I was joking with someone the other day that I’d rather watch weird anime than good anime, and then almost immediately afterwards I found myself watching this little number. Before I begin, I think it’s necessary to say that the sole redeeming quality of this show is that it’s bizarre. For some, this might be enough. Others… not so much.
When I say this is strange, I mean that, as someone who actively searches out this kind of stuff, this is the strangest thing I’ve seen since Cat Soup, three years ago. It’s simply mind-boggling that something like this would ever be made.
Like Alien 9, the cutesy, saccharine-sweet style of animation belies some decidedly sinister undertones. The colors are bright, the ideas are not. For what it’s worth, however, the OVA looks nice enough, with clean animation and, um, creative character designs. The music is similarly simplistic and childish, and fits with the animation well.
You have the title character, Kuma-san, who most definitely WILL weird you out with his inexplicable dialogue and borderline absurd body contortions. And then, you have the “villain” of the show, a marionette in a tutu with murderous intentions. Are they loveable? Deep? Amusing? No, but they’re certainly interesting.
Unlike some of the other totally strange anime out there, Kuma-san actually has a storyline, albeit a fairly simplistic one. However, the sheer presence of a coherent plot only serves to further increase the confusion about why this was ever made. With Cat Soup, the focus was clear: awesome, mindbending visuals. There’s no such luck with Kuma-san, which as mentioned earlier has a pretty simplistic and childish look. Is the show supposed to be funny? Touching? Scary?
Whatever the case, the OVA isn’t really any of these. Also, if you haven't seen Cat Soup, I'd heavily recommend seeing that first, as it does all that this does better. However, as another notch on the belt for people that are looking for the mindfucking obscure stuff, this makes a fine addition. Just don’t watch this for, you know, actual entertainment.