Poor Handa is afraid of ghost stories.
Each series usually has a forgettable, throwaway episode or two during the season. Episode 18 was one of those episodes for Shirokuma Cafe.
It starts off with Shirokuma deciding to do something that’s apparently a pretty standard summer pastime in Japan — telling ghost stories. Practically all of the gang was present, including a very hesitant and very scaredy-cat Handa, and each (with the exception of Handa) had a ghost story to tell.
Unfortunately, I can’t even say that the stories were hit and miss because none of them hit, and some weren’t even fully told. And not only were stories that were told to us (we weren’t privy to Sasako’s story) not scary (not a surprise since I wasn’t expecting them to be), but they failed to be amusing.
Segment two focused on Panda and his kinda-sorta quest to run away from home. Not surprisingly, his reasons for running away were childish and petty, but it didn’t matter because Panda usually gets what he wants in the end. No exception here, and Panda was too petulant for my liking.
Shirokuma Cafe usually excels at random plot set-ups. The phrase “came out of nowhere” is pretty normal when describing episodes, but it hasn’t been much of an issue because payoffs, no matter how far from left field they come from, usually hit their mark. Even if some segments feel like filler, the result tend to connect with the bigger story the show is telling and usually makes sense.
Episode 18 was one of those rare instances where both of its random segments contributed to nothing in the long run and were filler for filler’s sake. And frankly, the number of times I smiled were very few, and the number of times I laughed were non-existent. Not a good combination.
Worst episode of the season.
GO Rating: 1.5/5
If Panda ever needs a place to run away to, there’s one place that would welcome him with open arms.