「半田さん改造計画/ラブラブドライブ大作戦」 (Handa-san Kaizou Keikaku/Rabu Rabu Doraibu Daisakusen)
“Mr. Handa’s Make-Over Plan/The Great Love Love Driving Operation”
Yup, Shirokuma is getting better and better with his impersonations. First his puns, then his various impersonations of inanimate objects, and now his foray into Shirokuma-chan have progressively become funnier as they increase the dials on the duo slapstick and double act comedy. Poor penguin…all he wants is his nice date with Miss Penko…but unfortunately the only people to help him with that are a trolltastic panda bear and a misinformed lazy panda.
The comedy theme of this episode was pairing up Panda and Shirokuma, which I found worked really well. While Shirokuma does most of the heavy lifting in terms of executing the jokes, Panda does a good job being as the sidekick, helping set up the jokes for Shirokuma to blow ridiculously out of proportion. Panda may still be a bit annoying as his attitude lingers, but it’s a subdued trait in favor of his pure childishness and playfulness. For example, set Panda on a ride that would obviously break under his weight, which is good for a smile, but follow-up with the Shirokuma’s ridiculousness and suddenly, it’s a perfect setup for laughs! I’m impressed that Panda is able to bring out this childish and more adventurous side of Shirokuma. Inside the cafe Shirokuma is pretty much tame with some dry humor, but take him outside on an adventure…and shenanigans are bound to be plentiful.
Concerning the first half…t’was alright. Not much really happened in terms of development, though I do pity Mr. Handa for being so plain. This half did have it’s moments, especially concerning the great images of ridiculousness it produced. I absolutely laughed out loud (at 3:00 AM mind you) when Shirokuma decided to crash the photo with that outfit of his. To each his own I suppose, though I’m surprised once again at Shirokuma’s ability to change quickly. I still stand by my alt-text claim that he used to work in theater before working at the cafe!
The second half could probably be summed with this gif I made. Let it speak for itself. The ending was a bit of a letdown, but if that means the Penko dilemma will be resolved in a future episode, it’s forgivable. Next episode though has Grizzly coming back, of which I’ve wanted to see more of his interactions with Shirokuma ever since his debut last episode! Here’s to next episode’s…fish?