Yuri Kuma Arashi – Episode 6

Here we are again. Five episodes in, and we’ve finally got both Lulu and Ginko’s personalities solidly established. Lulu’s driven by guilt over her brother’s death to the point of self-sacrifice, making a martyr of herself and assuming Ginko’s goals as her own. Ginko is in lust with Kureha, driven by a combination of a desire to “return to the love she once gave her” and something that seems a good bit more carnal. In spite of the strength of her feelings, they don’t really seem driven by any kind of understanding of the current Kureha – she wants to possess her, yes, but this doesn’t seem much like the love Kureha has lost. Kureha herself is in all kinds of turmoil, with only her own conviction to trust in. With Ginko in a moment of possible vulnerability, we might finally be moving towards a moment of greater honesty for both of them. Let’s watch some bears!

Episode 6

3:03 – Good lighting choice for this memory.

Yuri Kuma Arashi

3:30 – Of course, the lighting’s always good. The warm glow of her feelings versus a gloomy pre-Kureha world

4:02 – A nice moment. And again, the positioning of the girls and their posture with the umbrellas creates a nice visual symmetry with the school background. Characters are always part of a larger visual piece

4:50 – Nice to get some Sumika texture, as well. A show doesn’t constantly need to be telling you new things about characters for them to become “better” characters – scenes offering intimate, real-seeming moments that confirm existing narratives still strengthen the texture and “truth” of those characters as people

4:59 – Flower and bear

Yuri Kuma Arashi

5:04 – Her mother was stolen by bears, eh?

5:28 – These illustrations are wonderful. And the pendant, of course

6:58 – The god seems to be represented with icons of both bear and bird. And framing the desire to cross the wall as “pride,” which seems like a judgment of the court

7:57 – Too lovely

8:20 – Again. This seems to be the question the court charges Ginko of not answering – tearing the “you” apart, and loving purely for another

Yuri Kuma Arashi

8:34 – Love is sacrifice. You’re not allowed to love frivolously

8:51 – Right, of course

10:15 – Interesting. The system doesn’t just enforce conformity through fear of being the Evil

10:27 – The important thing is that they’re not allowed to trust each other.

11:01 – Aw jeez, what a line and moment

Yuri Kuma Arashi

11:48 – So the storm will spare her if Sumika gives her up?

12:04 – Presumably this will work as ‘giving up on love,’ and make her invisible

13:27 – Goddamnit Lulu. Well, this is a very important image

13:53 – I’m guessing this makes her a bear as well, but considering overt expressions of love aren’t allowed, it’s not a surprise all the girls are bears

14:16 – Good. It’s nice to see Kureha feeling sympathetic towards them without really requiring a fundamental change

Yuri Kuma Arashi

14:33 – The fairy tale’s obviously the two of them, but the fact that it was written by Kureha’s mother makes me even more curious as to the full link they had as children

15:55 – Echoing the earlier lines about how people lose faith over time. Even if you’re resolved against a system, society wears on you

16:46 – What friends are for

17:00 – Beaaars

17:26 – moshi moshi, bear desu

Yuri Kuma Arashi

17:37 – Very literally a challenge from the Wall of Severance, apparently

18:12 – What a sad image

18:14 – Jeez, that kills me. She’s so happy to see the flowers, in spite of it all

18:20 – This looks like a pretty cool party. Horror movie influences strong again

18:52 – My god, these awful girls. It’s painful, but it’s so good – society isn’t formed purely of arbitrary strictures handed down by the court, society is internalized, and the worst forces of enforcing conformity are often just other oppressed people within the system. It enables hatefulness, but it builds off universal fear

19:44 – ahhhhhh

Yuri Kuma Arashi


21:53 – plz help

22:25 – aaand transition from Ginko leaping into the fire to save Kureha from an awful hazing to the dancing bears.I’m not gonna survive this show

24:32 – aw shiiiiit

And Done

Well, fuck. Twists and turns and awful birthdays and daring rescues and callous abandonments. In spite of her rescuing Kureha’s letter, the selfishness of Ginko’s love was at its most extreme in that last scene. In contrast, we saw the full extent of Sumika’s love, a love that was willing to give itself up in order to save Kureha. Kureha really was the odd one out – Sumika was always capable of fitting in to society, and was well aware of their system, but sacrificed of herself for Kureha’s sake. And now Kureha’s probably beaten to the point of accepting Ginko’s friendship, at least, even though she should probably be more wary. But as the episode said, you can only fight and guard yourself for so long.

Jeez, that was an oppressive episode. I suppose it had to come pretty soon, given we’re already at the show’s halfway point, but it was still quite the shift from the last couple weeks. I can’t take all this bear stress.

I guess you could say I can… bearly take.

I’m sorry.

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