Shirokuma Café – 11

[HorribleSubs] Polar Bear Cafe - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_10.56_[2012.06.14_10.12.56] [HorribleSubs] Polar Bear Cafe - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_18.29_[2012.06.14_10.20.51] [HorribleSubs] Polar Bear Cafe - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_19.19_[2012.06.14_10.21.56]

Hey, who got heartwarming in my irreverence?

Two chapters today, as different as day and night (or the white and black in a panda’s fur).  I enjoyed the first, chronicling Penguin-san’s broken heart at the hands of Penko-san, though it doesn’t rank among the best Shirokuma has had on offer.  Basically, the skit is built around one pun – and it’s a pretty good one, “Kame…ra”.  Heh – to thine own self be true, and bad puns are certainly the essence of a lot of the comedy here.  Penguin had been slightly less prominent in the last few episodes, so it was good to see him back in the spotlight, especially with Kamiya Hiroshi doing his impression of Kondou Takayuki’s giant tortoise.  Hearing seiyuu have fun is a big part of the enjoyment of this series, generally speaking.  We also got our first real chance to hear from photo buff Penko-san (Yahagi Sayuri), though there was no real progress on the romance front (something I don’t expect to change).

Much the more interesting sketch, to me, was “Panda-kun’s Night Out”.  I’ve enjoyed pretty much all Grizzly-san’s appearances, but this chapter was pretty much unique so far among all the ones animated.  Why?  Well, if was by far the least ironic – in fact, I’d say it was played almost straight in emotional terms.  Sure, Grizzly got trolled repeatedly by Polar Bear (that’s a constant) but it was actually quite a warm piece – Grizzly and Polar Bear taking on Aniki roles with Panda-kun, who actually stayed awake for almost the whole night.  And all three of them seemed to enjoy the evening, even Grizzly-san.  I especially liked the sequence at the sento, where Panda-kun saw the boy washing his father’s back and offered to do the same for Grizzly-san.  Sure he got it all wrong, but it was still as close to an earnest moment as this series has given us.

Some folks dislike any earnestness in what’s fundamentally a snarky comedy, but if the writing is good (as it was here) I think it adds some nice depth.  Shinryaku! Ika Musume is the modern apex of this balance, and while Shirokuma certainly isn’t as good, it still benefits from a little infusion of genuine warmth once in a while.  And there was plenty of good comedy here, too – Panda eating the skewers (literally) at the yakatori-ya, the sauna (endurance in a sauna is indeed a test of your GAR reserves) and the “Bear Bamboo Leaf” shampoo.  All in all this was on of my favorite chapters so far. 

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[HorribleSubs] Polar Bear Cafe - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_20.11_[2012.06.14_10.22.47] [HorribleSubs] Polar Bear Cafe - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_21.16_[2012.06.14_10.23.52] [HorribleSubs] Polar Bear Cafe - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_21.54_[2012.06.14_10.24.31]


  1. D

    Wonder how long did Grizzly-san actually stayed in that sauna?

    Yea, I agree with you about the earnestness present. It suits this series just fine.

  2. d

    well, I like this show more than Shinryaku! Ika Musume. To me, the squid girl show was all about "that traditional moe girl thing", which I don't really care for. Perhaps that was better than countless generic moe girl genre, but it's still moe girl show to me. I will take moe panda (animal) + mischievous polar bear (another animal) over that any day!!

  3. I think Ika Musume was no more "traditional moe girl thing" than Ikoku Meiro was, but to each his own I guess. Just because a series as a cute girl in it doesn't make it a moe show. Ika Musume is one of the sharpest comedies in the last few years, IMHO.

  4. e

    *pinching Panda-san blushy cheeks* must resist the cute, must the resist the cute… gah!

    @Enzo: have you tried the deceptively moe-designed hamster series by Gainax already? It was pretty sharp, if raunchy, imho. English fansubs should still be wholly available on youtube as well… every video consists of two short episodes.

  5. You know, I've never sat down and watched Oruchuban Ebichu – I probably should.

  6. e

    As soon as your schedule and mood allows it I do think you should. And don't be drinking anything while watching.

  7. m

    How did Penguin-san get hold of the turtle shell…?

  8. I assume it's a fake, but you can probably get the real thing if you really want it. People do eat turtle soup after all.

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