Story 8.5/10 and Characters 9/10
Long ago, a far off planet known as Kumaria exploded, turning into a meteor shower that fell upon earth. This lead to the bears becoming violent and attacking the humans, who created the Wall of Severance between them and the bears. Several years later, two bears, Ginko Yurishiro and Lulu Yurigasaki, disguise themselves as humans and enroll in Arashigaoka Academy, where Ginko takes interest in a human girl named Kureha Tsubaki.
With a description like this, you already know that this isn’t going to be a show just like any other. In fact, we’ve never seen a yuri anime like this one, and it’s quite hard to put into words what we experienced through the whole thing.
But let’s start from the beginning. Yuri Kuma Arashi is directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara, a name many of you are probably familiar with. If you don’t already know him, let’s just say that he’s famous for his very distinctive style of getting a story across to the viewers.
Just like in some of his previous works, like Revolutionary Girl Utena or Mawaru Penguindrum, he uses symbolism a lot. And when I say a lot, I mean that his stories sometimes come off as riddles that you need to invest a lot of time into in order to understand what it is all about.
Yuri Kuma Arashi is no exception.
Many people, even yuri fans, were put off by what was shown in the first episode alone. To be completely honest, I had to get myself some help from the internet to understand what was going on as well. And that is already one of the main problems of the show, yet also one of the major factors that makes Yuri Kuma Arashi so interesting. You have to really want to understand it, which is something that is usually not even required for most other shows.
For some, or I would even say many people, this was the main reason to drop this show. For me however, this was one of the main reasons to love it so much.
But enough about this already, let’s move on the the actual story.
Without giving out any spoilers, let’s describe my enjoyment of the story as follows:
From episode one to episode five, I was very invested in the story. After each and every episode, I found myself going through different forums and blogs in order to read about other people’s theories.
It was a lot of fun, and even though I still think Yuri Kuma Arashi was a little too obscure at first, I also think that it was a great start into the show.
Next we have episode 5 up to probably 9. During this time, many things were made a little clearer, making it unnecessary for me to read what other people thought about it. It started to lose its special touch you could say, and this simply means that the story was beginning to make more sense. Which as stupid as it sounds, was probably the reason why I often forgot that new episodes were already available.
In the last stage, everything changed again. I still can’t say that I understand everything, and I also think that there are still quite a few different theories for some parts of the story out there, but all in all, the ending was so satisfying that I completely forgot about my former lack of interest.
It was simply a very fitting, crazy, but also heartwarming and lovely ending for a story like this.
I loved it.
Since I already said way too much about the story, let’s keep what I have to say about the characters a little shorter. Best girl was Lulu, for obvious reasons~
In case of Ginko and Kureha, I’m still amazed how they changed and even grew throughout the whole thing. Ginko’s transformation was especially pleasant to watch, since she didn’t simply grow as a character, she also managed to get my approval to be Kureha’s partner. And I gotta tell you, that’s quite something if we take into account just how much I wanted to see Kureha x Sumika.
All in all, I agree with what many other people said about this anime:
It is a step into the right direction for the whole genre. It might be hard to understand at first, but this kind of yuri has never been shown before, and I think we should actually see this as a yuri milestone. Something that will be remembered.
Animation 7/10 and Sound 8.5/10
As always, let’s keep it simple. Both the opening and ending theme blew me away. Those were simply awesome.
As for the animation… well, I’m just not a big fan of Morishima Akiko’s art style. I know people will hate me for saying this, but it’s just my opinion, so don’t be too harsh on me.
As much as people debated just how yuri this show would turn out to be, what we got in the end proved to be the most yuri we could possibly imagine.
This is a story about two girls being in love, proving this love, and fighting to get this love to work out. It couldn’t be any more yuri, and that’s simply the greatest thing ever.
Also, despite the fact that we already have Ginko, Lulu, Sumika, and Kureha as yuri characters, we should also not forget about these yuri ladies~
I’m already sorry for the bad joke that is going to follow, but I just have to get it off my chest: This anime is Yuri Approved!
Total Enjoyment 9/10
This anime felt really refreshing compared to the yuri anime that we usually get. It’s like I already said, it feels like this is a yuri milestone, something that people won’t easily forget about. Whether that is in a good or a bad way is another question, though.
For me, this has been a fun ride. Something that I will come back to many times in the future.