Sometimes a comedy tries to shed light on reality through absurdity, and that’s often true with Shirokuma Café – by highlighting ridiculous situations they remind us how ridiculous our real-life counterparts are, and that was certainly the case with the second chapter this week. But first we had a pretty straightforward skit featuring Penguin-san and the Seven Miss Penkos – one that certainly didn’t break any new ground but gave Kamiya Hiroshi a chance to show off some of his best non-linguistic verbalization skills. Listening to his high-pitched… well, I don’t know what I’d call them –as Penguin-san was staring down seven angry female emperor penguins reminds me of how much fun this cast is probably having. There was probably never any chance for this to work out well for Penguin-san so I think it’s just as well for him that it’s over – thanks to Panda-kun’s help – but it did give us the chance to hear Shirokuma-san’s “According to my Grandma’s will I can’t come out from behind this counter” line, and to discover that penguin-differentiation is yet another of Llama-san’s hidden talents.
As for the second skit, it did indeed serve to reminds us just how utterly ridiculous Japan’s fascination with idol culture is (not that the West is free of this particular affliction either, though the Japanese seem especially blighted). The prospect of Panda-mama and Mrs. King Penguin being besotted with a group of porcupine idols called “Yama Arashi” (mountain storm) is every bit as silly as it sounds, especially when their backup dancers turn out to be the “Capybara Kids”. Panda-mama and King Penguin-san go the Tokio Dome to see a live concert, where Panda-mama spends the family fortune on Y-A bling and they encounter huge lines at the ladies room. And I’m sure that the porcupine that thanked the girls at the end was played by Mamoru Miyano, no less. Very, very goofy stuff – but then, I think that was exactly the point.
At long last Llama-san gets his much-anticipated turn in the spotlight, delivering a mamba for the new ED. Quite fitting given his lineage. Still no Shirokuma ED, I’ll add – perhaps they’re saving it for last?
ED7: “Llama-san no Llama Mambo (ラマさんのラママンボ; Mr. Llama’s Llama Mambo)” by Daisuke Ono