Posted by psgels on 29 July 2011 with categories: Mawaru Penguin Drum



Okay. That was awesome!

This really sends back memories to the episode in Utena, where Nanami tried out various plans to get rid of Himemiya. It was really bizarre and hilarious from start to finish, not to mention the hilariously over the top delusions that Ringo had. Finally there’s another series who does them right!

A date going wrong is nothing new, but this episode knew that and just went with trying to create the most bizarre and over the top ways for things to fail, playing around with things like “destiny” at the same time. Now THIS is what I consider to be a good romantic comedy: one with creative jokes that doesn’t just try to regurgitate the same things over and over again with characters who are basically just morons. The direction once again was just wonderful in this episode which made it all the more fun to watch.

The chemistry between these characters is also just amazing, and even when the characters aren’t doing anything there’s the penguins who fill in to keep things interesting; because of that there’s always something going on, and then this episode also brought in that skunk. With so many penguin references throughout this series it’s hard to guess whether it’s actually important or not.

Because that’s the great thing of the symbolism in this series: this series doesn’t just list a bunch of references; it actively plays with them, like the advertisement of the opera that sparked Ringo’s fantasies turning out to be related to her love rival, the penguin pictures, or how apples and trains keep returning in the actual narrative without any kind of forced plot device. Or take the train advertisements: the previous episode pointed to being smelly, and guess what? This episode has a skunk on the loose. Logically that must mean that the next episode will feature something getting stolen. The diary, perhaps?

What’s more, I’m also impressed that this show is already building up arcs, even though the current arc isn’t over yet. This episode suddenly revealed that Kanba has made quite a number of enemies through the girls he dated, and the creators are actually planning to turn this into a major plot point. I’m still really impressed at how good the writing in this series is!
Rating: *** (Awesome)

21 Responses

  1. Gintoki says:

    That was one bizarre experience. This episode kept introducing scenarios which would initially seem to subvert my expectations then deliver it the moment I least expected it(or actually I did, nevertheless I was STILL surprised). This show sure loves playing mind games with everyone.
    Also while the story and manner of delivery was utterly entertaining, it was the animation that took center stage. Just plain phenomenal eye candy.

  2. vucubcaquix says:

    Pardon me while I kick myself for not noticing the foreshadowing of the Double H sisters from last week.

  3. tanukichan says:

    Actually, the Double-H girls are meant to foreshadow the content of the very episode they’re in.

    Ep 1: “Trash goes in trash cans”: we have the three penguins in the trash cans.
    Ep 2: “Molest and be arrested”: we have the penguins molesting the girls.
    Ep 3: something to do with smelly stuff: the scene where the passengers talk about the strange smell (coming from Ringo’s pot of curry) on the train.
    Ep 4: “beware of theft” or something: has to do with Sho’s duty to look into Ringo’s bag, though technically he hasn’t stolen anything.

  4. Frost says:

    Well this was something else, but IMO the weakest episode so far

    And also, no SURVIVAL STRATEGY sequence /disappoint

  5. tt5 says:

    Yeah, worst ep so far. 90% of daydreaming shit. The last 3 min were good.

  6. Neriya says:

    Ringo’s fantastic. She just gets better each episode. Love how quick she was to throw Shoma under a bus when talking to Tabuki, her daydreams, and her rapid mood swings and their accompanying imagery.

    My only disappointment this episode was the lack of “SEIZON SENRYAKU!”.

  7. Airi says:

    Knowing Ikuhara’s frequent used of reused animation, I was sincerely shocked by the lack of the SEIZON SENRYAKU!! sequence. But I loved this episode!! It was crazy and fun and I loved every second! It really did remind me of a Nanami episode with all of its craziness.

    I also thought Ringo calling Shoma a stalker hilarious. Oooh, Irony!

    I really haven’t been this excited for a show in a long time! I can’t wait for next week!!!

  8. Denizen says:

    This was a fantastic episode. The animation was really well done, the humour was genuinely laugh out loud hilarious, and the characters and plot is working together really well. I am really looking forward to where this show goes now, more than ever.

