Will we find out the contents of the letter this time? (The answer is *spoilers*)


The first half of the episode focuses on Sumika’s inner monologue from a month earlier, as she reminisces about how she met Kureha, and about the night they spent together during the storm.  That night, she and Kureha had read a story that Kureha’s mother wrote, about a “moon girl” and a “forest girl.”  The two were from two separated worlds, but the moon girl happened to drop her mother’s necklace into the forest girl’s world.  The forest girl wished to return the necklace, and the moon girl to retrieve it, but they were separated by a barrier.  The story is ultimately left unfinished, as Kureha’s mother died before she could write the ending.

Massive foreshadowing aside, I really loved the story-book sequence.

However, after that night, Sumika resolves to “not give up on love.”  When the exclusion ritual comes about to exclude Kureha, Sumika refuses to vote, causing the whole class to turn on her.  Sumika, with some great sense of foreboding, writes a birthday letter in advance; this is the one that Kureha has now.

The face of a girl who won’t give up on love…

Back in the present, Lulu and Ginko manage to escape, and Ginko survives the trap.  But a new hurdle awaits—it is the day of Kureha’s birthday, and Kaoru and the rest of Kureha’s classmates have something sinister planned.  Kureha goes to the re-made lily garden to read Sumika’s final letter to her, and finds that it is a letter that was supposed to make Kaoru Kureha’s new friend.  However, Kaoru’s only goal is to emotionally break Kureha, and so she and the other girls wickedly burn down the lily garden they had just restored.  Kaoru also throws away Sumika’s letter into the midst of the fire; though Ginko suddenly appears to save the letter.  Seeing this act, the girls are scared and run away; leaving a badly injured (but still alive) Ginko and Lulu standing before Kureha.

…Yes I am biased towards Life Cool…

Ginko is BAMF

My Opinion:

Tons of flashbacks this episode, though also tons of emotional turmoil.  We finally get to see things from Sumika’s point of view, albeit briefly and in the past story-wise.  I’m still not sure what the hell the exclusion game was all about, and why Sumika decided to nominate Kaoru to be Kureha’s new friend.  From what she was saying, it sounded like she knew (somehow) that she was going to die…

We get some important foreshadowing this episode by way of Reia’s story-book.  It’s pretty obvious that the moon girl is meant to be Kureha, and that the forest girl is meant to be Ginko.  The book even talks about a promised kiss!  But more importantly, the book foreshadows some godly being and a way to break the “severance barrier” to reunite the two worlds again.  Did Reia figure something out about the human world and the bear world?  Did she purposefully give Ginko her necklace so that Ginko and Kureha could be reunited again someday?

Theories aside, I really liked this episode.  The storybook sequence was so lovely… contrasting harshly with Kaoru’s scenes where she’s being evil.  Kaoru is apparently under the orders of some “big bad,” which I’m assuming will end up being the school supervisor lady.  (Hint: she also has “yuri” somewhere in her name.)  Kaoru burning down the lily garden was horrifying, but in a way I’m sort of… relieved?  I was fully expecting the girls to just straight up kill Kureha, though I suppose destroying her spirit would also have the same effect.  Ginko… you are a badass lady-bear.  Nearly getting killed by a bear trap, and then risking your life AGAIN to save a letter for your love… that’s dedication.

By the way, it’s pretty much confirmed at this point that the ones who have been making the calls to Kureha (and Ginko) to “prove their love” are the three bear judges.  It seems like they’ve been orchestrating the entire thing from the start, but whether that’s a good or a bad thing has yet to be seen.  The stinger of this episode also reveals that Ginko witnessed Sumika getting eaten—but she refused to do anything about it.  What ramifications that will have on her and Kureha’s relationship will probably be expanded on later.

Overall, another great episode.  This series took a while to get the story rolling, but now that everything’s been set into motion, the story-telling is top notch and I eagerly await each episode.  While Yuri Kuma Arashi is actually emotionally painful to watch at times, this is probably my favorite series of the season so far.

Out of five:

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