When Shirokuma met Grizzly… the former was already a pun-loving rascal.
The origin story is a tool often used in anime and manga and most other mediums. It can be an incredibly powerful tool that provides context and insight to a character and a current story. It can also be a narrative standstill that fills time in a story — a filler (another tool that is, unfortunately, used too often), if you will. Shirokuma Cafe goes to the origin story well and utilizes this tool in episode 25. And while it’s unnecessary in the grand scheme of things, we at least were fortunate enough to be treated to the origin story of the most well established relationship on the show: Shirokuma and Grizzly.
As a child, Grizzly was his usual rambunctious self needing to show off his bravado to all of the forest animals. But while he certainly established his grizzly-ness, it came at the price of friendship. He was a lonely bear unable to find someone to accept him for him. Enter Shirokuma and his hipster scarf. He wasn’t intimidated one bit by Grizzly (he did the intimidating), and past the perceived rough edges Shirokuma saw a good bear. Shirokuma was his usual punny, trolling and good-cooking self as a young cub, and the two immediately hit it off. In all likelihood, Shirokuma was also one lonely bear in need of another to accept him for him, and his meeting with Grizzly turned into an oddly perfect friendship destined to last a lifetime.
Thank goodness for the Shirokuma/Grizzly origin story. This episode was trending in the wrong direction before then. The first half focused on Penguin’s not-so-secret-anymore hobby: painting. He hosted an exhibit filled with all of his paintings, and it basically centered around Shirokuma and Panda’s reactions to them. I’ll give the show credit for subtly hinting at Penguin’s hobby early last episode, but this segment was yawn-inducing. Nothing too bad (except for Panda being annoying and adding nothing), just not very enjoyable.
Overall, episode 25 was another one full of fillers. The first half was rough, but the second half saved it. Usually I’m not a fan of flashback fillers that have no bearing on the story whatsoever, but it’s tough to argue against having a flashback filler about two likable characters and the most likable friendship on the show. It was quite entertaining. You’ll especially love it if you ship Shirokuma x Grizzly.
GO Rating: 3/5
Mama Grizzly: “Well, aren’t they precious.” I concur.