Posted by psgels on 18 November 2011 with categories: Mawaru Penguin Drum

@#$*!@#&!@!^&!!! I should have known! I should have bloody known! I’m not going to say why I should have known, but this episode just delivered a truckload of major plot twists.

The first big one was revealed, right at the start of the episode: Kanba has been in contact with his parents all along. They’re the ones who gave him the money to cure Himari’s illness. I also love the way this was revealed, taking a place in the episode where you really wouldn’t expect it, with\out any obvious build-up whatsoever.

The second big plot twist: they’re not real siblings. Holy crap. I mean, this is a twist that has been pulled many times before, but this show just got it right by not making this as shallow as the others, which nearly always boil down to “we’re doing this for the incest”. Save for perhaps the first episode, the three siblings in Penguin Drum really felt like siblings, who were especially close to each other due to what happened with their parents.

And just when I thought that this would turn into this strange love triangle around Kanba… it is revealed that the one who originally introduced Himari to the family was Shouma.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

42 Responses

  1. kurini says:

    this is like the biggest revelation! I’m still thinkin about it after 12 hours… Mawaru penguindrum is definitely the series that I can’t never anticipate!

  2. jzar says:

    You can always count on this show to surprise you. Can’t wait to see where it goes.

    The scene with the rolling balls!! holy c@# that was just too fantastic. She didn’t get hit yet still it triggers her memory— simply delicious.

  3. micaharu says:

    i did not see that coming.o_O last episode,kanba told tabuki he has no clue where his father is even when himari was in such a predicament then bam! this episode revealed that he was secretly meeting with them.i don’t feel like i can trust him anymore.

    what?shouma is himari’s fated one?not mario?after all the events and developement that took place your’e saying that the always useless shouma might as well be the most important key into all of these?

  4. Snowolf says:

    So the great thing was that I called the first two out- those were hardly a revelation for me (the Himari one was a bit off though- I had originally predicted that Kanba was the one who wasn’t related, not Himari)

    But SHOUMA? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Everything has just been completely flip flopped. What is my brain thinking anymore.

  5. Minnako says:

    I sat through this episode with my mouth hanging open. Seriously, twist after twist, and now we feel like we’re finally getting enough background to start trying to understand things. Just…wow.

    I love the way the parents were re-introduced, had to do a double-take. Kanba made talking to wanted fugitives look like the most normal thing in the world. I see major trouble in the different way the ‘twins’ see their parents, though.

    Shouma!I wonder if HE remembers? Perhaps he’s only useless because he knows a whole lot less than most people here. I’d love to see if he gets hit with one of those blue balls (no pun intended :P). Guess that explains why Himari felt off as Shouma and Ringo got closer together. Though this still doesn’t explain why Kanba got involved (I’m guessing he’s not related, either… their dad did have a son, not twins, after all)… Shouma the only child? Can’t believe it.

    And after all that, it turns out Sanetoshi wants the diary destroyed… seems he and Momoka really are playing some game.

  6. AidanAK47 says:

    Wow, three out of nowhere ass pulls.
    Alright it was a good episode but still this sudden twist thing is getting old. The best twists are the ones that have things that hint at it a number of times but it never really clicked until the revelation where you suddenly think back to all these hints and think “HOLY CRAP! Now that makes complete sense. How the hell didn’t I notice that!” But this is the equal to a twist of “GASP! Shouma is a girl! Himari is the descendant of Jesus christ! Kanba is Hitler!” It’s cheap shock value.
    And again, 18 episodes of symbolism and nothing hinted at this. I mean come on.

  7. Aline says:

    I do agree this episode was absolutely top-notch when it comes to twists, but come on, you can’t just ignore how much the quality in art has dropped… this episode especially was full of distorted faces and cheap proportions

  8. ljf says:


    It actually was hinted but it was very subtle and you probably didn’t really notice since, of course, why would you assume such an insane plot twist in the first place lol

  9. ljf says:

    also, if you watched Utena, you should have seen this coming from a mile away

  10. dm says:

    I’m now at the point where I want this series to be over simply so I can start watching from the beginning and appreciating the way it’s all put together.

    I suspect there have been signs that these twists were coming all along.

  11. Oroboros says:

    I suspected something was brewing due to the frequent hints at incest and the obvious fact that the Takakaras only had a boy 16(?) years ago, but I still ended thrown for a loss.

  12. AidanAK47 says:

    @Aline, I noticed that too. Which is something I don’t understand. Peguindrum had bare minimum animation. They had repeating scenes, very little movement and don’t even have to animate people. So how is it that the animation budget seems to be running out?

    @ljf, are you talking about that one scene in this episode which slightly…slightly hinted it? Sorry that doesn’t count. It still doesn’t prove that it wasn’t an ass pull if it’s in the same episode. Twists one and two could be considered to be vaguely hinted or assumed but twist number three is completely out of nowhere.

  13. jzar says:

    I do agree this episode was absolutely top-notch when it comes to twists, but come on, you can’t just ignore how much the quality in art has dropped… this episode especially was full of distorted faces and cheap proportions

    I was so busy tracking the story that the art just passed me by…. I’d have to agree this was not the best art but you’d also have to admit that up to now it has been very good. So I’ll cut’em some slack…..this time :).

  14. LordVernon says:

    There are very interesting hints here and there actually. My favourite was the conversation between Kanba and Sanetoshi in ep 15:

    “Don’t you think families are a sort of fantasy, like a curse of sort? Think about it. Just how many children suffer because of their family? Parents who treats their children as objects in the name of love, abusing them. They only love themselves, yet kids must love their parents solely because they are family, and love their siblings.”

    That was definitely a cute way of going into it. Now that I think about it, the Takakura really only did have one son, as oppose to two additional children they had to keep in the dark about their activities. That certainly does explain why all three…ahem…”siblings” differ so immensely.

