Life With Kurami (formerly just Kurami) is a "high impact family friendly" comic strip written by Deon Parson aka. "$upr Dee". The comic follows Ana Kirkland, a buxom baker, as she looks after the titular Kurami, her infant daughter. Other characters include Bree Kay, Ana's best friend; Zane, Ana's pet cat; Martha, Bree's mother; and Dr. Oz, Kurami's stuffed rabbit toy.
The strip has so far gone through three different incarnations. The first was published on DeviantArt and was very different (Kurami, for example, was much older), and is now considered an Old Shame. The second, simply titled Kurami, was published on Facebook and in Dee's local newspaper starting in April 2015, making it a rare example of a webcomic becoming a Newspaper Comic - in this incarnation, Kurami was blind, Ana was a plus-size fashion designer, and they were cousins rather than mother-and-daughter.
The third and current incarnation began in May 2016, acting as a Retool designed to make the strip more accessible to new readers. The series came to an conclusion in October 2017, but in March 2019, $upr Dee announced a direct sequel subtitled "Ana-Thing's Possible", to be published online. "Ana-Thing's Possible" began in November 2020, with simultaneous publication in a local magazine, and is due to run for at least five years.
Life With Kurami can be found here, though its archive is still a work-in-progress. The page with the original Kurami strips was unpublished in May 2016, but as of August 2019, Dee has started re-uploading them to the new page, to fill the gap until Ana-Thing's Possible is released.
Gek Gek! (Tropes in Life With Kurami include:)
- Aerith and Bob: While the rest of the cast all have normal American names, Kurami's name is Japanese. It's never explained why, and according to Word of God, she's not Japanese. Gets even more confusing in Life With Kurami now that she's officially Ana's daughter, as that means Ana must have chosen the name.
- Art Evolution: Dee's drawing style has changed immensely from the early days of the comic, and is still evolving. Ana, for example, was originally normal-sized, and lacked her distinctive highlight. Compare this strip from May 2016 with this one from November 2020, then consider how much the 2016 strips had evolved from the 2015 ones.
- Author Appeal: Dee is a big Garfield fan, and it shows.
- Baby Language: Rendered as "Gek gek!" Subverted in that not even Zane can understand her (although he can read her facial expressions).
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Zane does this occasionally. On one occasion he does it literally by accidentally poking a hole in the border of the panel.
- Catapult Nightmare: A particularly cruel one in this strip, in which Kurami tells Ana she will never love her. Ana wakes up crying, poor thing.
- Catchphrase: Kurami's "Gek gek" Baby Language, which has reached almost memetic levels among the fanbase.
- Crossover: The comic has occasionally crossed over with the comic strip Intelligent Life, and canonically takes place in the same universe, with the characters from both strips living in the same area. Word of God is that there are no plans for a crossover with Dee's other work, Pen & Ink, due to it taking place in a separate fantasy universe.
- D-Cup Distress: Played for Laughs occasionally, such as when Bree buys Ana a T-shirt with a picture on it that ends up getting distorted by Ana's large chest.
- Disappeared Dad: Kurami's father has never been seen. The original strip addressed this, but following the reboot, Dee's position is that "The comic isn't about him, it's about Ana and Kurami", suggesting he'll remain unseen.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The early DeviantArt strips are almost unrecognisable when compared to the current comic. For example, Kurami was originally an Adult Child before being de-aged into an actual child, then to a baby.
- The Kurami strips now also count. Those familiar with the current incarnation, in which Ana is Kurami's mother and works at a bakery, will be confused to learn that pre-reboot, Ana was Kurami's cousin and couldn't bake a cake if her life depended on it.
- Expy: Zane is essentially Garfield in a hat. The author is an admitted fan of Garfield and regularly posts strips from the comic. One strip even had Ana dress Zane up as Garfield to really drive it home. The reboot, however, gradually altered Zane's looks and character, subverting and then averting the trope.
- Funetik Aksent: Bree started speaking in one midway through the original Kurami strip to make her Southern Belle accent more obvious.
- Height Angst: Bree is rather annoyed◊ that Dr. Oz is taller than her.
- Idiot Hair: Kurami sports a fairly prominent cowlick. Taken Up to Eleven in one pre-reboot strip when it inexplicably sprouts through her hat.
- Insistent Terminology: A meta-example: Dee and his characters do not have fans, they have friends.
- Limited Wardrobe: Lampshaded by Bree in one strip when her mother disapproves of her wearing skirts in winter, to which she responds that "I've been wearing skirts every day for years!" Averted by Ana, however, particularly in the reboot where she seems to wear a different outfit in every strip.
