When Panda’s life goes through significant change, we see a very different character.
What They Say:
A major change at the zoo leaves one attraction a little bit lonelier.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
While to most people who go to zoos it seems like things never change, there are always some things that happen that aren’t all that obvious. In a way, there’s a lot to like about the familiarity of a zoo when you go every few years or even less where the same things are generally there and you can see the enjoyment in kids eyes over seeing them. Such is the case here at the start where we see how the pandas are doing their service for the crowd and having fun with it, and the kids as well. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen before, the life of a part time or full time panda at the zoo doesn’t pay the bills, so Full Time Panda continues to do side job work.
The change that happens here is a bit sad in that Full Time Panda has gotten transferred to another zoo, this one in Singapore. And he doesn’t say goodbye to Panda in person, though he wants to. He ends up leaving him a letter which recaps some of the fun things that they’ve been through in their time together which is pretty sweet and nice to see since you can forget sometimes just what kind of relationship these two have had since Panda started his part time job. Panda’s uncertainly about the situation has its sad and adorable moments, especially sinec he’s not sure he can handle the pressure of being the only one there and generating all the service needed for the audience.
What complicates things is that in the midst of his sadness, he’s also asked to take on the full time position since as it stands, the zoo only has him part time for two days. It just reinforces his loss overall, which is pretty sad to watch. Like a lot of people with problems, he’s thrown himself into his work, taking on a seven day schedule which shocks everyone. The fallout from all of it is pretty interesting to watch, though light on the humor, as it works a more serious angle. Including an impassioned speech by Penguin when he sees how people are bored by the panda exhibit, though you can attribute a lot of it to the fact that it’s a pretty big downpour going on. Of course, everything works out for the best in the end which is no surprise, but the show does a deecnt job of doing something different here.
Polar Bear Cafe has worked a good kind of humor throughout its run and had some tender moments as well to be sure. With this episode, it definitely tries to do something very different as we mostly get a serious and somber episode as Panda deals with the loss of a friend and mentor and has to take on a new role that he never imagined himself doing. It’s handled quite well and proves to be enjoyable, if not exactly the right word, because we see him in a new light here. Panda’s always been a good character here with his personality ,but this is one of the first times we’ve really gotten below the simple surface to see that there’s something much more there.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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