    Something might also be relevant regarding how Kanba’s father’s shirt now has a KIGA logo instead of a Penguinforce one. I’ll look forward to that.

  15. wendeego says:

    AidanAK47: Not sure exactly what twists you’re referring to, though I’m guessing you’re talking about Shouma being Himari’s fated one and having rescued her from the Child Broiler? Because there were a couple of hints seeded throughout:

    -the statue of the boy offering the girl the apple in Himari’s dream in episode 9 (this was the big one)
    -The child broiler making an appearance in the same dream–maybe a repressed memory?
    -the fact that Kenzan only said over the phone in episode 13 that he had one son. If this son was Shouma, that means that Kanba was probably adopted and Himari brought into the family by Shouma switching fat tracks.
    -The fact that in most of the family pictures of the Takakuras, Shouma and Himari are facing the camera/looking happy together while Kanba is somewhere in the back of the frame.
    -Now that we know that Himari was rescued from the child broiler, the glass falling around her in the second OP makes a lot more sense.

    We’ve known pretty much this whole time that either Himari or Momoka had a fated one; the question was which member of the cast it was. Ultimately it came down to either Shouma or his faceless friend, so is it really any surprise that Shouma turned out to be the one? Considering that we know the least about him of anyone in the cast, it makes sense that he has the most to hide!

    So yeah, agree that the twist was sudden and maybe could have been built up better, but the hints were there (and have been pointed out earlier by the fanbase.) The only question was putting them together.

  16. LordVernon says:

    Huh, I’m actually convinced the only son was Kanba, where as Shouma and Himari changed their own fate and transferred themselves into the Takakura family.

  17. Stuff says:

    Well, one must consider that the man responsible for this episode also did episode 10.

    About the siblings not being siblings, that idea started circulating by episode 12. What I find shocking is that Himari is the outsider.

    Also, people think Kanba and Masako may be related, but thats sort of weird, because she kissed him in episode 10. Why would he suddenly be brought up as a takakura if he’s a natsume?

    Honestly though, Kanba or Mario being Himari’s fated one wouldve been the obvious choice, so knowing Ikuhara, why would he make it them? We were all shocked, and that’s what he intended. It’s not like he chose a completely irrelevant character the Yamashita though.

  18. Snowolf says:

    Theory Time!
    time for some theories yo
    After the mindshock that was 19 yesterday, with the entire plot being flipped around and such, I have plenty of new theories to enlighten you all with! Consider some other shows (namely, Doctor Who) to be an inspiration of sorts. This is kind of a huge long rant, so prepare yourselves! Spoilers Ahead.
    So things we learned from yesterday’s episode:

    The parents are not dead (called it)

    Kanba does indeed, know where his parents are, and not only that, but is in close contact with them (called it)

    The people his parents are working with are giving him the money to survive the regular expenses of his house/living (called it)

    Sanetoshi cannot touch the diary, and most interestingly, does not like the Diary; he wants to get rid of it in order to his achieve his plans, which is “to make the Takakura children accomplish what their parents could not”

    Himari is the girl who was adopted into the Takakura family, not Kanba (which I had suspected, damn)

    Natsume has now obtained a new set of Penguinbullets which can restore memories instead of taking them away

    Yuri and Tabuki had originally planned to become a team to revive Momoka together, but slowly develop into a real family

    And of course, the major!shock revelation that Shouma was Himari’s soulmate, and that he had given the Apple of Fate to her, not Mario

    So with a lot of turns and twists, I’ll get straight to the point. Here’s what I think, personally:

    We are set in a timeline where Momoka has reversed the fates- or rather, has ‘boarded’ another train of fate in which Yuri nor Tabuki has died. Thus, this has skewed the fate of everyone who is connected to that train of fate (pun intended)- both the Takakuras and Ringo. Call it the Butterfly Effect; in sacrificing herself for both Tabuki and Yuri, Momoka has literally created a paradox in which everyone’s fatelines (this is now a word) have been altered in one way or another. This includes Himari’s soulmate being Shouma instead of Mario.
    Now in the future of this timeline- we’ll call it the current!timeline for the sake of not creating confusion- something has gone drastically wrong, to the point where Momoka, in the future, has to come back into the past- now the present timeline- in the form of the Princess of the Crystal, to change things back to the way they were supposed to originally be. That is, for Mario (or whoever) being the original soulmate of Himari, and for Yuri and Tabuki to die, Momoka to live, or in other words- for fate not to have been transferred. Momoka speaks of fate in two specific ways- one, which is similar to boarding a train (hence the whole train motif) and the other, which is in the idea of ‘transaction’- not changing fate, but replacing it (see: how Momoka replaced Yuri’s father’s David Statue with the Tokyo Tower, how she replaced herself in Tabuki’s place so that he would not die in the train accident). We can also talk about transfer as to how each character’s parents have in a way, transferred their hopes, dreams, expectations (and fate) onto them. In reference to the boarding the train idea, this leads me to the idea that a train can have many many paths- and if the train is fate, well, why can’t we have parallel universes and timelines? The Princess of the Crystal states she comes from teh destination of fate; that is, where this train stops (or crashes). I believe that’s the end of the line for the current timeline. POC is trying to prevent that from happening- namely, for the train to ‘set on another track’.