  9. AJtheFourth says:

    Huzzah! I’m so glad that others noticed the similarities to Utena’s first Nanami-centric episode.

    I do think that the Nanami episode was a bit more humorous than this one, as I enjoy Nanami’s over-the-top bitchiness more than I enjoy Ringo’s mooning over Tabuki.

  10. Joojoobees says:

    @AJtheFourth I agree that Nanami was the Queen B…. I loved just about every scene she was in, and had massive respect for her “secretary” for that movie theater scene.

    Of course the other things giving strong Utena vibes this episode were the framing devices and the cut-out puppet animation.

    Really a very well done episode.

  11. UmbrellaMan says:

    Great episode! This is definitely my favorite show of the season. The big question is who pushed the ex down the escalator? Could it have been Ringo fullfilling the “destiny” written in her diary? Which would be really creepy and scary. Or is it some unkown assailant or could it be, heaven forbid, Kanba?!?

  12. LordVernon says:

    DAZZLING THE STAGE! PRINCE TABUKI!

    okay, so that was just in the subs, still though.

  13. CJay says:

    Yes, I laughed at that too. I love gg’s antics sometimes.

  14. Machi says:

    I doubt Ringo actually pushed the girl down the escalator at the end given what the information of the diary stated, which is basically a girl wearing read shoes at the station. Meaning there were no instructions regarding her having to kill the girl in order to make destiny happen.

    Its pretty obvious that the red haired girl in the OP (who we’ve seen talking to the girl on the phone) is most likely responsible given how she talks about the next step of the plan to eliminating Kanba, and framing him for her murder would be a pretty good way IMO.

    Interestingly enough about Ringo’s diary is that with this episode you realize that while the facts stated in her diary happen her interpretation of them may be completely off. That the destiny Ringo may have read in the diary, making her believe she’d end up with Tabuki, might actually be her own misinterpretation of what the facts written down there are really for. I’m intrigued that the diary would mention a girl completely unrelated to Ringo’s stalking, i.e. the girl in red shoes, so I wonder as to whose destiny is actually recorded in that diary. So this episode really did reveal something regarding the bigger picture and its not just about Ringo’s fantasies, and of course it is also the introduction to the red haired girl in the OP who for some reason wishes to destroy Kanba (or somehow may be aware of whatever their mission is).

  15. Zoberraz says:

    I was the episode I least liked so far.

    Mawaru Penguindrum had interest due to it being rather fresh in its first episode, but I find that it’s take at ‘originality’ is starting to go stale for me.

    I was okay with Ringo’s fantasies… when there were one or two. This episode went too much further than that for me to consider it good taste. I didn’t enjoy it.

    Ringo shoving a girl down mechanical stairs to fulfill elements in her diary is downright creepy. I definitely am not fond of this girl.

  16. Spoon says:

    I don’t think Ringo shoved Asami (girl with red shoes) down the stairs. They’ve been very clear about what Ringo will do exactly and have never hid anything she has done from us – it doesn’t make sense for them to hide that.

    The person who pushed her on the escalator has tan sleeves and black pants – same as the girl with the gun in OP – and the outfit in the OP matches the clothes of who Asami’s talking to on the phone right before, so I assume they’re the same person.

    The bigger questions are, who is this evil girl, what did she play around with the Asami (basically used her then hurt her, and why is she after Kanba?

    I had JUST said to my friends how there didn’t seem to be any violence in this show, just a gun in the OP.

    Also – anther reason I don’t think it’s Ringo the diary said 9:00pm. The watch Asami’s arm (which I fully believe was shown to us on purpose) looked more like 8:57 or 8:58. After Ringo saying we HAVE to have lunch at 12:30 (exactly), it doesn’t make sense that she’d do something earlier than mentioned.

    Repetition of opera scenes were funny. I’ll NEVER get tired of Yuri saying “Fabulous Max!” I think they did a good job of drilling home how cracked Ringo really is, and that’s why I think they were there.

    I also think that we didn’t get Seizon Senryakyu this time because we had enough repetition in the episode from Yuri, and this episode was about Ringo, not Himari.

