Yuri Kuma Arashi – 12 [END]


I will not give up on love!

Well here we are, with the Lesbian Bear Storm breaking upon the shores of a series finale. How well did our crew fare? Is death the end? Has the genre been well and truly deconstructed? Join my Tag Partner as we jump into that and more on one of the best show this Winter season.


Thanks to everyone who stayed with us to the end of this strange yet wonderful show. Tag teaming and talking with everyone about lesbian bears has been great!


We hated you from the beginning…


skylion//  From the beginning, Ikuhara loves to tantalize us with his arc words. I will not give up on love. Eaten. Yuri Approved. The Invisible Storm. Exclusion. History, to name but a few. It’s a great way for a writer to toss the audience into the deep end of the narrative as we come to terms with….well terms. But that’s just the scratch on the proverbial surface. What those words define, and how they expand the narrative is the major concern.

Not giving up on love in some cases is noble, but in other can lead to selfish actions. But it’s the Storm and the Exclusion that play the most dramatic parts in my opinion. Hammer the nail flush, don’t let yourself stick out. Blend in, be invisible. Oh my goodness, don’t let on that you’re different. Keep that close to your vest, and to the vests of all others like yourself. I think this is why there was Human Shock on the part of the Invisible Storm when Kureha transformed.

And so, if you didn’t expect it all along, we are at the conclusion of the genre deconstruction. Which is perhaps a misdirect given how much of the scenery was given to the building of the Wall of Severance. You have to follow the tropes to their conclusions. The need for secrecy transforms to twisted, hypocritical authority, and forced underground, or out of sight, who watches the watch? Is enforced seclusion any different from homophobia or hypocrisy?

I think the deconstruction allows for some of the “weirdness” of the show to take a backseat. It’s not really bears we are looking at, but people living free in their own fashion. One one level yes. Cute yuri bears, but on another level it’s gives us something else to think about…

…and we loved you from the beginning….

Overcooled// In the beginning, I saw the bears as clearly being enemies to the humans. They appeared to be one-sidedly breaking through the walls and devouring people for the fun of it. But by the end of the series, the equally vicious nature of the humans was revealed. Not only do these girls have the same blind devotion to excluding outsiders without mercy, they also became extremely hostile towards the bears. It’s understandable that you’d want to kill a creature that’s been murdering innocent people, but the girls seem to relish the thrill of the hunt as they in turn become murderers.

 Bears, humans…they really aren’t that different, are they?

 I like the way the series ends with a gap being bridged between the world of bears and humans. Kureha makes what looks like the ultimate sacrifice – becoming the enemy. But becoming a bear really changes nothing, the same way it doesn’t matter whether Ginko is in human or bear form. The only reason it’s a big deal is because the other girls have decided it is a big deal. It’s a rubric they follow without questioning or thinking. Why is it wrong for Kureha to become a bear? I can’t think of why it’s such a bad thing other than the fact it goes against the social norms the girls are so used to imposing on others….and maybe the fleas.

Things aren’t quite settled in this world yet, but Kureha and Ginko took a big step in pulling back the curtains to show the flaws in the system. Slowly, things are changing. Even if it’s just one person being nice to a cyborg bear who can only speak 2 words. That’s still a beautiful and powerful rebellion against the horrible bullying that seeks to exclude anyone who doesn’t fit in. No one should have to be Invisible.


So many great shows have passed this Winter season. And yes, this one of my favorites, as both a viewer and as a blogger. I don’t know how many people out there are angry or confused about the ending. But I’m not one of them. In it’s wake, it leaves quite a bit behind in it’s genre deconstruction. But even if it’s talking about gender identity, or being a closeted lesbian, or being excluded, it has a great deal of applicability.

A great deal of that can get lost in the visual gloss, and in the steeping in metaphor. Can we take out the yuri element and put in religion, or ethnicity, or political faction, or economic class? We-ll. OK. You got me there. But the universal ideas the show talks about really are part of all of us, not just one group of people.


Sometimes, I guess, a cigar is just a cigar, and a bear is just a bear. But in this case the struggle both the bear characters, Lulu and Ginko, along with the rest of the bears that wished to be human for their own reason, is the same as the struggles to be human.

At the end of the day, it was a very human story to follow. It didn’t fail to touch my heart once, no matter how many waves it made. I especially teared up with the one girl and the cyborg bear at the end….

Yurikuma Arashi has been a great show. There is so much meaning to be drawn from every gesture, every object in a room, and even in how the scene itself is framed. This allows for the story to be interpreted in many different ways, which in turn allows for some interesting discussions about what all of this means. We get gentle pushes from Ikuhara, but he never lays all of his cards on the table. In fact, he holds most of his cards tightly to his chest, leaving the story ambiguous. I like the abstract nature of Yurikuma and how you can endlessly rewatch it and discover new things every time. It’s almost interactive in that sense.

