Deep Analysis: Hidden Meanings in Episode 1 of Yuri Kuma Arashi You May Have Missed

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Ikuhara Kunihiko’s new show Yuri Kuma Arashi premiered this week, confounding viewers with its strangeness. Ikuhara is well known for layering in hidden meanings into his work using confusing symbolism and obscure references. Luckily, our crack team here at Anime Maru have been able to carefully analyze every frame of this first episode of Yuri Kuma Arashi and deliver its meaning to you. Here are some things you may have missed:

  • The word “Yuri” in the title clearly refers to famous Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. This is further confirmed by the presence of asteroids and music from 2001: A Space Odyssey, meaning the show is set on a foreign planet and that the main characters, much like Yuri Gagarin, are space explorers.
  • One location that several characters visit is styled after a California mission. A space mission perhaps? Ikuhara’s subtle like that.
  • This whole Wall of Severance thing is pretty damn similar to Attack on Titan, isn’t it? Not saying there’s any meaning behind it, even Ikuhara’s susceptible to the latest trends.
  • When searching for Sumika, Tsubaki visits the Library, the Music Room and the Science Lab in succession. This is a clear metaphor for the progression of human culture. First humanity began collecting knowledge, and then we turned to art before discovering our true calling, scientific research. Ikuhara is clearly of the belief that logical reasoning holds a higher place in society than art, a theme that’s demonstrated by the logical progression of his shows.
  • The spiral staircases in this show mean the exact same thing that they did in Utena and Penguindrum. I’m not going to explain it to you, go watch those shows if you want to understand it.
  • Okay, there’s a pretty obvious metaphor for oral sex in this episode, I’ll admit it. Look at that bread that Sumika shares with Tsubaki, an obvious phallus if I ever saw one.
Deep allegorical meanings

Deep allegorical meanings

  • There is a discussion midway through the episode about preferred ingredients in a bento. One girl says she likes “Fish rolled in Nori,” whereas the other likes “Napolitan and Shiokara,” which causes her friend to say she sounds like an old man. “Napolitan” is of course a reference to Napoleon, whereas “Nori” is a reference to current shogun Tokugawa Tsunenari. Ikuhara clearly means to imply that those who follow the ways of classical western culture are old-fashioned, and that people should look to current Japanese leadership on how to live their lives.
  • Tsubaki and Sumika go around snipping white flowers together. This means that they REALLY hate flowers.
  • That court scene was totally like Ace Attorney, right? As an anime fan that’s the only legal reference I know.
  • The episode makes continual reference to bears. The term “bear” is slang for a large gay man. Is this show hinting at homosexual undertones? Only time will tell.
  • Yuri Kuma Arashi originally aired in Japan on a Tuesday, but Funimation did not simulcast it until Wednesday. These days are named after the Norse gods Tyr and Odin, and Odin has largely replaced Tyr as a symbol for war in Western culture. Is Funimation adding their own meaning to this show by implying that Wednesday is the new Tuesday? It would certainly be an embarrassing mishap if this weren’t the case, so I’m going to assume the answer is yes.
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What, you don’t get it? Come on this is entry-level stuff

About the author

Bob_Squob is neither a Bob nor a Squob, but they’re both common enough names to form an alias. After roaming the earth for 10,000 years with no purpose, he came upon Anime Maru, and thought to himself, “It is good. I will make my home here.” He currently resides in the darkness for fear that his taste in anime will be discovered and exploited as a weakness. Twitter: @Bob_Squob