Tough show to blog, this one. I suspect even more than with most comedy, you’re either going to LOL, or wonder why the other person is. For me, I laugh many times with every episode, and this one was no different. The premise of this show is so elegantly simple, and even I can’t explain exactly why it makes me laugh as much as it does because it really is kind of dumb. But the sense of humor wants what it wants, and mine is very happy with Shirokuma Café. Some highlights this week:
- Penguin-san asks Sasako-san (why, I have no idea) what she thinks of men who eat beef and potato stew. She replies (why, I have no idea) “I’d rather not answer that right now.” To which Penguin-san replies, “That was standoffish”.
- Sasako-san imagining herself breaking shellfish on her tummy like Otter-san (“It’s not really an act; it’s more of a trait.”)
- Polar Bear trying to sneak into “No polar bears allowed” polar bear and seal exhibits at the zoo, and Penguin pretending he’s a stuffed animal and a rug
- Zoo polar bear freaking out when he sees Polar Bear-san
- “I’m terrible with exercise.”
- Llama-san getting depressed because no one lines up to watch him (which is exactly what happens at every zoo I’ve ever visited). Don’t they at least projectile-spit?
- Koala-san belching eucalyptus gas and Anteater-san eating ramen
- “I’ve been asked if I wanted to become an idol, but it would be hard to fit that in with my studies.”
- “I’ve been wondering if Hina Dolls should go with the burnable or non-burnable trash.”
I don’t know why, but even the notion of Full-time Panda-san getting the day off to visit his daughter’s class struck me funny. Maybe I’m giving this show too much of a free pass because I’m kindly disposed towards it, but Shirokuma Café really hasn’t put of paw wrong so far for me. Funny is funny, and this show makes me laugh. Anthropomorphising animals is certainly nothing new in cartoons, or in Japan’s Shinto-influenced culture, but the tone is just right here. There’s the right amount of snark, a dash of social commentary, and an underlying affection for the characters. I’ve never really believed in the notion of guilty pleasures with anime – if you like it, it’s a pleasure. And there’ll always be a place on my schedule for shows that make me laugh and don’t require in-depth analysis or research.