It took me a while to finally be able to watch Yuri Bear Storm since I don’t have internet at home and I was wary of daring to watch it on a work computer, but it ended up working out well since I was then able to watch two episodes at once instead of just the first. It was also a bit interesting to watch them after I had seen a lot of chatter and discussion about the show, although partly since some of it was dead wrong – I read more than one person claiming that there was guro, and that wasn’t the case at all (yeah, sure, someone gets eaten, but the visual details are completely off-screen). I also didn’t think the primary theme was terribly mysterious – it’s fairly obvious that it’s about conformity, and specifically about homosexuality in the context of such. Sure, Ikuhara has a lot of other material (ideas, symbols, etc.) strewn about, but that core isn’t so difficult to get, is it?
I realize that the title comes, apparently, from a novelization about the Sankebetsu Bear Incident, in which a bear in Hokkaido in the early 20th century killed a bunch of people in quite gruesome fashion and managed to evade being killed for several days. Is it worth noting that one of the beliefs was that the bear kept attacking people because it had developed a taste for humans after the first attack? (It even broke into a few homes to get to people!) So, something something, societal fears about homosexuality as being an acquired taste, and therefore potentially contagious (i.e. those predatory gays will have an encounter with a young innocent and then that young innocent will become a depraved predator as well)? Perhaps.
Reading about the Sankebetsu Bear Incident, I ended up typing in random “[animal] attacks” into Wikipedia out of idle curiosity. Wow! Leopards are ridiculous assholes! Actually, more generally, wow, big cats will fuck you up! There were multiple articles linked to the main articles about different big cats attacking people about tigers and leopards who hunted people for years and years and killed hundreds of them! I’m a squishy Westerner from an urban area. The only time I’ve come close to having to worry about such a thing was one time in land navigation training when I was given a safety brief and they stated that there had been reports of a mountain lion on the navigation course (and, honestly, after a moment of, “WHAT?”, I breathed easy since, hell, if a mountain lion attacked me, I’d be dead before I knew what was going on anyway – they go for the neck first, after all, and attack from behind! So why worry?), so this was a bit horrifying!
But, back to the yuri bears. Loved it! Can’t really explain why. Isn’t that dreadful? Aren’t anime blogs supposed to tell you why you should or should not watch a show? What a rude and inconsiderate blogger I am! It could be a deliberate choice, though – truly, Yuri Bear Storm is one of those shows where you’re far better off watching the first episode rather than trying to decide to watch the first episode based on what others have said. It’s a bit out there, it’s very Ikuhara, and it’ll only take twenty-three minutes or so, anyway, so why not? Have at it.
So, something something, societal fears about homosexuality as being an acquired taste, and therefore potentially contagious (i.e. those predatory gays will have an encounter with a young innocent and then that young innocent will become a depraved predator as well)?
Sounds legit. I’m enjoying this show too, not in the least because it’s lovely to look at.
By the way, the cover story of the National Geographic issue from April 2014 (“Wild Pets”) had some disturbing anecdotes about people who made the mistake of treating wild animals like housecats. Fun times! Here’s a link to the online version, if you have the stomach for that sort of thing:
Leopards are bad. They really will eat nothing else but human beings once they’ve had a taste. My favorite maneaters were the lions of Tsavo. Peter H. Capstick wrote a great book about them and other maneaters titled Death in the Silent Places. Or you could always watch The Ghost and The Darkness. One day I’d like to see those lions in the Fields Museum of Chicago.
I think that I might have to give this anime a shot now.