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Anime Stats
Days: 83.2
Mean Score: 7.34
  • Total Entries586
  • Rewatched0
  • Episodes5,007
Anime History Last Anime Updates
Aggressive Retsuko (ONA)
Aggressive Retsuko (ONA)
May 13, 2018 12:47 PM
Completed 10/10 · Scored 8
Sarazanmai
Sarazanmai
Mar 19, 2018 10:43 AM
Plan to Watch · Scored -
Zoku Owarimonogatari
Zoku Owarimonogatari
Dec 26, 2017 5:42 PM
Plan to Watch · Scored -
Manga Stats
Days: 0.4
Mean Score: 8.50
  • Total Entries29
  • Reread0
  • Chapters35
  • Volumes7
Manga History Last Manga Updates
Oyasumi Punpun
Oyasumi Punpun
Aug 27, 2017 9:50 AM
Plan to Read · Scored -
Sabishisugite Lesbian Fuuzoku ni Ikimashita Report
Sabishisugite Lesbian Fuuzoku ni Ikimashita Report
Oct 29, 2016 11:07 AM
Plan to Read · Scored -
Ouji-sama to Haiiro no Hibi
Ouji-sama to Haiiro no Hibi
Sep 30, 2016 10:58 AM
Plan to Read · Scored -

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All Comments (16) Comments

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Maple46 Aug 30, 1:50 PM
Soulelle's discussion of the symbols in Yuri Kuma Arashi turned out to be incorrect: your praise of Soulelle's attempt at making sense of the series was misplaced, and to further support the idea that Soulelle does not have what it takes to back her statements, her blog's now private. If one believed in their discussion, then why hide? With this in mind, it's not often I see someone miss the point of an anime so thoroughly and completely, and people agree with the claims anyways. I'm here to dispel any misconceptions about Yuri Kuma Arashi, and will aim to show how Soulelle was wrong about pretty much everything in Yuri Kuma Arashi.


World of "humans" - Yang.

The first thing Ikuhara-sensei does in YKA is creating a "feminist's dream" world - Arashigaoka academy is a dystopian, closed world of women, whose relationships ought to be nothing but clean, pure, shiny, platonic friendship. Students, teachers, police - everyone's female here. It's a calm, "proper" world of seemingly no sins, of everything being in order and right. Girls drink lily-milk, boys in statues are replaced with bears or other animals, road signs portray female silhouettes in skirts - males in this world are literally non-existent. And young women are labelled as lily flowers: they are blooming and shimmering and must always socialize with each other - stay together on a flower bed, because being friends is considered their survival strategy. Every other behaviour, everything that makes you stand out is considered a deviation from the norm, because it makes you visible to that other world and put the lily species in danger.

World of "bears" - Yin.

BEAR SHOCK! It turns out that in reality behind the Wall of Separation there also exists another world - a scary, dirty world of lustful and sinful bears, hungry and greedy for women's honey. Like all mammals, bears don't limit their animal instincts with logic: when they see the prey, they attack and kill eat, because their survival depends on that. And precisely because of their nature, their feelings are not bound to pure friendship - in contrast to the other side of the wall, here's the world of free love and sex as well as free hate and other emotions...


This is wrong: Yin represents the passive, shadow, negative and hidden aspects of an entity, while Yang represents the active, positive, bright and visible components. The comparison indicates a case of Soulelle not having done the research, or else imposing her own (incorrect) interpretations over accepted conventions of what a symbol means.


The transparent storm - Yin in Yang.

And we learn about the world of "bears" exactly when Kureha and Sumika open up to Love - the deviation caused by a deadly stir of emotions. But loving another girl, taking care for a lily, will naturally make their hands dirty. So the very moment Kureha and Sumika swear to never back down on love, there comes a warning. It's a warning of the incoming storm of feelings, emotions, it's a warning of becoming visible to the outer world. The girls who fell in love are in the center of this storm, they are causing the stir around them. So the rest of the lilies will unavoidably get caught into it and get cut. Because, you know, there are laws how this world of lilies operates. Breaking these laws will essentially break the world built upon them.

The storm strengthens.