    Please note that this is pretty specific at the moment; my main general idea is that this is an alternate timeline where the critical point has or has not happened yet and that Future!Momoka, or rather, POC, is trying to rectify things before they happen the way they have happened in an alternate timeline causing everything to go out of proportion.
    Now, Sanetoshi is either trying to do the same thing his own way- by making the children finish ‘the mission’- Project M, which I think, is different for everyone (Ringo- Maternity, Natsume-Martyrdom/Marriage or something, and for Sanetoshi- Mission) or he is against the POC’s wishes and is trying to keep the timeline the same as it is. Somehow, the Penguindrum- which we still don’t know what it is yet, but it is something (either substantial or a mere concept) related to Kanba- and the Diary factor into this. The Diary is not the Penguindrum (still not sure about this). But the Penguindrum has the ability to basically create a mass deus ex machina, which will change everything back to the way it should be- basically, re-alter the current!timeline so it becomes the proper timeline. Now, if the Penguindrum is the Diary, then we’ll have to reconsider Ringo paying the price of it as a result- hence both Openings showing her enveloped in flames (I find it intriguing that Ringo was born right after Momoka’s death- while the first half of the series focuses on her trying to become Momoka, and then not become Momoka, wouldn’t it be interesting if she was the current!timeline reincarnation of Momoka?). However, if the Diary is NOT the Penguindrum, we’ll have to consider it as just another thing entirely. The thing is that anyone who touches the Diary has to pay a price; everyone in this series except Tabuki and Sanetoshi have touched the Diary. (I’m not clear if this is just by touching the Diary, or touching it when it’s in the process of a Transfer). Secondly, POC states that if the Takakura brothers do not obtain the Penguindrum, they will lose something precious to them- more precious than their sister’s life, apparently. Also, we still don’t know what caused Himari’s illness, or why she got it, something Shouma hinted at in this week’s episode, was related to their parents.

    Now going back to the Transfer Fate theme in this story:

    Shouma is revealed to be the Soulmate of Himari, but knowing Ikuhara (and Utena) along with what actually happened, I’m a bit confused about what ‘Soulmate” really means. We’ve seen different forms of love in this show- for Kanba, he truly is in love with Himari; Shouma likes Ringo as a friend, Ringo is in love with Shouma, Yuri and Tabuki share their ‘love’ through their ‘love’- aka idolization, of Momoka, whom they view as God more than just a friend. Now, going back to the parallel that Momoka brought Tabuki out of the Child Broiler, and Shouma doing the same for Himari: Soulmate doesn’t have to necessarily mean love (I might just be in denial, tbh). For one thing, Shouma wishes Himari to join his family, not get married. This might have to do with the idea that Shouma’s innocence and naivety at that time might have taken the form/concept of giving Himari love through platonic action- placing her into his family. However, this brings two main questions: How did Shouma obtain the Apple of Fate, and why did he choose Himari? I don’t think Soulmate means Love as it means ‘Savior’. Shouma saved Himari from being wiped of her identity, of her loneliness and sin. The second question however, is that why doesn’t either Shouma or Himari remember this? Does Shouma have a sort of Momoka-ness to him? The show has really put him into the background for the majority, which has always led me to suspect that he would play a fundamental role in the end, but I didn’t expect this.

    So obviously there’s some loose ends which I still can’t figure out, and we have five episodes left for them to explain all of this (which sort of worries me)…but I guess…we’ll have to find out?

  19. Snowolf says:

    @Aidan: I do agree with the others here- a lot of the revelations were totally hinted at in previous episodes, especially the fact that one of the siblings was not related by blood, and that Kanba was in association with the same people his parent’s were/are associated with. I’m not so sure about the Shouma revelation- I totally didn’t see it coming, but I do remember chatting with some folks early on about how it could have been a possibility (knowing Ikuhara, just like ljf said)

    There were certain moments where I could see the drop in animation for sure, but like already said, I was so invested into the story and the twists that I didn’t really notice? But I mean, we’ve only had three episodes (including this one) which have had a major quality drop, and considering how strong the other parts of this show are, it’s not that big of a deal (this is from someone who takes animation quality quite seriously too). :)

  20. Oroboros says:


    How could Himari & Shouma change their fate, after Momoka died? Did they have access to her Fate Diary or some other means?

  21. ljf says:

    The diary itself does not change fate it’s the spell within the diary that does. So technically one does not need the diary to do the Transfer

  22. AidanAK47 says:

    The child boiler was shown briefly in himari’s library episode. Though only for about a second. But the issue I have with this twist is that it’s Shouma that is the fated one of Himari. So a lot of those hints you give aren’t really relevant.

    “We’ve known pretty much this whole time that either Himari or Momoka had a fated one; the question was which member of the cast it was. Ultimately it came down to either Shouma or his faceless friend, so is it really any surprise that Shouma turned out to be the one? Considering that we know the least about him of anyone in the cast, it makes sense that he has the most to hide!”

    Sorry, I don’t understand this. Himari and Shouma have had little screen time together. Most of the time Kanba and Himari were shown together as a giant red herring. I don’t know what you mean by knowing Himari or Momoka had a fated one. And why did it come down to Shouma and the faceless guy? Sorry but either my memory of the past episodes is a little fuzzy or your logic makes no sense at all.

    @Snowolf, I accepted that the parent twist and non blood related twist was vaguely hinted. Even if in episode 13 Kenzan said that he had one son that only suggests that one of the boys is adopted but says nothing about Himari being adopted.Its the Shouma twist I find comes straight out of nowhere. And the animation drop has been going on for longer than just three episodes.

  23. wendeego says:

    @AidanAK47: Well, it’s process of elimination, really. We know that in episode 9, we saw two statues: a girl, and a boy giving the girl an apple. So assuming the girl was Momoka, Tabuki would probably be a good candidate. Or if the girl was Himari, then Shouma or Kanba would be a good candidate (or Yamashita if you were going for conspiracy theories)

    Tabuki has already played his role, so he can’t be a candidate–also, notice that Momoka saved HIM, so if anything Momoka gave him an apple. That leaves Himari as the girl, with Kanba, Shouma and Yamashita as candidates. Of those three, we already know a lot about Kanba. On the other hand, we know almost nothing about Shouma and Yamashita, so it stands to reason that since all the other characters have been filled in, one of them would be her soulmate.

