Yuri Kuma Arashi – Episode 9

The bears have returned! After a week off, we finally get to see the results of last episode’s asshole cliffhanger. What was said in the rain? Has Kureha murdered Ginko? Will love survive? ONLY THE BEARS KNOW.

Alright, enough of that, let’s get to the episode.

Episode 9

1:07 – Ginko has been having one hell of a season

Yuri Kuma Arashi

1:20 – Ginko’s fall mirrored by the image of the pendant literally becoming a falling star, the ephemeral symbol of love

3:38 – Well, that’s new. Reminds me of the fountain-gateway from Utena

4:04 – A pretty obvious choice. The flowerbed that’s tied to not giving up on love is the literal gateway between the two worlds. There’s always that blurred line in Ikuhara shows where something that exists in metaphor can suddenly become used as a literal tool in the narrative – as long as the emotional through-line is coherent, the in-universe logic doesn’t have to matter. I’m sure this drives a certain kind of worldbuilding-loving viewer nuts, but Ikuhara has never claimed to make stories that’ll appeal to everyone

A very nice image too, incidentally

4:08 – OH SHIT. I’m glad she’s back – she was always too fun of a character to die as quickly as she did. And of course her presence calls into question how “dead” some other characters are

Yuri Kuma Arashi

4:45 – Yeah, Ginko has been a prick to Lulu

5:42 – Invisible people. And Ginko “falling into the abyss.” Reflections of Penguindrum’s Child Broiler, where unwanted people go and disappear from society. But even safety within society is defined as “invisibility” in this world

7:12 – Nice new background. Yurikuma’s lighting is always so good

8:54 – Alright, now you’re just baiting her, Sumika

9:04 – Wow, lovely background. This episode keeps framing these beautiful smaller structures against the imposing backdrop of the Wall

Yuri Kuma Arashi

9:09 – I like how Ginko’s bonnet-ornaments explain her whole deal. Of course, almost all the characters have something like that, like Sumika’s flowered glasses

9:23 – Oh my god the bearsuits

10:16 – Sumika seems like a pretty good target of Ginko’s “we hated you from the beginning and loved you from the beginning”

11:00 – So Ginko’s selfishness born of passion is the same as society’s judgment born of fear

11:29 – Class Rep was acting out of pure desire/instinct. But Ginko claims to be acting out of love, and so she has a responsibility to uphold that

Yuri Kuma Arashi

11:47 – Yep. Clearly separating desire and love

12:23 – This is the bear form of love. Ginko being told what she didn’t want to admit but always wanted to hear

13:03 – Quite a shot

13:24 – I friggin’ love the ridiculous bear designs

14:05 – God damn bears. I miss that bear, actually. She had a great character design

Yuri Kuma Arashi

14:47 – I bet this also makes some viewers mad. Ikuhara don’t give a fuck

15:11 – And now making even more overt how the male arbitrating influence is both judge and hypocritical voyeur into honest relationships. It’s all distant entertainment to them

15:48 – This show is great

18:18 – This is a theme that was directly covered by this week’s Death Parade. The system that only “impartially” judges after the fact is complicit in the violence it allows

19:17 – Another nice shot

Yuri Kuma Arashi

20:49 – Holy crap, the classmates actually did something good for once!

21:23 – A strange confession, but sure

21:41 – Of course. Her “selfish love” took its own form, denying love to others

22:31 – Love is a falling star

Yuri Kuma Arashi


And Done

Well, Yuriika’s story ended about how you’d expect. Driven to attack the love of others to fill her own void, she’s eventually forgiven in death. I don’t think we got quite enough of her presence to really feel much emotional weight in that last scene (kind of Yurikuma’s biggest issue in general, actually), but it was still told well enough, and fit with all the show’s other pieces. Ginko’s the one trapped by desire now – though she’s only really pretended to be more than desire so far, this time she’s completely surrendered to her selfishness. Hopefully her love story can turn out happier than the last generation!

One thought on “Yuri Kuma Arashi – Episode 9

  1. “I don’t think we got quite enough of her presence to really feel much emotional weight in that last scene […]”
    I don’t know if that’s just me then, but I legitimately cried at the end of the episode. I felt particularly close to Yuriika’s character and philosophy somehow, and she became my favorite character of the show. But anyway, I can see why you said that.

    Awesome analysis as always!

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