What’s it about ?
Adaptation of a slice-of-life manga series about the young priestess of a remote Japanese village where bears coexist with people.
Machi, our 14-year-old heroine, is a bit fed up of living in this small village in the middle of nowhere, without cell reception, barely any stores, and so on. She’s also not too fond of her position as the priestess of the local shrine to the bear god. Especially as it means interacting daily with…
Natsu, the shrine’s bear. Who can talk. (And not just to Machi ; more on that later.) He’s a bit of a father figure to her, and she’s at the age where she starts rebelling.
Yoshio, Machi’s older cousin, is a town employee. His prerogatives involves taking the kids that have turned 9 to the shrine so that they can learn the village’s secret (the tribe of friendly talking bears living there) and the folklore legends about them. Which, like all good fairytales, involve bestiality.
… Yup, the show cheerfully goes there. Machi is very embarrassed about this and quick to note that her priestess position has NOTHING to do with the “maidens offered to the bears” of the legends, so PLEASE stop picturing it. Pretty please.
Well, it’s got the bear body language down pat, and those are some lovely pastel backgrounds for the countryside. You can’t really ask for more, eh ?
Also, that’s a lovely visual gimmick for the ED sequence.
What did I think of it ?
That’s totally the wrong (sub)title for the show ! Machi has known Natsu all her life, and the first half of the episode involves her trying (and failing) to leave him. … Or so I thought until we got to the second half introducing the legends. That’s, er, way more raunchy than I expected this cute show to be, but overall that’s a pleasant surprise. I’m all for coming-of-age stories acknowledging that sex exists, after all.
Still, this is a bit uneven, and some of the jokes in the first half relied on cultural knowledge I don’t possess. (I get the “Suica” gag, but what the heck was the “Marui” thing all about ?) Let’s hope it goes on with the more accessible (and funnier) trend of the second half from now on. I’m willing to give it a go for a while, at least.