You are not logged in.

Gougai! Gougai!

Anime News Network asked Gio & Yasha to write an article about Utena, Empty Movement, and they totally called us superfans, omg. Think of it as a belated Valentine's to Utena, its fandom, and the excellent friendships we've made along the way. 20 Years of Utena Fandom with the Ultimate Superfans!!!

Poll

Should I watch Yuri Kuma Arashi?


SHABA-DA-DO!

74% - 26
SHABA-DA-DON'T!

0% - 0
SHABA-DA-MEHHHH

25% - 9
Voters: 44

#1 | Back to Top04-24-2015 02:49:59 PM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10327
Website

Should I watch Yuri Kuma Arashi?

Last night I finally got around to watching the first episode of Yuri Kuma Arashi!  I traversed a broad spectrum of emotions from amusement to bewilderment, but I kind of came out feeling like it was... kind of superficial?  Like, compared with the first episodes of SKU and Penguindrum, where a couple characters get established and made sympathetic, it's as though Ikuni said "I am famous Japanimation director Kunihiko Ikuhara, I don't have to pretend that anime isn't just an outlet for my libido anymore, NAKED LESBIANS EVERYWHERE."  There were hints that deep stuff was going to be forthcoming -- lines like "bears eat people" just beg to be deconstructed -- but after Penguindrum I don't automatically trust Ikuni to make good on promises like that.  I have nothing against naked lesbians, but I guess I don't think they will carry a show by themselves.

I would dip into the main thread for this, but I'm afraid of getting spoiled.  What say you, fellow Ikuni aficionados?

Offline

 

#2 | Back to Top04-24-2015 04:09:48 PM

Ragnarok
Caption Captor
From: Canada
Registered: 10-20-2006
Posts: 4472
Website

Re: Should I watch Yuri Kuma Arashi?

If Penguins left you dissatisfied, Bears aren't a good investment. It gets better than the first episode, but it doesn't reach amazing heights. This isn't an anime for the ages. It had some fun bits, I don't mind having watched it and it's not a very long series. So there's that?


http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r9/RagnarokIII/spyschool.jpg

Offline

 

#3 | Back to Top04-24-2015 05:56:00 PM

Anthiena
Egghead
From: ...the space between your ears
Registered: 10-21-2006
Posts: 1096

Re: Should I watch Yuri Kuma Arashi?

Three episode rule and highly Milage May Vary should be in effect. It's third and fourth episodes where it starts to get good. If you aren't on board as of episode 4? It's likely to not grow on you.

Overall, characterization is fairly weak and the pacing is just a little too fast to really let them breathe. The pacing makes the beginning is rather a mess. More time could have been spent overall... On everything. I like the series and parts really choked me up. I was however, able to get into it more than Penguindrum tbh. It seems... Too tightly paced, too tightly focused. And as you saw, rather unsubtle. I do think it's worth giving a chance. It's short at least!


I stopped seeking to be sought after. That wasn't being true to myself.
I want to become someone who can exercise power. I want to become a prince. - Ikuni

Offline

 

#4 | Back to Top04-24-2015 06:45:44 PM

Nocturnalux
Qualified Duellist
From: Portugal
Registered: 09-10-2007
Posts: 741

Re: Should I watch Yuri Kuma Arashi?

YKA is more about certain themes then about the characters which is why everyone is simplified to a few traits. And for its short run it still felt very repetitive to me and full of not-quite-filler-to-close moments, especially in the beginning.

On the other hand it does get better as it progresses and the ending is satisfactory.

As it's already been mentioned it is a short series so you have nothing (much) to lose by giving it a go and then joining us in discussing it. I would love your insight on 'em lesbian bears. school-chef

Offline

 

#5 | Back to Top04-25-2015 12:28:18 PM

YamPuff
Eternal Eschatologist
Registered: 02-13-2007
Posts: 897

Re: Should I watch Yuri Kuma Arashi?

I enjoyed it, and at only 12 eps it is definitely worth a watch, you have nothing to lose. Something about it hit all the right buttons for me, though I do perfectly understand those who hated it. XD Mawaru Penguindrum left me totally cold, whereas YKA got me in tears a few times, and the finale is perfect. It's an experience, I don't think anyone would regret watching it, it's just so weirdly memorable.


http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i232/YamPuff/im%20holllowz_zpsx9ddh2gp.png~original

Offline

 

#6 | Back to Top04-27-2015 12:50:03 AM

motorwaymurderer
Saionji Slapper
From: Finland
Registered: 09-25-2009
Posts: 28

Re: Should I watch Yuri Kuma Arashi?

I can see why people hate YKA and I think it's the weakest of Ikuhara's series, but I enjoyed it anyway. It was well calculated series that would've benefitted from few episodes more to give characters more backbone than just a couple of traits, but it told its story well and the finale was once again beautiful. Like mentioned, it's more about themes and social commentary and yuri as a genre than plot and amazing characters. You can get a lot more out of it if you're familiar with tropes of yuri, classic horror movies (those backgrounds) and Japanese literature, but it's an experience anyway.

Offline

 

#7 | Back to Top04-27-2015 08:18:26 PM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10327
Website

Re: Should I watch Yuri Kuma Arashi?

