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Yurikuma Arashi: The Complete Series

FUNimation // Unrated // August 12, 2016
List Price: $82.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Neil Lumbard | posted August 7, 2016 | E-mail the Author


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Yurikuma Arashi Blu-ray Review


Yurikuma Arashi is an anime
series from studio Silver Link (Dusk
Maiden of Amnesia
). Acclaimed anime director Kunihiko Ikuhara (style="font-style: italic;">Sailor Moon
, style="font-style: italic;">Revolutionary Girl Utena) is a
co-writer and director. The production is based on a manga series
(written by director Ikuhara) and illustrated by Akiko Morishima.



The story for the anime series is a bizarre one. In the future, a wall
was built which separates human beings from tiny bears. The bears were
viewed as a threat because they wanted to eat human beings. A divide
began between the humans and the bears. Two bears named Ginko Yurishiro
and Lulu Yurigasaki (under the disguise of being human girls) enter the
human world across the wall and start to cause problems by eating human
girls. The series revolves around the bears bizarre journey within the
human world after going past the wall.



The series animation was produced by Silver Link (style="font-style: italic;">Chitose Get You!!). This is a
well-produced anime from an animation standpoint. The series has
high-quality designs and artwork. Though it's certainly a departure
from Kunihiko Ikuhara's hand-drawn/cell-based anime series such as style="font-style: italic;">Sailor Moon. The character designs
and background art feels less distinctive and original than many other
productions. In that sense, the creativity feels less impressive.
However, it's still a technically proficient series.



 The score by Yukari Hashimoto (Toradora,
Penguin Drum) doesn't stand
out much but adds a surprisingly dark sounding score. The music is
offbeat and contributes to the already bizarre style of the series.
While the music isn't great it effectively establishes the tone for the
series.



The screenplay was written by Kunihiko Ikuhara (style="font-style: italic;">Revolutionary Girl Utena), Takayo
Ikami (Penguin Drum), and Kei
Takahashi. The series isn't particularly funny and yet the tone that
becomes established is one of a comedic spoof. This is not an anime
series that demands to be taken that seriously. It means to be a
comedic horror series which blends together the surreal and bizarre.



Directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara (Sailor
Moon
, Sailor Moon R, style="font-style: italic;">Sailor Moon S,style="font-style: italic;"> Sailor Moon Super S, style="font-style: italic;">Revolutionary Girl Utena), style="font-style: italic;">Yurikuma Arashi is a
disappointment for a series made by a director known for directing two
of the most beloved anime series that the medium has ever had. This is
a departure for the director. Though some might find elements to
compare to Revolutionary Girl Utena,
the series is decided different in style from the anime series Ikuhara
has previously worked on.



The series feels more like something produced for Cartoon Network's
Adult Swim animation block with the style being that of a comedic
parody. Yet the series isn't successfully humorous. The series is also
not a epic whatsoever (which can reasonably be said for both style="font-style: italic;">Sailor Moon and style="font-style: italic;">Revolutionary Girl Utena). Instead,
it's merely an off-kilter horror-comedy (which isn't funny) and with a
repetitive metaphor. Beyond that, Yurikuma
Arashi
is a series without much to offer. It makes the show a
disappointment and it's certainly not something that will necessarily
appeal to fans of Ikuhara's previous works.



The Blu-ray:


Video:




Yurikuma Arashi
arrives on Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG-4 AVC
encoded native high-definition presentation. The series is presented in
the original television broadcast aspect ratio of 1.78:1 widescreen.
The picture-quality is sharp, clean, and detailed. The colors are
robust and quite impressive. The release is a quality effort from
Funimation Entertainment which should please fans of the show.



Audio:



Yurikuma Arashi is presented
in Japanese 2.0 Dolby TrueHD and English 2.0 Dolby TrueHD. The lossless
audio presentation quality is excellent and has good fidelity and
depth. Dialogue clarity is superb. The score sounds impressive on this
release as well. Subtitles are provided in English SDH (for the deaf
and hard of hearing).


Extras:




Please Note: This is a Blu-ray + DVD
Combo Pack.




Extras on the release include select episode commentaries (featuring
English dub voice-actors), textless opening/ending credits, promotional
videos, a TV Spot, a U.S. Trailer, and trailers promoting other
Funimation Entertainment releases.



Final Thoughts:



 Yurikuma Arashi is a
disappointing anime production by director Kunihiko Ikuhara (style="font-style: italic;">Sailor Moon). The series is an
offbeat horror-comedy hybrid that's about bears, disguised as girls,
eating girls. It primarily feels like a parody of some sort. It's just
not very funny and it's more bizarre than it is entertaining.
Funimation's Blu-ray release is well-done (with a good presentation
quality) but the quality of the anime itself makes this a release worth
skipping.



 Skip It.       




Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.

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