Yurikuma Arashi – 10 Review
That’s nice and all… but I don’t think that has helped Ginko in ANY way to win Kureha’s heart again. She might as well have talked about worldpeace.
You need a lot of patience for this show. Sometimes it even feels like this series believes its audience to be full of idiots. The way this series can’t stop itself from talking about its one-dimensional characters and straightforward story, you would think each episode is trying to introduce new viewers to the show. Really, whatever happens currently in the series and the reasons that lead to that are all laid out for you each time in every episode. There’s more talk about what I already know than what I don’t know in this series. At the start, the series was still a little mysterious but now the plot is people explaining everything, even the stuff that needed no explanation. And the explanations are frigging boring as well!
… she said to Lulu, a BEAR. These girls are VERY bad at detecting bears, aren’t they?
Sometimes watching this series feels like listening to the audiobook-version of the series’ plot-synopsis. There have been dozens of scenes up to this point where characters just stand around talking about what has happened and why it has happened. And the length and number of these scenes has increased as the series has progressed. Because at the start the series actually still had shit to explain but now we’ve reached the point where any pseudo-explanations are just unnecessary summaries of past events, if even that.
The episode opens with a flashback from Reia’s time and how she helped Ginko escape, then there’s a scene where the bear-judges talk about why Lulu has betrayed Ginko and then there’s a scene with Ginko and the students where it’s established that the students are a military-force now hunting for bears with the help of a cyborg-bear (I think, it’s the first bear that died in the series). The last one delivers a bit of worldbuilding for this episode but the rest? Completely unnecessary. Both scenes have NOTHING to say. The scenes only recapitulate facts that have already been established. They even bother to write new scenes despite the fact that it all amounts to nothing.
And the repetition isn’t even the real problem, it’s the lack of necessity. When the judges talk about Lulu’s actions during the rooftop-scene, one of the judges is literally pointing out one of the biggest problems of this series: The characters’ wishy-washy indecisiveness. This isn’t about understanding why any of the characters have done what they’ve done, this is about how inconsistent those characters are. The reason this series needs to explain its one-dimensional characters is because they aren’t consistent at all. It’s weird how characters in this series are capable of constantly changing their stance on various topics while still remaining one-dimensional. Like, imagine someone who likes juice and all the drama is derived from how this character likes orange-juice at one time but then suddenly likes strawberry-juice more. Now the series is trying to explain that shit while the series actually is still just talking about a character who loves juice. That’s the level of narrative complexity this series operates on.
Lulu’s love for Ginko has already been established in this series. But then the rooftop-scene happened and this judges-scene not only offers an unnecessary explanation but it also reduces the emotional complexity. I’ve already mentioned how this series really just wants to talk about love but in scenes like this one, the series lack of substance actually is caused by narrow-mindedness. After all, the explanation this scene has to offer is that Lulu’s love for Ginko has caused her to act that way. It isn’t just that this is a series that wants to talk about true love, no, this is a series that can’t talk about anything but love! EVERYTHING in this series is connected to the theme of love. So you’ve already got this very straightforward story and then you obsess over its romantic themes so much that there’s no room left for anything else. I think, you could add to every fact describing the series’ plot the phrase “because of love.”. Ginko and Lulu have entered the human world – because of love. Sumika gets killed – because of love. Kureha mourns Sumika’s death – because of love. The class wants to exclude everyone who doesn’t want to be their friend (in the way they imagine it) – because of love. Kureha hates bears – because of love. Kureha wants to help Ginko and Lulu – because of love. The three judges are testing people in the name of Kumalia – because of love. Yuriika killed Reia – because of love. A whole series about a bunch of people who like juice but because they all don’t like the same juice and constantly change their opinions on what juice they like.
This is a boring series and it’s boring because it’s monotone. The whole point of the series is all it has to offer and it does barely anything to explore that point. Yurikuma Arashi’s discussion of love has become so reductive that character-developments feel like you’re putting the cart before the horse. This series just doesn’t even bother to offer big explanations. And now this character’s love made her do that but because she really REALLY loved this character she did this after that and then another character loved this other characters which made the first character do this. A character could amputate her own leg in this show and the judges would be like “That’s weird, huh? But that’s love for you!”. There’s NO point to even explain the character’s actions in this series.
Wait a sec… exactly how many bears are running around in human society currently?! What is this wall good for if so many bears are let into the human world?!
