Shirokuma Café – 29

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He’s cute and all, but…

[HorribleSubs] Polar Bear Cafe - 29 [1080p].mkv_snapshot_01.49_[2012.10.19_10.19.09]This was one of those eps of Shirokuma Café that had me helpless with laughter from start to finish, but especially the first sketch. It probably came closer to epitomizing what makes Panda a great comedic character than any other – I would say it’s my favorite Panda-centric chapter so far.  As with many great comedies it can be hard to put into words just exactly why something struck you as funny – but this one did.  And I think it may have set the record for most eyecatches in 22 minutes, too.

[HorribleSubs] Polar Bear Cafe - 29 [1080p].mkv_snapshot_03.36_[2012.10.19_10.20.56]From the beginning, the shot of Panda-kun with his cheek-blush and panda tie got things off to a great start.  Then Shirokuma actually running out of puns and being speechless.  Then, when Panda shows up for work at the “Volvi” dealership, it only gets better.  The first customer’s reaction: “He’s cute and all, but I’m sort of lost”.  And that sums up Shirokuma Café and Panda-kun’s appeal pretty well.  It’s just so absurd, yet normal.  Panda-kun’s journey of good fortune sees him an ace salesman because he can sleep on the hood of a moving car, an ace broker because he falls asleep with his paw on the “buy” button of the right stock and, best of all, a brilliant motivational speaker because…  Well, because he’s so darn cute.  In the Yin-Yang of Thursday shows with roles Fukuyama Jun should and shouldn’t be playing, this is the one he was born to play.

[HorribleSubs] Polar Bear Cafe - 29 [1080p].mkv_snapshot_04.15_[2012.10.19_10.21.35]The second sketch, as is often the case, is the more earnest and heartfelt.  The desire of flightless birds to fly is one of the anthropomorphizing impulses humans naturally have, like the satellites from Jinrui being lonely.  Well, since this is a show build on anthropomorphizing it makes sense we’d explore it with Penguin-san – and though it’s largely a comedy of errors there’s a certain sincerity in his desire to fly, and in his friends’ efforts to help him (again, we see Panda-kun can actually be quite a good friend when he wants to be).  Finally we settle on something that’s always struck me as true – Penguins “fly” through the water as other birds do the sky – just watch them sometime.  As awkward as they are on land (especially getting onto barstools) they’re graceful in the water (or running the bases).  This is the happy lesson Penguin-san learns – though at the cost of being stuck in a tree with only Sloth-san to help him

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4 comments

  1. l

    In the Yin-Yang of Thursday shows with roles Fukuyama Jun should and shouldn’t be playing,
    So what role should Fukuyama not be playing on Thursdays?

  2. K

    I also loved both these sketches. And now I know how much better work would be if we only had a Panda in a tie (sigh).

    Loved the concept of Penguin wanting to fly as well. Shirokuma Cafe is genius to me without even trying.

    And not sure if I ever said it but I am really happy you blog this series because it does not get nearly the attention it deserves.

  3. e

    This had me giggling almost from start to finish. And you picked the feathered Penguin screenshpot as well, ahah (that moment gave me mental images of Brazilian Carnival meets Paris variety… I could get into those if Penguin was on stage I think XD). But they forgot him on the tree as well in the end. Aw.
    I agree this was Panda's best episode so far. From the tie to the seminar to his genuine friendship efforts, he was shining in his blushy cheeks glory.

  4. b

    If only being a CEO is that easy…

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