Reia dreamed up for her daughter and friend? How much did Reia believe in Yurika’s love to give it to someone else that needed it, at least symbolically? And, what was that thunderous message? Since it’s about Sumika it has to challenge everything that Kureha thinks that she knows so far.

It would, in effect, change who and what Sumika is to her. We’ve already seen the fake confession earlier, is there a truth behind that? Did Sumika give up on love with Ginko manipulating that? Or did she realize that Ginko’s love was more true?  If Ginko and Yurika are mirrored to one another in some respects, and since I feel that eventually Yurika will be foiled the same way she foiled her mentor, is Ginko on the same track, and does she know that?

It feels like the show is trading very highly on gender roles, identity, and how we as individuals must choose these things for ourselves. From a fundamentalist viewpoint, that means a break with tradition; something that fundamentalists are very uptight about. From an individualistic point of view, if it is that easy to break, then it wasn’t/isn’t all that strong. Along the way it isn’t afraid to talk about the sacrifices that have to be made in the process, a break can be a clean thing, but it can also get quite messy most of the time…


All around nerd that enjoys just about any anime genre. I love history, politics, public policy, the sciences, literature, arts...pretty much anything can make me geeky...except sports. Follow me @theskylion
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24 Responses to “Yuri Kuma Arashi – 08”

  1. Hoshi says:

    ~That novela/soap opera ending this episode, oh man. I assumed that Ginko had killed Sumika? Unless I missed something since that was way back to the first episode (and I hadn’t even realized Sumika had been killed seriously until the second episode lol). But that speech was too long to simply say “I killed her!” so I wonder what else went down…Ah I’m so excited to see.

    I honestly didn’t think I’d stick this long with Yuri Kuma. At first the blatant yuri fanservice (??) was annoying me, but now that the story is actually making sense and treading along, I’m enjoying it a lot.

    • skylion says:

      I think “killing” is still suspect…

      • Highway says:

        I’m pretty sure that Sumika was killed by Yurizono, not Ginko. Wasn’t that established before? I actually don’t know if Ginko’s killed any humans since the show has started.

        • skylion says:

          They do “show” both Ginko and Lulu “eating” at the end of the first episode, with Yurizono looking on in horror. But, I’ve long felt that is the latter’s selective memory…

        • Hoshi says:

          Ohhhhh right right I remember her now. So now I officially have no idea what happened between the two of them. The mystery deepens…!!

    • BlackBriar says:

      I honestly didn’t think I’d stick this long with Yuri Kuma. At first the blatant yuri fanservice (??) was annoying me, but now that the story is actually making sense and treading along, I’m enjoying it a lot.

      Words along the same line as Overcooled’s. She said she normally doesn’t go out of her way to watch anything yuri related.

  2. Di Gi Kazune says:

    How unBearable! T_T

  3. BlackBriar says:

    What a screwed up turn of events. I’m hard pressed to call what Yurika was striving for “love”. Maybe it such once upon a time but gradually became full blown obsession and monopolization. Killing Reia in a “If I can’t have you, no one can” motivation really showed how depraved she grew to be. Reia didn’t even get to explain why she gave the pendant away.

    Amazing how Sumika still manages to remain in the utmost significance of the show’s story. If not for the flashbacks, Kureha’s obsessing over her and this recent twist, I’d have forgotten about her a long time ago. Because if you look at her in face value, she was rather plain with hardly any presence, wouldn’t you say?

    • skylion says:

      It was Yurika’s first opportunity to apply those early lessons she took to heart; bad lessons I hope we can agree.

      Sumika, plain? Not to my mind…she was as lovely as any other character, if not more than a few others.

  4. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Where is Yurikuma 8.5?

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