Mar 31, 2015
SkyNoHoshi (All reviews)
Yuri relationships and bears. What are you thinking? One could say this is one of anime’s weirdest creations, but I think it’s one of the greatest, this year in fact. It is one of the first few anime that aired this year (and season) and as well as the one which focuses on girl-on-girl relationship.

Yuri Kuma Arashi was probably picked up by many because it was directed by Ikuhara Kunihiko, the director of the well-famed Mawaru Penguindrum. To give some background of the story, there was a planet Kumaria that exploded on space which showered around Earth. This caused the bears to become violent and start attacking and eating humans. So to prevent any more attacks, the humans build up the ‘Wall of Severance’ between the two and things calmed down. One day, two bears, Ginko and Lulu, disguised themselves as humans and transferred in a class where Kureha and her love Sumika is. While Kureha have been eyeing for Sumika, the bears eye towards Kureha. Then, tragedy ensues on that same day. First of all, many regarded the anime as one which has a lot of symbolism. Some have linked this anime to lesbianship in Japan, while others have their own other opinions about the topic in general. But even if there is symbolism, I think that this anime can be watched without caring about it. It is something that one should not delve into if he wants to watch an anime without thinking critically and just enjoy what is there in the story. Nevertheless, feel free to express your own thoughts linking with the story.

The first few episodes can definitely throw everyone off because of the confusion behind the story. I do not know if some have dropped it because of this specific reason, but if you are one of the person, I suggest picking this anime up, because it gets better after episode three. To summarise what has been going on, the progression of the story is so clear and well-done. It is like piecing the puzzles to form a completed timeline, which means that the anime jumps in and out of flashbacks a lot of times. Trust me, it cannot be very annoying since you will be able to understand more about the story as well as the characters. Also, there can be a number of cliffhangers at the end of most episodes which leaves the suspense high for the audience. Overall, the story was written well with good sense of direction. It not only focuses on love, but also bullying and the society that have a general view on these topic. There are some funny moments to brighten up the dramatic mood of the anime and eventually there are also some fan-service moments that tickle the fantasies of many people. I am satisfied by how the story went by, and I really loved the ending so much that brought the story to great closure.

Ah, the characters. The story revolves around these three girls, a human and two bears. Aside from their differences, they are fairly interesting characters to look at and quite likeable. I would say that Kureha is this girl that is affected by many things in the past, hence that was how she was in the beginning of the anime. As you bring the bears to play, she has gotten more active and is at first not willing to be with them. However, these bears are trying to change her for the sake for something, and towards the finale, something major happened for these characters that might move you emotionally. It was a nice character development for these girls as they get to understand more about one another and with a clever idea of flashback, we can see how these girls made it towards the end. I was pleased by how they think and understood by how they feel, so as I mentioned before, they are interesting.

I like some of the side characters too. The anime got a whole lot of people to make Kureha suffer a lot, and it was nice how she kept herself strong, although she really never hung out with them in a long time. In fact, there are very few with an interesting twist, however easily spoilt through their names. With the three alluring court bears, two past-time lovers and many others, the anime holds its charm for having a good cast.

Stunning visuals. At first I thought this was made by SHAFT, but nope, studio Silver Link (what a surprise) decided to direct this original anime, and I am sure only one (or very few) staff member working on the animation has links to involving SHAFT’s anime. The sceneries are great and have finer details in them, making them visually pleasing. Sometimes, there are scenes that usually throw in some symbolism and make it so abstract, so beautiful. I think the anime pushes to be this unique and I think this is perfect. The character designs are fine and quite simple - they look perfect in themselves. In bear form, I swear I could not stop awe-ing by their adorable figures. The fan-service is pretty nice and lewd, but at least it did not bring over towards the ecchi level, meaning that the anime does not throw in naughty fan-service anywhere to make the audience pumped up.

When I first heard the opening song, I was moved by the emotions played in it. It was so calming, so beautiful that it is great. I love the vocals of its rich smooth high-toned singing, and apparently this is the singer’s, Bonjour Suzuki, first anisong. I never heard of her other songs before (if there is any), but I do welcome her to sing more songs to make her shine better. Meanwhile, this ending song sung by the voice actresses of the three main girls has this nice electronic beat that makes you groove. A nice touch for the simple animation behind, with a bear doing a cute dance. The background music is loveable, I hear a nice variety of choice in it. The voice acting is a job well-done indeed. The three voice actresses for the main characters are not-so-well-known yet they are great for putting the emotions into power with the characters, as well as defining what their respective characters are.

Hell, Yuri Kuma Arashi is a bloomed lily flower over many other flowers in a garden. It definitely stands out by its wonderful and creative direction, however it does not really stand out much in terms of popularity. To say that the anime showed up at a wrong season is a possibility, but I would say that the anime is certainly the best among the rest of this season’s anime. I enjoyed the anime so much that I was hoping for a real-life time-skip to start a brand new episode each week, because of the cliffhangers. Now, will this anime be recommended by all? Not all, unfortunately. But it is a worth of try. Yuri fanatics are welcomed to start this show right now, and those who like to ponder over symbolism too. Everyone else, give it a try. You would not feel sorry.