Among the early Christmas presents to the viewers of Shirokuma:
- Mamoru Miyano as Alpaca-san
- Shirokuma at Shibuya Crossing
- The full Panda family together at last, live and in photo tai-chi form
- Fukuyama Jun and Hanazawa Kana doing a duet “Don’t suck me up!”
- Holiday-themed King Penguin and Emperor Penguin chick choo-choo train
Some shows have to try and little too hard to make a Christmas ep and it shows, but Shirokuma is really in its comfort zone – very silly, just a bit heartwarming, a tiny bit satirical of the silliness of the pomp and circumstance of the season. We got a little bit of everything – Grizzly getting trolled by Shirokuma and a box of vegetable oil, Penguin-san being a pathetically needy soul (though he got his Christmas miracle, finishing one of his traditional Japanese comedic presentations), a range of returning guest stars.
We also got a healthy dose of the creepiest character in anime, Rin-Rin. I did not need to see him with a Panda hug pillow, thank you very much. On the other hand he did knit Panda-kun exactly what he wanted, a fluffy panda pochette (now they match). And poor Llama-san got outshined again, this time by the fluffier and more luxurious Alpaca-san. And Sasako-san finally appeared for real in the preview, where I’ve noticed she has a somewhat edgier personality than she does in the show itself. There was no Christmas romance for Handa-san though, sadly – just a puzzling picture for Prince Han (I think he would have preferred the scrub brush) from his greatest admirer. Perhaps he can repay her with cuteness – she’d surely consider that legal tender.