Shirokuma Café – 20, 21
「憧れの一人暮らし／夏のお祭り」 (Akogare no Hitorigurashi/Natsu no Omatsuri)
“The Ideal Single Life/Summer Festival”
Panda…isn’t changing. I’ll skip things that I’ve been repeating the last few episodes and keep it short. Although I like it when he’s acting as a support character (like in episode 21), he becomes very…spoiled and hard to watch after that. He seems to pick on a lot of the characters and do whatever he wants without much consequence, which rubs me off in the wrong way. At this rate, it looks like that’s not going to change, which although is a shame, is something to be expected.
On the flipside though, more Sasako and Handa interaction was present this episode! Those of you who have been following my posts know how much I dig this coupling, but it’s worth saying again here. Although the two of them may be the most plain and uninteresting characters alone, their interactions together seem very honest and intriguing. Although we’re reaching the end, I hope that any hint of an actual date comes up before closing!
Besides those two main events, a new ‘Panda’ appears onto the stage, though if I recall correctly, he made a small appearance in episode one. I like his spunk and desire to achieve, especially considering his lesser status inherent in his name, and so I hope he appears more in the few episodes we have left. He and Grizzly could make a great pair in terms of comedy, where Grizzly protects Red Panda even though he’s tryin his hardest, in contrast to regular Panda whose efforts are more spread out.
However, like the last time I did a double post, the second episode ended up being much more interesting, in a lot more ways….
「ンダくんパンダじゃなくなる／メイメイの王子様」 (Panda-kun Panda Janakunaru/Mei Mei no Ouji-sama)
“Panda is No Longer a Panda/Mei Mei’s Prince”
My first reaction to this episode: wut.
Whoever the director is for the zoo must be the most epic troll of all time, something I wholeheartedly approve. Two paws up! Although, like last episode, Panda was being a self-centered animal, it was paired with enough shenanigans to become a really enjoyable skit. The various suits that Panda wore…brilliant stuff, though I really do question the tastes of the visitors, who should obviously recognize that there are other animals (and humans) in animal suits, but don’t really care either way…Actually, on second thought, that’d be a pretty interesting thing to see. If all the animals decided to switch places for a day, with say Now that I’ve seen the ultimate potential of Llama to be anything but a llama, he should get that reassignment! He does get the short stick compared to Giraffe (haha), so let him be his own person! It would make a great attraction and he’d get tons of compliments!
But there is one person who got more compliments than Llama could ever get…and it’s the one person I never would have thought. If Mei Mei is the making of a love triangle…that’d be both hilarious and slightly creepy at the same time. Although it makes sense that Handa-san has qualities that an actual Panda may find attractive, cross-species attraction is quite a big jump. However, with Rin Rin’s undying love for Panda, this shouldn’t be surprising. Despite this, the skit and Panda’s hilarious way of handling the awkwardness was comedic gold. It’s a winning combination with how Mei Mei is able to keep an attitude that keeps Panda in check, something that not many cast members have the ability to do. Hanazawa Kana performs the role of aggressive little sister well–if the show gets a second season, she should be at the forefront of the next running story arc, first to be an enjoyable character, second to speed up Sasako x Handa. Although I love Mei Mei’s antics and energy, her silliness is the death of anything serious.
Next week: more Penguin…which may mean more Penko-san! It looks like we’ll finally see how Penguin makes a living and is able to frequent the cafe every day, a question that’s been bothering me this entire series.