Kumamiko currently airs on Funimation and lasts just 12 episodes. The manga it's based on will hit the United States this Fall. Alternate names for the series include Kuma Miko and Girl Meets Bear.
Kumamiko is a charming, funny slice of life series that pokes fun at rural living.
The series focuses on the everyday misadventures of Machi, a 14 year old priestess in a rural town that is centered around bears. Machi can't stand living in the boonies anymore, and wants to travel to the big city when it's time to enter high school. Despite her desire to live in the heart of the city, Machi is terrified around other people and is tech illiterate.
Doing his best to raise her right is Natsu, a peaceful bear who speaks the human language perfectly. Machi found Natsu as a cub and grew up with him, but because bears grow up faster than humans, Natsu has become her legal guardian. Like any good parent, he wants what's best for Machi, and dreads the thought of her moving away to go to the city. He also knows she is not prepared for city life, and tries to get her ready through quizzes and light challenges.
Machi's greatest ally is also her #1 antagonist, that being her 25 year old cousin Yoshio. Yoshio works at a company that is trying to drive up tourism, so he uses Machi as a way to bring new traffic into the sleepy town. Yoshio often does not know when to quit, and comes dangerously close to sexual assault in order to get Machi to dress and pose as he wishes for his tourism ads and events, even going so far as to turn her into a reluctant idol.
Counteracting Yoshio is Hibiki, Yoshio's childhood friend and love interest, though she isn't sure why she bothers with him. Despite getting into fights and being a stereotypical delinquent, Hibiki is the second voice of reason behind Natsu.
Each episode has Machi trying to balance her increasingly more rural life with her desire to go to the city, and her epic failures along the way. Though the opening credits show a happy,cheerful Machi, we don't actually see that side of her until the very end of episode 12. After each episode's credits is a colorized sample of the original four panel manga the series is based on.
If you've ever lived in a rural village or town, Kumamiko will speak to you. It's a sweet anime with sporadic slapstick sure to please!
Codename Sailor earth
Codename Sailor Earth is a lifelong anime and wrestling fan. IRL she is cartoonist Koriander Bullard, formerly Koriander Ake, a happily married Chicagoan. Her favorite anime is Sailor Moon. A baby in the late 80's, the first anime titles she ever saw were Speed Racer, Voltron and Robotech.