yuri

#4 — Yuri Kuma Arashi (2015)

I didn’t enjoy Yuri Kuma Arashi all that much on first watch. I enjoyed dissecting it and writing about it, but it didn’t fill me with the same exuberance of Kunihiko Ikuhara’s other works (Revolutionary Girl Utena and Mawaru Penguindrum). The ending was phenomenal but the series itself felt too dense. The characters were too distant and cold. And the series felt like it had more than its 12 episodes allowed it to say.

I’ve not-so-coincidentally mentioned this regarding Sarazanmai‘s placement in my personal top ten of the decade as well, and expect that I’ll feel differently after watching it a few times as well, but I don’t think it will ever top Yurikuma for me due to personal reasons. With every rewatch, Yurikuma remains dense but admirably concise in its storytelling. Like any Ikuhara series, there is more to discover with every rewatch, but only with Yurikuma have I loved the series exponentially more with each viewing.

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In defense of Sarazanmai’s Enta Jinai (sort of)

“Damn it! Why do you keep worrying about Kuji!”

-Enta Jinai to Kazuki Yasaka, Sarazanmai, Episode 7

Enta Jinai is a disaster, both relatable and familiar.
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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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Yayaka’s World (and a few stray thoughts on Flip Flappers’ Pure Illusion)

yayaka and chemical plants flip flappers OP serendipity, flip flappers op yayaka blows up chemical plants in front of a fence, yayaka in the flip flappers OP serendipity

Yayaka is an intriguing character. Her story isn’t unique, but her presentation throughout the series leads to some of the most compelling scenes in all of Flip Flappers.

She straddles two worlds and is torn in opposite directions. She’s an odd woman out to Cocona and Papika’s burgeoning relationship but also a key part of their primary trio. She is a necessary catalyst in their Episode 12 reconciliation but in reuniting the two, sidelines herself in the process. At the end of the series, all Yayaka can do is cheer them on, physically restrained by Cocona’s pet rabbit, Uexküll.

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Yuri Kuma Arashi: Constructing a Wall of Severance

yurikuma op, lulu yurigasaki, ginko yurishiro, ginko and lulu yurikuma, yuri kuma arashi

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

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