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Shirokuma Café – 12

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「パンダくん、ヒマに困る / パンダの悩み相談室 」 (Panda-kun, Hima ni Komaru / Panda no Nayami Soudan-Shitsu)
“Panda, Tired of Boredom / Panda’s Advice Room for Troubles”

Zanibas is currently quite busy so I’m helping out by covering Shirokuma Café this week, but everything will be back to normal next Thursday.

Part 1

The first half of this episode focused on Panda being lazy – something I don’t find much interest in. I like Panda when he takes part in other characters’ stories, when he grows curious of others – not when the story centers around him. I don’t dislike Panda, but his personality and ignorance isn’t very fun to watch. Apparently this anime is going to be quite long so repetitive episodes are to be expected, but I hope the future episodes will have very few moments like this week’s. Good thing this half included Panda’s colleague to lighten things up. As I said before, Panda is at his best when he interacts with people (and those interactions focus on his partner, not him).

So apparently Panda likes mainstream pop music; he performed his single Bamboo Grass with the popular Yama Arashi (probably a parody of the boy band “Arashi) on stage, in a dream. I’m sure Rin Rin would love that performance! Besides that, it seems that Panda’s colleague enjoys building models, not sure how a panda can build these without leaving any scratch marks

Overall, this first half was quite plain, but it had its highlights. I enjoyed the pandas making fun of Handa even though I felt sorry for him – however, my favorite scene from this skit was probably Shirokuma ending Panda’s Shiritori with “goukon” (words ending with “n” – ん/ン means game over). So to sum it up, I guess this is one of my least favorite skits so far but it wasn’t bad.

Part 2

The second half of this episode was really enjoyable and probably one of the best skits I’ve seen in this anime so far. It’s a bit ironic considering how uneventful the first half was.

This skit kept some of the elements from the previous ones – we have the pandas still making fun of Handa, but this time it’s about his love life. Handa being inexperienced when it comes to romance isn’t something new, but it’s definitely one of the more interesting things in this show.

Besides Handa, Penguin too has an uneventful love life, unless service tickets count as something romantic. But I don’t intend to dedicate this post to Penguin and his beloved Penko – today it’s all about Handa because he has finally made some progress.

When the ending theme for this anime changed to the current one, I suspected Sasako would become more important – and it seems that my assumption was correct. While Kirino told Handa that the girls from the goukon party were interested in meeting the guys again, I don’t think there will be anything more to that because there is a new couple to ship now: Sasako and Handa!

The scene at the end with Sasako offering Handa a cup of coffee (she probably left that blanket too) seemed like a good start for Handa’s “romance” if you ask me. It felt mature, artistic, and quite subtle – it’s very appropriate for a josei show like this one. I’m looking forward to how this “couple” will develop throughout the show. The shipping is on!

Full-length shots: 5, 11, 27

Note from Zanibas: Due to the real possibility of Handa x Sasako, I will continue blogging this next season.

 

Preview

Shirokuma Cafe   12   Preview 01 Shirokuma Cafe   12   Preview 02 Shirokuma Cafe   12   Preview 03
June 21, 2012 at 1:48 pm
12 comments »
  • June 21, 2012 at 1:53 pmAiron

    So now the ED makes sense. Its Sasako passing by Mr. Handa on her bike ride through the city. Boy, I hope that doesn’t mean that she’ll be oblivious to Mr. Handa… I don’t think we need a human version Penguin.
    For clarification, i’m referring to quick scenes in the background of the ED with Sasako singing, there’s a man in a blue jumpsuit (i think its called) and a broom constantyl being passed by.

    • June 21, 2012 at 1:57 pmAiron

      BTW just to make sure, there’s no confirmed second season right? You just mean IF there is one, you’ll blog it? Good to hear!
      OH weird, my Grunties didn’t show above. D:

      • June 21, 2012 at 2:19 pmZanibas

        If there is a second season, I will blog it.

        If there isn’t a second seasn, I will write an imaginary ship fiction to fill the void.

        Sent from my phone somewhere in SoCal.

      • June 23, 2012 at 1:41 amZen

        That a show as refreshingly unconventional as Shirokuma would get green-lit for a second season seems improbable at best, I’m afraid; indeed I was quite surprised to learn that it was supposedly slated to run for 4-cours when the current season began- and conversely, completely unsurprised to learn that its future has since become uncertain. Were is not for the early rumors of a 4-cour run, the continuation of this series beyond a 13th episode would probably be something of a statistical impossibility. The absolute dearth of commentary around here is indicative of Shirokuma’s immense unpopularity (At least among English-speaking anime fans)- and if this at all reflects its popularity levels in Japan, it may be that it is in Studio Pierrot’s best fiscal interests to end things early at 13 episodes…a shame really…yet I am cautiously optimistic, for I know nothing of its popularity in Japan, and because binding contractual obligations can sometimes force a show with poor ratings to continue running for whatever duration that it was originally slated for…

  • June 21, 2012 at 4:10 pmdance2die

    Does anyone even watch this series?

    • June 21, 2012 at 7:49 pmworstof2012

      Yes, everyone except you, dace2die. Having fun in the cave alone?

    • June 22, 2012 at 9:35 amJunglepenguin

      Everyone who’s watching say aye?

      Aye.

      • June 23, 2012 at 1:17 amAutumn The Cuzzy

        Aye! I rarely post about it, but I do watch and enjoy it!

  • June 21, 2012 at 9:26 pmbelatkuro

    Episodes with Handa as the focus are really not as good as the other episodes. He’s just so bland and uninteresting.
    Though this was a bit better than the group date episode mostly because of the Panda-Full-time Panda combo here.
    I’d like to join in the shipping of Sasako and Handa but well, I don’t like Handa that much and Sasako’s really too nice for her so yeah.
    Here’s hoping this still gets covered when it goes for another cour.

    I dunno if Penguin’s schedule about visiting Penko is funny or just downright creppy(stalker-ish even).

  • June 24, 2012 at 3:33 pmrandom viewer

    I wish I can get those origami figures of Panda, Polar Bear, and Penguin.
    At least there were other animals shown in this episode. I spot an elephant~

  • June 25, 2012 at 1:27 amZen

    Lol, when I was little I used to have an origami book that taught me how to make most of the animals in this show. Bet you could get a book like that and some nice origami paper off of Amazon for next to nothing; then you could make the figures yourself…;)

  • September 12, 2012 at 6:00 pmapeot

    Yama Arashi is actually a real band:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YamaArashi