Panda doesn’t wanna be a panda anymore. The other animals don’t seem to find this all that odd. They’re less concerned about Panda being reassigned to another animal department at the Zoo and more concerned about how much he sucks at being said animal.
Hey, maybe this is a sign that the species of an animal can be reassigned in the Polar Bear Cafe world.
Even the people visiting the Zoo didn’t seem to find it all that odd. They were having fun and never brought up the fact that it was a panda in an otter, llama, and badger suit. The way I see it, this might be something that actually happens. Some animal finds out that they feel more comfortable as another species, so they go through a similar process to that of someone looking to have their gender reassigned. People probably saw Panda’s dressing up in other animal costumes as a part of the transition phase, so he can live the life of a badger or llama to make sure he’s fully comfortable with the change. And yeah, the only time anyone seemed to get upset was when Panda didn’t act the way said species should act.
Except for Penguin and the humans who worked at the Zoo. That’s probably a part of the natural human bias against these sorts of surgical changes to natural biological things. Since Penguin has taken on human-like attitudes, he’s following suit in that rejection when he wants to ignore Panda’s flirting with being another animal.
And that raises some questions. All of the animals that Panda experimented with were mammals. What would happen if a placental mammal wants to transition to a marsupial mammal? Is that an issue? And what about even more drastic changes like a mammal wanting to be a reptile or some other different type of animal? Is that even possible? Do they attempt to recreate the difference between cold and warm blood, or is it merely cosmetic in nature?
Then there’s Llama. Something seemed to blossom in him when he saw Panda pretending to be other animals. He got himself reassigned to the Panda section and he flourished. Is it simply because of the attention he got, since he’s usually ignored being so close to the giraffes, or is it because he felt more natural being in the realm of pandas? He’s always had an ambiguous, uncertain quality to him, so maybe he’s found his inner animal.
Handa gets in on this as well, albeit without his awareness (thus far). Panda’s sister has the hots for Handa since his appearance resembles that of a panda. The guy never really seems comfortable around other humans, especially female humans, yet he seems most comfortable when he’s hanging with Panda. Maybe his outwardly appearance is a sign that Handa true nature is that of a panda. You could call him a closeted panda who hasn’t quite realized that’s how he’d feel most comfortable in life. And if that’s the case, can humans get the same sort of reassignment as other animals? Humans are animals too, so it’d make sense, but you gotta wonder if there’s some sort of cultural thing preventing it. From the human perspective, maybe it’s OK for “those animals” to go about changing their species, but said humans may find it unnatural for them to do it.
That leads into the other bit in the second half of this episode. No one seemed phased by the possibility of Handa marrying Ms. Badger. All we saw was the animals’ reaction to it, but they acted like it was no biggie. Well, we got the real estate agent’s “this is great for newlyweds” comment, but she’s trying to sell an apartment and get a commission, so she may have been OK with it just to get that cash. Cross-species relationships seem pretty natural based on what’s happened in this series thus far, but is it OK on a societal level for humans to engage in that sort of thing? Is bestiality not a taboo in the Polar Bear Cafe world? Based on how things play out, yeah, it doesn’t come off as something squicky the way it is in real life.