On y'all's recommendation, I watched the show.  I... actually thought it was pretty beautiful.  etc-love  I especially liked it after I stopped comparing it to my expectations from Ikuni and let it be what it was.  This was not as easy as it ought to have been.  emot-redface

I liked its simplicity.  This is a twelve-episode series, it understands that it is a twelve-episode series, and it tells a story that fits in twelve episodes.  It's Ikuhara, so of course there's a layer of obfuscation -- the man basically writes in flashbacks occasionally interrupted by plot -- but everything ultimately makes sense, accounting for a certain amount of magical realism.  And while the main characters don't stand out as being super-well-developed by SKU standards, they are actually very well developed by the standards of twelve-episode shows.  Thematically it reminds me of Haibane Renmei and Dennou Coil, but also of Utena and Penguindrum, both of which share, among other things, Yurikuma's interest in being chosen vs. not being chosen.

I'll probably post something about the show on the other thread, where I can spoil things and still be on-topic.  But if anyone, like me, was on the fence about watching the show, I recommend it.  It feels like Ikuni learned the right lessons from Penguindrum.  You are not James Joyce; you are allowed to do weird stuff, but there should be some kind of point to it.  And as a result I liked it considerably better than Penguindrum.  I even got past NAKED LESBIANS EVERYWHERE, because once you get inured to it, it's just imagery. emot-smile

Offline

 

#8 | Back to Top04-28-2015 08:56:30 AM

mistspinner
Ohtori Paramouri
Registered: 08-10-2013
Posts: 92

Re: Should I watch Yuri Kuma Arashi?

Satyr, very interesting to hear your response! Penguindrum rang all the right notes for me, which Yuri Kuma didn't quite do, and it seems like a common response - either Penguindrum or Yuri Kuma works for you, but rarely both. Curious as to why this is, though - any speculations from anyone?

Offline

 

#9 | Back to Top04-28-2015 12:30:23 PM

YamPuff
Eternal Eschatologist
Registered: 02-13-2007
Posts: 897

Re: Should I watch Yuri Kuma Arashi?

satyreyes wrote:

I liked its simplicity.  This is a twelve-episode series, it understands that it is a twelve-episode series, and it tells a story that fits in twelve episodes.  It's Ikuhara, so of course there's a layer of obfuscation -- the man basically writes in flashbacks occasionally interrupted by plot -- but everything ultimately makes sense, accounting for a certain amount of magical realism.  And while the main characters don't stand out as being super-well-developed by SKU standards, they are actually very well developed by the standards of twelve-episode shows.  ..........  It feels like Ikuni learned the right lessons from Penguindrum.  You are not James Joyce; you are allowed to do weird stuff, but there should be some kind of point to it.  And as a result I liked it considerably better than Penguindrum.  I even got past NAKED LESBIANS EVERYWHERE, because once you get inured to it, it's just imagery. emot-smile

EXACTLY.


http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i232/YamPuff/im%20holllowz_zpsx9ddh2gp.png~original

Offline

 

#10 | Back to Top04-28-2015 01:19:20 PM

Nocturnalux
Qualified Duellist
From: Portugal
Registered: 09-10-2007
Posts: 741

Re: Should I watch Yuri Kuma Arashi?

mistspinner wrote:

Satyr, very interesting to hear your response! Penguindrum rang all the right notes for me, which Yuri Kuma didn't quite do, and it seems like a common response - either Penguindrum or Yuri Kuma works for you, but rarely both. Curious as to why this is, though - any speculations from anyone?

If I had to choose I'd pick Penguindrum because I found some characters to be either intringuing (Sanetonish being so much like Mikage had something to do with this) and/or likable (Shouma, hands down) and I actually laughed at the humor which hardly ever happens. The setting also helped as I am familiar with Ikebukuro and have a soft spot for the town.

As for YKA, I did not care for anyone. I was able to enjoy the story for what it was but it left no great impression on me.

Offline

 

#11 | Back to Top04-28-2015 01:35:56 PM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10327
Website

Re: Should I watch Yuri Kuma Arashi?

Mmm hmm, I think Penguindrum's characterization was definitely better (partly because it was a longer show), and its emotional high points were higher.  But its high points were higher because Ikuni seemed to adopt the "Lost" philosophy and just do whatever seemed awesome at the time, without worrying about whether he was creating corners he wouldn't be able to write himself out of later.  For some people that's not a problem; I know DD has spoken with conviction about not really caring whether things make sense at the end of a work of literature.   But for me it is.  If I don't think the plot basically makes sense, then everything else -- the characters, the themes -- end up with a sense of artifice layered over them that makes me feel like what I watched wasn't real, wasn't worth taking seriously.  Penguindrum solidified my impression that Ikuni is great at spectacle and symbolism but rubbish at telling a coherent story, and it was Enokido's steady hand on the rudder that made SKU the masterpiece that it is.  Yurikuma, happily, makes me question that again.

