Don’t suck him up, Penguin!
What a twist! And I’m not referring to the intro image, although that was a nice little twist on its own. Shirokuma Cafe has provided a couple of unforeseen endings throughout the season, and while the ending that hinted towards an eventual Handa x Sasako romance from episode 12 was very sentimental, the twist that transpires at the end of this episode was quite bizarre and a bit unbelievable… yet was still quite amusing.
The first half of the episode was pretty standard. Weeds that surround the cafe have grown out of control—so much so that it’s difficult for poor Panda to traverse through them—so the main gang, plus Llama, Koala and Sloth, decide to work together to cut them down. That’s all fine and good, except for the fact that poor Penguin is the only one pulling his weight. (Although, good ol’ Sloth does his very best, but obviously not at the preferred pace.)
While most of this segment was uneventful, it did provide unexpected troll moments from Sasako and a cool cameo from the always-welcomed Grizzly.
The meat of the episode is found in the second half as another chapter is written in the Penguin x “Penko” saga. Now the reason why “Penko” is typed in quotation marks is because the episode starts off with Penguin revealing that “Penko” actually isn’t the name of the girl penguin he’s in love with. “Penko” is just a name he’s been using to refer to her all this time. He actually doesn’t even know her real name yet because he’s been too scared to ask.
At this point, I’m not liking the start of the segment because I then assume that it’s going to get spent with Penguin trying to find out her real name. Instead of Penguin just now finding out penguin girl’s real name, he should have already asked her out. This season-long narrative was making great strides in its earlier episodes, but lately it has stalled and gone backwards, and this start to the segment made it seem like it was about to back into a brick wall once and for all.
Ah, but you know what they say when you assume?
Not only did Penguin find the courage to ask the girl penguin her name (which he finds out is Penmi), he actually finds the courage to ask her out. Not only that, Penguin asks her out multiple times in the episode. 7 straight days, to be exact. Talk about making up for lost time.
In 8 minutes, the narrative goes from neutral, to reverse, to full-out hyperdrive, and it ends with the aforementioned twist, which I won’t spoil here.
While being billed as part of Shirokuma Cafe’s big 3, save for his unrequited endeavors, Penguin has mostly been overshadowed this season. Panda and Shirokuma have been the main focus of the show, while side characters like Handa, Rin Rin and Grizzly have received more memorable attention. Episode 15 finally puts Penguin in the limelight.
Penguin is often the voice of reason and the most logical and serious of the group, yet he is often ignored, which this episode’s weed-cutting segment highlights. And in the second segment, the Penguin x “Penko” storyline explodes into something unimaginable, which seems to be par for the course for Shirokuma Cafe lately.
Penguin finally got his cake, ate it… and choked on it afterwards. Good for him!
GO Rating: 3.5/5
“I’ve always liked you! Please go on a date with me!”