As mentioned earlier, making your hands dirty is strictly prohibited in the pure world of women, where even Sir Thomas More's "Utopia" is quoted with a change in a third person pronoun, "She that shoots oft at last shall hit the mark", and thus a punishment and judgement quite literally fall upon the girls in a form of a brick. Ah, of course, I forgot to mention, that Yurizono Mitsuko apparently also fell for Sumika. She's the one to find her talking about love to Kureha during lunch. She's most likely the one who cuts the first lily, and thus makes Sumika an easy prey to bears. She's the one to claim she also finds herself in the invisible storm. She's the one to say she's sorry to Sumika. She's the one who also makes her hands dirty. But she's the one who tries to back down on love and calm the storm in a group of three, together as friends. May be she's jealous, may be she's in love - that's anyway something that is not allowed. So she cuts ALL lilies. And this literally means that all girls will be eaten during the series. After all, there must be a reason for a label "1" next to the crime scene where Sumika's belongings were found.


Wrong again: the gap between bears and humans is meant to indicate the extremities of the two sides and how love can prevail over longstanding conflicts and prejudice.


The Lily Trial - The Court of Separation.

Every new crime requires a new process in court. As said above, every sin asks for a punishment and a judgement. Ironically, the Court consists entirely of male bears (though with human outlook). But it claims to stay independent and fair as scales to each side. We'll see about that. Anyhow, the ones being judged are literally bears, i.e. in the true bear form. The entire stage is quite reminiscent of the conflictual sides in the series.

Life is cool - Super-ego.

This is a guy who relies on rationality and logic as opposed to emotions, impulses, and feelings. It's quite obvious that he's the one to blame the "bears" for disrupting the calm of the "human" world. They brought the dirty sin to the pure territory.

Life is beautiful - Id.

The guy who stands for the "bears" side in contrast represents the realm of feelings, emotions, and impulsive irrational decisions. He doesn't care much if there are victims on the "human" side, because otherwise the bears would die of hunger.

Life is sexy - Ego.

The one who tries to unite this duality, referencing the Abraxas from "Damien" by Hermann Hesse (a novel Ikuhara-sensei is known to be a sucker for), the main judge, is the one who reads out the sentence. I actually wonder if this all happens in Kureha's head while she stays unconscious. Apparently she's watching the process from a side, as if from beyond the end of the worlds, as a challenge to what her true feelings are, as a search for an answer to the question, what is it that she truly desires for - to stay innocent, pure, virgin, and invisible or to become a greedy animal. So, subconsciously it seems, she's the one who learns about her sexuality and she's the one who approves yuri, i.e. she's the one who wants to take of both worlds - stay pure but be able to love.


Freud has been proven to be incorrect, pseudo-scientific and even a fraud at times. By dragging Freud into things, it's clear Soulelle is trying to sound smart with an obscure but simple-to-understand concept. At any rate, since Freud's claims never held water, we can dismiss them as having any validity. The Severance Court is more of an indicator of how love seems to break down an established system, since the results here are deterministic.


TL;DR - Conclusion.

And that pretty much sums up the first episode. Ikuhara-sensei rolled out almost every symbol in one episode. He stayed true to his favourite books and metaphors. Specifically, he stayed true to the idea of learning about the world by breaking it first.

This time around Kureha is learning about her problematic sexuality. There's a clean and pure world of light and illusion she exists in, which prohibits all kinds of sins, including love, love for a girl. This world is resemblant of Damien's parents' home of his childhood.

There's a true, but dirty world of crime, sex, violence, and profanity, which is separated from the clean world by a wall of morale as well as character inexperience and blindness.

Kureha is to wake up from a phone call to find out there's a dark side to the world she lives in, that will let her experience the true love, but will of course thus break the pure world as she knew it.


The world of crime, violence and profanity does not ever manifest in Yuri Kuma Arashi, nor does Kureha's sexuality. Yuri Kuma Arashi never has her struggle to accept her own feelings, it's more about her rejecting Ginko until her memories reawaken, after which she becomes conflicted as to whether or not avenging Reia matters more than her love for Ginko. I'm honestly not sure how Soulelle could deviate this far from the themes of Yuri Kuma Arashi, which are very open and straightforwards.


Other connotations / symbols.
I also wanted to point out a couple of interesting points that were not properly put out to our attention yet.


Which ends up being a waste of time.


Lily seagulls (yurikamome).
Seagulls are a lilies' dark side. You can see how Ikuhara-sensei visually unites them in the OP alluding to the art of Escher. This seagull character is also used on Hakonaka Yuriika-sensei's uniform. She's for sure a dark horse of the story and will play a role similar to Tabuki-sensei in Penguindrum. Not surprisingly, her last name is literally translated as "inside the box" or a cage. I believe, she did love Kureha's mother but just like Yurizono-san managed to suppress her feelings. This in fact might be the actual reason for being eaten by the bear!


