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With a bit more time given over lately to the potential budding romance between Handa and Sasako, it’s cute to watch either of them now when they’re on screen to see if there are any additional clues that come up about them. While Handa has gotten a good bit of time lately overall, especially with that amusing blind date, Sasako continues to be the weak link in the series so far in terms of characters regularly in the cafe that we don’t know much about. But that’s all just side material at the moment as Panda has bigger fish to free, and bamboo to eat, as he needs some down time after hurting himself recently. And that means he manages to get Polar Bear to take over his part time job briefly rather than let the kids that visit be upset about there being no pandas.
And Polar Bear is definitely comical when he gets himself all painted up and set for it, as well as his general attitude about stepping up to the plate. He doesn’t quite get it overall but it leads to some great bits as we see various people visit while he’s sitting in the exhibit and just being kind of bland about the whole thing. While some people are kind of fooled, others see right through it and Polar Bear is just goofy about it all. His attempts at really getting into character are hilarious, especially since for some it seems like if you just hit a few key marks with it like bamboo and playing with a tire, you can pull it off. Running between things here and at the cafe, there’s a lot to like in the first half, especially as Polar Bar starts to get a bit bored with it all. But his service mentality does kick in, even if he can’t figure out exactly what to do.
The second half goes in the opposite direction by giving us a beach episode, which has the opportunity to be both hilarious and frightening for different reasons. Panda on holiday is comical in itself, but seeing him, Polar Bear and Penguin enjoying the local amenities is just too much. From Penguin going fishing with his mouth to Panda being adored by everyone and then throwing in some surfing Polar Bear, it hits all the right marks quickly. This part goes through a lot of different things, and of course spends plenty of tie on food and games, but there’s also the fun of just how many cute girls are into Panda because of how adorable he is. While he’s kind of oblivious to it, it just frustrates Penguin to no end, which is understandable since he has such a strong desire to be liked.
Polar Bear Cafe runs through a pair of fun stories here that goes back to the core three characters and lets them enjoy different things. I rather liked seeing Polar Bear take on Panda’s part time job to get a feel for it while he was out and to gain some understanding of what he has to go through. It’s definitely a job suited to Panda, but it’s one that doesn’t require a lot of effort. Yet in its own way it takes a certain personality. The second half gives us a wonderful bit of summer fun, including the gang in hilarious summer shirts, as they spend time at the beach and engage in all sorts of fun and heartwarming activities. It has its silly moments to be sure, but there’s also a wonderful sweetness towards the end that takes it a step further and really makes it fun.
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.