kureha tsubaki

Kureha Tsubaki and flower language in Yuri Kuma Arashi

The white lily (shirayuri/白百合) is the third image to appear in Yuri Kuma Arashi. First the anime opens with what we learn later is a bear alarm — resembling a tornado or earthquake siren — next, an outside shot of Arashigaoka Academy, complete with a title. Kunihiko Ikuhara loves stagecraft and with less time to work with, Yuri Kuma Arashi‘s episodes are packed with images, often accompanied by specific titles, to set the stage.

Then a white lily appears.

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The Visible Storm of Yuri Kuma Arashi

At Arashigaoka Academy, blending in is not only a way of live, it’s introduced as the only way to survive. While the body count rises in Yuri Kuma Arashi, so do the cries from various young women in the series to uphold the status quo at all costs. Sumika Izumino is announced as the first casualty within the scope of the series and all her classmates can say about her rumored death is that it was her fault for going out alone. Friends are necessary for survival. The Wall of Severance is constantly being rebuilt to keep the bears, the others, out. The Invisible Storm consumes those who don’t follow the status quo and stay within the lines.

Blend in completely. Be invisible. Those who cannot read the atmosphere are evils inevitably sought after, found, and obliterated by the Invisible Storm.

For people who are supposed to make a homogeneous background pattern, thereby becoming invisible, these young women — lily and bear alike — are oddly conspicuous individuals.

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Yuri Kuma Arashi: Constructing a Wall of Severance

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Let’s talk construction – snazzy hard hats, ubiquitous cranes, winches, and the existing status quo. That is sexy. Shabadadu.

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On Beginnings, Endings, and Yuri Kuma Arashi

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“You really don’t know what happened, do you? It doesn’t matter. By all means, stay in this cozy coffin of yours and continue to play prince.”

-Anthy Himemiya to Akio Ohtori, Revolutionary Girl Utena, episode 39

Each Kunihiko Ikuhara series begins with a system, and the system always remains, even at the series’ end.

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A Room With a View: Yuri Kuma Arashi’s Lulu Yurigasaki

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Yuri Kuma Arashi‘s fourth episode reintroduces us to Lulu Yurigasaki as a princess trapped by her inability to accept the love of her brother. When unoccupied with nefarious activities like boxing up her younger brother and kicking him into volcanoes, Lulu spends the majority of her leisure time isolated in a tower befitting a story book princess. Similar to the use of Himari Takakura’s bedroom decor in Mawaru Penguindrum, Lulu’s surroundings, and how they change throughout the episode, reveal quite a bit about her situation and desires.

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