Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear, Vol. 1

By Kumanano and 029. Released in Japan by PASH! Books. Released in North America by Seven Seas. Translated by Jan Cash & Vincent Castaneda. Adapted by Will Holcomb.

First of all, despite expectations, there really aren’t many bear puns in this book. Even the title, which I thought was one, is “くま クマ 熊 ベアー” which is simply ‘kuma’ in hiragana, katakana, kanji, and ‘bear’ in katakana. It’s ‘Bear Bear Bear Bear’. The author, Kumanano, translates to “I’m a bear”. and the heroine, Yuna, appears on the cover wearing a bear onesie with bear gloves and bear slippers. I’m telling you this up front because if you’re already annoyed, best not to read this. It is absolutely saturated with bear. Despite what I had thought, Yuna CAN remove the bear suit if need be… but she’s as powerful as a 15-year-old human girl when she does. WITH the bear suit, provided to her by the God who runs this world, she’s ludicrously overpowered. Which tells you at heart this is sort of for fans of Make My Abilities Average and its ilk. Do you like teenage girls beating up jerks and monsters? You’ll like this.

Yuna is a young girl who likes to game, sleep, eat,and not much else. She hasn’t gone to school ever since she found she can get rich working the stock market. Her parents briefly protested… so she paid them enough money to leave her forever. And they left! (I mention this because it jars very much with the overall tone of most of the book, and I am wondering if it will ever come up again.) Then one day, Yuna gets an upgrade to the game she’s playing, along with special equipment… the set of bear items. Then, she’s asked if she enjoys real life (no), if she has people who’ll miss her (no), and anything really important to her in reality (money). After this… again, try to contain your shock… she finds herself transported to a fantasy world that’s very much like the game she had been playing. In a bear onesie.

I spent a whole paragraph talking about the first 5 pages or so because the rest of the book is exactly what you’d expect. There’s stats (though not as many as Yuna would like, and all bear related), there’s guilds, there’s killing wolves and orcs, there’s mana gems, there’s jerk guys who look down on Yuna just because she’s a cute young girl in bear pajamas… this lasts until she beats him so much he needs medical attention. There’s also a cute girl risking her life for her family who Yuna essentially adopts as a little sister. Originality is absent here. That said, it reads quite well, and I was never bored, despite the same old things happening. The weakness may be Yuna, who tends to react with little emotion to much of anything, and thus can come off as a bit mean (shades of Potion Girl) or callous. That said, this book also lacks a lot of the bad habits of light novels, possibly as it has a female lead and is written for a female audience. There’s no descriptions of breasts, Yuna shows no signs of getting a romantic harem, and there’s no slavery. I appreciate that.

This is run-of-the-mill OP isekai, but unlike some others I’ve reviewed recently, its gimmick (bear) is handled very well, being funny and never really irritating. If you like bears, or just like young women walking around and being cool, this might be a good light read. Oh yes, and the illustrator also does The Devil Is a Part-Timer!, so if you like their work, also check it out.

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  1. No Chance says

    I bear you no ill will as you bear a great burden reading all these barely dissimilar books.

  2. Thanks for this, I was wondering about this one after seeing the cover all over the place lately.

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