Yuri Kuma Arashi – Episode 8

It’s bear o’clock once again! Kureha seems to have finally remembered her old friend, but most fairy-tale friends don’t sit there and watch as your lover is murdered, so I dunno how well this will turn out for anyone. I’m currently suffering through some hellish stomach virus, so this week’s post might be a little more brief than most, but I can’t let sickness keep me from what I do best!




Alright, yeah, this sucks. My body is a festival of pain. FIGHTIN’ THROUGH IT.

Episode 8

0:48 – The music box song is a good choice for this reunion. Enhances the fairy tale feeling, and of course Ginko was originally cut out of the picture in Kureha’s music box

Yuri Kuma Arashi

1:24 – Always contrasting the intimacy with the violence

3:10 – Alright, time for the mom’s story!

3:16 – Well that’s one way to do that reveal. So yeah, the obvious is true, teacher is a bear

3:20 – She taps her ruby slippers, and stars appear. Stars seemed like a symbol of idealized love, but you’d think ruby slippers would mean “waking from the dream”

3:21 – Wonderful shot. I love Ikuhara’s general embracing of visual motif for his characters

Yuri Kuma Arashi

3:24 – Oh dang, someone totally new

3:27 – Stars and birds, of course. Pure love becomes a star, good girls become birds

3:30 – This character design is gonna kill me. Also, “Him”. Huh

3:34 – The episode was called Bride-in-the-Box, so I guess we’re going somewhere with boxes. Who wants to guess that’ll come to imply both sexuality and control?

3:52 – Welp, there’s “control.” The school is designed to keep girls as pressed flowers, unsullied by engagement with the real world

Yuri Kuma Arashi

4:21 – Emphasizing the performative nature of these identities. You’re not pure for your own sake, you are filling a role. Like the meaningless negotiations of the court. And Yuriika is both pure and a bear, emphasizing the meaninglessness of beardom as well

4:39 – You never win, performing perfect womanhood for those assholes. How could you? The system emphasizes an inhuman, arbitrary ideal, not an actual person

5:06 – And so she ends up propagating the violence she learned from him. Like the girls in the class rejecting each other, the system makes tools of its victims

5:22 – The near-greyscale background is a nice touch

5:31 – Greaaat shot. I love how the composition isolates Yuriika, and they’re once again using those patterned backgrounds to match the angles of the frame, this time with the lines matching the hedge as it sinks

Yuri Kuma Arashi

5:47 – The show’s answer to “society will reject you if you are different” always seems to be “but one person might love you for who you are”

6:11 – I mean, that’s not strictly sexual, but I’m gonna call it anyway

6:32 – This is a pretty great show

7:39 – Well this is all kind of ominous. Yuriika did everything Kureha did, and yet now she’s the system’s arbiter. Ginko comes to rescue Kureha, wearing the symbol of the love that failed

8:17 – Oh right. Yeah. That couldn’t have worked out so well for Yuriika, huh

So Reia actually was the “good girl.” She loves and makes precious memories with Yuriika during their younger days, but now she’s grown up

Yuri Kuma Arashi

8:25 – Yeah, Yuriika looks thrilled. Looks like we’ve got our motive, then – if she’s going to lose her love anyway, she might as well kill her and keep her in the box

8:32 – Now the ruby slippers make sense

9:11 – Nice horror movie piano keys

10:23 – Intimacy and violence

10:34 – And there’s another answer

Yuri Kuma Arashi

12:16 – omg

12:52 – That’s our Yuriika

13:17 – They’re really going all-out on using the color scheme to convey tone this episode

13:37 – Dang, quite a shift from Lulu. Though I guess knowing Ginko’s actions would do that

15:29 – She sounds like Yuriika. Whole lot of ominous echoes in this episode

Yuri Kuma Arashi

16:03 – The judges bearly even care

16:53 – Nice new use of the court system. And articulating the unsurprising point that you can stop being a bear if you give up on passion

17:18 – Yuriika mistaking an act of selflessness from Reia as a rejection of her. An echo of how often beardom seems tied to “selfish love” – love that does not understand others, but only wishes to possess them

18:57 – Nice shot

Yuri Kuma Arashi

19:54 – And now explaining it. As a rejected bear, she can only act through violence

20:24 – Oh jeez. They can only preserve love in death

21:35 – Articulating it directly as a breaking of the cycle

22:12 – AW SHIT

Yuri Kuma Arashi

22:38 – Ahhhh this use of rain is SO GOOD

And Done

Aw jeez, that fuckin’ episode. The last pieces of the puzzle came down, Yuriika and Reia were highlighted through all sorts of parallels with the current story, and that final showdown. Damn! This was Yurikuma at its most horror-movie, and with good reason – Yuriika’s story is just straight tragedy from beginning to end. I’m very happy to see everything on the table now – I don’t know how or if Ginko will survive her third brush with death, but with all the characters now fully spotlighted, I’m excited to see wherever the story goes from here. It’s all hitting the fan now.

2 thoughts on “Yuri Kuma Arashi – Episode 8

  1. Have you read the ED lyrics? If so, do they read as “Bad End” to you as they do to me? With all these Horror and War Movie homages, YKA turning out to be a tragedy doesn’t seem that out-of-place.

  2. I saw the fact that Reia got a baby as a telling that she wasnt Yuri after all, and that the teacher’s love for her was misplaced and she felt rejected by that.
    Maybe the baby is just one of those fantasy story devices and doesnt imply a father , who knows

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