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

omg!! I just realized To be Hero was one of the show that I reviewed its 1st episode back in Chinese Animation post. I watched raw then though
forgive me if I'm a bit too overwhelmed by Flip Flappers... For this episode alone I took like 25 screenshots...trying to write a review now...
I have absolutely no idea what is going on in Flip Flappers plot. And yet for some reason I am OK with that.
Anyone out there that's a fan of crude humor should go watch ep.3 of To Be Hero. Certinately stepped it up a notch from the last two humor-wise.
One downside I can think of already is that I'm bound to lose or break one of the detachable controllers. The cost for those pieces is what I'm most interested in.
Nintendo Switch hmm? Honestly it looks too good to be true. I expect some major downsides to this thing.
I like cartoons, don't get me wrong. Certainly good for a change of pace. But there is something about the way they are written that I find rather distracting.
I don't know, maybe if I said it's like the difference from how characters talk in movie vs how characters talk in a sitcom?
@K-Off, I said one liner's or jokes. Not one liner jokes. It's hard to explain. Basically when I hear a conversation in anime even if it is based in stereotypes, it at least feels like a conversation that's being had in the moment. In cartoons however there is a layer of artificiality and it feels like characters know what a person is going to say and has a response prepared.
That's probably why some of my favorite anime in recent years haven't been very heavy on character archetypes, or were either parodies of it.
Comedic dialogue with anime in recent years have leaned too much on the idea of playing off character archetypes. The collected character vs the energetic character, for one. I'd like to see more variety. Some more word play, hyperbolic humor, body humor, etc etc.
@Aidan Not quite sure what you mean by that, because it's certainly not even a majority of cartoons that rely on cheap one liner jokes. I suppose it's entirely up to taste, but I can appreciate the energy in cartoons like Steven Universe or Regular Show when compared to the increasingly repetitive dialogue found in some recent anime.
@Topgavin: I just read that review and his main reason being Shelter is pretentious. oh well! Can't never please anyone.
Thought I'd check out the reviews for Shelter on MAl and the top review is a 1/10. Apparently because it's a cute girl we sympathise with her more, which is bad because reasons. I mean.. what? MAL never ceases to amaze me
@Mario, no. It's more that the dialogue keeps trying to push out one liners or jokes regardless of whose talking.
@Aidan: maybe because they spoke in your native language do you can feel that it's artificial, ya know? I know I have the same problem with Vietnamese drama/ cartoon and maybe Japanese people have that same issues with anime?
By which I mean, the way characters talk in cartoons is very...artificial. Like you can tell that the dialgoue was clearly written beforehand and it never really sounds natural. At least to me.
@Anon, I wouldn't. The writing and structure are too cartoon. What with the episodic nature and dialogue that generally pushes for a comedic tone.
Kaiser Eoghan
Flanagan also directed absentia which I haven't seen yet but I think someone I came across of 4chan linked it to being lovecraftian?
Kaiser Eoghan
Oculus was a film of two halves for me. Hush was a pretty standard home invasion thriller, making the victim deaf was an interesting twist but not as unique as you might think, still suspenseful though.
Kaiser Eoghan
I never saw the first oujia film. Though Mike Flanagan who did the sequel, he's never made a bad movie but he's never really made a great one either.
Kaiser Eoghan
I stick to the firm belief that cartoons and anime, visually should do and be their own thing. I'll prefer a western artstyle for cartoons rather than one pretending to look like anime style.
But this is a good topic and I'm sure everyone has their own opinions so I'm looking to hear some more arguments
@anon352392: no they aren't. For me not because of where their production based, nor their intended audience, but rather their styles, both visually and storytelling-ly, are different
Anime,” they assert, is not a “style” of illustration or animation.
That's where I differ to those guys. For me, anime is a style. In that sense, I consider RWBY, and Canadian-produced short Flutter as an anime. Thunderbolt Fantasy is not and anime-influence shows/movies that are intented for Western audience like AniMatrix or Afro Samurai are anime
@Anon nah they wouldn't be because they aren't made by a japanese producer for the japanese market. Quality isn't the question, production is
NX and Red Dead Redemption 2 trailers tomorrow.