However, it’s hard to tell a story while leaving so much open. Yurikuma Arashi is really just a giant string of metaphors and that does make it a little difficult to follow. Even I’m not sure if I could properly summarize what just happened over the course of the show.


I enjoyed Yurikuma quite a bit, even if it is more style than substance a lot of the time. Under the flowery surface, it’s not much more than a convoluted love story that’s agonizing dragged out over 12 episodes. It’s the presentation that keeps things interesting and fresh, because the content becomes very predictable after a few episodes. Yurikuma relies a lot on repetition, and I was starting to feel a bit worn out by that at the end. Not terribly so, but my ridiculously high expectations of the show had to be lowered a bit.

While not a perfect series, Yurikuma is a stylish affair. It’s fun, quirky, and another clearly “Ikuhara” piece of work. The way it runs in circles can dampen the excitement, but it did manage to pull off one hell of a great ending after all that repetition. Sumika coming back as Kumalia after Kureha turned into a bear was definitely one of the best moments of the series (if not the best). If you can’t beat them…join them!


Je ne vais pas renoncer à l’amour

YuriKumaArashi12-22 YuriKumaArashi12-21

Merci d’avoir regardé!



We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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12 Responses to “Yuri Kuma Arashi – 12 [END]”

  1. Di Gi Kazune says:

    MAI Tsukiko is… Kumaria?!?! Ku-shock!

    I would say this is one series that I didn’t regret. The visuals were excellent. The music was catchy especially Territory. *starts dancing* While it started as if it were solely geared for the hawt lesbian sexx0rz, it improved episode by episode. Every episode revealed things a little bit more without giving away the answer, teasing the viewer. Even up to the end we were left thinking it was Ginko made the wish when in reality it was Kureha.

    Eventually we find out that Humans and Bears are not different afterall and they share the same feelings of love, revenge and hate. So much in common yet they refuse to accept each other except for a few who choose to break these barriers and get ostracized for it. It is reflects our societies. We see how our lovers sacrifice things for their beloved and are willing to pay the price.

    Initally we are indeed led to believe that bears are the Evil, but then humans are just equally capable of the same Evil. In the end, Love conquers and defeats all Barriers.

    In essence, the ending was most satisfactory as opposed so certain other shows which SOON will be ranted on. Even Shana-tan Mirun got a good end with onee-tama. Mirun is too cute… can turn people into shotacons…

    GARcher being Lifely Sexy – Shabadadu. Fortunately we are going to get more Life Sexy soon. Unlimited Sexy Bear Blade Works!
    How OverCooled!

    • skylion says:

      One of the underlying themes, I think, is how suffocating any group can be to individual thinking. But that takes some of the deconstruction too far. At the end that’s the main thing.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    Quite a series this was, one that wasn’t even on my radar. If not for the First Impression, moreover Overcooled of all people getting roped in (There’s still a bit of shock to that part), I would have passed this completely without being the wiser.

    Heavy on the metaphors as can possibly be, they however weren’t so out there you’d have trouble understanding. Any misunderstandings in the current story were resolved through that “Promised Kiss” story.

    The finale came along in an unexpected fashion. Like she wished for it, I figured Kureha finding a way of making Ginko human but considered the flip side of her changing by becoming a bear. Speaking of her wish, how is it possible for humans to be defendants in a court specialized for bears? Among other things, Ginko gets her girl and all Lulu gets is her kid brother in spite of all her hard work and selflessness… Talk about getting the short end of the stick.

    So Ginko and Kureha leave a legacy behind with this new human/bear pair to take up their mantle. All well and fine but can someone please find a way to restore that bear… It’s painful watching it in a half cyborg state.

    That “Je ne vais pas renoncer à l’amour”. It’s all Overcooled. Je suis sûr que ce n’était pas le travail d’une certain créature mythique de vol (I am sure this wasn’t the work of a certain flying mythical creature). 😉

    • Di Gi Kazune says:

      Actually she realised she loved her Shana-tan brother in the end. In the flashback episode she regretted what she did in the end and didn’t realise she actually care for him. In a way, the ending was happy for her.

    • skylion says:

      Our radars might not be the as finely tuned instruments as we would imagine them to be. For me, the show had me at both Ikuhara and Silver Link studio.

      The metaphors did rather poke the eye/ear at the beginning, but I felt they were massaged into place in due course. If you take it as genre deconstruction, then Kureha becoming a bear was her accepted that she actually is a lesbian and is comfortable out of the closet at long last. There are a few bits and pieces that tie into that. A few episodes ago the Judgmens peeked in a girl couple that weren’t so chaste…

      It is sooooo sad seeing that cyborg bear, but I’m sure her tech wiz of a partner can accept that.

      Well,it wasn’t OC. It wasn’t really even me. It was Dio! Google Translate!

      • Highway says:

        Maybe the cyborg bear is happier than she was when dead. I like the message that once Kureha and Ginko pave the way, others begin to accept the idea of Bear – Human relationships. That’s frequently the way it works.

  3. skylion says:

    BTW…something I didn’t even pick up on…

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