Shirokuma Café – 08, 09
「雑誌取材がやってきた/サケハンター・グリズリーさん」 (Zasshi Shuzai ga Yatte kita/Sake Hantā: Gurizurī-san)
“A Magazine Interview Comes By/Salmon Hunter: Mr. Grizzly”
Alright, for the weaker of the two episodes: I’m keeping it short. To be honest, I don’t feel as guilty not covering this last week because none of the items really hit their targets. They tried to develop Shirokuma’s character, they tried to introduce a weird and quirky silent character, and they even tried to listen to the fans by introducing the awesome of grizzly once again! However, the pacing and the execution of it all fell short.
While it was interesting to see just how far back Grizzly and Shirokuma go, the fact that they didn’t go much into the details was disappointing. I’d rather much see the two bears’ backstory (the real one) rather than some attempt to manly-catch salmon! This episode had a lot of potential for back story, but instead sacrificed that for well…badly executed skits. The pacing of many of the jokes felt off, and the punchlines were highly predictable. Shirokuma describing a ridiculous story…how could that not end in trolling? (It was funny how the reporters just took whatever story version they liked) However…next episode…
「リンリン感激！パンダくんち！/ペンギンさんの告白」 (Rin Rin Kangeki! Panda-kun Chi!/Pengin-san no Kokuhaku)
“Rin Rin Deeply Moved! Panda’s House!/Mr. Penguin’s Proposal”
Next episode was a WHOLE lot better. My my Rin Rin, how your fervor makes me laugh! Whether or not this was mocking actual fanboy culture, it sure was entertaining to see the connections you could make to anime culture here. Cute loli panda girls, cute baby pandas, and room stalking all make this situation all too familiar a plot…in a new medium. Even Hana Kanazawa came in conveniently as Mei Mei to highlight that fact! How this anime managed to attract so many top-level voice actors is beyond me…but boy does it make for entertainment! I wouldn’t mind it in the slightest if the story continued to include Rin Rin and Mei Mei and the two baby pandas in shenanigans…their chemistry worked all too well here, enough to make up for last episode!
Of course, the second half was just as great, as we almost, ALMOST got to see our poor Penguin fess up his feelings. However, given that we’re not done with the series just yet…a twist was to be expected. Penguin seemed to be THIS close to being friendzoned, but luckily misunderstandings were the root of the problem here, meaning our poor hopeless romantic bird still has a chance!
This misunderstanding opens up many doors for trolling and shenanigans. Like I’ve said in previous posts: Shirokuma and Panda work best when they’re in a team as their goals align perfectly when they set out to do something…which is usually trolling penguin to no end, intentionally or not. Of course penguin views this as help (when they might as well be life threatening), and as such dramatically brushes them aside while waddling to his true goal. This chemistry and skit setup has always seemed to be consistent, and as such, I hope that they include plenty more of this triangle setup in the future. Maybe one day we’ll get the OP sequence as an episode, where all three of them go on an adventure using the…bearmobile?
Next time, a whole episode dedicated to the least stand-out character in the whole series…Mr. Handa! Unfortunately, his last skit was hit-and-miss, so this is both an interesting approach…and a risky one. Unless Handa can pull off some high-tension…the hit-and-miss pattern may be repeated for this episode as well.