They are good series and i honestly like them alot more than most anime series, would their quality make them anime?
What about cartoons like Steven Universe, Gravity Falls, Wander Over Yonder, Star Vs The Forces Of Evil?
In other news a sequel to an absolutely terrible horror movie called Ouija is out and it's...actually pretty good? Wondering if critics were paid off or it is legit good. Well it did have the guy who was behind Oculus and that was a pretty good movie.
Simplify the term down enough and anime is literally anything animated but the whole point of the term is to distinguish it. For to call Spongebob an anime makes me want to projectile vomit. Point is this, you say you watched a cartoon, people think Tom and jerry, Scooby doo etc. You say you watched an anime, people think Cowboy bebop, Attack on titan, etc. Whole point of the term.
For example, I don't consider Avatar or RWBY to be anime for while they use anime style, the writing is fundamentally structured like an American cartoon. Through I would consider Bloodivores an anime even though it was made by a Chinese animation company, making it technically a Chinese cartoon.
As far as what is and isn't anime I honestly think of the term as a means of distinguishing it from cartoon which gives the impression of being for children. It's like Graphic novel is to comic book. Though techically graphic novels are issues of comics bound in book form, the term Graphic novel is often used to distinguish works that go above superhero comics and whatnot.
Basically I think it was due to Porter Robinsons involvement that they didn't consider it anime.
@Aidan: Did the mods give any concrete reasons why they didn't consider it an anime?
@Mario, It wasn't the community that had the problem. It was the mods. The community made it pretty clear that they considered it anime.
So despite the art style is obviously anime, the character speaks in Japanese, and the production was animated by A1 Studios, it's not an anime? Sometimes I feel sad that the anime community keeps limiting themselves with such fixed minds.
I saw it yesterday and yes it was good. For a 5-minute story, they don't make it too overwhelme with details, and still pack an emotional punch. Moreover it elevates the song. Good stuffs.
Shelter was quite good though. It works well and the animation was beautiful. Song is not bad either. It's got a nice emotional punch to it though it's a bit simple a story.
Well anyway I only saw all this because I checked out the video for the first time and wanted to see how others thought of it with a quick scan through reddit. And I get this shitshow instead.
Playing the victim is the one really pisses off the internet. For refusing to admit you f*cked up only encourages people to shove how you f*cked up into your face. That's what really grinds peoples gears.
Yep, seen that too. The mods even put up another tread about the video and tried to guilt trip people by saying they got death threats. Look, internet rules 101. If you said or did something stupid admit to it and just walk away. Do not try to deflect blame or play the victim, that only adds fuel to the fire.
@Aidan oh yeah saw that live lol. Porter himself even commented on twitter about it, gotta love internet drama
So did anyone happen to catch the big old shitstorm of that Shelter music music when a mod of the Anime subreddit decided it wasn't "Anime" enough and removed the discussion post about it? Oh internet drama...what silly nonsense.
Finally caught up with JoJo. Diamond is Unbreakable has turned out to be much better than Stardust Crusaders. Should have waited for the season to finish through as I really loved marathoning it.
I had a feeling that might be the case considering the source materail for luger.
@Mario Oh I watched that, certinately worth it. Packed more story that some 12-episode shows do nowadays and gorgeous animation.
and I will check out "Shelter" music video to see what all the fuss is about
*this weekend to be exact.
Sounds like Luger Code 1951 is an OVA that will air next week, the same air date with "my" Zaregoto OVA.
@Mario: doesn't sound real at all to me lol
@Mario, I might be able to manage. If all else fails I can talk about the past of these historical figures.
While I don't mind watchinng Drifters, I swaer if I had to cover that show, I couldn't come up with anything to say.
Do you guys know what language the fairies speak in Drifters? It does sound like a genuine language
@topgavin: humanity has declined is a great show. It has good writing and dark, witty sense of humor. I could talk about it in length but psgels pretty much covered it all. He was really impressed by that show however.
