When I say “Kuma”, what comes to mind? I think of a revolutionary anime. Some might challenge this masterpiece and say it is not challenging enough for them. I offer this- nothing is ever as simple as it seems. The very air we breathe is because of a process. A process that requires science to understand. Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear, or as we call it in the scholarly community, Kuma ³, is a vibrant representation of this concept. It can please those who simply wish to have bright colors flash on screen and they can clap their feet along to the opening. It can also challenge those elevated minds that demand a master’s level of introspection into society conveniently delivered by my animation developed with a demographic of 12–18-year old’s in mind.
Abraham Maslow once said, “If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.” I think of myself as modest achieving individual. I set my thermostat to 68 degrees because if it is 70, I’m too warm and 69 is a naughty number so 68 it is. I get iced cream from a local creamery every Sunday. I enjoy California burritos from my favorite Mexican restaurants after work on Thursdays. I complete Picross puzzles on my Samsung S21 while drinking a cup of coffee at my local diner on Monday mornings. This modest life is something that carries over into my anime. I do not wish to contemplate the deeper details of life; however, I do think there are beautiful merits to considering nature and the human condition. Any average individual can enjoy these, just as much as any scholar who bravely ventures forth onto online social media with their bachelor’s degrees clenched in their left hand, and their own hubris in their right. Allow us to dive into the Kuma Bear mystery. Kuma. Bear. Mystery?
Small brain, small cub. She is small in stature, but this could be a commentary in of at itself. Where is her family? Where is the mother bear to protect her cub? Yuna is a social recluse who has no family to call her own. We never see her family. How do young bears live on their own? Wise About Bears (2019) details that family breakups for bears is far more common than the average human. Indeed, young females tend to establish territories near their mothers to emulate their lives. I wonder. Was Yuna’s mother like her daughter? Was she an introvert? Did she have a knack for finances? Perhaps she enjoyed RPGs. This is a riddle that is hidden under an otherwise mild story.
She is a bear. She has amounted a small fortune trading stocks. What do the stocks represent? A bear market. But a bear market is signs of the market being low, down or…small. I started my career as a bookseller in Saskatchewan while I was attending Yale for my CLA in film studies. We had a special order from a very special man one cool August evening. In walked a man with stature like none I had seen before. His name was John Maynard Keynes. Indeed, the legendary economist himself. He imparted knowledge on me like no other. He told me that bear markets are nothing more than the calm before the storm. Consider that when the bear calculates its next move, it often sits and surveys the terrain. It carefully counts the steps it will take for its prey to escape from its charge, and carefully decide when to attack. Therefore, small does not mean it is stuck to being small forever. It may simply be waiting for the moon to rise anew, for under this beautiful moonlight, the bear paces gallantly. It is no longer small, and it charges up. Up. Like…a bull market. A bull charges its foes. This takes strength. Strength could be…big. Big Kuma? Big Kuma Bear?
Kuma bear. Kuma ³ is an isekai. Isekai might come a dime a dozen but allow us to dive deeper. The inspiration to this fish out of water tale. Rather, the fish leaping out of the water and into the mouth of the bear. The food chain. She hungers, she devours. She fuels herself. Brains need fuel. Small brain. Small appetite? Small brain…kuma bear?
Small bear. Small body. Does this mean…small brain? Small brain kuma bear? What does this mean for our heroic bear in a new world? Let us analyze the effects of smaller portions of the prefrontal cortex. The amygdala is responsible for feelings of anger/aggression and fear in the brain. The weakening of brain function because of amygdala hyperactivity is due to a chain reaction that occurs whenever the amygdala is activated. Once the amygdala is activated, there is an increase of tonic firing, which KUMA BEAR leads to the weakening of other functions in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the hyperactivity of the amygdala (Arnsten et al. 2015). Due to this process, when a subject undergoes severe trauma, the effects are more severe as a result. Indeed, individuals KUMA BEAR were exposed to trauma so significant on their brains that their amygdala not only made them hypersensitive (Shin et al., 2006) but also vastly more susceptible to life threatening illness (Diamond and Zoladz, 2016) KUMA BEAR.
Another part of the brain of great importance in analyzing KUMA KUMA BEAR is the hippocampus. The hippocampus, as discussed earlier, plays an important role in memory (specifically KUMA). This component of the brain is adjacent to the amygdala and serves a role in contextual memory, declarative memory and fear condition, all of which are key focal points in studying KUMA KUMA KUMA BEAR (Sripada et al., 2012). Also, the hippocampus is part of the process in regulating stress (Karl et al., 2006).
Arguably one of the most critical parts to the brain to analyze with KUMA KUMA BEAR can be found in its’ frontal lobe: the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Responsible for KUMA KUMA KUMA BEAR this portion of the brain is particularly vulnerable to trauma and the results could explain why people have KUMA KUMA KUMA BEAR. Within the discussion of the mPFC, a great deal of research is placed in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), a component responsible for KUMA KUMA KUMA BEAR which is very commonly associated as a part of the mPFC. It is important to make this distinction as through a great deal of research, many authors discuss the two interchangeably.
Since KUMA KUMA KUMA BEAR KUMA KUMA KUMA BEAR KUMA KUMA KUMA BEAR KUMA KUMA KUMA BEAR with a previously discussed region of the brain, the amygdala. Shin et al. (2006) note in their review that there are several studies linking a relationship between the amygdala and mPFC, however there is no clear consensus as to which direction said relationship lies. One study suggests that KUMA KUMA KUMA BEAR KUMA KUMA KUMA BEAR KUMA KUMA KUMA BEAR KUMA KUMA KUMA BEAR may be diminished in capacity due to a higher need to suppress amygdala activity in brains with PTSD (Sripada et al. 2012). Research by Yamasue et al. (2003) backs up these findings with studies suggesting that the ACC plays a critical inhibition of the hyperresponsive KUMA KUMA KUMA BEAR KUMA KUMA KUMA BEAR KUMA KUMA KUMA BEAR KUMA KUMA KUMA BEAR KUMA KUMA KUMA BEAR KUMA KUMA KUMA BEAR KUMA KUMA KUMA BEAR.