No dice: seagulls represent resourcefulness or determination. Love finds a away, but so do the forces going after Kureha. Yurika ate Reia out of a jealous desire to keep her to herself, not because she was suppressing her feelings.


The door.

I would for sure missed this one if I didn't do a per-frame scan of the Danzetsu no Court program boot screen, where the Door has a symbolic icon in addition to all other symbols of the show. The door is located right next to the flower bed. And behind the door is where Yurizono-san actually notices the two bears eating Sumika. So this is very likely the door to the real world from the pure world of "humans".


Soulelle's doing a frame-by-frame was a pointless exercise. The door is a shortcut between worlds, a shortcut bypassing the Wall of Severance, and therefore, represents how some thing allow for barriers and rules to be ignored.


The love rifle and the love bullet.

"He that shoots oft at last shall hit the mark." - Sir Thomas More, "Utopia", 1516.
"She that shoots oft at last shall hit the mark." - Ikuhara Kunihiko, "Yuri Kuma Arashi", 2015.
The gun is given to Kureha to question her ability to shoot and kill. In other words, it questions her resolve to come to the dark side for the sake of love. Only if her feeling is true, she will be able to shoot. But in order to answer that question, she must first understand what is her feeling and what consequences will she have to bear because of it.


The guns don't mean anything beyond the extent of prejudice between the humans and bears, that the humans are willing to use firearms and shoot first, before asking questions.


The box.

Will probably be explained somehow via Hakonaka-sensei. But as said earlier, this is likely a synonym to a cage. Sensei might have preferred to shut her eyes and hide her feelings for Kureha's mom in a box or rejected the feelings because that would be against the school rules/high morale/the world of "humans". This eventually killed Tsubaki Reia. If this is the case, then perhaps the story with Yurizono might be a little more complicated. Perhaps Sumika went out to eat lunch alone because she wanted to convey her feelings to Yurizono. The latter rejected and left the roof. This is when Kureha found her alone, so Sumika decides to "share the fruit of fate" with her instead. And that's why Yurizono excuses later.


Yurika desires to keep that which is pure, and her last name refers to her preferring to keep things in a box, rather than her being trapped in a metaphoric sense.


The treat.

Or honey. Aside from the "women nectar" connotations that others have already mentioned, this could be similar to the fruit of fate from the Penguindrum. It's a sweet reward for taking a step from the world of illusion to the real world, a reward for choosing love and not being scared by the consequences.


The honey is a tangible representation of love. If it was a reward for turning illusion into reality, then Lulu's younger brother, Milne, would not have made such an effort of gifting honey to her.


The forest. The moon. The star. The trap. The memory.

Can't tell you much about it. The first two are found in every Ikuhara show, but this is still something that I need to learn and research myself. The latter two - don't even have too many ideas - hopefully we'll figure out more soon.


I guess even the great Soulelle has limitations. These objects don't need research. The forest and the moon, are simply two worlds meant to juxtapose one another. The star pendant is a physical representation of a promise. Bear traps are used literally, and memories of a loved one is the price the Court of Severance extracts in exchange for a favour.


Transparent/Invisible

The term "transparent" or "invisible" was used by Ikuhara in Penguindrum. The children broiler processed the transparent children, children who lacked parental love got destroyed into pieces. It was a punishment bestowed upon children for the sins of their parents. These kids were garbage of the society - something that is thrown away. The society didn't need them, didn't want to see them, wanted to avoid them - that's why they were called invisible. Despite they stood out with their dirtiness like an eyesore, the society chose to ignore them.
In short, transparent means lacking love.


Transparent/invisible refers to fitting in. Kureha initially wants to fit in with others around her, and fails once her feelings take over.

Quite honestly, instead of just blindly agreeing with pseudo-intellectuals such as Soulelle, I wish people would simply just enjoy shows like Yuri Kuma Arashi and draw their own conclusions about what happened and what the message was. Expecting someone else to interpret it for them defeats the purpose of partaking in fiction, especially when interpretations, like Soulelle's, are so completely wrong that they lack any meaning and worth.
Yup Mar 13, 2015 4:20 PM
Yup.
Sad Feb 21, 2015 1:27 PM
Sad Feb 20, 2015 5:31 AM
Wow! Thanks for the breakdown, I didn't know they were out of order so I appreciate you letting me know that, it might have lead to a misinformed drop lol.

