Polar Bear Cafe (Shirokuma Cafe)

What’s it about ?

Gag series set in a world where animals live like (and coexist with) normal people.


Panda, our protagonist. Your typical teenage boy who spends his time loafing around (eating bamboo). He gets pestered by his mother into getting a part-time job, so off he goes, with little enthusiasm. No, scratch that, the main problem is that he’s too honest. (“Are you actually going to do any work once you’re hired ?” “Probably not.”)

Mr Polar Bear, owner of the next-door cafĂ©. He’s looking for a part-time waiter ; believe it or not, Panda is the best of the five applicants he gets. He’s got a running gag where he’ll mishear an order and bring something ridiculous to fit a pun ; it just doesn’t work outside of Japanese, and the CR translator appear to have just given up on making sense of it.

Mr Penguin, a regular patron of the Polar Bear Cafe. He’s mostly there to be the straight man penguin in the jokes.

Production Values

Not very high, but it’s got a distinctive artstyle, with all the animals depicted realistically.

Overall Impression

Wait, this is actually quite funny ! It helps that it’s got an incredibly star-heavy cast (Jun Fukuyama, Takahiro Sakurai, Hiroshi Kamiya…) who can pull off deadpan insanity without breaking a sweat. Okay, I could do without the “mistaken order” running gag (which doesn’t have much to do with the rest of the series anyway), but the general setup is a great joke that is executed very well.

Now, the question is “how long can this sustain itself ?” This is a daytime show, so there’s always the possibility it’ll continue going way past its sell-by date. On the other hand, I doubt this kind of humour has more than a niche appeal, so I wouldn’t expect it to last too long before being cancelled.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2012 – Page 6.

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I've been kinda blogging about anime for years... but mostly on forums (such as RPG.net's Tangency) and other sites. This site is an archive for all that stuff, just in case.

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