ANIME & MANGA - Article
15:00 - 26th April 2015, by NEO Staff

Yurikuma Arashi

Hot girl on girl on bear action is (apparently!) the only logical outcome when the director of Revolutionary Girl Utena and Penguindrum is let loose on the anime world once more! Prepare yourself for the most unusual series of 2015...

Storm Warning

Yurikuma Arashi can literally be translated to “lesbian bear storm” – a brilliantly blunt title for a series that demands an equally blunt description to even scratch the surface of what’s going on.

Years ago, the alien planet Kumalia exploded. This causes the bears of Earth to rapidly evolve and attack humans (because that’s clearly how astronomy and evolution work). In response, humanity builds a giant barrier called the Wall of Extinction in order to protect cities from the bear menace.

Unfortunately for us but luckily for hungry bears, the ursines can also disguise themselves as humans, allowing them to track their prey. Lulu Yurigasaki and Ginko Yurishino are two such bear agents, positioned in Arashigaoka High School and hunting any girls they can get their teeth into. When they pick off Sumika Izumino though, they run afoul of her girlfriend Kureha Tsubaki, who’s a mean shot with a hunting rifle and swears to uncover the bear truth.

As if that set up’s not bizarre enough, Arashigaoka’s student and teaching body seems comprised almost exclusively of women with “yuri” as part of their names, while Lulu and Ginko’s dinner plans require approval from a bear court overseen by judge Life Sexy, and attended by prosecutor Life Cool and defender Life Beauty. Oh, and they’re a trio of bear-themed pretty boys, of course.

To summarise: this is a series that is literally about shapeshifting lesbian space bears, in a school where nearly everyone is named “Lesbian”. What’s not to like?

While the series has taken a while to get to the screen, it’s been worth the wait. Yurikuma boasts fetching character designs by Etsuko Sumimoto and a striking approach to settings and animation style. Ikuhara even throws in a few nods to his earlier series – Utena fans in particular are well served. It’s oddly beautiful and strangely hypnotic to watch, and we can only hope a UK release follows soon!

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