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Life at the Cafe continues on in this utterly adorable series as we see the way the show has fun with its cast of characters and how they can be tweaked. Wordplay is always a big part of a lot of anime series and this one is no exception, which is made even more amusing with the way Panda can be so mellow and clueless at the same time for good effect. Everyone is mellow to some degree, even Penguin when you get down to it, but it’s the way Panda carries himself that’s just taking it to a whole other area. His nature makes it easier for him to bring people to his side for the most part as well, though he can amusingly push away other people as well.
The first half of the episode deals with some very fun Panda material, eclipsing the news that Penguin has his temporary driver’s license which is just scary. Panda has decided that Handa needs a makeover and he’s enlisted the help of Polar Bear to do it, which is like putting three people together with absolutely no fashion sense. Panda’s efforts to help out his friend for a future romantic entanglement works very well here as it goes from clothes to make-up possibilities to learning about gourmet food. It tends to be more that Panda is taking advantage of Handa without realizing it, especially as it plays out like a trial date with Handa and the two animals and their quirks are just all over the place here. Still, seeing Panda riding a panda at the amusement park and seeing Polar Bear on a penguin is just too amusing.
The second half of the show turns its focus on Penguin, which is always good for laughs, as he’s excited about driving and is getting ready to put things together for his date. That’s been his goal for getting his license so he wants to put it to good effect. Unfortunately for him, or fortunately when you get down to it, Polar Bear decides to give him a dating license test to make sure he’s ready to take her out. It’s straightforward stuff that Penguin is asked about, but he repeatedly fails it and that just leads to a lot of silliness. Going through the trial date with these two definitely is hard for Penguin to deal with since he does so many things seemingly wrong, which isn’t a surprise since he doesn’t think things out, but it is more amusing watching how Polar Bear gets very much into it and does his grading for Penguin. Especially when he starts wearing the pigtails.
Polar Bear Cafe doesn’t spend too much time in the cafe here but it works well since we get so much time with Panda and Polar Bear showing off their social skills by helping both Handa and Penguin separately with what’s going on in their lives. You have to feel bad for both Penguin and Handa though because of what they go through and the way it unfolds. Handa may pay out literally for it while being out with those too, but it’s even worse for Penguin since it’s such a psychological toll that’s taken. But for the viewer, it’s all very good fun to see how Penguin would try and do his date, though you hope he wouldn’t be quite so confrontational. But with a date like Panda and Polar Bear, you can’t blame him. Good luck, miss Penko!
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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