Shirokuma Café – 43

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Surely, there’s no art form more (ig)noble than than manly art of the pun.

[HorribleSubs]_Polar_Bear_Cafe_-_43_[720p].mkv_snapshot_02.03_[2013.02.07_21.59.03]That a series can devote an entire half-episode to puns in a language I barely speak and still make me laugh is testament to just how well-executed the first half of this week’s Shirokuma Café was.  It’s pretty audacious to give the entire chapter over to puns – it may, in fact, be the longest run of puns I’ve seen in anime – but it totally worked for me, even if some of the nuance was lost.  Puns are beloved by the Japanese perhaps more than any other nation, and as a form of humor I don’t think it has quite the stigma that it does in the West (where those of us with taste and discretion understand that it’s actually high art, no matter what the haters say).

[HorribleSubs]_Polar_Bear_Cafe_-_43_[720p].mkv_snapshot_02.46_[2013.02.07_21.59.47]Beyond that, writing about the first chapter is pretty pointless because hey – it was a string of puns.  Still, it was a pretty clever ruse by Grizzly to enlist everyone’s help in trying to teach Shirokuma a lesson (“I don’t even care about getting woken up anymore”) for disturbing his hibernation yet again, and launching into a pun attack while Grizzly was still half-asleep.  I especially loved the eyecatches tipping what the next pun was going to be, and among the best of the puns was Llama-san coming up with “Keukenhof Koen” for “kyuukei” (break) – which was somehow completely in character. 

[HorribleSubs]_Polar_Bear_Cafe_-_43_[720p].mkv_snapshot_02.59_[2013.02.07_21.59.59]The next episode gives is a large helping of Llama-san too, as he and Full-time Panda-san go off on a bender after knocking off work at the zoo.  Really, this more than anything is a great excuse to here some veteran seiyuu go crazy playing drunk zoo animal-salarymen, and it gets especially hilarious after Rin-Rin joins the pair at the izakaya and moves it to the Grizzly Bar, where Shirokuma-san is filling in for Otter-san (who’s filling in for the nominally hibernating owner).  Llama-san drunk is a treat in every way, and he and Full-time-san going on and on about the “fierce beasts” is Grade-A prime comedy material.  It’s also come to my attention that every time Shirokuma fills in at the bar, he seems to open a bottle of champagne

[HorribleSubs]_Polar_Bear_Cafe_-_43_[720p].mkv_snapshot_04.23_[2013.02.07_22.01.51]Also of note is the short interlude featuring Masaki and the coffee cast.  As a first-tier coffee geek I love these little primers on coffee, and every word is 100% accurate – all those little details like water temperature, speed of pour (for pour-over brewing, slow is better) and grind make a huge difference.  And yes, eating something sweet first dramatically impacts how you taste the coffee.  And we get a new ED as well, as Rin-Rin takes center stage – it’s an amusing live-action take on the great Panda hunt, though the song itself is forgettable.  Theoretically it should set us up for one final ED, which I’m fervently hoping will be Sakurai-san as Shirokuma finally taking his turn – I confess, I’m looking forward to that almost as much as anything in the show at this point, and it’ll be a big disappointment if we don’t get it.

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ED 11: “PANDAHOLIC!!” by Tokuyoshi Kawashima

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  1. a

    The scene when Llama-san wakes up in the morning, the yelp is hilarious… Haha.

    I like the ED with Rin-Rin, the song not so much, when I heard Bamboo Scramble, I thought it would be a rendition like the first one, sadly not.

    On another note, is Shirokuma Cafe ending soon or taking a hiatus?

  2. e

    @amndn: going by the bits of info posted by Enzo last week I gotmthe impression it could be either as the official phrasing about the anime was a bit vague… I'm hoping for the hiatus scenario myself (season two! season two!) but it seems the less likely option.

  3. Yes, the producer was unclear on this. It seems like a hiatus at the very least, though some new project is in the works. I continue to see a lot of Shirokuma merch out there so I assume the show is still considered to be successful financially, but I have no idea how much of the manga remains unadapted.

  4. K

    From what someone told me a lot if not most of the anime is actually original to the anime & not in the manga.

  5. e

    I can crack bad puns like whoa so the first half had me chortling almost non-stop. And one the pun eyecatches featured Anteater cosplaying as Remi the orphan! I almost died there (Ie no naki Ko… visually great show but it can rip your heart out in true 'resilient orphan's sad tale, chased by misfortune while chasing for his Mom' old school anime genre fashion XD. By Dezaki & Sugino. Funny how I had mentioned them both earlier in another post).

    Full-Time Panda tackled the matter many of us can agree with I'm sure: Llama-sun you're great! Why are you not popular in-universe?
    A drunk llama is as good as a sober one to boot. Eheh XD. Also, Champagne! Shiro knows his stuff 8D. And Grizzly too, given how it's seemngly a staple of his beverage stock.
    And more coffee geekiness!
    Then the RinRin ED sequence came and I sorta convulsed with laughter 1) the ED actor is cute! 2) I dun wanna see Rin Rin in his pajamas though! D: 3) the chase. THE CHASE.
    For me this episode worked wonderfully from the beginning to end. Now where are my truffles?

  6. m

    I was totally rolling with the drunk-salary zoo animals. Cracked me up the whole time. The hilarious ness just never ended.
    My neighbors will probably send me a note for being too noisy.

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