Let's get this out of the way, most people would view this show with scorn and disgust but for Ikuhara fans? You're in for one heck of a storm.
Right off the bat, we have themes of freedom, control, and separation coming at us. The Severance Barrier is described as "insurmountable", a human built barrier to "protect" people from bears. Sumika and Kureha both retreat to a garden to show their affection towards each other, insinuating that their relationship is one that is frowned upon.
The bears, if nothing else, are a parallel to Kureha's desire to show her affection towards Sumika. I am guessing that, as the series goes on, we'll see Kureha warm up to the bears and feel sympathetic towards them (which is also hinted at by the OP and ED). Her hatred towards bears might be a manifestation of guilt or self-loathing. After all, it is presumed that Sumika was taken because she was not "invisible", that their relationship attracted the bears' attention.
If we are to follow this bear as queer metaphor then we could also see the bears as the physical representation of society's fears and trepidation, viewed as dangerous and predatory, they build barriers, shutting them out instead of hearing them out. When you have talking bears, how hard could it be to engage in a dialogue?
When both have to be invisible to avoid society's glare and scorn for something that they cannot control, love and hunger, what then is their difference in the eyes of society?
There is a lot more to read from this show; there is still a lot to know about both the bears and the human world. Some of the parallels with the Sankebetsu Brown Bear Incident could already be noticed in here. Images of deforestation and industrialization are already apparent and the bears' awakening from hibernation is the set-up for the show. I have some inkling as to their metaphorical/thematic significance but would like to hold out until a few more episodes are released.
Themes and metaphors are Ikuhara's language so I'd like to focus on those when writing about Yuri Bear Storm. As it is, Yuri Bear Storm feels like a more concentrated Ikuhara experience and I'm very excited for what is to come.
Feel free to comment below and share your own thoughts! After all, that is sexy!