Spring 2012′s most outgoing panda bear, Panda, gets in touch with technology within this fourth latest episode of Shirokuma Cafe – he learns the convenience of a “sumafo”, and even receives a few tips in driving.
This episode is hysterically ironic in that it’s simply so relatable, realistic, and relevant in some ways – yet absolutely conflicting against all three of those traits concurrently through one major facet, the characters are animals.
Polar Bear practices some origami with the start of the episode, there’s nothing too unusual in that – a polar bear folding paper into precise shapes isn’t as absurd as anything else this series has to offer, so whilst watching Shirokuma fold paper, one will remain neutral in wait at what this episode will provide for amusement. As it turns out, Shirokuma folded a shirokuma – and Penguin is impressed by this shirokuma to the point he decides to pull out his “sumafo” and take a picture of it.
A “sumafo” is apparently the Engrish equivalent of “smartphone” – and while the room will become full of animals with “sumafos” in a moment, the most painfully silly aspect to watch is how they keep referring to their phones with a phrase which specifies the intelligence of their phone, “sumafo”, something done solely by English speakers who consider their Internet Explorer 6, “the internet”. Being fair however, it’s Engrish after all – and it’s fairly impressive that animals are speaking to begin with.
Now with that established, as aforementioned, the room becomes packed with animals and smartphones – it turns out that Shirokuma and Llama both have “sumafos” of their own, and the weight of the irony heavily increases till nearly crushing the viewer’s soul. Shirokuma’s sharp claws don’t seem to inhibit his sumafo usage – and Llama has come to adapt through technique. Penguin has some troubles – although he’s simply there to get the short end of the stick for sake of our entertainment anyways.
Shirokuma Cafe is now packed with animals talking about mobile devices – a very real world conversation which one would never see in an anime, or any other whimsical media, simply as it’s not too special on its own and is quite pedestrian a conversation. Yet in Shirokuma Cafe, the opposite holds true considering the nature of the characters. The very fact that pandas, penguins, and polar bears are engaging in discussion over a modern day subject is simply as fascinating as it is funny – and this series is certainly a humorous one, albeit in a fashion drier than a desert.
Bewitched by the sumafo, Panda asks his mother for one – successfully succeeding to convince her to make the purchase, and thus Panda arrives at the Shirokuma Cafe the next day showing off his stylish new sumafo. One will not even be sure what the proper emotional reaction to hold will be as this series begins diving into all sorts of simple and believable subjects with the most ridiculous of outlooks and presentations not merely as the characters are wild animals, but due to the fact they are such, they of course have their own ways of accomplishing certain tasks.
Topping off the cellular antics, the episode does some shirokuma vehicle action – leading to some scenes which teach an interesting method of going about a drive-thru, followed by various other tidbits done exclusively by one animal for sake of its own crude amusement.
“Animals doing stuff” hardly describes this series – words cannot describe this series, it’s something too variably inane to encompass in the language of man. However what can be said minus any doubts is that Shirokuma Cafe is not necessarily a “must-watch”, rather if you don’t watch it, you’re not experiencing a portion of life to its fullest.