Admiral Ackbar Approved!
And now for something completely different…
Yurikuma has been pretty much a nonstop bear-shock horror movie experience from the word “go,” and while I was starting to settle in to that experience and finding ways to not just analyze it, but also kind of like it, I do think that after the Mitsuko Madness of last week we were sorely in need of an episode that offered us a reprieve from the harsh angles, saturated colors, and unrelenting intensity of Arashigaoka Academy. Fortunately Ikuhara must have realized that himself, because this week takes us away from the main story almost entirely and delivers a lovely, melancholy, and at times pretty darn funny fairy tale.
Oh, and speaking of—Ikuhara included a fairy tale in an anime, you guys! Everybody do a shot!
Then grab a chaser and gather ‘round, boys and grrls. It’s story time at the Severance Court.
The moment of truth.
I considered dragging out the tension like an extended drumroll (durarararara…), but instead, let’s spend the last half of the post talking references and the first half talking personal reaction, which is this: I’m sticking with Yurikuma Arashi. I wasn’t sure if I would last week, but this episode assuaged a lot of my fears and gave me hope (and some outright confirmation) that my initial readings of this show weren’t completely off the mark. There’s still plenty of time for Ikuhara to step on a land mine and blow this whole, crazy experiment to the Moon Kingdom, but it’s looking slightly less likely that that’s going to happen, at least.
Creepiest. Harem. Ever.
I had the same relationship with Episode 2 of Yurikuma that I had with Episode 1: On my first viewing I felt deeply uncomfortable and incredibly wary about writing about it. But after some thought, a second viewing, and a little bit of online research, I became invested in the series again.
From the director of Sailor Moon and Revolutionary Girl Utena comes a show about magical bears, invisible storms, and some of the least subtle imagery in anime history.
So I’d planned on doing weekly posts on Yurikuma Arashi this season, and as of right now that’s still happening. This first episode was concerning in a lot of ways, but also pretty darn fascinating, so it’s not as if I don’t have a lot to talk about. Besides, I’m a huge fan of Ikuhara’s past works (Utena is both a masterpiece and my all-time favorite anime, and I quite liked Penguindrum, for all its flaws), so he gets at least a few episodes to prove to me that he knows what he’s doing.
I really hope he knows what he’s doing.
Well, the Winter Season certainly wasted no time in making an impression, did it?
As a reminder, I watch every licensed premiere and do at least a brief writeup about them. I’ll do full meet ‘n’ greets for shows that caught my interest enough to warrant it. Everything else gets a blurb explaining what I liked, didn’t like, and why the show might not or didn’t make the cut.
So here we go! Magical boys, magical bears, and a boy named Thor. Oh, anime. For better or worse, this is why I love you.