1 of 50 episodes seen
Shirokuma Cafe is a strange but charming anime with little plot setup or development, as expected from a slice-of-life. Interestingly, this is the first slice-of-life I've heard of in which the protagonist isn't a human being. On the contrary, the setting of this anime is filled with literally personified animals extraordinarily doing ordinary human things. In spite of this, the anime maintains a calm mood in which it occasionally draws out a gag or burst of laughter every once in a while.
The voice actors that are in this anime are well-known and their voices fit the characters well; overtime if not initially so. The speech in this is slow-paced and calm, contributing to the relaxing feeling this anime generates. Although this could be a positive side to some, it may pose as a negative side to others, as it also can come-off as childish due to the slow speech pattern. In my opinion, the vocal expressions are not inhibited by this, in fact they enhance the character of some characters in the anime.
The OP animation is great, although the music seems to adopt a K-Popish feel to it, which would be either a pro or con depending on your tastes. The ED is intriguing but does not warrant any special commendations either.
The background music fits nicely with the scenes, with the moods they convey complementing the scenes in the anime well. However, there was one certain part in episode 1 where I personally felt that the musical complement to the animation was too 'empty'. In spite of this, the section wasn't significantly lengthy, and it shouldn't steal the enjoyment of the show away.
The ability to display character is more flexible in humans than in animals. This may be evident to you throughout your viewing of this first episode. Their personalities are displayed very well through their lines and voice acting, though with the majority of them being animals it is slightly difficult to establish anything simply by looking at them. Simply put, the voice acting supplements for the lack of detailed emotion in the animals, but not the humans.
The first impressions that you get from the display of the characters and their antics are coherent, unconfusing and straightforward to their actual personalities. However there were a couple of moments where the characters could have been introduced better, and not simply pulled out from the middle of nowhere.
Artistically, this anime succeeds in generating a relaxed atmosphere with its carefully selected color palette, character design (of the humans mainly) and details. It is aesthetically pleasing and works well with the voices and soundtrack to create the relaxed atmosphere mentioned above. The animation is not to be overlooked either - it maintains a perfect balance between detail and simplicity, and complements the overall mood of the anime perfectly.
There is, and probably will remain, a lack of plot development, just as you would expect in any other slice-of-life anime. However the lack of plot development does not degenerate the viewing experience in any sort of way, as the interactions of the characters with events and things occurring around them are interesting and entertaining to watch. These interactions are covered quite nicely, and enhance the overall viewing experience of the show.
I apologise for the rather template-like review, though I felt it was the simplest and most effective way to convey the important aspects of the show. These complement each other very well, and if they are kept up this will be one of the highlights of the season. If you're looking for an charming anime to kick back and relax to each week, this is something you should consider watching. Also, Pandas. That is all. read more
1 of 13 episodes seen
Starting with the OP, the only thing to say about it is that it's horrible. The tune isn't catchy, the singing is completely out of tune, the animation during the OP is average-mediocre, and the only three memorable words you hear from the lyrics are, well, guess what. The ED is only slightly better, depending on whether you find the combination of ridiculous lyrics, slightly out of tune singing and rather simple and boring animation to your tastes.
The OST... isn't. Specifically speaking, there is an absence of proper background music, with the majority of the anime dominated by voice and sound effects alone. The music in the parts containing that little bit of background aren't outstanding at all. Contrary to this, one could say that this complements the voice acting very well; unoriginal, but still fitting for the atmosphere of the show.
It's clearly evident that the cast hired for the voice acting was hired to fulfil the expectations of the target audience, which should be easily identifiable from a mere thirty seconds of watching. It's average. There isn't really anything special to say about it, though a plus for those fond of the K-ON Yui Baka archetype - Yasuno has voice moments reminiscent of Yui's strange but amusing voices.
I won't address the character designs much, as this is a Manga adaptation. Simply put, the character designs are very, and I say very, unoriginal. Surely you've seen these characters elsewhere with slightly different traits, if not then you probably haven't seen enough anime. The anime is faithful to the Manga's character design, so this is a plus for those who enjoyed the Manga. There isn't much to say about the characters either; they're very typical, with personalities also seen in other anime. The way the characters interact is slightly refreshing, although the overly slapstick-ish feel to these interactions will most probably become repetitive as the series airs. Did I mention how cliché the characters' dialogue and actions are?
Expect nothing from this anime. There isn't any promise of any real character development for you A-Types, and the jokes will probably get too old for anyone who's not used to watching shows about nothing. In all honesty, I think J.C Staff did okay with this anime. Though the whole atmosphere of the anime screams "Cheap", and "Moefags only" (which I believe to be J.C Staff's approach to this unpromising show), J.C Staff probably meant for this to fulfil the niches of 21st century B-Types, who would enjoy this series rather well.
Don't say I didn't warn you. read more