Yuri Kuma 4-5, Durarara2 and Saekano 4

Yuri Kuma Arashi 4 is basically Lulu’s tale told as a fairy story. Naturally, the symbolism gets a little heavy.

Little brothers can be a pain sometimes.
Little brothers can be a pain sometimes.

But some things are explained. Basically Lulu was a young and popular princess in her bear kingdom before her younger brother the prince and heir is born. We watch for a while as she tries to kill him, with all the repetitions that fairy stories have, but they manage to keep it entertaining in spite of that. Besides, we have a clue. A promise kiss is a falling star that lands on earth (love turns into stars, by the way). We don’t know the significance of a promise kiss, except Mirun the prince keeps coming back with jars of honey. That would explain the honey the bear-girls are always licking off of Kureha in those weird (I mean, weirder than usual) scenes, but then the prince dies from a bee sting trying to get honey. And I get confused again. It might have to do with that bee that orbits Lulu during her princess scenes and scares away the judgemens, shabba-da-doo.

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It gets a little more coherent in the second half, because Lulu’s feelings of emptiness and possibly regret over throwing away her brother’s honey each time is more emotional, and when Ginko shows up with the lost honeypot we can understand why Lulu would want to follow her. Even if she’s lost all of her own kisses, she can help Ginko get HER kisses (I love how the judge points out the problems with that). So by the end we have Ginko going after Kureha to return love (I’m sure we’ll get that story soon enough), and Ginko coming along because of her own love, though no more kisses for her. And so they break in and make Kureha some honey porridge, a promise kiss delivered, perhaps, though it’s Lulu who makes the porridge. Oh, and at the end, there’s a star pendant that Ginko has and Kureha’s mother once had, but I’ve enough heavy symbolism for one night.

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Episode 5 has backstory too, but mostly we’re back to plot. The backstory concerns Kureha rescuing Ginko from a bear-strewn battlefield, which is a tad hard to believe, but since Lulu’s story was a fairy tale I’ll take it. So now we know why Ginko is out to return the love she got from Kureha. But I can’t figure out the love/eating business, since the bear-girls continue to eat girls who get in the way of Ginko(“they’re invisible. We can eat them”), yet still talk about eating Kureha. And they’ll say “delicious smells” in reference to Kureha and some sample meat at a supermarket.

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As for the plot, we meet Kaoru, the one without the vest, who tries to befriend Kureha and leads the rest of the class along, but actually it’s a sinister plan. They’re stringing Kureha along, because (as is decided in another cell phone vote montage) she’s EVIL, or they’ve decided she is. This might be the “invisible storm” they all talk about, since Kureha warns the bear-girls that they’ll get caught up in the storm if they get too close to her. But what’s the sinister plan about? Are they going to ostracize her? They already do that. Meanwhile, Kureha doesn’t want ANY friends now, refusing to let anyone take Sumika’s place, while, likewise, Ginko doesn’t want to share Kureha with anyone. It’s these headstrong thoughts about love are going to land both girls in more trouble, starting with the cliffhanger, with that bear trap whose chains wrap around to form a heart …

Typical end-of-arc scene, everyone sitting around a meal.
Typical end-of-arc scene, everyone sitting around a meal.

Durarara!! x2 4 finishes off what you might call the “Celty’s money” arc and begins to plan the next one. The planning is mostly talk fro m Aoba (apparently we should be afraid of him) and Izaya (we already know what he’s capable of), but it looks like their next target is each other, so I don’t know how the others will figure into it. Unlike Celty in this arc, with her friends appearing to help her out, no one will show up for Izaya, not even Namie. Maybe Aoba might string a few false friends together. And there’s the maybe not-mystery of Yodogiri, Ruri’s former agent, whom every shady person is looking for and who we are led to believe is one of Hollywood’s victims …

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All very interesting, but a let down after the episode’s first half, the show’s most exquisite nutty scene so far (and we’re only four episodes in!). My guess is that the show wanted to start with a relatively fun arc to re-introduce the characters and let us meet some new ones, and also to remind us of how much fun the series can be by giving us an incomprehensible fight under the bridge. I nearly lost it when Egor came out of that bag during the bridge.  And I had to backtrack to find out just why Ruri the headless knight showed up. Just like Yuri Kuma Arashi, Durarara!! demands your full attention when you view it.

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Speaking of being confused ...
Speaking of being confused …

In Saekano 4 Tomoya has all of golden week to finish his game scenario and finally win over the girls, but he procrastinates, and the girls pointedly tell him that maybe he just doesn’t have it in him, though Utaha seems to contradict this by saying that he’ll never get there without the support of a circle, which he’s trying to form by creating the scenario. Turns out they’ve all been helping him in secret, by transforming Megumi into the dream girlfriend he’s going for … And then they turn around and call the scenario crap anyway, though it sounds like it is. I’m not exactly sure what’s going on. I know the two girls are old friends and feel some obligation to Tomoya, but why don’t they just come out and help him instead of insulting him and working on his behalf when he isn’t looking? And Megumi doesn’t have any good comebacks this week …

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