Yuri Kuma Arashi: Episode 1 — Uh, What?

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Word of advice: don’t follow uncreativecat if you value not getting spoiled on what Ikuhara’s newest thing was going to consist of and if you value your sanity in general. It was pretty obvious the minute the moment the man’s name was attached to this project that it was going to be weird as weird gets, but that doesn’t mean you want to know the exact details, see the exact pictures, or see sycophantic praise that makes the My Little Pony fandom look like the Adventure Time one. I mean I follow him, but like your parents always tell you when you’re little: “do as I say, not as I do”.

Okay, so Yuri Kuma Arashi (not really into calling it Lesbian Bear Storm or its fifty other names) is about as weird as weird gets, but to what end? That was the question I was asking myself as I sat through all the cringeworthy yuri scenes, ungodly awful bear puns, surreal humor that didn’t make me laugh in the slightest, and all the usual traits we get from this director from the stairway scene to different dimensional courtrooms. What is Yuri Kuma Arashi about? Because surely there has to be something going underneath all of this that’s worth watching, right? The man who brought us Utena wouldn’t do that to us, right? Everything he does is just dripping in symbolism and thus I’m required to like it as a man who is one-half elitist and one-half straight.

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There’s a lot to like about the first episode of course, but it’s all superficial stuff so far and that kind of worries me. I’m fine with a world where bears gain intelligence in order to eat humans because of some mythical cosmic thing, but what is the reason for this setting? So far, all I’ve seen is two bears disguised as teenage girls transferring to an enclosed all-girl school in order to eat humans. They get their first meal by snacking on one of the main girl’s best friend and because of some magic court system, they now have free reign to do as they please. Or more specifically, go after the main girl, who is far from defenseless but not to the point that I can really judge how well she handles a gun. But to what end?

Is it supposed to be a tale about friendship? The nature of revenge? The inevitability of nature? An insight into racism? A tribute to a specific genre? I don’t have a clue and that’s not really a good thing. Basically, I’m worried this show will go down the path of something like Ghost Hound or most recent anime made with creative minds, where said talent ends up focusing too much on the layers of the product and not enough on the core to the point that the end goal is the same old shallow insight you’d expect from Pixar’s recent stuff. And if Yuri Kuma Arashi was made solely to tribute the yuri genre, I’ll probably pass on the show in the future due to lack of interest.

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And yeah, sorry guys, but the premise/setting/etc. is a little too unreal for me to laugh at the fact that bears have infiltrated the school and such. I guess them eating up a girl behind the fountain was a little morbid, but for the most part, Yuri Kuma Arashi is more Saints Row: The Third than it is Saints Row II. In a world where everything is wacky, everything is normal unless you go the extra mile in terms of wackiness or do something completely normal by human standards. Like when the mime in Mel Brooks’ Silent Movie was the only character to have spoken dialogue throughout the entire runtime.

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