No disrespect, of course, to Penguindrum's fans.  I have vivid memories of parts of that show even though I haven't gone back to it in all this time, and that's because its images and its characters and its raw feels hit more forcefully than in almost any other anime I've watched.  It just didn't speak to me, in the end -- or if it did, I wasn't sure what it was saying.

Offline

 

#12 | Back to Top05-06-2015 11:13:03 AM

Maarika
Someday Shiner
From: Estonia
Registered: 10-17-2006
Posts: 2510
Website

Re: Should I watch Yuri Kuma Arashi?

satyreyes wrote:

And while the main characters don't stand out as being super-well-developed by SKU standards, they are actually very well developed by the standards of twelve-episode shows.  Thematically it reminds me of Haibane Renmei and Dennou Coil, but also of Utena and Penguindrum, both of which share, among other things, Yurikuma's interest in being chosen vs. not being chosen.

I suppose due to its length Yurikuma put more emphasis on the themes and plot, so some characters were pretty much entirely symbolic instead of being developed the way we usually expect them to be (which I personally loved). This is definitely NOT an anime for everyone, and I don't think it's the best introduction to Ikuhara's world (in the same way the Utena movie may seem absurd to people who aren't familiar with his visual language). Basically I wouldn't watch Yurikuma if I weren't interested in lesbians or yuri.

I'm a huge Utena fangirl and I have to hand it to Ikuni, no one else could've created something that I'd be fangirling more than Utena. emot-biggrin Yurikuma moved me because its themes are very relevant to my own life experience, and as far as yuri anime goes, nothing else I've seen before is as self-aware and fun as Yurikuma AND actually has a broader message about lesbians.


The Saionji Support Squad:
Believing in True Friendship Since 2008.

Offline

 

#13 | Back to Top06-27-2016 10:51:12 AM

ShiningSanctum1
Touga Topper
Registered: 11-23-2012
Posts: 57

Re: Should I watch Yuri Kuma Arashi?

YES! YuriKuma is totally worth the watch. The first three episodes, I was like "wtf" at the explicit lesbian hints too, but after that, the show starts to get good. I mean REALLY good. There being yuri was intentional, if you keep watching to find out how and why. It shows you how a love for another girl can bring you consequences yet you can't give it up. The story also focuses a lot on racism, bullying issues, and how those who don't follow social norms suffer. This show is truly a masterpiece. I still love Mawatu Penguindrum and Utena way more, but this series told a beautiful tale still.


Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.

Offline

 

#14 | Back to Top06-27-2016 11:45:32 AM

ShiningSanctum1
Touga Topper
Registered: 11-23-2012
Posts: 57

Re: Should I watch Yuri Kuma Arashi?

satyreyes wrote:

Mmm hmm, I think Penguindrum's characterization was definitely better (partly because it was a longer show), and its emotional high points were higher.  But its high points were higher because Ikuni seemed to adopt the "Lost" philosophy and just do whatever seemed awesome at the time, without worrying about whether he was creating corners he wouldn't be able to write himself out of later.  For some people that's not a problem; I know DD has spoken with conviction about not really caring whether things make sense at the end of a work of literature.   But for me it is.  If I don't think the plot basically makes sense, then everything else -- the characters, the themes -- end up with a sense of artifice layered over them that makes me feel like what I watched wasn't real, wasn't worth taking seriously.  Penguindrum solidified my impression that Ikuni is great at spectacle and symbolism but rubbish at telling a coherent story, and it was Enokido's steady hand on the rudder that made SKU the masterpiece that it is.  Yurikuma, happily, makes me question that again.

No disrespect, of course, to Penguindrum's fans.  I have vivid memories of parts of that show even though I haven't gone back to it in all this time, and that's because its images and its characters and its raw feels hit more forcefully than in almost any other anime I've watched.  It just didn't speak to me, in the end -- or if it did, I wasn't sure what it was saying.

I don't think Ikuni's intention is ever to tell just one story. His works are more like analysis of human nature, and what it means to grow up and come of age.


Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.

Offline

 

#15 | Back to Top03-16-2017 05:35:19 AM

Decrescent Daytripper
Best Disney Princess
Registered: 04-09-2007
Posts: 2738

Re: Should I watch Yuri Kuma Arashi?

I'm starting to watch it now, and... it's really really working for me.

satyr's right on me not generally caring if things come together to "make sense," but this feels very right to me. It feels like a thing.

Also, it's funny. That helps.


My Brain is the Wakaba and Shiori Funtime Hour. With limited commercial interruption.

Offline

 

#16 | Back to Top03-16-2017 08:23:44 AM

zeedikay
Ballgoer
Registered: 02-22-2014
Posts: 153

Re: Should I watch Yuri Kuma Arashi?

I watched YKA when it was first airing up to the 9th episode. There was a filler documentary the next week, so I ended up skipping that... and the rest of the series. From what I watched, it was pretty interesting even if the characters were more thematic and broad than anything else. I tend to lean towards shorter length series in a binge watching sense anyways.
One of these days, I need to catch up with the rest of the series, even if it means rewatching the episodes I saw before.

Offline

 

Board footer

Powered by PunBB 1.2.23
© Copyright 2002–2008 PunBB
Forum styled and maintained by Giovanna and Yasha
Return to Empty Movement