Since I liked Revolutionary Girl Utena and Mawaru Penguindrum, I'd like to watch the Yuri Kuma Arashi anime, particularly since it's spawned some interesting questions on this site.

Now, Wikipedia tells me that there is a manga, an anime series, and a light novel, which MyAnimeList give nearly identical summaries for (1, 2, 3). The Wikipedia description suggests that the announcement was first for an anime series, but the manga is ongoing and started first, whereas the anime is already done with. Moreover, the Wikipedia character lists suggests that the manga occasionally differs from anime characterization.

How do the various adaptations of Yurikuma Arashi relate?

  1. Can I just assume that the "original" medium was the anime?

  2. Is the manga simply an adaptation, or is it the "original" work?

  3. The light novel and manga are listed as "alternative versions" on MAL. Are there any major content differences? (Is there anything comparable the differences between the two Fullmetal Alchemist continuities, or maybe even just the differences I've heard of between the various adaptations of the basic content of Revolutionary Girl Utena?)

  • 1
    The manga is like telling a different story with the same characters. I don't find any similarity to the anime in the first three chapter of the manga. That's how different they are.
    – nhahtdh
    Jun 24 '15 at 1:41
  • Just to verify, when you mean relate to each other do you mean plot wise? (ie. is the Anime based off the Manga or vice versa. is the Light Novel the same or a different story)
    – Memor-X
    Aug 25 '15 at 7:31
  • @Memor-X yep, that was the main thing I was interested in.
    – Maroon
    Aug 25 '15 at 14:10
  • Update: I finished the manga recently, and I couldn't make sense of either detailed questions on this site or derivative fanart or the such that I stumbled upon. I think I can also say with confidence that the summary on MAL doesn't match with what I read. I may write a fuller, partial answer if I ever get to the anime adaptation; I don't think I'll ever get to the LN.
    – Maroon
    Jan 26 '17 at 10:17

This is a bit complicated. kumagoro's answer explained the background of this confusion about "independent writing".

Can I just assume that the "original" medium was the anime?

Yes, both English & Japanese Wikipedia introduced the article as "TV anime".

On 23 March 2013, during a closed-talk event about Revolutionary Girl Utena, Kunihiko Ikuhara shown a short PV for the new anime project, which would be revealed as Yuri Kuma Arashi (ANN, excite News (Japanese)). It's before the first chapter of the manga was published on 28 February 2014 (ANN).

Is the manga simply an adaptation, or is it the "original" work?

It's an "original" work.

Akiko Morishima, who was in charge in character design and artist for the manga, was also entrusted by Ikuhara in writing the story. This is because Ikuhara's scenario was too difficult to be realized. Because of that, the setting and story progression for the anime are different from the manga, but some of the manga's content were used as inspiration for the anime. (Akiko's blog (Japanese), Gigazine (Japanese))

The light novel and manga are listed as "alternative versions" on MAL. Are there any major content differences?

The light novel is an adaptation of the anime, thus it has same storyline. The manga, as stated before, is original.

Since the story diverges, the character's backgrounds and some of the settings were also modified (example: in anime, Arashigaoka Academy is girls' school, while in manga it's co-ed).

Some of the references were taken from Japanese Wikipedia


The "original" author of these anime is a group rather than a single person.

When Kunihiko Ikuhara created Revolutionary Girl Utena, he created the group named Be-Papas and discussed the main story with the group. The other group members are Chiho Saito who is a manga writer and Youji Enokido who is a story writer. Ikuhara created the anime version of Utena, and at the same time Saito wrote the manga version of Utena. They discussed the main story of Utena, but they created the different works independently and the details of each story were different.

Both anime and manga were original works; neither is an adaptation of something.

Ikuhara did same thing for Mawaru Penguindrum and Yuri Kuma Arashi. The group members are different, but they created main story as a group and created the manga and anime versions separately.

By creating as a group, they can create a better story. They can also release anime, manga and novel versions at same time; this will lead to better sales by a synergy effect.

Ikuhara is not only person who use group system. An old robot anime Patlabor was created by the group Head Gear. For newer example, Madoka Magica was created by the group Magica Quartet.

  • Maybe i am missing something but please keep in mind the Question is asking about how the different adaptations of Yurikuma Arashi relate to each other which i am seeing very little of.
    – Memor-X
    Aug 25 '15 at 7:30

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