That should be me covered till the weekend. Why do all my shows air on the weekend...
@Mario nah I've watched the whole thing but I'd heard about it at the start of this year and put it off. The dialogue between her and the fairies was great stuff, probably gonna rewatch it this weekend now that you mention it
Alright, I got three posts written up and will be throwing them out in about two hours or do.
I thought you've finished it. Yeah I love her character a lot, so cynical but witty. My favorite moment was when she read about fairy's plan to invent religions. She was like "so religions are invented?" (beat) "I've learn something new today". Priceless
@Mario Oh nice, it was one that I had heard about but never got round to. To put it in simple anime terms, Watashi is best girl
@topgavin: I just finished the series yo mentioned the other day: humanity is declined. Man, I love it. I know now I have a thing for dark twisted absurdist anime
@Ano340004: the name is Watashi ga Motete Dousunda, or to put it short Motete. I have fun with it but i'm not that enthuastic
@anon the english name is Kiss him, not me. Search through the first impressions if you need the jap name.
then that girl really loves BL (boy love)
what is the name of the anime that the girl is fat and then she got depressed because her favorite boy anime died then she got thin?
Season 7 is awesome so far too. It feels like the tone of the show is finally back to normal and it feels like Adventure Time again.
Whew, I binged all seasons of Adventure Time this weekend. The show hit a low spot in Season 6 but I think it needed to happen...Poor Finn needed the serious character development after what he did to FP.
You guys are too hard on it
Motete is very funny
Kaiser Eoghan
When it comes to gag manga and four-koma, I just eventually reach a stopping point with a comedy series in that format. Even with hidamari sketch.
I think it was typical light novel trash based on what was in the PV. I laughed that despite it being horrible that the crowd still cheered anyway, likely because it had a bath clip in it.
The PV was hilarious. I had no idea what the anime was about.
@Aidan I'm good, I'll stick with Working.
@K-Off, you could switch to something like Gi(a)rlish Number if you like. I for one am really digging the satire of the show. Plus I like that it's basically showing how an utter train-wreck of an anime can be made. That PV in the last episode was truly painful.
Feeling pretty disappointed with Working. I haven't gotten any more cynical with comedies, at least I don't think, and its flaws are so irritating.
@Adam Le, I find that with Comic book dialogue. Which is one of the reasons I have gone off marvel movies. Cartoons have it to a degree as well.
I love the instagram shots in Yuri
Maybe I can have a watch through those live action films and do a compare/contrast to see which version works better. After all movie and tv series are 2 different medium, and live-action vs animation is the topic that we never get tired of
speaking of which, the overlap between anime and live-action adaptation from manga is overwhelming. For this year alone, there were Erased, 3-gatsu no Lion, Fune o Amu, orange, and Chihayafuru (part 1&2). Those were just the ones I know.
@Adam: Don't know which genre you're into but you can try Fune o Amu (The Great Passage)
Adam Le
I can't seem to get into any of these new shows. I don't know, the dialogue always seems off to me and the forced comedy is a big turn off.
Reminds me of a thought I had when I was last at the Getty art museum. People walking past works of art hundreds of years old, but only taking a second-long glance before moving on to the next one. Not their fault really, it's only the professional critics who can understand what they see with depth.
I'm the opposite really, they're getting paid for what they said so they better know their shits
Kaiser Eoghan
I suppose I'm slightly envious of professional critics somewhat.
Sometimes you're just meant to experience the ride you know. I don't watch those explained video anymore because after all it's just one guy's opinions.
Kaiser Eoghan
Kaiser Eoghan
And I mean people who art professionals or students.
Kaiser Eoghan
I guess I'm just unsure of something, how many people watching "arty" stuff are able to pick it up on their own. By looking up an "explained video" or "explained essay" to get it, am I copping out?
Kaiser Eoghan
I feel like I've begun getting on board with the european art stuff but am really only scratching the surface with the Chinese and that stuff.