    Then again, the above is pretty convoluted and probably not logically sound, SO: think about it for a second. Remember Shouma’s speech in episode 12 about Mary and the Lamb? Remember how Mary had to pay a price in order to take the torch?

    All this time, a lot of people have assumed that the price was Himari. But if Shouma is the true son of the Takakuras, then what if he was the price? Remember the OP, where the silhouette of one of the brothers fell and dissolved as penguin symbols switched from KIGA to Penguin Force? I think that Shouma (whatever he is) might have been the catalyst that Kenzan used in order to execute Survival Strategy. That would mean that hints were there from the very first episode (in the OP, anyway)

    Leaves a lot of questions, though. How much of the Takakura family life is a fabrication? How much does Shouma know? Why is he so useless now? The Takakura parents have taken punishment for Himari and for Kanba, but why is Shouma left out in the cold?

  24. rufe says:

    I actually saw the Shouma is her “person of destiny” thing coming. I mean…come on with the whole Ringo arc and all.

    Though I do have to admit, I though that Kanba was the one who was adopted into the family, not Himari. That surprised me…

  25. Hara says:

    I’m not over with the KanbaxHimari : remember the strange relationship between Kanba and the Princess of the Crystal ? There’s definitely something behind it. She told him “You can do it (save Himari-chan) because the Penguindrum is your…”
    Until now, Kanba’s been the only character giving his life/heart/blood/whatever countless times to the Princess of the Crystal in order to save Himari. And each time, the Princess is completely naked, hahaha… remember the project M as Maternity ? Moreover, Sanetoshi is referring to the hat as “the veil of the bride”. If the Princess is the bride, she seems to have chosen Kanba over Shouma, and I can’t believe this has no connection with all that “soulmates” matter.

    And what about a connection between Sanetoshi and Shouma ? After all, we know Sanetoshi is a strange guy with magic powers close to Momoka’s. We assume he’s been talking about her when he’s saying there’s another being like him in the world.
    That means we only have two “fate gamers” : Sanetoshi and Momoka/Princess. Shouma doesn’t seem to remember anything about magic or fate : could have been “something” else sharing his body when he saved Himari ? Moreover, Sanetoshi seems quite interested by Himari/the princess, trying to kiss her in the library. He failed beacause of the Princess, suddenly taking over Himari’s body, putting her finger on his mouth : “Don’t”. Maybe because she actually chose Kanba as her fated one !

    My theory : Momoka is back as the princess of the Crystal. She has chosen Kanba for her survival strategy (aka a baby aka her own reincarnation in the real world ?). Sanetoshi is like her, he wants her but she doesn’t. At the same time, he seems to be playing a game with/against her, related to fate. Maybe him winning the game means he can do whatever he wants with her ?? Maybe for him, putting the train back on tracks means Momoka is going back to him ?
    After all, Momoka’s been messing with the fate of many people and is obviously rejecting Sanetoshi.
    What I don’t understand is Shouma’s role. I’d like to think Sanetoshi has been controlling him so that he could create all this crap about Himari (who’s destined to revive Momoka) being Shou’s soulmate. It’s the perfect way to prevent Kanba and Himari/Momoka from getting any closer.

  26. C160 says:

    You know, Himari being save by Shouma from the child broiler doesn’t really mean that she have to be adopted. She could be very well the Takakura’s real daughter. She may have felt that she is unwanted when their parents went missing, and in effort to persuade her to come back from the child broiler, Shouma offered himself/his apple(what is that apple anyway? does it really signify “soulmate”?since there are three of those apples in their house). Of course there’s the whole Masako’s “you are still pretending to be their little sister” thing in this episode though. Something might have happened and she “stopped” being their sister.

    Someone made a connection between Himari and the shards(symbolizing the children who went through the “broiling” process in the child broiler.Yeah I know, without context everything is wtf) around her in the OP and that got me thinking, is the Princess of Crystals really on the good side? She could be very well on the side of the child broiler people. Or maybe she is on the good side, the crystal symbolizing the non broiled non-shard children..

    Another thing is that I don’t think Momoka and the Princess is the same person. My theory is that the princess is the hat entity and she can only possess “special” souls like Momoka, Himari, and Mario. Remember episode 13 when Sanetoshi talked to the camera thing? There are only two things there at that time,Momoka and the Penguin Hat.So yes,I’m going crazy because of this show.

  27. Kim says:

    I think some people are missing the point about this whole “fated one” business. Just because Shouma is Himari’s fated one does not mean they will be the “end couple” of the series. What you feel and what fate tells you to do are two very different things. In the same way Tabuki actually might have been Ringo’s fated one but she just happened to fall in love with Shouma.

    I am actually thinking that the Penguin Queen (who is most likely Momoka) is trying to keep certain characters apart so the world will not get back the way Sanetoshi wants it to: hence the reason Shouma is always knocked out of the survival strategy. Perhaps the POC could see that Kanba had the feelings for Himari and was pushing that relationship that goes against fate. You can also say that in a way the POC brought Ringo & Shouma together another relationship that defies fate.

    Was Shouma being Himari’s fated one heavily hinted, no? But there is absolutely nothing in the series that contradicts it either. We always knew it had to be one of the characters in the series and there were limited choices. In fact if my theory is correct the very fact that the POC always removed Shouma from those survival strategy sessions might have been the biggest hint of all.

    it is revealed that the one who originally introduced Himari to the family was Shouma.

    I am not sure if this is what happened at all. Right now I don’t know who is related to who but I doubt anyone is adopted. I think it’s more that “fate” has been changed creating families that might not have existed in another timeline.

    Since Shouma can enter the child broiler like Momoka I also think he has the power to change fate, but he seems to have lost his memory of this ability.

  28. kero says:

    To be honest, most of “the hints were there” comments mentioned seem to be a load of BS.

    I think MPD throws so much stuff at people, that you can go back and read a lot into things, similar to people who think the Nostradamus predicted the future.

