Shirokuma Café – 22
「営業ペンギン／ペンギンさんのピクニック」 (Eigyō Pengin/Pengin-san no Pikunikku)
“Sales Penguin/Mr. Penguin’s Picnic”
Penguin fans who watched this week’s episode had a field day! Along with being unique in making fun of the similarities between different penguin types, the episode (at least for the first part) continued to be lightly informative on the species of penguins. It’s hard not to be sympathetic to the other penguins (and especially Penguin-san himself) when people lack the ability to tell between their own kind. It’s kind of like when people can’t tell the difference between people of a certain region, even though it’s an easy task for most(?) natives themselves.
That wasn’t the only subtle social commentary that was in this episode though. The show made a quick jab at how selling ‘voting’ cards along with merchandise doesn’t actually make sense, perhaps as a response to the various idol groups and their managers who pull off these sorts of stunts. Also, although this may be a bit of a stretch, but the show may have also poked fun at how Valentine’s Day came to be popular in Japan: effective marketing of a chocolate company that chocolate = Valentine’s Day. However, when applied to a different context, it seems that even Sasako-san isn’t nice enough to take them up on a pack of Penguin cards.
But the most interesting part of this episode was Penguin-san going on a seven (or is it eight?) person date. If this setting was placed in a fanservice-type anime where the characters were human and moe, this wouldn’t seem (as much) as a ridiculous gimmick. Thanks to the animal setting, it’s easier to see how ridiculous an actual harem would be. It may be seven (or eight, too lazy) people who look exactly alike, but the fact that all of them are willing to date Penguin-san at once is…ridiculous and also hilarious. The fact that they put up with him still is amazing, but it adds a comedic element that you just can’t easily replicate outside of this anime!
Like I’ve said before: I enjoy this anime the most when Panda-san isn’t at the center of attention, as well as when it takes advantage of its unique humor it has to offer. There may be only 4 episodes to go, so let’s see what this continually improving anime has to offer us next!