But then we get to see Kureha who has now found the second half of Reia’s book (which we’ve never heard of before until the last episode). And boy, what a masterpiece that second half was, right, guys?! No wonder Kureha was so shocked when she read that second half at the end of the last episode. Apparently the Forest-Girl and the Moon-Girl break through the mirror, kiss and then face Kumalia to tear down the wall separating their worlds. And there the story ends. Yeah, talk about trilogy-baiting, right? No wonder Kureha was so shocked! It’s clear that the second half doesn’t have an ending either! And it all ends with Kureha being very racist again as she says “A bear and a human together…?! That’s impossible!”. Kureha just can’t make up her mind: Shoot ‘em, hug ‘em or fuck ‘em. I guess with Kureha it depends on the time of the day what she will do.
And then you get the long, VERY long dialogue-scene between Lulu and Kureha. Naturally a lot of things get explained – that needed NO further explanations. What’s worse, Kureha’s reactions to the blunt explanations are simply baffling. Kureha asks Lulu why Ginko had said that she had killed Sumika and then she calmly moves on to say that she KNOWS that Ginko hasn’t killed Sumika. Kureha shot her! That was already baffling in the last episode… Why the fuck is she going into detective-mode AFTER she has shot Ginko?! And she just accepts Lulu’s explanation of the whole thing. Lulu has been jealous as well and that’s why she had sabotaged the rooftop-scene. The best part of course is that the episode includes a flashback of the rooftop-scene… Of course, it did, because we’ve all forgotten what happened in that scene.
And then the rest of the episode deals with Kureha’s loss of memory and her love for Ginko. Lulu’s essentially making a case for Ginko… because she has stopped being jealous (for whatever reason). And the whole thing amounts to “You’ve loved her once, you can love her again – and you fucking should!”. Of course, there’s one tiny problem… Kureha actually STILL doesn’t remember Ginko. Yeah, that scene on the porch where Kureha has been like “Hey, I remember now… you’re my childhoodfriend, right, Ginko?”… turns out that Kureha has just been guessing at that point. The point is, Kureha still loves Ginko instinctively. Or at least I assume that’s the explanation for why Sumika gets barely mentioned now. Really, if anything this series argues that it has been good for Sumika to die because she has been competition for Ginko and yeah, her being dead sucks but Kureha’ll get over it eventually and now she’s at least open to have a relationship with Ginko. Ginko’s love with Kureha has been fated to happen anyway – in contrast to Kureha’s relationship with Sumika.
But the real kicker is Lulu’s explanation for why Kureha can’t remember Ginko. So in order for a bear to become human they have to sacrifice something. And what does Ginko sacrifice? Kureha’s love for her. How’s that for not backing down on love?! And why is it Kureha who has to pay the price for Ginko’s pact?! Kureha had to live with amnesia for years not knowing why her mother has disappeared and what her mother meant when she talked about her friend. And how was Lulu able to attain human form? Do all first-class-bears get the ability to be humans? And why did Ginko not go back as human girl immediately after being dropped off by Reia? This series’ setting is a mess!
With Lulu safely back in Bear-land, I assume it’s all about Kureha and Ginko sorting out their differences. I bet most of it will be about reiterating everything that has happened in the series and then adding obvious conclusions as to why that stuff has happened. And in the end everything will be fine – because of love.
- Reia’ pendant serving as a secret key for the music-box that frees the picture of Reia, Kureha and Ginko is… a kinda useless revelation. We’ve already seen the picture in the flashbacks and Kureha has already accepted that Ginko is her dear childhoodfriend that she doesn’t remember. Another completely pointless moment in an episode full of pointless scenes.
- Kureha’s class want to exclude her, then don’t because Sumika is against it, then do after Sumika has died, then don’t after the latest class-representative died and at the end of this episode they exclude her (again). Just another wishy-washy plot-thread that has no throughline as things simply happen because of whatever some character fancies to do this week.
- Since Ginko joined the dark side because of a ghost, it would be neat for Kureha to join the light side because she gets a visit from Sumika’s ghost.
- Apparently Kureha’s now in the yuri-court as the post-ED-scene indicated and… I know this won’t happen… but I would love for Kureha to just flip out when she gets asked if her love is the real thing. She should say something angry like “No, it isn’t! Because of your stupid meddling I LOST my real love!” Then some judge comes with the line “But Kumalia wants us to test your love to see…” To which Kureha replies: “Fuck your tests! If testing love means keeping it from happening, then you might as well finish building that wall and forget about the whole fucking thing! Why do I have to justify MY love to YOU? This is between me and her! How about you guys sit this one out? Just leave the heavy lifting to me, okay? Kumalia knows you haven’t done that in a long time… or otherwise Sumika would still be alive…” But of course that won’t happen…