Shirokuma Café – 23
「半田さんの相談／パンダママの日常」 (Handa-san no Soudan/Panda Mama no Nichijou)
“Mr. Handa’s Discussion/Panda Mama’s Daily Life”
Three more episodes left in the current set and Shirokuma Cafe doesn’t look like it’s slowing down! Both skits were golden this week, but for completely different reasons. One skit accelerated the plot to a point where a clean resolution could possibly be seen by episode 26, whilst the other had Mamas everywhere!
Handa-san finally took the initiative to start something up…but the others around him won’t make it easy. Shirokuma, though infinitely wise in his knowledge of being the coolest bear around, can’t let Handa-san on that knowledge without some sort of payment in return…namely pun wars and copious amounts of delicious food. I’m an old broken record for saying this, but Shirokuma’s trolling is golden, especially when he can get everyone else to play along, as illustrated by Handa’s pun battle. Everyone else seems apt and able to support Handa as well, using the power of the information age to send Handa support texts! Relationships become an interesting dynamic when a sizable amount of people take part in shaping its future. The tendency for rom coms to keep relationship troubles within a core group of people is broken here, allowing fo maximum interaction from the cast. Llama gets a small role by playing the distant romantic, Panda finally gets a little pissed for great humor, and Shirokuma of course, reassures Handa in the end that his plainness is what makes him special–a unique trait that ironically contrasts with the rest of the cast. Heck, even the pretty patrons of the cafe can’t be as normal as Handa!
While we wait for that emotional support to finally kick in, Panda Mama and friends don’t fail to fill in the time! Once again, Shirokuma Cafe works well in focusing on its side characters, expanding the story’s universe in a humorous way. This side characters go beyond that–they expand the story universe, but they expand it in a way that’s unconventional for most anime in general. The stereotype of the middle aged mother isn’t explored much, so it’s interesting to see the topic explored here. It’s not good to generalize the actions of these characters to the real world, but to see the mothers of our main characters being so…thrifty–that’s hilarious! Shirokuma, usually mighty and high above everyone else, gets a humbling lesson from his elders today. Who knew that Panda Mama and Penguin Mama could outwit and out-negotiate even the Shirokuma! Of course, when this battle played out, Panda and Penguin hide in their little corner…something I’m sure most of us would do as well.
Next week, Shirokuma Cafe will be presented in papercraft…or so I wished. If Shirokuma actually followed through on his preview announcements, the show would be a whole lot more diverse. However, what we can look forward to next week is an apprenticeship and a sports festival, the latter potentially a hilariously awkward scenario if Panda and Penguin’s mothers come to cheer them on! Also, if you haven’t checked out the new ED by Penguin, check it out! It’s truly an emotional song for those stuck in a 7-way crush.
ED6: 「ぞっこん！ペン子さん」 (Zokkon! Penko-san)
“I’m Madly In Love With Ms. Penko!” by Kamiya Hiroshi (神谷 浩史)
Watch the 6th ED!: Streaming ▼