As a parent and a viewer of anime I will occasionally run into something that challenges my perception of myself and comfort level. This season’s Yuri Kuma Arashi did this for me.
The story is: A planet exploded long ago resulting in a meteor shower that hit the earth. This meteor shower caused the bears of earth to rise up and start eating humans. To protect itself humanity erects a giant wall named “The Wall of Severance” to keep bears and humans separate.
The opening follows two classmates who are lovers tending to their garden on school grounds and professing their love for each other. I watched this. I thought: “Fine. They’re a couple of girls in love. So what?”
And then I watched the OP.
“That’s it! I’m done. I am not going to be the dirty old man watching this!”
Or so I thought. That is the value of connecting oneself to a larger community of viewers: perhaps your bias may be exposed to yourself. A few days after I dismissed Yuri Kuma Arashi I happened across a review of episode 3 on “RABUJOI – An Anime Blog” by Oigakkosan. It made me think that perhaps I dismissed it too soon.
“Hmmm. The opening made pause and wonder if the show was just exploiting Yuri themes for the sake of it. I’ll have to give it a fair look based off of your review.”
Oigakkosan gave a thoughtful reply:
“no no it is, to a degree. In the same way Kill La Kill exploited flesh and violence to make it’s over the top revenge story grab our attention. Yurikuma really nails it (this week) with the visuals: Pattern making, repetition of patterns, and the use of physical objects that could actually be symbols or hold symbolism for more things. It’s visually quite stunning, bizarre, and even has an element of retroness that is envogue these days. I’m not sure the series is for everyone, but you owe it to yourself to watch up to this one and see if it fit as perfectly together as it did for me.”
So I did. I was pleasantly surprised. The symbolism and basic off beat of the nature of the show reminded me of one of my favorites Mawaru Penguindrum and there was a reason for this, the same director Kunihiko Ikuhara.
Now the show is off beat and I would not let my 11 year old watch it due to the sexual content and adult symbolism going on.
You see? Yes? If I let my son watch this, my wife would ban anime in hour house forever.
My bias come is not being offended by lesbian content. I don’t really care about that. My son is gay, so there is no moral objection. It came in the notion of perception of oneself. I am a 44 year old dad watching sexually suggestive yuri. I dismissed a show because I was censoring myself and I thought this is how “man of my age” should behave. That is where my bias lay: in my own ego.
I am glad I read the review and got the feedback. It challenged my original perception and I am now enjoying a new show. Attention Parents: Nudity, adult themes, and sexual content. You have been warned.