    This is a show that encourages people to read into everything, and you can read too much into it.

    I haven’t read through everything because too many walls of text are being erected, but uh Mario is Himawari’s real intended one? What?

    MPD isn’t playing by any rules, and by establishing that anything goes with memory loss/ magic/ changed fates, it means people can be lying when they think they’re telling truths, people can be telling truths that have been turned into lies because of the changes to fate.

    I have no idea if I will be satisfied by the final outcome. It’s literally unpredictable.

  29. kero says:

    Oh yeah..

    After last episode I said:

    “I would love it if he [Shouma] ends up being the one to save everybody!”

    I may have been closer to the truth than I thought, and I might get what I want, which is to see Shouma stepping up and playing a bigger part in the series.

    one of the next few episodes HAS to focus on him. COME ON!

  30. Kim says:

    I did forget to mention that I did think this episode looked bad animation wise. Apparently it was done by the same guy who did episode 10, so it’s not surprising. Maybe this was also a cost savings episode. Ah well!

  31. ljf says:

    also, for people saying there was no foreshadowing to this plot twist:

  32. Frelia says:

    Greetings. I’m here to say that Kanba may be the TRUE child of the Takakuras. But when Momoka used her diary to change fate, I’m sort of thinking Shouma was created when the tracks shifted and Momoka disappeared.
    But the scarf Himari was wearing is important to her, and Shouma’s still a mystery…

  33. rufe says:

    The hints were there are more like…if Shouma didn’t end up in this role it would have been some pretty shoddy writing. Of course nobody’s sure of anything in this series….

    Also, I fall into the Shouma is repressing memories like Himari camp. He seems pretty ansty but we don’t know why yet. Finally, I think Momoka and Himari are liked somehow, but of course have no idea how.

    Of the many questions I have remaining, Himari’s illness is starting to get pretty pressing…

  34. kevin says:

    Asspull after asspull. I want to drop this… But after watching this long I may as well stick around to see it all fall apart at the end.

  35. wendeego says:

    Also, by the way:

    According to the eyecatch subway track, we’re just about to turn the corner (just like the real-life subway line it is based on.) The next five episodes are the final stretch. The aquarium is in sight.


  36. wendeego says:

    Also, regarding reading too much into Penguindrum:

    For all its inconsistent budget and ridiculous plot twists, I’m of the opinion that Mawaru Penguindrum is one of the most deliberately constructed shows in recent memory. Just look at how the backgrounds are arranged, or the set composition, or how characters or plot elements are often foreshadowed several episodes before they appear.

    Did we know that Yuri was a lesbian? No. Did we know that Tabuki’s hands were crushed by a piano? Probably not. We only had a fragmentary glance at the Child Broiler, as well. But we did see Yuri clad in princess garb in the OP (pretty ironic, considering her past) and got a pretty good glimpse at the Tragedy of M, which was pretty much her past and tragedy verbatim. We did see Tabuki juxtaposed with the bird cage a number of times, and the scars on his hands had to have come from somewhere.

    And the child broiler? Look back through the episodes for rotating blades–fans, helicopters, whatever. The places that they appear (in the Child Broiler, above Himari’s death bed, part of the helicopter hovering above Yuri as her father abuses her) make way too much sense to be coincidental.

    Could Penguindrum have been paced better? Probably. Could we have given us more insight into the characters? Definitely. There are so many balls in the air at the moment that the show very well could self-destruct at the end. But the sheer amount of effort that’s evident in this project makes me think that the creators are giving it their all.

    And you know what? I’m totally fine with that. I’ll let Ikuhara carry this crazy experiment to its end. I think that the crew of Penguindrum have the chutzpah to pull it off, but even if they slip up at the end I think the show’s memorable enough that it would be an achievement by any measure.

  37. Lemi says:

    Man, should have known that chemistry between Kanba and Himari was just a red herring.

  38. ren says:

    Just a random thought, i’m curious if there’s any potential symbolism (and foreshadowing) between the memory balls (blue = recollection, red = forgetting) and the color of Kanba and Shouma’s hair =\

  39. betawatcher says:

    I don’t bother to read all these theories about Mawaru Penguindrum. I’m just glad Shouma’s more than just a side character now. (cos I really liked him when he was all joyful and now he’s so emo :-T)

    I’d be so sad if Shouma being all magical is just a side effect from Momoka’s powers…

  40. Jack says:

    Dayumn. This is one of those sereis I wish I had started watching only AFTER it had ended.

    Now homeboy Shoma gonna’s show who’s da bawsss, just wait and see! All coming just as keikaku*.

    Seriously, Penguim DRAMA feels like a weird cross between David Lynch, Harukami and mental retardation. I love it!

    * keikaku means plan.

  41. reverse says:

    i like it, wasn’t really happy by how thing were going in episode 6 – 15(somewhere in there). but this episode do intrigue me

