I’m with the Pandas on the whole kotatsu thing. I’d kill for one right now.
I paid a visit to the Shirokuma Café shop at Shibuya Parco this week, just across from the NoitaminA store. It’s a pop-up that sticks around for about a month (the last one was Kuroko no Basuke) and while Blu-ray sales aren’t likely very good (given that it’s an Animate exclusive, it’s hard to tell) I take this as another sign that Shirokuma is succeeding at finding an audience in Japan. That would most likely mean manga sales are the prime consideration, which makes sense given the genre – and I’m definitely seeing a good share of swag at places like Cospa and such.
As for this week’s episode, it was just good clean Shirokuma fun, featuring Shirokma-san at his hard trolling best. There are really times when I wonder why Grizzly-kun even remains friends with him, but then Shirokuma goes and does something sweet which redeems his character. It’s an odd friendship, this one, but it has a certain ring of truth to it – close male friendships often seem to have one participant who lives to get the other’s goat, and one who acts angry about it but secretly likes it.
A whole episode about Grizzly-san’s hibernation? It’s more entertaining than it sounds – though I guess the bar gets shut down for the winter (where will the carnivores go to bond now?). I think my favorite part came in the second half, when Penguin-san and Panda-kun showed up for their “date” with Grizzly and they and Shirokuma-san proceeded to engage in a hilariously inane conversation about where to go and what to eat. Polar Bear even trotted out the old “drying kelp on the floor” excuse for why they couldn’t come over – I mean really, who hasn’t heard that one a thousand times?
As to why Shirokuma was so determined to troll his friend while he was trying to hibernate, I don’t really know – it was a little further than he usually goes when he’s irritating just for kicks. Maybe he just wanted to get Grizzly-kun out of the house so he could surprise him with the memory foam pillow, or maybe he really thought Grizzly was better off staying active for a while. In any event Grizzly’s tactic of stuffing the others full of nabe and getting them (except for Panda) hammered was quite effective, and soon he was happily back in his bed, snoring away the winter.
It seems that the “Where’s Sasako” (The calls are coming from INSIDE THE ELEVATOR!) routine is going to be a running gag in the previews, at least for a while. We also get a new ED, one of the strangest yet – featuring a group of adorable Japanese children frolicking in Shirokuma cosplay. Turns out the boy I thought was Grizzly is Sloth, which makes sense given the slowness of the song. Is Shirokuma-san being saved for last, or is Sakurai-san just not going to be pushed into doing an ED song?
ED 9: Largo (ラルゴ; Rarugo)” by Kisho Taniyama