Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear is an Isekai Slice-of-Life series. This may sound a bit unusual, because most Isekais these days are about battling and destroying the Monster Lord or Demon King or what-have-you — but Yuna isn’t interested in that whatsoever.
The character design looks pretty nice in the series, and all the characters look sleek and well done. However, the lighting of this series is extremely strange. Many of the scenes have an extremely red tint to them or an extremely blue tint, to the point where it’s a bit jarring.
Now it may not be an issue for some, but I felt as if I was constantly having to adjust my brightness on my screen to adapt to this lighting choice.
Yuna’s design is memorable and extremely good for marketing purposes — you’ll never look at bear hoodies the same way again. I wish, however, we got a bit more of what the adventurers look like in this world or a bit more about the armor — but this series, as you’ll see, isn’t so much concerned with the plights of the adventurers, so it makes sense why we don’t get that.
The plot of the series is most likely its weakest point.
As I mentioned, this is an Isekai Slice-of-Life, meaning we see the day to day actions of the NPCs and Yuna. That wouldn’t be so bad, however, if Yuna wasn’t a completely overpowered behemoth of an adventurer.
We’ve got this plot point that Yuna easily defeats monsters in seconds. Whenever any sort of threat is mentioned in the story, we all know that Yuna will defeat it eventually. That doesn’t make for a very interesting battle sequence.
“But Eri,” I hear you saying, “I thought battle sequences weren’t the point of this anime? It’s a Slice-of-Life.”
And you’d be correct, except for the fact that there are battle sequences that the series builds up to. In fact, the second-to-last episode is entirely about Yuna preparing for a battle. And yet because Yuna is the only fighter we see, and the series doesn’t care to expand on fighting in this world, these moments are the most boring.
If battles aren’t meant to be the point of this series, then why on earth do we waste so much time watching unsatisfying fights?
Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear needs to choose. Is it an action, or a Slice-of-Life? Our supporting cast are not adventurers nor are they fighters, so I feel as though the series could be much more interesting if it leaned more into the Slice-of-Life aspect and nerfed Yuna a bit, focusing less on the fights and more on the cast and characters.
The characters unfortunately aren’t given enough screentime to develop any feelings whatsoever. At no point in this series are there any internal conflicts with the characters, nor are they ever upset for longer than 3 minutes. (This is an exception for solely the last episode of the series, which I praised in the more in-depth review, found here.)
This plateau of emotion really makes for a boring cast. Without showing a range of emotions, each character falls into a really bland, 1 or 2-adjective description.
Noire – Cuteness-Obsessed Royal
Shia – Tsundere
Fina – Younger Sister
Shuri – Cute Child
And you may think that I’m exaggerating, but we truly do not see more development of these characters beyond just that. In addition, this series falls into the trap of making children either far too mature or far too “cute and innocent”, making them boring. Shuri, especially!
Oddly enough, the characters that don’t fall under this label are Tirumina, Gentz, and Atla — some side characters that rarely get any screentime! Tirumina being unsure whether or not to marry Gentz was evident for only a split-second before agreeing, but it’s a really interesting conflict to have. If your husband dies, is it immoral to marry his best friend? Some may say that you’re right to move on, others may call your love for your original husband into question.
The POTENTIAL there was great, and the series skimmed by it.
The supporting cast simply wasn’t given enough care by the writers to show any emotion other than “worry” and “joy”.
In Episode 1 of Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear, we see Yuna successfully log out of the virtual reality game to check her income in real life. We learn from this that Yuna makes self-sustaining money based on whatever she earns in the VR world. However, one of the biggest plot points of the series is that she cannot log out.
Why on earth would they show this? I truly cannot wrap my head around it.
If they wanted to simply explain that Yuna is in a VR game, there are a plethora of other ways you can do that without breaking the continuity of the series. Not only that, but in episode 1, Yuna gets a call from her Grandfather expressing concern for her not going to school — and yet, you expect me to believe absolutely nobody is concerned with Yuna being stuck in VR for months on end?
You’ve got to be kidding me.
I am simply confused on what Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear’s focus is. If they want to focus on the everyday life of the characters, then do that.
If they want to focus on battle sequences, then do that.
If they want to focus on comedy, then do that!
But instead, they opt to not choose what their focus is, and leave us with an unsatisfying story ripe with continuity errors.
I gave this season a 4/10. I continued to watch hoping that it would get better, but unfortunately it did not. The best part about this series is that Yuna makes for a cute profile picture.
What do you all think? Did you like the first season of this series? Will you be watching the second? Let me know in the comments!
For more Season reviews, check out our other articles here on LAN!