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.
The human side of the story is becoming a bit more interesting, with the addition of a villain and the backstories for the two bears. It feels more like we’re dealing with humans than with symbols now, although of course the show continues to be heavy on the symbolism.
Speaking of which, I think MarkS00N may have been onto something last week with his discussion of feelings vs. lust in differentiating humans and bears. To become a human and cross the wall Lulu had to give up on kisses, although she could still remain true to her love.
I still think there might be a destructive impulse involved as well. Gingko wants Kureha all to herself in a very selfish way. But with that said, Lulu isn’t selfish and doesn’t love in a destructive way. At least not as far as we can tell so far…