    I feel like more people are after the Penguin Drum than just Kanba/Sho/Himari-alterego, so Himari’s alterego may not actually be the only important element – hence not necessary in every episode.

    As a side note, I’m VERY suspicious of Tabuki and Yuri – I bet they’re not as simple as they seem.

  17. AKI says:

    No survival strategy this week. Such a shame.

  18. psgels psgels says:

    To the ones complaining that there was no survival strategy this week: remember that Utena also didn’t have its awesome stair climbing scene for every single episode. ;)

  19. blah says:

    Ahh, so cool. Just realized her diary corresponds to everything she’s done with the blue haired brother.
    She made the curry for him and he ate it. Sat at lunch and he said it was delicious. He kissed her after she almost drowned. The only issue with that theory is with the picture she took of the hornets nest or whatever that was supposed to be. Not sure of what the diary said in regards to that….

    I LIKE THIS ANIME

  20. ShyBlue says:

    @blah:

    Well, I think everything she’s done so far that didn’t have the explicit word “TABUKI” in it she has done with Shoma, which counts. :3

    To get around the swallow nest (it wasn’t a hornet nest) contradiction, I believe her diary said, “I showed TABUKI the photo” for that incident whereas it said “4:00pm First Kiss” without directly referring to Tabuki.

  1. [...] “A date going wrong is nothing new, but this episode knew that and just went with trying to create the most bizarre and over the top ways for things to fail, playing around with things like “destiny” at the same time. Now THIS is what I consider to be a good romantic comedy: one with creative jokes that doesn’t just try to regurgitate the same things over and over again with characters who are basically just morons. The direction once again was just wonderful in this episode which made it all the more fun to watch.” – Star Crossed Anime Blog [...]

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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:30 AM)
    Watchmen was deemed ‘unadaptable’ for about thirty years, so just getting what Snyder got out of the material is a huge success; it is said that what he did was to write a book version of Ingmar’s Holy Mountain. Watchmen is the only graphic novel to ever win a Hugo award and is easily the most intricate and multilayered Alan Moore comic, so it’s no surprise that it continues to top ‘best comics of all time’ charts to this day.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:20 AM)
    I beg to differ. Doctor Manhatten is the most intriguing character of Watchmen and the comic is a giant in ,not only in the comic world, but the history of literature itself. It is a deconstruction of superheros and Dr. M shows how afraid the world would really be when faced with a ‘superman’ and how a creature in such a higher realm of time and perception would show apathy toward humans and their foolish struggles.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:15 AM)
    GitS just won’t work. Maybe in a world before the Matrix, but not now with so many elements of it borrowed liberally by so many franchises in various mediums. Scarlet Johansson is decent in roles that fit her. She was enjoyable in Lost In Translation, but race aside she has nothing in common with Kusanagi. This is a travesty and the franchise is dear to me so it especially burns my ass.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:10 AM)
    While I am no fan of man of steel, Nolan and Snyder, just about anyone would have a hard time taking a difficult character like superman and making him work on screen.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:08 AM)
    Apart from Veidt and Rorshach I could never get into the characters all that much in watchmen. I also found the film overly long and mediocre acted for the larger part. But to each there own. For Alan moores works I always preferred his Miracleman, swamp thing, V for Vendetta stories.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:06 AM)
    Nolan can produce the action plus personal and dark story that Alita would need, and he also brings talent such as composer Hans Zimmer and Cinematographer Sally Pfister to the table. Him and Snyder have too much combined integrity to make a mockery out of Alita like Spielberg did with the GitS license.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:03 AM)
    Well Snyder has respect for his source materials and that is key in anime-to-film adaptations. Hell I’m a big Watchmen fan and I thought his version was (almost painfully) close to the comic. You’re not going to get that anywhere else in Hollywood. Also the combination of Nolan/Snyder is quite different than them individually.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 05:34 AM)
    And directed it as a co-production with America, using a Japanese cast.
    Yeah…this is impossible…
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 05:32 AM)
    The only way a live action ghost in the shell film would work is if Mamoru oshii directed it.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 05:29 AM)
    Wait wait…his Van helsing film is a reboot sorry I confused it with the other one.

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