Which was your favourite part/specific film in the series btw? :3
Sad Feb 15, 2015 10:15 AM
:3 Is there any other short films that you like? :>

I see that you're a Kara no Kyoukai fan, I actually know very little about it. Based on the other things I've liked, do you think I'd enjoy it? ;o
Sad Feb 13, 2015 6:19 PM
Thanking you. I trust you enjoyed the short too? :>
tsudecimo Feb 6, 2015 5:05 PM
Hi, just wanted to see I really like reading your posts, especially regarding Monogatari series, I find them very insightful. Keep it up!
okanagan Feb 5, 2015 5:14 AM
Hi again! Okay, well I had some fun investigating into
those bears. They are shown on this official Yurikuma
webpage:
http://www.yurikuma.jp/products_goods.html

There are three possible sources mentioned there:
1. Any Animate store in Japan: 全国アニメイト各店、
2. Animate mail order: アニメイト通販
3. Movic mail order: ムービック通販内

Regarding Movic:
http://www.movic.jp/info/gaugau/
http://www.movic.jp/shop/g/g03101-00540-00001/

However, to get through the entire order process, you
have to sign up to get a username and password, and this
requires living in some prefecture in Japan. So that was
a dead end.

I then went to the online shopping website for Animate.
http://www.animate.co.jp
I found it an extremely confusing place, but did find a
cheap manga that I could have ordered as an experiment.
But they also require a username & password. I could
not see how to apply for one.

From Googling in general, it does appear to be the
case that shopping outside of Japan is not possible
for Animate.

However, I did in fact learn about a workable method:
http://ofurotaimu.dreamwidth.org/93307.html

Please note: I have never ordered through these people.
They may be criminals or worse. So if anything, I would
advise you not to even contact them.

Even if they are legitimate, it sounds like the prices
that you end up paying are extremely high.

However, it is interesting to read their webpage. In
particular, they do confirm that stuff from Animate
cannot be ordered from outside Japan.

Okay, well good luck with your bear hunt!
okanagan Feb 4, 2015 8:20 PM
Ha ha ha! So I am precisely in the same category as you! I bought a manga in 2010 and I bought the Yurikuma "Official Starting Guide" this past week. In both cases, I purchased through Amazon.co.jp. Back in 2010, it was a problem to find somebody who could ship overseas. In addition, I had to complete many steps on the website until I ran into an insurmountable obstacle in the purchase process. I guess that was on Rakuten. As well, I have often made international purchases of books and DVDs through eBay! I'm curious about those bears, so I'll check around more. However, it appears to me (I have never lived in Japan) that the Japanese culture is very strongly centered around special limited editions. (After all, Kagami on Lucky Star said so.) For example, nowadays the Blu-ray / DVD for anime series regularly comes in a regular edition and a special limited edition. Since you have now seen those bears and fallen in love with them, naturally you will go to a lot of effort to find them and the 6000 Yen price means nothing to you. I suspect that this is the psychological phenomenon that Japanese merchandise marketers depend on. One sure-fire method that I can suggest is to have a friend in Japan. Ask them to buy one. Then wait patiently for the next time that they visit your part of the world. As for me, I fell in love with the Yurikuma "Official Starting Guide" as soon as I happened to become aware of its existence. It is 80 pages of pure gold. I treat it as if is an original edition of the Gutenberg Bible.
Farabeuf Jan 12, 2015 12:52 AM
The low score that this show has is crazy though. I don't get what people rate upon here.
oiwa Jan 11, 2015 5:59 PM
very nice posts in the yuri kuma arashi thread, thanks for the in-depth break down of all the symbolism stuff :)
Farabeuf Jan 11, 2015 12:58 PM
Your comments in the thread about Yuri Kuma Arashi were very interesting and gave me new insights into how to read it. I wish there was more quality posts like yours in MAL threads.
ronri Nov 6, 2014 11:19 AM
Sending it should be fine! Basically, I'm still able to receive messages in my inbox, except when it's "full", I'm simply unable to reply to any of them. Again, pardon my slowness, but I'm nearly done cleaning up a whole a page or two of my inbox so I should be able to reply back very soon.
mugi Nov 3, 2014 4:35 AM
Yeah, but I figured it was about 5 months too late.
ronri Nov 3, 2014 1:09 AM
Hey Sejin! While yeah there were a few rough spots along the away (which I'll go into a bit of detail in the PM), if you check on one of my recent Tumblr posts, I actually literally finished just today! So yeah, only reason I haven't been able to reply back just yet is because. once again, my inbox is full so I can't reply until I clear up a few messages. I'll be sure to message back ASAP once I get rid a number of messages. ^_^