Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear
Episode 3

by Richard Eisenbeis,

How would you rate episode 3 of
Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear ?

“In which our heroine goes full Goblin Slayer.”

This episode of Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear is all about getting us caught up to the status quo we saw in the first episode. In a way, it's a checklist of sorts: Why is Yuna respected by the adventuring guild despite being a newbie? How did she get the pet bears? And why is Lanz so caught up with her being a rival to Deborane?

For the most part, this story of getting from A to B revolves around Yuna's first-ever party quest. Because she injured Deborane in the last episode, their party is down a tank and will likely fail their goblin extermination quest—which will in turn hurt their prospects for future quests. Partially responsible for the groups' woes, Yuna is thus guilt-tripped into helping them with their quest. Of course, Yuna being Yuna, she'd rather solo the whole thing, but is convinced into taking the magic-wielding Lurina along for support at the party's insistence.

It is during her “battle” against the goblins that we see that Yuna has one major weapon beyond her bear-themed attire: her mind. Upon finding 100+ goblins in a cave, Yuna simply shoots a few fireballs in, closes off the entrance, and waits for them all to suffocate to death. Lurina has no idea what Yuna has done; ideas such as oxygen (and fire consuming it to burn) are not common knowledge in the fantasy world. Even as a middle school dropout, Yuna's knowledge of the natural sciences eclipses what even a trained magic user knows.

Then, in the following battle against the Goblin King, we are once again shown the power of “bear magic” as opposed to its common alternative. While a wind blade can't cut the Goblin King's skin, a bear-themed version of the same spell can. However, at the same time, some of the limits of bear magic also become apparent—i.e., while it's more powerful, it's not exponentially so. It takes more than a few bear blades to take the Goblin King down.

From there, we also learn about the utility of earth magic: it takes mere moments to make a one-room brick house complete with windows. Of course, we also get to see the bear magic version of this as the episode closes out with Yuna making a multiple-storied bear-themed house and attached workshop almost instantly.

Basically, this episode's secondary task is to show us that while Yuna is quite strong, she does have her limits. It's just that in a beginner's area, even rare boss monsters can be beaten by her bear magic. Her success is due to her location as much as her cheat magic and modern-day knowledge.

The rest of the episode is basically just humor to keep us entertained. Yuna pulls the classic “duck season, rabbit season” gag on Lurina several times and basically forces the seasoned adventurer to do the dirty work of harvesting the monster crystals within the corpses because she quite literally doesn't want to get her hands dirty. It's cute, silly and does its job well enough.

So now we're three episodes in and the characters, setting, and rules of the world have all been firmly set up. I'm excited to see what happens now that the show can finally get started on its bigger developments.

Rating:

Random Thoughts:

• So Yuna really does have only a single set of clothes—that never get dirty or smelly. Even her pajamas are the same outfit she usually wears, only inside out.

• It's interesting that the reversed bear costume heals instead of boosting damage. I wonder if that will ever be important in combat?

• The difference in how Yuna treats Fina versus how she treats Lurina really shows the difference between how she regards friends and acquaintances in her mind.

• While I am sure we can think of ways that Yuna could use earth magic to color the walls of her house, how did she use earth magic to make the mattress and blankets?

• Depressed white bear is best bear.

Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear is currently streaming on Funimation.

Richard is an anime and video game journalist with over a decade of experience living and working in Japan. For more of his writings, check out his Twitter and blog.


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