Kuma Miko Mid-way Review

kuma mikoSomething, something, awkward.

It’s that time again, another show where I feel kind of awkward watching it. Series with a slightly dubious story line. The last time I really felt like a show was an advertisement for pedophilia was Black Bullet. How can that even be tolerated on television? Oh well, time to break down what we’ve seen so far.

Kuma Miko takes place in a small village centered around the worshipping of bears. Together they live in harmony. We follow Machi who is guided by her bear who tries to prepare her for life in the big city and consequently trying to persuade her not go, since she is obviously not ready for the big city. She has to remain the shrine maiden she is destined to be, according to the bears logic.

kuma mikoIt’s obvious from the beginning that the not-ready-for-the-city-gag is going to run the show and I wasn’t expecting much else. Was I wrong, I forget this show was going to become some super sexist series focused around a 13 year old. Especially the inappropriate scene where one of the civil workers smashes a scantily dressed Machi to the ground just to prove his point. Or something. This scene was perhaps one of the most inappropriate scenes so far in the show and really leads me to believe this focus won’t shift anytime soon, which is a shame since some of the jokes around the main theme can be spot on at times.

Kuma Miko does something very right on one department. The big city jokes are an interesting take on how the perception of the big city and the anticipation of living in that particular environment can shape the mental well-being of a person. Living in the city is stressful at times with a lot stimuli for the human brain to process in very short bursts of information.

It’s fun to see how Machi struggles with simple tasks like operating a remote, going to the store and learning how to use public transportation. Many obvious daily tasks for a city centered person, but for someone from a closed community where everybody knows each other, even the simplest of tasks can be become quite the challenge.

kuma mikoBut, as I mentioned earlier this narrative is often times interrupted with the other side of Kuma Miko, the portrayal of minors in suggestive ways. I don’t know what drives this force, obviously domestic market demand. Which is quite worrisome, since it implies some deeper sociological problem that drive studios to cater to this type of audience. It’s a shame that a show has to resort to this type of element just to break even.

Machi has become the embodiment of the desirers of the other characters. An element that impacts the overall plot and makes the viewing experience for those that don’t belong to the domestic audience , or target demographic in business terms, quite an awkward one. Kuma Miko at its core is an entertaining watch with its highly saturated visuals and good character design. I doubt the studio will soon abandon its other underlying theme, but we’ll have to see how it plays out.

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