Leave a Reply

KT here: This looks pretty though I am sure I will object to the way the history is presented.
KT here: Classicaloid Season 2 penultimate episode had a whole bunch of anime/game references including an Akuma one.
With Vinland, I think it was that it switched magazines, started as a shounen.
HYPE! HYPE! VINLAND HYPE! I really hope it's a 2-cour where they end with the "End of Prologue".
Wonder how Vinland will be. It's one of the very very very few long running series I still consider as good. Usually there is always a lot of stuff that annoys me once a series switches its tone or genre at some point.
I also wish Wixoss would die and I really loved the first series, even both seasons. But the lastest one without Okada was atrocious.
@Kaiser: that kind of distraction is just the internet's curse I know it as well. It kinda pisses me off because I was a pretty diligent worker once and created a lot of create new content even. Now I often get the urge to check the newest funny tweets/memes whatever.
Well played sir
In my headcanon I'm pretending the crowdfunding for a possible gunsmith cats anime will work.
This will be a good way to re-cap on older chapters of Vinland through the adaptation. I started reading it way back in 2007.
excellent news
So, vinland saga appears to have gotten picked up for an adaptation by WIT
I will watch Legend of Galactic Heroes. Probably give Golden Kamuy a chance.
I'll consider golden kamuy at least.
I'm too busy with galactic heroes original to watch the remake right now and you can bet for certain i am staying far far away from mahou shoujo site.
While I won't say anythong doreikus villain reveal pretty much killed it for me. I never really watched much of full metal panic due to not finding it funny.
Just let Wixoss, Sword art and tokyo ghoul die already , its beating the dead horse at this point.
Kaiser-Eoghan in the meantime you can all content yourself with that preview.
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
@Anon, When it's done.
They actually take work you know, not as if I can just cough them up on a whim.
Spring Preview when?
I enjoy TONS of subtitled stuff, but I have to admit...sometimes to re-winding and pausing when the dialogue gets heavy or complex.
I know Aico has a shit dub but sometimes I find myself watching in English and feeling lazy because its easier to watch more now that way.
I used to be able to marathon stuff so easily but now I can't do the 12 episodes in one go thing like I used to.
Something goes off, even after 30 minutes to an hour "Shit....have to see if something NOW....can't stop myself"
I'm not the kind of person who messes with their phone in a cinema, but at home somehow theres this moments where I just get this distracting urge to keep checking some site, E-mail, snacking, going to the bathroom too often or lie down, look at someones doujin/smut art or write something all when I'm supposed to be doing something else.
What I mean is, I'll be reading/watching something and its not boring at all, maybe even interesting, but I can't stop pausing sometimes for...reasons and it takes me longer to get through something because of this.
I know this is pretty much an effect of living in this generation but, for those of you who experience this, how do you guys deal with "distraction." Sometimes this annoys me....
@Amagi: I'm evasive of "non-old man pubs" at night , particularly late at night, I don't want to come across any "characters" I'd prefer not to encounter.
Liquor goes great after copious amounts of beef and steak
@Amagi, Considering that I am here, you probably should have expected a Fate GO review.
Wow I didn't expect a FGO review here
Well it's the reason why I never drink alcohol at home. Even if I were depressed it wouldn't change my mood so it's pointless.
I can reach a point where I feel like dreaming but none of my character traits change. Guess it always varies depending on the person. Same with my best friend, he's just get tired when drunk, but nothing else ever happens.
@Kaiser: Same here. Often go to pubs with friends at night but not only do I not want to ever get my mind "altered" by alcohol, it doesn't even work it seems. Or maybe it's the will or that I am just not influenceable.
Ah, this is just me being in grumpyKaiser mode =)
I have been drunk, I do not like it. I do like being tipsy, but hate drunk. I generally like beer because it does not muck me up as bad as harder drinks (ouzo, raki, and I absolutely despise tequila). The first time in my life I celebrated Valentine's Day was this year. Have to say that it was not too bad.
Baccardi and Vodka were the only forms of alcohol I felt didn't especially taste "off" to me.
I also dislike Valentines day for the schmaltz, insincerity, fakeness around it and the idea there has to be "a day" for it and the captilization, commercialization of emotions.
In all my thirty one years I have never been drunk and never intend to, I dislike the idea of surrendering my mind to alcohol and feeling "altered". If anything you would be safer doing marijuana.
And Guinness is massively overrated.
@Anon: I care for neither really.
Alcohol culture in a nutshell: if you like to drink sweet alcohol that actually tastes good instead of liquor that tastes like gasoline and piss, you're a pussy.
I've no interest in Irelands drinking culture /festival days much.
Its really just a day off or an excuse for 13 year olds to get drunk.
He was Welsh aswell and there weren't exactly that much snakes in Ireland to begin with.
@Mario: Its technically St Patricks day now yes. Not that I personally care for it, I got going to the parade out of my system over a decade ago, never liked the oirishness and cliches/commercialisim around it, in the end it just makes it impossible to get around the city, plus the weather is so poor its pointless going out anyway.
I saw some Irish flags around my area. Is it St Patrick day today?
I did listen to some of aico's dub, I don't think any of these people are experienced or professional voice actors.
Anon: B the beginning was too much of an awkward genre mix. I was content to just ignore aico because I'm not a fan of Bones as a studio but you're the second person to say it reminds them of some old ova.
@Anon: I enjoyed the combination of old and new with devilman, it even being able to eclipse the ovas, aswell as the experimental visual style and transgression, and as you said, the surprising emotional involvement.
So i finish, B the Beginning, Aico, Devilman( What a feel's ride). and I must say that they're far from perfect, but they remaind me of 90, early 2000 anime, that i loved so much and that is a big plus. Today's anime doesnt feel quite the same in my opinion, what are your thoughts.. Now im getting excited to watch SWORD GAI!.
While obvious an anime series, After the rain often feels like a live action film.
@Mario: Actually that does remind me, I never saw Pola X by Carax.
Miike is extremely hit or miss, but I loved how Audition minipulated the viewer with its slower first half before really taking off, most of Ichi the killer is just a perversely funny black comedy to me.
Chang-dong-Lee is refreshingly less melodramatic then other Korean directors.
Benh Zeitlin is one I'm not familiar with, but it turns out he did beasts of southern wild and I enjoy magical realism.
