I’ve previously shared my thoughts on the manga version of Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear, and now I shall be turning my attention to the original light novel. Written by Kumanano and illustrated by 029, it was first published in Japan in 2015.
Seven Seas Entertainment licensed both manga and light novel for English releases.
The first volume of this light novel contains chapters one through to twenty-six, plus an extra story.
The story focuses on Yuna, a girl who finds herself transported into another world with nothing but a bear costume.Stronger Than The Average Bear!
A dedicated gamer and antisocial shut-in downloads an update to her favourite fantasy RPG – only to find herself sucked into the game world for real. Reset to level one and equipped with only a cute bear onesie that grants her impressive abilities, Yuna sets out to explore her new reality – even though the fact that she can’t seem to take the bearsuit off gives her paws, er, pause!
So here we are once again, taking a look at another isekai light novel. A lot of the stuff that goes on in Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear actually isn’t all that different from Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?!, although Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear doesn’t get bogged down with things like gender roles in society.
Instead, it is simply about a girl named Yuna becoming accustomed to the new world she finds herself in, as well as steadily coming to accept her bear equipment. Seems getting funny looks is a small price to pay for strong abilities, though Yuna does take some time to recognise that.
Yuna pursues the path of adventurer in her new world, which means registering at a guild and tackling quests in order to rise up through the ranks. A pretty common setup for light novels like this one, and something that is even acknowledged a couple of times.
Yuna also possesses the ability to use magic, though there is a caveat if she wants to use some properly powerful spells.
Yuna meets a few other characters during the course of this first volume, but the most important one is the young girl Fina. Fina cares for her younger sister and their sick mother, so Yuna rocking up into town and providing her with a steady source of income is a very welcome event for her.
There are even a few chapters that are told from Fina’s point of view, giving us a bit of perspective what she thinks about Yuna; she’s really attached. Yuna grows quite fond of Fina, too.
Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear is a fun read, and the fact that is main character is stuck with a bear onesie should probably clue you in that it doesn’t exactly take things super seriously. Of course, it is early days so far, but this first volume makes for an excellent introduction for what to expect from Kumanano’s work. What you’ll be getting is a fun time.
If you fancy reading a light-hearted fantasy story, Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear might just scratch that itch. Oh, and for anyone who adores bears: I have a feeling that you’ll love Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear.