Handa just received the bad news: Sasako prefers tall guys.
But don’t let that discourage you, Handa!
Shirokuma Cafe took another good step in the right direction in regards to the potential Handa x Sasako pairing. In episode 23, Handa finally took a semi-proactive approach by asking Shirokuma out to dinner in hopes to get the skinny on Sasako. Shirokuma behaved like his typical self throughout the night: he trolled, he gave bad news, and he also gave encouragement.
Meanwhile, back in the cafe, Panda and Penguin bemoaned Handa’s bad luck. You see, with the cafe barely inhabited by any customers due to the pouring rain, it would have been the perfect opportunity for Handa to have precious face-to-face time with Sasako. To make matters worse, the customers who were in the cafe were all good-looking men looking to woo Sasako. Poor, poor Handa.
The second half of the episode focused on none other than Panda Mama. Her usual, errand-filled day turned into a day filled with stern lessons taught by Red Squirrel Mama at the all-you-can-stuff walnut section of the grocery store and King Penguin Mama at the all-you-can-eat cake buffet.
I really love what they’re doing with the Handa/Sasako storyline. They’re building it up at just the right pace, and
when if it happens it’ll be so much more meaningful. Now I should note that the build up to the Penguin/Penko relationship — the most consistent narrative earlier in the season — was also well done. The only difference is that I root for a Handa/Sasako relationship because I care about the characters more. Obviously, the payoff to Penguin/Penko was a disaster (in my opinion), but I don’t have the same fear for Handa/Sasako because, as characters, they’re too sweet and practical to have their pairing end as radically, and I’m pretty sure that the show recognizes this. And even if they don’t end up together this season, which is definitely a possibility, I’m confident that the two will have a happy end (at least as happy as it could be without them getting together) this season.
Handa/Sasako relationship aside, there were some good character moments in the first half. Sasako had some funny facial reactions and Panda unveiled his angry side. Llama continues to make the most of his minor appearances, and he had a very hilarious cameo in the episode.
Panda Mama was filler, but it was amusing filler. For the most part, the show has a good track record whenever they dedicate a half to a random side character.
GO Rating: 3.5/5
The casualties of a failed attempt at all-you-can-stuff walnuts.