Famed auteur anime director Kunihiko Ikuhara produced his third TV series, Yuri Kuma Arashi (YKA going forward), in early 2015. It’s his shortest television anime in terms of length, but YKA retains the trademark depth and richness found in Ikuhara’s previous work, Mawaru Penguindrum and the beloved Revolutionary Girl Utena. There’s way more going on in YKA than I can hope to address in a single essay; however, I do want to attempt to chart the principle through line as I see it.
I begin by contrasting the notion of friendship advocated by antagonists, the Invisible Storm, with friendship as practiced by the series’ leading bears Ginko and Lulu. The latter, along with the protagonist Kureha, refuse to back down on their love for their friends and lovers. But, love is not such an easy thing to keep hold of. Characters in YKA must overcome specific, personal trials to maintain their relationships. Some succeed; some fail. In addition to these unique obstacles, YKA asks its viewers to consider some deep, universal problems in human relationships. This leads me to try to suss out what breaking the mirror in “The Moon Girl and The Forest Girl” could possibly mean.
Now, let us begin. It is the sexy way.
Also: Spoilers. Shaba-da-doo.
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