Shirokuma Café – 04
「スマフォに夢中/わくわくドライブレッスン)」 (Sumafo ni Muchū/Wakuwaku Doraibu Resson)
“Obsessed with Smartphones/Super Fun Driving Lesson”
Update: alt-texts done!
Panda: representing the spoiled brat we all don’t ever want to land ourselves with in the future. Beyond that black and white fur, I see a certain subset of kids who desire the latest technology and then misuse it or use it solely to show off. It’s so annoyingly reflective of the “little brat” type that…oh Jun, even you can’t make me like Panda! His mother doesn’t help the situation either…carelessly buying him his smartphone: a regular phone would’ve cost way less AND been your gateway to easy groceries!
However, the other non-panda characters continue to be their pleasant, more competent selves. Shirokuma’s dry humor, though not my primary cup of tea, managed to get more laughs out of me than previous episodes. Puns were on the rise by 300% (as reflected in the many screenshots), but the rapid firing of the puns actually generated more humor than previous attempts. As a non-Japanese speaker, I don’t personally find them as humorous, but the visuals that go along with them make for a pretty set of caps to look at! All those puns though end up as supplement to Shirokuma’s constant trolling of penguin, who continues to attempt to impress everyone and his lady-crush through his high-tech antics.
Sumafone and driving school attempts however, once again, do just the opposite. When you’re losing to a llama that can navigate touchscreens via their tongue (no, it doesn’t actually work, I tried) and polar bears with their claws (super-scratch resistant phone cover), you’ve got to step up your game! Plus, if a smartphone is too small for Penguin, maybe he should try a tablet instead; the screen would be large enough to accommodate his fins easy! However, now that I think of it…how would he manage to drive a car with his build? I know there’s supposed to be a heavy suspension of belief when coming into this show…but there just doesn’t seem to be any way that Penguin could drive…at least in the way the skilled Shirokuma demonstrates it.
Speaking of the car demonstration…that drive-through scene was easily the best joke of the episode. Repeatedly looping through a fast-food drive-through might be more of a dick move in real life, but when it comes to clueless animals unintentionally trolling…that’s classy stuff. The first two loops were pretty predictable, but enter Shirokuma and suddenly the joke is totally derailed by a semi-meta joke.
Next week’s topics don’t stand out too much, even if it suggests that Panda might grow up a little. Such change is most likely temporary, as character development in a show like this…would be truly a surprise if it appeared. But hey, change can happen at unusual times, and maybe next week might be the time.