Machi Amayadori is a junior high school student and a female Sharman working with a shrine that worships bears as the sacred animal. Machi secretly has a deep longing for the city life.
One day, Machi sits down with her guardian, Natsu Kumai. A talking bear. Yes. You heard it right. Not just a bear. Brown bear. Machi confesses that she wants to go to a high school in a city. This news upsets Natsu, Machi is not cut to the city life. A rural mountain village life is all she knows, she is too naïve and ignorant, which gives a plenty of excuses for Natsu to worry about little Machi.
Machi doesn’t budge. She pleads that she needs to get out of the small village and see the world out there. Natsu grumpily pulls out a “City Girl Quiz” – there are a certain things Machi needs to know if she challenges the city life.
Script : Pierre Sugiura
Storyboard,Direction : Kiyoshi Matsuda
Animation Director : Nobuyuki Ito,Akiko Matsuo
OMG! Natsu is animated and super cute!
The show “Kumamiko” starts with an ominous warning sign like “Bear Alert” accompanied by a thrilling back ground music, which boasts that popular suspense movie “Jaws” … duunnn dunnn… But, in fact, the show is about a teenage girl, Machi, living in a rural area of Japan, who dreams about a cool school life.
Machi is a female Sharman who works for a shrine that worships wild bears. That is not an ordinal occupation for a teenage girl, and apparently Machi is not an ordinal teenager. Let me remind you, she feels her humble village life is uncool and wants some kind of breakthrough to the cool, urban city life as she becomes a high school student.
Machi has a buddy who watched her grew from a kid to teen. His name is Natsu and he is a bear, and he speaks the human language. Let me add that he speaks in a dazzlingly gorgeous voice. Natsu certainly knows, more than Machi, what city life actually means, and how to deal with it. Natsu is an urban bear.
The show highlights a series of heartwarming events and episodes from Machi’s and Natsu’s village life. The first episode, for example, puts a spotlight on specific things that Japanese rural villager can all relate to.
There are some – darn good – examples to help portray Machi as an authentic boondog kid. For example, take the City Girl Quiz.
What can you use to go through the ticketing gate at a train station?
a) Watermelon (spelled as suica in Japanese)
Machi doesn’t know the answer so she fights back; “What’s this about? Have riders reverted to the barter system recently? You are cheating, aren’t you, Natsu? Wouldn’t that depend on the station employee’s taste?” Oh my. Can it be? What a refreshing point of view.
In the next quiz, she is asked to read “OIOI” and as soon as she is presented the correct answer “Marui-Marui department store” she bellows. “It doesn’t make any sense! How could anyone know that?!”
I know so many of our viewers shout “YEAH RIGHT?” It absolutely makes no sense!” Natsu said hicks have lot of temper, which may be true, I was a hick and I used to get mad just like Machi in the past, haha!
(The Marui-Marui department stores can be only found in urban areas of Japan.)
The third highlight I want to mention is in the latter half of the episode, one of the kid villagers, Kaori-chan, bellows “sexual harassment!!” in one scene. Here, Yoshio-kun is pointless, and kids contribute to the humor.
Natsu mentions somethings about “Women’s Club” – but I wonder what kind of club that is. Huh?
From the beginning, I love the gap between the adorable Natsu and the demon Natsu. When he looks at an offering, which is a whole fish, he utters “Looks yummyyyyy.” When he gets upset at Machi’s determination to go to city school, he bellows “NOOOO!” The gap between the sweet face and the spicy face of the bear. I bet my money that Natsu wins number 1 position of animal character this season.
Natsu grew up with Machi from the time she was a kid, and he always assumes a guardian role, sometime, he acts like a father. So, when Machi announced her decision to move away, Natsu bursts into cry; “Machi is not going to spend time with me anymore!” He’s really cute, aww.
Despite Natsu’s adorable character design, the voice actor who performs Natsu is 安元さん. I can’t help but wonder that his voice is too deep and too rich for the role. But, it turned out that his voice helped to illustrate the gentle and inclusive nature of the character, so, it’s pretty cool.
So, the first episode is a mix of Machi’s and Natsu’s character setting, plus, their first interaction with the village’s kids. The thirty-minute went by so fast. Can’t wait for the second episode.
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