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.



Yayaka’s World (and a few stray thoughts on Flip Flappers’ Pure Illusion)

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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.


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.


“WAAHH~” Octave and Looking Back

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I was never the first to do anything of my group of high school friends. As we all slowly trickled into adulthood at different speeds, it was the responsibility of whichever person who experienced something first to report back to the rest of us, usually at our cafeteria lunch table.

Therefore, when my friend Jackie became the first of us to have sex, we eagerly awaited her report. Naturally, she struggled with placing an intangible feeling within the limited realm of the English vocabulary. In the end, she described it as something awkward, followed by “the stars exploded.” These exact words stuck with me far beyond what I presume Jackie intended. We drifted apart once we both began attending university, not for any reason other than the standard one of moving in different directions. However, when my time did eventually come, I immediately thought of Jackie’s words after the fact and laughed.

The yuri manga Octave, by Haru Akiyama, presents a similar situation to my personal experience through the character of Yukino Miyashita who, in attempting to understand her own sexuality and what sex means to her, thinks back on her friend Mika’s succinct description of sex as, “WAAHH~”