What’s it about ?
Kunihiko Ikuhara’s new project, after Utena & Penguindrum. As the title implies, it involves lesbians and cute bears all trying to eat each other, and defies description.
Lulu & Ginko are two bears who managed to pass through the Extinction Wall humankind has erected to protect itself from their kind after they gained sentience ; they’re posing as transfer students at the Arashigaoka Institute, which offers plenty of delicious teenage (and female) prey. Lulu is the one who waxes rhapsodic, while Lulu is merely voicing her constant hunger.
Kureha, a student here, seems to be our protagonist. Apparently she smells even more delicious than her classmates, but walks too rarely alone for the two bears to attack her. And then she starts carrying a hunting rifle around, as despite the teachers’ many warnings the next victim was…
Sumika, Kureha’s lover. Cute as a button, and thus the perfect sacrificial lamb. (If she is indeed dead, as it all happens offscreen.)
Yurizono, the charismatic class representative. (Yes, we have several students whose name starts with “Yuri”. Including the bears’ cover identities.) She was already a friend to both Kureha & Sumika, and is determined to investigate the latter’s murder. As the episode ends, she stumbles on the bears eating more victims and immediately identifies them as the new transfers student, so I guess that cat’s out of the bag already.
There’s a long weird sequence where an otherworldly court passes judgment on the two bears (for crossing the Wall and eating Sumika), with the final verdict that it’s normal for bears to eat humans, and so they can proceed with eating Kureha (who they had captured just before). And then Kureha wakes up, completely dumbfounded.
(Said court are the only presence of the Y chromosome in the whole show.)
Gorgeous. It’s even more colourful than Penguindrum, with rounder character designs that contrast with the gruesome subject matter. The mad architect is also back, with immense symmetrical buildings and endless staircases everywhere.
There’s a bit of fanservice with some female flesh shown, and an improbable absence of nipples.
This is just lovely. Sugary as heck with really dark undercurrents, not a single wasted scene as the show marches on through tons of exposition and character introductions without feeling rushed, and a pregnant atmosphere of weirdness and unease that makes it feel like anything can happen. (And it does, as I didn’t anticipate Sumika biting it so quickly.)
For me, this lives up to the hype : the master is at work again, and I’m in for the ride.