Shirokuma Café – 14
「シロクマくん張り切る/海に行こう！」 (Shirokuma-kun Harikiru/Umi ni Ikō!)
“Enthusiastic Polar Bear/Let’s Go to the Beach!”
Trolling levels are at an all-time high here in the first half! A deal is made where one person totally goes wild with the job, whereas the other…oh my, those eyes. It was quite an initial shock to see them switch places, as it expanded the possibilities for hilarious shenanigans many fold. We got a small taste of what could happen with penguin trying to imitate a turtle, but seeing this [why didn't I see this earlier] switch-up reinforced how funny swapping animals around could be. Just imagine if Sloth or Llama took over for…anyone. Granted, the episode would either need two hours to complete or a buffer for the mad fangirls, but I assure you, shenanigans would be had.
The second half: obligatory beach episode, to put it bluntly. It’s a beach episode with a different kind of fanservice–not one with lots of steaming full-shots, but instead one with lots of cute
girls animals doing cute things. Granted, it happens a lot in this series, but it’s the only explanation for the beach setting! However, one point of discussable interest concerns the reactions each of the animals receives from the human world. Throughout the series, whenever the animals interact with humans, the reaction always seems to be either “that’s so cool!” or “holy moly it’s an animal! D:” This episode was no exception. Shirokuma is the cool cat who can impress no matter his species, Panda is the one who sometimes attracts the wrong crowd (but mostly gets ‘em), and Penguin…well let’s say he shouldn’t ever try picking up anyone but Penguins. The setting of this world sometimes feels inconsistent to me due to this: is this a world where animals are fully accepted beings (but can still do weird stuff that shocks), or are there still people getting used to the fact? It’s a little trite to bring up in a series like this, but hey, one has to say something more than ‘lol dis funneh’ for comedy coverage!
Finally, upon reflecting on both halves of the episode, I have concluded that Sasako-san is a trooper. She doesn’t seem to take a day off of work…ever, and never complains at work, other than the silent and polite ‘wtf’ reaction. Whilst Shirokuma and friends go and have epic adventures and trolls, she’s always holding down the fort at home, somehow managing the entire cafe by herself. I swear this means that they’ll have an episode dedicated to her for once–omitting her screen time would be cruel! Even we get to see Handa on his down time, why not Sasako! [No, seeing her on her bike doesn't count.] Here’s to awaiting that inevitable episode! To character development!
ED4:「ZOOっと、ね♪」 (ZOO tto, Ne♪) by 小西克幸 (Konishi Katsuyuki)