Saturday, July 18, 2015

Polar Bear Cafe, Part 2

Here's the second set of episodes for Polar Bear Cafe. Once again, the original subtitles are from the streaming release, retimed by ninjacloud, edited and typeset by me, and QC'd by Calyrica. The raws are from Ruell-Next. I'd like to highlight the amusing karaoke for ED06 (Zokkon! Penko-san), which was designed by Juggen.

This batch of episodes is much like the first, but some of the secondary characters are fleshed out at greater length, notably the gruff-but-lovable Mr. Grizzly, the tranquil Mr. Llama, the hopeless schlub Mr. Handa, and the oblivious object of his inarticulate affections, Miss Sasako. Rin Rin and Panda Mama get attention too. The relationship (and affection) between Grizzly and Polar Bear is spelled out in the hilarous "Mr. Grizzly Goes on an Adventure" and the touching "Their Childhood Days," while Mr. Handa's unrequited infatuation is highlighted in "Summer Festival" and "Mr. Handa's Discussion."

Of course, the principal trio of characters (Polar Bear, Penguin, and Panda) get plenty of time to shine as well. Polar Bear's trolling is on full display in "Enthusiastic Polar Bear," which shows that anyone with the right attitude can be a panda, at least at the show's local zoo. Penguin's disastrous ways with female penguins are showcased in "Mr. Penguin's Romance" and "Mr. Penguin's Picnic." Panda gets to show off his complete devotion to idiocy in "Panda Runs Away from Home" and "The Ideal Single Living." The trio bounce off each other in "Let's Go to the Beach" and "Let's Go Camping," not to mention "There Are Many Kinds of Penguins." These are just highlights, of course. There's hardly a dud in the entire batch.

The endings in this group continue to be character songs that are, well, in character. The first thirteen episodes featured:
  • ED01 (Bamboo Scramble), an ode by the ever-hungry Panda to his favorite activity, eating bamboo and bamboo grass.
  • ED02 (G-Rock), a hard-driving rocker by Grizzly.
  • ED03 (Mizuiro), a simple ballad by Miss Sasako highlighting her love of bicycling and nature.
This group of episodes includes:
  • ED04 (ZOOtto, ne), Mr. Full-time Panda's paean of praise for the local zoo where he works.
  • ED05 (Michinoku Shiiku Blues), a soulful song of sadness by Mr. Handa, in which he laments his lack of success with women (as opposed to pandas).
  • ED06 (Zokkon! Penko-san), Mr. Penguin's love song to Miss Penko, now revealed to be rather more than she seems.
Signs are as extensive as ever, and I've cut back on typesetting background signs that don't contribute to the story or a joke. Still, every sign needs to be looked at; the final sign in "Mr. Penguin's Romance," which wasn't translated originally, is the punchline to the entire episode.

The next batch of episodes will probably be delayed for a while. While all the episodes are typeset, none of the remaining episodes are timed. If you're interested in helping out with timing (or QC or typesetting), please let me know.

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