- Mama Bear: Literally, on at least one occasion. In general, upsetting Kurami or suggesting that Ana is a bad parent will provoke this response from her.
- Mythology Gag: In one post-reboot strip, Ana can be seen wearing Bree's outfit◊. This only counts due to the fact that Bree was Demoted to Extra post-reboot.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Kurami's blonde fringe covers her eyes. Because of this (and the fact that she's only a baby), it was hard for readers of the original strip to tell that she was blind, which is why her blindness was retconned out when the strip was retooled into Life With Kurami.
- Retcon: The changes between Kurami's incarnations effectively amount to this. The first made her a blind infant who was Ana's cousin, while the second, which is the current continuity, made her Ana's sighted daughter, simplifying the strip's premise and eliminating the two aspects that tended to confuse new readers. Ana's job was also retconned from fashion designer to baker.
- Retool: What the second effectively amounts to: the strip has been renamed, the premise simplified, and some of the characters redesigned (especially Bree and Zane).
- Shout-Out: Naturally, there are several references to Garfield, as well as to various other comic strips.
- Southern Belle: Bree, although it didn't become evident until she gained a mild Funetik Aksent in September 2015.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Sort of. In the original strips, Ana's aunt and uncle were deceased, but in the rebooted strip her Aunt Chicago appears as a supporting character.
- Sugar Bowl: The series as a whole is very heartwarming and sweet, with a major focus on body-positivity and self-motivation.
- Superpowered Alter Ego: Bree has "Rambree", a version of herself sporting a black eye, a "Fight Song" headband, and a determined expression. Originally a set of doodles drawn by Dee as a motivational tool, she's set to appear in Ana-Thing's Possible as "Bree's anger personified".
- Thought Bubble Speech: This is how Zane communicates. Presumably another Garfield reference.
- Un-Cancelled: Came to an end in October 2017, only for Dee to announce a sequel comic 18 months later, and then resume publishing new strips 18 months after that.
Tropes exclusive to the original Kurami include:
- Analogy Backfire: Cleverly subverted in one strip:Bree: 'Ey, Anabelle! How was your night?Ana: Great! I slept like a baby!Bree: But Anabelle, babies hardly sleep through thuh night.Ana: EXACTLY.
- Art Shift: Kurami's thoughts are shown as childish scribbles◊, representing not only her age, but also the fact that she's blind and would only have a sketchy idea of what other people actually look like.
- As You Know: The Reveal of what happened to Kurami's parents, and how Ana came to raise her, is done in this fashion, with Mama Kay reminding Bree precisely how much her best friend has been through that year.
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: One strip lists the pros and cons of spring, according to Ana. The cons are: "Wind", "Rain", "Wind and Rain", "Bugs", and "Bugs, Wind and Rain".
- Conveniently an Orphan: Kurami's parents (Ana's aunt and uncle) died prior to the start of the strip, and Ana dropped out of college in order to raise Kurami herself.
- Creator Cameo: The guy in the yellow hat in this strip◊ is Dee himself.
- The Fashionista: Downplayed. Ana was a designer of plus-sized women's clothing, compared to the reboot where she's a baker. It's implied that the lack of fashionable clothing in her size is what kept her from being a full-blown version of this trope (and that this may have been what inspired her to become a fashion designer in the first place).
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Bree does it in this strip◊, complete with an awkward Aside Glance.
- The Nicknamer: Zane referred to Ana as "Gargantuana", Bree as "Breehemoth", and Kurami as the rather less disparaging "Blondie".
- No Name Given: Kurami's surname is not given in this incarnation. Ana's is revealed in this strip◊ to be "Kirkland", but it's unknown whether Kurami shares the same surname.
- Parental Substitute: Ana is Kurami's cousin, not her mother, yet she's raising Kurami as her own.
- Shout-Out: According to one comic, Ana's favourite cereal is called "Smash BrO's".
- In a Halloween comic, she complains that her pumpkin costume makes her look like the Great Pumpkin.
- Sleepwalking: Or rather, sleepgaming, in this strip◊.
- The Reveal: The 18 Dec 2015 strip◊ reveals the fate of Kurami's parents, and how Ana came to raise her instead.
- Who Would Want to Watch Us?: Done in the very first strip, combined with some impressive meta-humor.Bree: Ana, I'm wanting to create a comic strip. It'll focus on your blind baby cousin, Kurami, and our big struggles as busty, plus-size women.Ana: That's a silly concept, Bree. Who will read a comic about THAT?Zane: Let's ask the readers.