@Mario: I wasn't aware Carax was still alive, some sgements of holy motors work, others don't , lovers on the bridge was a more accessible film I recall.
@Fluca: okay. Kinda fixed it. I don't think we have a spoiler code so I just changed your spoiler into white color
@Kaiser: I'm checking movies from indie auteur directors that could come out this year, interested Benh Zeitlin's second movie, Lee Chang Dong's and Leos Carax's one
Would love to see Our Little Sister in anime form, actually
Although Miike directs like at least 40 feature films, I only remember his Audition and Ichi the Killer the most, both of which I have extremely mixed feeling about
Every time I here the title Aico, it makes me think its some kind of eco/environmental thing, which I know it isn't.
The fate/extra Alice character (I looked her up) looks like she belongs in rozen maiden.
The modern Japanese directors can be prolific Miike and Sono pump out more than one film a year.
And it shows, that Our little sister adaptation, that live action adaptations CAN sometimes work.
Quick fact, that action crime josei anime, Bananna fish, coming out in April is based on a manga by the writer of Our little sister's manga.
@Mario: The interest being, how he would handle something so removed from his usual style.
@Mario: Actually re-checking, its next week, The third murder , which seems very different, a courtroom drama with some philosophy in it.
I really enjoy Our Little Sister, but I think mainly because the film is entirely within my comfort zone (Slice of life manga material, about the life of these girls)
@Kaiser: Which one will you see? He now directs one movie per year so it's hard to keep track some times. I really like his style and I reckon people who like slice-of-life will enjoy his movies
@Mario: Hirokazu Koreeda has a new film out, seeing it on Friday, I've only seen Our little sister by him.
@Anon: I essentially deleted the rest of the episodes off my computer after struggling through the first, like most, maybe moreso I got very turned off by the genre mixing. Thats not to say that I'm against genre mixes though, but they have to be weird, I mean really weird.
I am not a fan of breather episodes, something most modern anime are pretty keen to insert. I hate breaking of climaxes in order to show three SoL-, fanservice- or formularic monster of the week episodes before the main plot progresses further. When I want SoL I go watch a full fleshed SoL. Aico is pretty straight forward and kinda easy to watch in one go in that regard. Nothing really new though.
Just finished Aico. Had a few downsides like most series but I enjoyed it. Felt like a classic scifi anime you'd see in the 90s.
@Anon, I watched it. Though it was mixed but a decent enough watch. It really felt like two shows hastily combined into one. Been thinking of writing a review for it and Aico once I finish Aico.
*Have you watch
Have toy watch, B The Beginning?
I would call it somewhat lightweight however, but I won't complain/level too much against it, as it is afterall, a family film.
*in my memory
Nice animation showcase aswell though I don't know how long this will really stay i my memory, though it was nice.
Although it relies on being fairly convenient, linear and simplistic, that Mary witch flower anime movie is at its strongest when visually drawing the viewer into its world and wherever it shows spectacle. I'd say its adequately charming. Fair enough.
Hakata sounds like Gangasta. A series I enjoyed, despite its massive flaws
thanks guys. I will probably give it a try. I am also watching the Castlevania anime finally. Not really worth it for me. Also I watched the first episode of Garo Vanishing Line. I can a say it was fun.
Hi guys, anyone here played Sea Bed VN? Just wondering...
@Anon1880687 - I watched a couple of episodes. Feels like a foreign series. Since it doesn't feel like an anime made in Japan. I did like the group of revengers seem to have more personality than the main leads which insinuate chemistry but doesn't go deep into it. I don't remember if they explain why one of the leads chooses to dress like a girl. Though at least they give him/her a male voice.
@KTravlos: me. Not impressed. First few eps were alright with a set of bold characters, but later the lot just goes around in circle for these characters acting cool and cool rules the day. I dropped it after episode 6
KT here. Has anybody watched Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens? Impressions?
@Vonter: It gets more serious later although I agree it's better starting this without any knowledge about the series, like I did. I just loved the tragicomical jokes and the obsessive nostalgia Bojack suffered from and neither needed nor expected any drama but it was pretty good when it happened nonetheless.
@Anon, Not really. They just wanted to find some justification for the trashy aspects for a show they liked rather than accept it.
And while I understand how obnoxious it can be, there are times when people complain about a show doesn't explain itself and then get pissed off when you try to give an explanation.
ProZD nails it on the head yet again The people who continue to make excuses for kill la kill's fan service are the same ones fapping to episodes of the show to this day
@Vonter: From what I hear, while it does have comedy, by the second season not only does it improve, but its more of a drama.
I've been watching Bojack Horseman. It's good, yet watching certain clips before the actual series made me expect a darker show. I know it's a cartoon, but some jokes reduced the impact of certain events. Though I suppose it's meant to be uplifting and not just mean spirited. It gave me some Nier and Aku no Hana vibes.
We watched the first three episodes of B the Beginning. I must say I enjoyed it. We will see how the rest goes.
*whole franchise bar Macross delta
Despite loving the mans work since I got started on anime when I was younger, I still haven't seen Kawamori's most recent Macross series despite seeing the whole franchise.
I think devilman set me up for the idea that netflix would be putting out more transgressive anime.
If i were to rank the three netflix original shows that have released so far in descending order, it would be devilman crybaby, AICO, and then B: the beginning
so i just finished binge watching AICO...give it a watch if you guys have time, it's pretty good
@Mario: A good dose of reality in that episode though.
@Mario: Well I guess I called it completely wrong on who Chihiro was lol
@Amagi: Steins gate spent far too much time on a jokey first half.
Not that I'm trashing polemical writing, I find stuff by Jean-Luc-Godard fucking funny.
Doing a giant mood piece isn't pretentious, because it probably doesn't have a concrete meaning any way.
While still keeping it with enough sophistication .
For example, doing a rant of a film will only communicate to your intellectual friends and people already in the know, the working class guy you want to inform with your societal/political/religious ideas , was probably watching a western back in the 60s/70s, just incorporate the themes into that while not sacrificing the films appeal
With regards to pretension, I think that comes into play when you have a director trying to communicate ideas but ends up becoming ridiculously, overly polemical, its better to communicate thought provoking ideas through something straight, while also remaining some distance.
