Shirokuma Café – 11
「ペンギンさんの失恋/パンダくんの夜遊び」 (Pengin-san no Shitsuren/Panda-kun no Yo Asobi)
“Mr. Penguin’s Heartbreak/Panda’s Night Out”
Let’s get something out of the way first. Next episode features “Panda’s Advice Room”. I immediately thought of this. (If you’re a REAL stickler for Mirai Nikki spoilers, do not click.) Proceed to muse on that for awhile and consider whether it’ll be funny enough for 13 minutes. Good? Let’s move on!
First half: an expected end (for a comedy), but the progression had its interesting bits. The small details like hearing Penko say a few lines and the way Penguin defies physics were sprinkles, but the ice cream had to be the birth of the half-turtle half-penguin hybrid. At first I was going to make commentary about how Penguin dressing like a turtle would somehow be commentary on humans, but then I realized if people can dress up as animals for Halloween, this isn’t much different. Either way, the resolution with Penko has been delayed once more in favor an okay set of jokes. I realize this isn’t supposed to be a show where you’re supposed to not think about the plot at all, but some progression with the characters wouldn’t hurt! Just one date, please!
Speaking of character progression, the bears of the show have had their fair share of it in the second half. Last time the show attempted to do a skit with all three of them ended up quite flat, but there’s a difference here.
When young Panda actually enjoys what he’s doing, suddenly it’s less an “oh great, fishing.” to, “Yay, slippy sliding floors!” Whereas Panda retained his unappealing laziness last time, here that is stripped to reveal his childishness and curiosity, fueled by his two ‘brothers’. Rather than two guardians taking Panda along, it feels like a group of brothers looking out for one another…for the most part. That concept of family is what made this skit much better than the last, as everyone fit their roles in the sibling mold perfectly. Panda, now an enthusiastic child, honestly enjoys himself to the point where he gets exhausted. Shirokuma, once again teams up with Panda to joke around, but now with a more enthusiastic bear. He fuels the curiosity and shenanigans, keeping the scene light. Grizzly acts as the foil and voice of reason, the older brother who may seem irritated, but is just enjoying the scene in his own way.
This is a great development. If they could have more moments like this, where it feels more like family than a disjointed group of bears, I’d be a happy camper indeed! Question now is…how many episodes are we in for to see more of that development? Currently the episode count is unsure of, though the series could just as easily end at 13 given its format. If it were to pass 13 episodes though, I have to admit that the future of blogging this would be hazy. Depending on what blogging assignments I receive next season, I might have to drop this in favor of a more commentary-rich series. However, I guarantee that I will see this show to the end of this season. Until then, here’s to more shenanigans!