Panda has another part-time job!
I’m back from reviewing hiatus! The good thing is that while I was gone Shirokuma Cafe debuted a better OP. I have to admit that the soundtrack on this show has been underrated; each track has been pretty catchy for the most part.
Now I will quickly recap episodes 27 and 28, and do a regular review for 29.
In episode 27, an obligatory baseball game takes place between Shirokuma and the underdogs of Shirokuma Cafe and Grizzly and the rough and tough patrons of Grizzly Bar. The end sees an expected showdown between Shirokuma at the plate and Grizzly on the mound. There’s also a small intermission that focuses on coffee apprentice Masaki as he is taught some rather eye-opening roasting techniques.
It turned out to be a very entertaining episode that gave screen time to numerous animals and produced humorous moments that saw characters utilize skills unique only to them. A huge plus was that the baseball game spanned the majority of the episode, which is quite rare for the show. They really should dedicate an episode to a single narrative more often because episodes flow better and feel more fulfilled. 4/5
The first half sees Panda, through a series of events, take Shirokuma’s place in the cafe for the day. Meanwhile, the second half explores Full-Time Panda’s desire to be viewed as a cute panda by Rin Rin.
As a whole, the episode was fine for what it was. We’ve already seen Shirokuma and Panda switch jobs this season, although the emphasis was more on Shirokuma being a panda the first time around. Still, the episode gets demerits for rehashing the same basic concept. I will say that it was refreshing seeing Full-Time Panda and Rin Rin (with an added sprinkle of Llama) dominate most of the second half, though. With the show entering another season, it’s important that it mixes and matches side characters to keep the dynamics from getting stale. 3/5
Panda sure has a good life. Not only does he make a living by being himself, he ends up being successful at other jobs… by being himself. The first half of the episode focuses on that, as well as highlights Panda’s all around good fortune. You see, Panda takes on another part-time job as a car salesman, and while the gang at the cafe certainly wishes him well, they understandably have reasons to believe that he is a bit… underqualified. But not only does Panda sell a car by being himself, it leads him to landing another job as a stock trader. Fortunate things happen to Panda while working this job, and it earns him another job as a lecturer for a sales seminar. This in turn leads him to release a book… and so on and so forth.
There is a certain charm about Panda, no doubt. I’ve sort of grown weary of being oversaturated by Panda’s moe, but I certainly respect it — it understandably tips the cute scale at an ungodly level. What I liked about the use of Panda’s cuteness and the use of his character overall in this episode is that it presented him in foreign scenarios, outside of the zoo and cafe. Seeing him successfully sell a car by sleeping on the job, while silly, was quite fascinating because it made sense based on who he is. He doesn’t appear to have any quality skills at face value, but deep down his charm is an unrealized skill quite useful for adapting to any situation. His cuteness has no discernible limits and it’s intriguing to see how far it takes him. It’s just Panda being Panda!
Penguin, on the other hand, doesn’t have quite the luck that Panda has in life, nor is he able to fulfill whatever it is he yearns for as magically as Panda does. So when Penguin wishes that he could fly like a regular bird, life doesn’t necessarily grant him his wish with Panda-like ease. It does, however, provide him with good friends, who do their best to help their friend experience the friendly skies.
Penguin’s story, as usual, was based around putting him in embarrassing situations, and it used a lot of prop gags and visuals. It did produce a sweet conclusion, which has been Shirokuma Cafe’s M.O.
GO Rating: 3.5/5
Panda’s new book, “Living Candidly,” is highly praised in the business world.
It’s been a fun weekly ride, kids, but unfortunately I will not be reviewing Shirokuma Cafe each week. Being episodic by nature, it’s safe to say that it is what it is at this point, and there’s no reason to expect that it will get significantly better (or worse). This isn’t the complete end, however; I will continue to review it each month, recapping it similarly to how I briefly recapped past episodes in this review, and then giving my overall thoughts on the month that was. I’ll do this until the show airs its finale, and at that point I’ll write an official closing review.
Until next month!