Just when you think you’ve seen it all, along comes ‘Kumamiko’ (くまみこ), a story of a 14 year-old shrine-maiden named Machi, who lives with a civilised bear named Natsu.

The pair have grown up together and live in a tranquil mountain village, where legend has it that a young priestess became infatuated with a wild bear and, from then on, talking bears began to live among humans.

Machi thinks she needs to get out of the village to study in the city, but Natsu wants her to stay to take care of him and the shrine. They make a bet and Machi must pass every test to get his blessing.

As odd as it sounds, this slice-of-life anime could’ve been just a cute story of a girl and her bear but ‘Kumamiko’ fails horribly in its message and terrible ending. Not only that, there’s adult content present, and it’s just too much.

The series relies on its cute content and its comedy but, even as funny as it is, it can’t compensate for the bad writing of the story.

On the bright side, ‘Kumamiko’ has gorgeous animation and outstanding artwork that will keep you going. The drawings of the characters are incredible with great expressions, beautiful scenery and backgrounds.

Overall ‘Kumamiko: Girl meets bear’ is an interesting take on a bizarre story. Madman brings ‘Kumamiko’ in DVD to Australia. Get your copy here

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