Kuma Miko Review: Lost potential

kuma miko reviewGirls meets worlds.

The contrast between the city and the country are interesting topics to explore. Shows such as Non Non Biyori showed how tranquil life could be without all the fast paced city impulses. On the flipside Hanasaku Iroha took us along the journey of how Ohana from the big city transferred to a more rural area of Japan. Both shows introduced the audience to how vastly different ones experience of life in the city and country may be. Unfortunately Kuma Miko failed to show us this interesting dynamic.

kuma miko reviewMachi lives in a village known for worshipping bears. Natsu, the talking bear, will prepare Machi for life in the city when she goes to high school. Natsu himself being a bear gives the interactions with Machi the necessary comedic twist. Kuma Miko tells its stry through small arcs each episode, although some are bit longer than just one episode. Yet, the core message remains present throughout the run of the show.

kuma miko reviewInterestingly enough Kuma Miko began using brands that characterized big cities to enforce its theme. It was adapted early on in the show and almost felt like it drove the plot and didn’t focus as much on preparing Machi for the city, but showing brands in a desirable manner became more important.

The way Natsu wanted to prepare Machi for life in the city was to give a lot of simplistic quizzes. This mechanic was used throughout the entire show and grew boring quite fast. The questions were to simple for many and featured a lot of branding, even the script was drenched in trademarks and brands.

Seeing Machi actually move into the city and engage with her environment there and not so much prepare her for it for twelve episodes would be more fun to watch.

kuma miko reviewBorderline pedophilia isn’t anything new in anime and I’ve said it many times before that some shows really try to push the envelope in this department. Kuma Miko is no exception to this.

The show often times portrays Machi as desirable in a sexual manner. It goes overboard when it shows Machi scantily dressed and pushed down by one of her older superiors, or whatever the relationship between those two may be. I found this scene particularly on the edge since the show didn’t imply any wrong doing. The characters that witnessed the event, responded very passive, making the inappropriate display seem tolerable.

kuma miko reviewKumo Miko features a lot of bright colors, but nothing really stands out. The characters seem to be still unnecessarily long in some scenes, making the show more like a powerpoint presentation rather than an ‘animation’.

kuma miko reviewThe soundtrack wasn’t any notable, the opening and ending were as J-Pop as can be. The traditional Japanese music was prevalent, but the execution was weak and not engaging for the viewer.

kuma miko reviewKumo Miko had a lot of potential to do its genre justice, but instead it wasted it by being the advertisers pet. While advertising in itself is it not a problem, it was not able to neatly blend it with its content. I rate the show a 6 out 0f 10 for at least trying.

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