I think it often happens when authors create things on the fly, at least with manga. You can see terrible forms of comedy/SoL -> drama/scifi switches among webcomics, which are usually done by "amateurs", some of them being pretty young. It's always good when a series hints or blatantly shows what it is during its first episodes/chapters. Not talking about mysteries but genres.
Usually for dramatic comedy to work I feel it needs to let the viewer know early on that the story will feature both....the sudden drama thing generally is a result where a funny film needs an ending and a story needs to be fabricated hastily.
Melodrama is like genre mixes. If it does work it can be something special, but it's really hard to write and most directors just lack the talent to do so. It's like a comedy that turns serious at some point. It CAN work, but there aren't many cases where that happens. Usually they're just alienating their comedy fans and the drama fans weren't there to begin with.
Same here
I think some really old Euro movies, latin ones especially get away with melodrama well because the acting was different and more theatrical .
If the mekodramatics can properly cast a spell on a viewer, I am open to it if the writers strong enough but in general, when I'm watching something, the best stories are the ones where the atmosphere is so assure I forget I'm watching fiction.
I know they just want to make their audience feel good but I think it's a terrible moral or idea. Especially since most people know at least one person they loved that died from such illnesses. No matter what they did or tried to do to overcome it.
Yeah exactly. Honestly most cancer movies are terrible I think. I also hate these series in which the main character, I don't know, wins a match for his cancer-ridden love and then s/he recovers.
@Amagi: Too silly for me, the psycho faces.
@Kaiser: Not using music can be a great method to illustrate serious moments I think.
I've spoken to my father about this, who recovered from cancer years ago, those kind of phrases irritate him, hr said " don't battle, fight cancer, you fucking suffer through it, then if your lucky you get through it"
I mean, again, I loved Madoka but I see how this method they used is kinda cheap. It's still better than many other series of that type. I am aready looking forward to see how terrible Magical Girl Site is, the trailer looks like a psycho face trash fest.
The really annoying thing is when some of these docs and dramas use phrases like "her battle, her FIGHT, her BRAVE fight against cancer.
I enjoyed Madoka but I know what you mean. I think I will never rewatch Madoka but I love to see certain Tutu- and Sailor Moon scenes from time to time. I think Madoka is kinda similar to netflix shows or code geass in that regard. It always ends with some evil cliffhanger to hype you up for the next episode and it throws in one shocking revelation after another for the same reason.
@Amagi: On the music thing, some documentaries do this. What I loved about Shoah and night and fog is that the directors showed the landscapes/buildings where it happened and never used music.
I mean I know how bad ww2 and other things were. I really don't need rain, sad music and lots of actor tears to realize that. It reminds me of the laughing tracks sitcoms have that tell you when you have to laugh. And newer movies have exaggerated effects as well, not a fan of that. I rather see well thought-out content than a bomb-show. Not to mention that I hate sensory overload.
Its also kind of why I can NEVER look at hentai of something I enjoyed when I was young.
Which I admit is bias and a crap opinion lol
I grew up with Cardcaptor Sakura and Sailormoon and looking into lighthearted mahou shoujo , I don't mind nanoha and tutu, but there was always the feeling madoka was corrupting something.
On dark moe, I've stopped with lol edgy when criticizing Madoka, I realize that its the equivalent to Batman porn to me, the idea of that level of a slant on a genre I went for when I was a kid.
I agree. I was interested in Schindler's List when I was ~12 or so because it was something new for me. Nowadays I realize it's not really my thing, there are many western war shows that come of as too "pathetic" to me, they feel too much like, well, Hollywood blockbusters (which is what they actually are) than a serious commetary on war or so.
@Amagi: Thats the trouble I have with Hollywood , a film about Autism like Rain man or a mental illness movie like I am Sam, these American movies never seem real and the depictions feel so hammy and inaccurate.
On the dark moe trope, rather than throwing out words on it, its the tonal inconsistency that gets to me.
Yeah the opposite is bad as well. A show can have good intentions, even lots of good ideas but still have a bad execution.
Schindler's list is a great example of this, personally I think popcorn drama/oscar baiting the holocaust is somewhat distasteful and the film comes off as comparitively ingenuinely when I've seen a couple of eastern war films by people who actually lived during the war.
And "egdy" is very much about the tone a series has and not so much the actual content. Therefore it has to be explained as well, a dark series, even one with lots of blood, isn't necessarily edgy, it depends on the stance the autor has, whom we're supposed to root for and why, how characters and scenes are depicted and the overall tone, moral and so on.
On another note, to go back to "critic proof", this is a terrible practice because it allows people to take an easy topic for a story and it become forbidden to give a bad review.
Yeah, "badly written" for example doesn't mean anything unless you're gonna illustrate how it is badly written by showing and analyzing examples from the show and explain why the writing for these scenes is weak
Thats why I like here, people actually talk about a show in some detail, even the reviewers.
An non-backed up opinion when I'm looking for a show to follow doesn't tell me anything, how am I meant to know to watch something based on a single word or sentence?
I suppose its less of a case of buzzwords and more how people don't explain anything . The reason I say I have to do a 300 word review or long opinion on something is because I feel buzzwords and one word/one sentence opinions are un-helpful.
@Amagi: And I think thats certainly an issue, the lines being bkurred between shitposting/trolling and genuine critique .
I mean there are a lot of badly written shows out there or shows that are too tryhard, but people often use these phrases as buzzwords for everything and don't state reasons for using these terms for a specific show. I see tons of "egdy" posts as soon as a series is a bit darker than the usual harem and it's hard to distinguish these pieces from actual shitposts or trolls.
It sounds better to say that I don't like something because it's too egdy, too stupid and pure pandering (when it's about moe) or "badly written" than saying that I can't relate to certain settings, characters and so one or that I've seen a certain idea too often.
@Kaiser: I think many people just don't want to admit that disliking a series is usually a subjective thing. They rather want to credit their own intelligence for not liking it.
New Boogiepop anime announced for 2018 o/
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