What They Say:
Panda has convinced Polar Bear and Penguin to visit him at the zoo. Being their first time, Polar Bear seems to want to go places he is strictly forbidden. Back at the Café, the zoo workers discuss the pains of stereotypes.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With Panda having gotten his job and being quite proud of it, he’s also in a bit of the doldrums because his friends at the cafe haven’t come to see him. He’s been spending plenty of time at the cafe lately since initially wandering in there and almost getting a job and he’s the type to quickly glom onto someone to view them as a friend. Luckily for him, he did land into a job that is right up his alley and it’s one that he likes. So he makes the request plainly that he wants them to come and visit him at the zoo. That they agree without issue is nice to see since it means we get Polar Bear and Penguin getting outside of their normal environment again. And for Panda, he’s super glad as the other panda won’t be in that day so it’s all about him.
When the pair do arrive at the zoo, making sure they get animal admission prices of course, it’s a comedy of errors along the way as Polar Bear is nearly instantly distracted by other exhibits before they can get to Panda. Going to a polar bear feeding is a highlight for him, though they get escorted out of there early. And they’re not allowed in the seal hall because the seals are definitely afraid of him. Watching them go through all of these exhibits and having the reactions they do, as do the other animals and guests, is a mild kind of humor but it’s so appropriate for the show and spot on. And all the while, Panda is just frolicking in his place waiting for them to show up.
As the episode goes on, it does do something fun by shifting the locale a bit as some of those that work at the zoo come to the cafe to hang out a bit. And like when anyone from a place of work gets together in a social situation, they complain about where they work. Or rather, they complain in this case about the way they’re stereotyped. Which is comical since the animals acts like they really are and don’t like that it’s being labeled in such a way. Even the koala is sick of being called cute because he’s cute. They hit a fair number of animals and their problems here, from the tapir to the llama and many things in between, but they do it in just the right fashion to make it fun and really just bring a smile to your face.
With the diversity of this season, a show like Polar Bear’s Cafe is easy to overlook and dismiss since it’s not exactly challenging or stands out in a lot of ways. But it is exactly the kind of quaint, fun and endearing series that is ideal to bring in younger audiences and to nudge up alongside an older demographic as well that’s not predisposed to anime. This episode has a lot of fun to it as it deals with the two story method well, first showing us the going ons at the zoo and then having the animals doing a gripe session at the cafe about how they’re viewed by visitors at the zoo. It’s cute (even if Koala would hate hearing that!) and it hits all the right marks to make you smile and enjoy just about every relaxed minute of this.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.