You may have noticed I’d fallen behind on Yurikuma. The reason is… I can’t really bring myself to care. I watched these three episodes back to back, and even then I was pretty bored the whole time. A quick summary: Ginko was actually Kureha’s lover from when they were toddlers but Kureha forgot. Oh, and Kureha’s mother was murdered by her lesbian lover.
Plus lots of symbolism. But the problem is, the narrative isn’t strong enough for the symbolism to mean anything. Penguindrum had Ringo to carry things along. Lesbian Bear Storm doesn’t have a single character I legitimately care about. It’s more symbolism than story. Additionally, thematically the show is very similar to Penguindrum. Unwanted children. Abandonment. Boxes. It’s not as interesting the second time. Continue reading Yuri Kuma Arashi 06 – 08 — Whatevs
My favorite part of Ikuhara’s works is the use of repetition. We see it in episode 3, where Lulu keeps kicking her brother off a cliff and he brings her the honey. Or in all the episodes, with the Yuri Trial and the Kuma Shock. He does the same thing in Penguindrum, with the “Survival Strategy” scene, and in Utena with the spiral staircase and the car scenes.
What makes the repetition so effective is how he builds up your expectations, then inevitably twists them. My favorite example of this was in Mawaru Penguindrum, where Ringo got thrust into the survival strategy scene, dropped down the chute, and kicked herself out of it. We get a similar effect in episode four of Yurikuma when Ginko is caught in the trap after the bear shock. Continue reading Yuri Kuma Arashi 04 and 05 — Do it Again
I’m… not entirely sure what’s going on with the main two bears. Now they’re actually trying to save Kureha? Or are they saving her so they can eat her themselves? Their testimony at the trial didn’t make any sense. Which I can only assume is intentional.
Otherwise, though, the symbolism seems to be playing out as I speculated last week. Continue reading Yuri Kuma Arashi 03 — The Invisible Storm