Kaiser Eoghan
And find myself missing whats going on sometimes.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'll admit I do find it frustrating, that even though I can like art films, emotionally connect at times, appreciate the visual techniques and admire them for being so different without looking up analysis by people far smarter than myself I honestly feel lost sometimes as to the meaning.
@Kaiser: Apichatphong Weerseethakul's films are so otherworldly and spiritual that I wouldn't dare to call them "dreams" anymore. Check out his "Uncle Boonmie", "Syndromes and a Century", "Cemetery of Splendors". he has such singular vision that just watch and experience his films are rewarding enough
@afgm: well, if we really go over-analyze it, bunnies can represent desire for example ^^
like eating sweet snow is so randomness for me
@Badesh: the things you said might be something I might do in the future. After all I love dissecting symbolism. But for Flip Flappers I need to know more what are intentional and what are randomness first
So Papika is corrupting Cocona? That would make some sense I guess
I mean I guess bunnies represent purity? Maybe?
@Kaiser: I mean yeah I get that things can be beautiful just because they're beautiful. But the effort comes in trying to connect that beauty and symbolism to the story as a whole, which is something I honestly struggle to do with Flip Flappers. It just seems pretty gratuitous at this point.
I don't know I think flip flappers is probably deeper than people might give it credit for. I just don't have the time or energy to piece together the abstraction. Doesn't mean that the meaning doesn't exist, it's just hard (and possibly misguided) to uncover it on the first run through.
but i don't want to get into a "who is right" argument. it was just a wish of mine to get to know the persons view of the world and not just be part of his daily mood
yeah, but i could happen that you grow intelectual but not personal ;)
Kaiser Eoghan
But theres no shame in watching a heavily thematic arthouse thing, liking it then going "didn't quite get/catch that" then looking up what it means.
Kaiser Eoghan
But for going into things, analyzing them, I wasn't saying thats wrong, when I meant overanaylsis I meant people making shit up that isn't actually there.
Kaiser Eoghan
And going too deep into thinking about that image shows the person is failing to understand that they were supposed to interact with it on an emotionally or spiritually intellectual level.
Kaiser Eoghan
Rather than de-mystifying that image or losing its enigma.
Kaiser Eoghan
I just think sometimes people forget that things can be entirely impressionistic or expressionist, people sometimes forget that images don't necessarily need a giant essay behind them or meaning or analysis. What I mean is you can have a 15 minute stretch of gorgeous looking images but the point is that you feel that or see the imagination and creativity because its beautiful.
It requires an understanding and a concept of life of the reviewer that highlights the right things, the things that widens the readers perspective, based on the narrow popculture consicousness that we have, sorry to be that dramatic...
Yeah, i don't mean that kind of overanalyzing :) so i.e. that beautiful picture of flip flappers to the left is so much more than the "character floating through an imaginary world" if you start to go into that, what it does with the viewers heart, you can write an essay weather it was the creators intention or not. that's the kind of thing i dream about and care to read
Of course afterwards they will certainly claim that they planned everything from the colour of toothpaste used but I take that with a grain of salt.
Plus the basic idea that the creator of a materiel is a complete mastermind who has internally planned out a massive series of symbolic comparisons and intricate threads which the vast majority of viewers would completely fail to see. And quite frankly, people just ain't that smart and have no reason to put in such massive effort.
The problem with overanalyzling however is that it's usually down to a series of simplifed concepts held together by a flimsy logical foundation. Like the ring theory of star wars.
...which is only achieved through what you call overanalyzing - at least in the internet world where only words count.
I wish people would "overanalyze" more. For me it get's pretty boring pretty fast to read something along the lines of "this wasn't good/perfect because i have seen better" - that's interesting as long as i need anothers opinion to get a feel for the materia. once you are somewhat experienced in life you only care for this sort of things if you know that persons view of the world...
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Would you say the Apichatphong Weerseethakul's films are worth looking into as "dream" films, always wanted to get into his work but it seems....daunting.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'd imagine if you went looking you could probably find people who overanalyzed Eden of the east (as with anything) to where they saw something none of us could (or that they wanted to see). Something about young peopl in society was one look at it. But for me eden of the east was an undercooked thriller merged with a bad chick flick and the films ruined whatever good will I had for it.
