Monday, June 20, 2016

10 Second Anime - Kuma Miko - Episode 12 [END]

Natsu rushes to the big city to help Machi. Series Finale.

Episode 12 - "Decision"


I loved how Natsu showed that all of his practical knowledge he tried to teach Machi was actually useable for a talking bear! Ask for a ride. Use GPS. Know the close department stores. It was all good!

Plus, he used his own voice to power up Machi's Trance Kagura. No need for sick beats there.

The idol performance was the least of Machi's problems, though. Her social anxiety manifested into delusions of the crowd throwing rocks at her. Ultimately, she decided she didn't want to go to the big city for high school. That's a bit disappointing, but at least Natsu was happy he didn't lose his best friend. For now.

Natsu to the Rescue.

Natsu is certainly a bear of action. His guilt over confessing his selfish feelings to the mountain god spurred him on after Yoshio's Skype call.

I liked how Natsu's first question to Matsu was whether he had drunk sake yet that day. Such presence of mind! And a nice public service announcement against drinking and driving.

Thank goodness the village made Natsu an idol fan jacket. Without it, he never would have gotten close enough for Machi to hear his roar.

If I had not watched Locodol, I would have had a hard time believing how Natsu just walked into the venue.

Natsu Bear is a special animatronic yuru chara! Surely.

This is actually pretty good for the future. If Machi ever gets over her social anxiety, she can travel around as the Kumade miko with the village's talking bear mascot escorting her. Problem solved.

I would watch that show. Mysterious miko goes to school in the big city with her quirky retainer who insists on wearing a bear suit. The twist is that he's an actual bear! Come on, let's make this sequel happen!

Hibiki made a nice point to Yoshio that Machi had met more people that day than she had ever met in her entire life. That's pretty sheltered.

Yoshio's miko sacrifice rationale was a little off. The miko was supposed to be sacrificed to the mountain god, or the bear as its avatar, not to the throngs of people to keep the village healthy. Then again, in keeping with my view that Yoshio is always right, perhaps the outsider population is the new god the village should be negotiating with to keep the village viable.

Hibiki admired his passion. As if she needed more reasons to acknowledge her feelings for him.

It looks like we got a temporary decision for Machi to stay in the village next year. I don't like it because it's still based on her paranoid delusions of people hating her. I would be fine if it was a decision based on facts, but like I said, it feels temporary to me.

She got a trophy anyway, even though she ran from the stage after her kagura spell was broken. That was a good detail because it showed that Machi's progress is still slow.

I hope those other country bumpkin idol girls contact her in the future to help cure her anxiety. She needs friends outside of the village.

Until then, Natsu can enjoy Machi's presence a little bit longer.

Final Thoughts.

This was quite a nice slice of life gag comedy that had a lot to say about the disappearing rural life and culture. The character that sold the whole show was the voice of reason Natsu the talking bear. I didn't care all that much for Machi, but tolerated her as the story's main narrative device. Yoshio was fine too as the every man character with a streak of ambition. However, Natsu carried the show and he was at his best when he showed his little foibles and weaknesses. Like not being able to admit he liked that bear cosplay outfit so much and feeling guilty about his selfish wish for Machi to stay with him in the village.

I would have liked to have seen more about the other bears. Natsu obviously came from some bear family, but we only had 12 episodes to work with, and the intent of the season was to get Machi in the big city dancing the kagura as a miko idol. There was plenty of small town life juxtaposed with modern technological and cultural advances to explore the very real problem of depopulation in a light-hearted way mixed in with supernatural mythology. Sadly, there just wasn't time enough to explore Natsu's bear family issues.

Machi would have been a little bit more likeable to me if she had made more progress in confronting her social anxiety, but Natsu's presence along with her slight advancement more than made up for that annoyance. I wouldn't mind spending another episode through an OVA with these funny characters.

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