Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear Episode 1: Bear vs. Black Viper

The second light novel adaptation to air in the autumn 2020 season of anime is Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear. As was the case with Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina, I shall be comparing the anime adaptation to its source material.
I can tell you right away that we are starting off very differently from Kumanano’s light novel.

Yuna

Our main protagonist, Yuna

To kick things off, the plot of this first episode follows Yuna as she decides to go and help a village when a boy comes begging to the adventurers’ guild. At the village, she confronts a black viper. A black viper is a monster that only a high ranked adventurer is supposed to take on. Yuna fights it anyway.

Kumakyu & Kumayuru

Yuna’s bear summons: Kumakyu (white) and Kumayuru (black)

This first episode of Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear doesn’t start in the same way as the light novel or even the manga for that matter. Instead, we get a Yuna who has figured out most of her abilities and seemingly has settled into the world.
In the light novel and manga, she takes some time to adjust. I’d hazard a guess at this episode being anime original. Either that, or it is based on events that I haven’t read yet.

Black Viper vs Yuna

Yuna fights the black viper

Part of the fun of the light novel/manga came from reading about Yuna having to adjust to her new environment and her new equipment. This episode was a quick way to establish what Yuna is capable of, but some liberties had to be taken.

Yuna in the real world

Yuna’s real world appearance

So in both light novel and manga, it is established right away that Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear is an isekai anime; Yuna ends up in a different world, with the details of how or why left vague. Here, in the anime, it feels more like Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online, in that Yuna can jump in and out of the VR MMORPG of World Fantasy Online (or just WFO for short) as she pleases.
This first episode isn’t exactly clear about where it would fit into the light novel/manga continuity. Has she been isekai’d yet? If not, how does she have the bear outfit? Perhaps this adaptation is only taking cues from light novel/manga. I don’t know, hard to say with just one episode.

As someone who has read the light novel (only the first one at the moment, but the second one will be very soon), I have to say I’m kind of disappointed. There was absolutely no need to change up how things started. I was hyped for this show, and yet it effectively presented us with filler for its first episode.
I hope everyone who hasn’t read the light novel and/or manga gets more out of than I did. Good news is that it looks like things will be more faithful with episode two.

Ah, one final point of contention I have with this show is Yuna’s voice. Maki Kawase voices her, and I know she can deliver great performances as she was Junko Konno in Zombieland Saga. As Yuna in Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear, though, she just sounds so disinterested. Especially the “Bear Punch!” attack call.
I guess my own expectations also played a part in that, though. I’ll probably grow accustomed to it as the season goes on, though.

Ah, it feels like I haven’t had much positive to say about Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear so far. It’s cute, that can’t be denied. I want to love it much more than I do, but this is a rough start.
I’ll stick with it, though, things can only get better, right?

Edit: I’ve done a bit of research and discovered that these events do take place in the light novel. They are an adaptation of chapter 40 (which takes place in the second volume of the light novels). Still a really weird place to start, though.

About Rory

I enjoy writing, manga, anime and video games, so naturally here on my blog, you will find anime reviews, Nintendo news and other such things that I deem interesting.
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3 Responses to Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear Episode 1: Bear vs. Black Viper

  1. cirno9fan says:

    Yeah, it feels like a really odd choice of how to start things, but hopefully it goes back on track and this was just a way to flesh out her offline self better before the isekai happens.

  2. OG-Man says:

    My body is ready, so ready for the lovely lady in the ED.

    Other than that my bear bias is stronk as I wait for the pesudo-harem to blossom.

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