I'm almost giddy with the possibility of this being the closest thing I get to Utena this decade (besides actual ikuhara works of course haha)
@ano327926: Boy, how true. agreed 100% with you here
"liberate pure illusion" is the new "revolutionize the world"
@mnei, that's hardly the only thing in Eden of the east that didn't make any sense. It was a great idea but boy...did the writing fail hard.
Anyone here watched Eden of East and got fucking confused as I do about why Akira had to wipe off his memories and ship NEETS to Dubai? He wasn't really deceived (in my opinion). He didn't have to send the NEETS anywhere either.
@Mario and from what I've heard, they skipped out a whoooole bunch of fanservicey training sessions that happened before the 1st episode. Dunno whether I'm happy or dissapointed with that
I swear Keijo's everyday training is much more intense than Saitama's
I goddamn love Drifters opening.
@Anon, the story improved in volume 3 but I don't think your issues with the show have really disappeared. So yes, it did get better but it still has it's issues.
Did RWBY get better in vol 3? I watched the first two and hated them but the designs of the girls are nice and the characters are even good, I just can't stand these graphics and that shitty plot or the comedy scenes in which it tries to copy anime humor. The "western" comedy is nice.
So RWBY volume 4 airs next week. Nice. I was actually going to write a review on RWBY and just never got around to it. Seeing as it's somewhat anime I say it's suitable for the site though honestly while it is anime styled, the writing is pure cartoon.
So that's Raising project, Drifters and Occult Nine for me.
@Topgavin, seeing as it was pretty much Top of the Preview poll(Besides Natsume but I am not the man to do Natsume.) I will do Occult Nine. I can at least have fun ripping it apart and comparing it to its contemporaries.
@Mario, for starters you can stop calling her a bitch. Flip Flappers is a classy lady so put you fapping aside and treat her good. So yep, it fine by me.
@Topgavin: He'll be fine.... I hope
Guess it'd be Raising project, Drifters and Keijo/Occult Nine..?
@Mario poor aidan, what shows are there left to cover?
@Friend: Ha! I'm really looking for RWBY 4 as well. At one time I was intended to blog RWBY 4 here but even for me (who tend to go off track), I know that covering RWBY would not be appropriate for this site. But I'll give each season a proper review in the World Animation section, I promise!
@Topgavin: I'm a bit underwhelmed with Izetta 2nd episode, but it's still a better-than-average show out there this season. Anw I'm now settled for Flip Flapers
@Vonter: Agreed with everything you said. I remember one of anime blog that I visited had that format: they break the episode down by time, and give their witty comments (sometime pics) alongside. I could see that format work very well for comedy, slice-of-life and shows with heavy symbolism...
So this season I'm blogging Sound Eupho 2, 3-gatsu no Lion and Flip Flappers
Aidan, having watched Flip Flappers, I'd say she's my bitch man. Not sure how to handle her yet but I promise I'll take good care of her ^^
...and you are banned for a day.
@psge1s usually fake names with capital i's work better than a 1
gettin' pussy foh days here
Kaiser Eoghan
Damn, sorry that flipflappers/sangatsu comment was meant to have an @Mario before it, my mistake.
I admit there isn't anything interesting to me this season. But! I'm really looking forward to RWBY! Volume 4 looks so great :D
@Mario could try covering Izetta, even if it might fall off later it might not. All Out/Keijo could work too, but they're quite simple so they'd be short reviews
Kaiser Eoghan
I could see keijo's trash value only working once though.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think there were times where crying scenes had me anxious and I muted. But when it comes to pausing things I'm a demon for that moreso to make sure I didn't miss anything in the subs or because I liked the look of a certain shot.
Kaiser Eoghan
Watamote's a good example of one of those things where you laugh...and then think you should probably feel guilt for doing so, kind of like a Solondoz film.
Kaiser Eoghan
I was very happy with your early posts on sangatsu and flipflappers and based on that I'd like to see you blog them weekly.
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