I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Hiroshi Kamiya -- Zokkon Penko-san (ぞっこん!ペン子さん)

A couple of months ago, I provided an article on the first ending theme for the droll 2012-2013 anime "Shirokuma Cafe"(しろくまカフェ...Polar Bear Cafe). There aren't a lot of examples of the genre that last an entire year unless they're the crown jewels of a TV station (et tu, PreCure?), and there are very few of them that have more than one or two ending themes. Singer-songwriter Saki(紗希)then probably earned herself a lot of respect (and mucho mugs of beer) for penning no less than 12 ending themes for "Shirokuma Cafe" throughout the show's run...and in different styles, to boot. Plus, a number of the seiyuu involved provided the vocals for all 12.

I'm just a little over halfway through the series so I'm currently on my 7th ending theme. Along with the first cheerful ending by Jun (Panda) Fukuyama, I've become a fan of this earworm...namely the 6th ending theme sung by Hiroshi Kamiya(神谷浩史)who is the seiyuu for the acerbic Penguin (and no, absolutely no relation to the homicidal Batman villain). So far, I've heard rock (Grizzly), ballad (Sasako), country-folk (Jougin Panda) and even enka (Handa-san). However, I've got to admit that Saki took the cake when she came up with this tribute to all things Disney Musical with "Zokkon Penko-san" (I'm Madly In Love With Ms. Penko). I mean, the only things missing here were the talking candle and teapot.

As I've mentioned before, I'm not an expert on seiyuu. However, I did read of some surprise about the person behind this jolly tune since Kamiya has usually been known to voice very cool and erudite characters, albeit guys who inhabit a very wide range on the morality spectrum. In "Shirokuma Cafe" though, his Penguin sounds like a nasal combination of Dr. McCoy from "Star Trek" and the irritated tsukkomi partner of a Japanese comedy duo. It's a wonder that he hasn't smacked his buddies on the show with a paper fan as of yet (then again, it's awfully hard to clasp a big fan with flippers). And then to hear him sing "Zokkon Penko-san" as the ode to his lady love and as the extension of a running gag probably earned him even more accolades.

Yup, the ads are annoying but I gather that the "rent" has to be paid. However, I believe it's the second half of this early episode which provides the lyrical material for Penguin's lovesickness.


  1. Hi J-Canuck,

    This song literally represents how much Penguin is infatuated with Penko san, especially with the loud and jaunty music. And I like how they incorporated Penguin's poem to his crush into the song. Really cute.

    I just started watching this anime (was rather interested when I read about your earlier article on 'Bamboo Scramble') and it's interesting to say the least. It's also really funny and borderline ridiculous at times.

    1. Hi, Noelle.

      Yeah, the show has its own quirky comedic sense....a lot of it generated by the acerbic Penguin and the straight-faced absurdism from Shirokuma. I'm getting ready to face the Handa-crazed Mei-Mei, Panda's little sister.


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