This week begins with Kureha’s mother telling her the final bit of that story, about how the girls live happily ever after, and we get confirmation that it was supposed to be Kureha and Ginko.
Back from credits, and Kaoru is sleeping with the teacher…I MEAN, THAT MYSTERIOUS BEAR THAT WILL TOTALLY KUMA SHOCK US ONCE SHE’S REVEALED! Speaking of, she eats Kaoru.
Kureha is keeping vigil over Ginko. Like a human keeping vigil over a shrine guardian or something. The pair are now officially accepted as a part of Kureha’s home, she trusts their good intentions.
In a reversal of previous episodes, it is now Kureha that has random fantasies about sex with Ginko.
But this seems involuntary. Could these be visions produced by Kumalia? We could write off Ginko’s that, maybe, she was too into Kureha, too prone to daydreaming. But this is much more “against type”, and Kureha, while accepting Ginko and Lulu’s good intentions, still doesn’t harbor ROMANTIC feelings for either. So the fact she has this elaborate dream sequence which tries to tell her enlightenment can be found in Ginko’s vag is a curious conspiracy theory.
Adding to this conspiracy theory of Kumalia’s influence, we see Kureha CONVENIENTLY start to piece together her past, that she once had a “special friend” before Sumika and that she might have been the girl in the story.
We get into a little backstory about Ginko. She’s an orphan. And she’s given the nickname “torikabuto”, or wolfsbane, which is cute because its a plant that can heal or kill depending how it’s used.
Now we see Kumalia’s influence on the Bear world. Ginko is rounded up, as an unloved Bear, and drafted into a sort of holy war. Kind of Bear Basij. Though they’re far more effective. Their function is to act as guards to the Human-Bear border.
Prior to this, we’d assumed the Bears just popped in when the meteors fell, but now it’s just as much from the other direction. From the Bear’s perspective, the Humans are encroaching on their space. Ginko is wounded in a battle, and that’s where Kureha’s story from last time picks up.
Adding fuel to the conspiracy, Ginko, in her wounded state, sees the young Kureha (and upon wakening from the dream, I might add) as Kumalia.
And as Lulu takes her turn reading the picturebook, Kureha overhears Ginko singing the song she taught her suddenly-remembered friend. It’s a very haunting sequence as Kureha searches the dark house for the source of the song, seeking Ginko out like a siren.
While there is a LOT to say, I’m going to save most of my points for next time, as many of the elements drawing together here reach their completion there (along with a new theory).
Our post-credit aside this time comes in the form of a letter. Lulu discovers a letter intended towards “the criminal bear”, which she has referred to herself as from time to time, so she goes and opens it. But it’s about Ginko, detailing her “crime”, and it shocks Lulu.
Which makes me curious what it could be. I mean it wasn’t the Sumika thing, we established that. And even if it was just witnessing her die, that can’t be right either. Ginko was using the title “criminal bear” when she first met Lulu.