Posted by psgels on 9 December 2011 with categories: Mawaru Penguin Drum

Well, so I kept hoping for these final episodes to bring everything together. And with this episode, they did. The developments in this episode took this show to a new level. With things finally concluding, the twists i this episode brought in the best out of the characters. The twists in this episode made terrific use of the build-up.

The great development here was the family breaking up. For so many episodes it seemed just natural for the three siblings to stay together no matter what. And yet in this episode things really go horribly wrong. Himari had died before in this series, but this time, it actually seems that this is for real (although I wouldn’t be surprised if she still had some part to play). She finally stepped up and realized what she caused Kanba to do.

What’s also surprising here is how powerless Shouma was: for a long while it seemed like he was going to be the main character of this series, and yet he hardly had any role, aside from the moment we’ve been waiting for: Double-H to make an appearance, only to disappear again. Overall, this is something that I really have to give to Utena: the shadow play girls in the end turned out to be much more awesome, even though you can see here how the creators tried to give them a very important role in the story.

Apart from that, I’m not going to compare the two shows just yet, due to how important the ending was for both of them. There are some very obvious differences, and the next two weeks it will be up to this series to show how well its ideas worked. This episode really was in the right direction, but was it right enough?

What also made this episode awesome was Natsume. Again her role changed completely last week. In this week, we get to see the results of this change, and how her attempts to get her brother back failed. It’s in a completely different mood from her earlier attempts when she tried to get him back with that sweater she knitted. That sweater by the way was a very sneaky hint to the two of them being siblings, when you compare them to Himari’s knitted clothes for her “brothers”.

And on a side-note: what was Shouma doing in that box?
Rating: *** (Awesome)

23 Responses

  1. Jordy says:

    Notice the book Kanba’s penguin is reading. It’s Faust. For those who don’t realize yet, the penguins are the character’s inner thoughts and feelings. It’s foreshadowing because in Faust he pushes away his lover in pursuit of his goal and she ends up dying because of it. But ultimately her soul is saved and she goes to Heaven I believe. Somehow, I feel that whether they live or die doesn’t matter at this point. I feel that they might be stuck in some sort of a loop of fate. In this ep, Himari “dies” exactly in the same place as in the 1st ep. Also, when Himari dies for the second time (Ep12) Princess of The Crystal talks about the wheel of fate and implies that some of the events might have happened already. And remember the dialogue of Sanetoshi implying that Kanba might have burned the world a few times already. “What will be left after burning it away a hundred times for her sake?” – I don’t know by heart what episode it was in, but I do remember that exact line.

  2. Binayo says:

    This episode was more than just awesome!
    Penguindrum will probably be the first anime I will rewatch immediatly after it has finished airing.

  3. kevin says:

    Man this was just terrible. I can hardly wait for the series conclusion which is obviously going to be 20 minutes of Ikuhara’s face wrapped in a sinister snarl laughing hysterically at the viewers for actually watching this far. If you think there is any plot in this series you are an imbecile. The series pretty much forces fans to try and create the plot to themselves. There is literally no real plot, just shit splashed here and there. Utterly terrible, worst anime of the year. Sacred Seven looks like god’s gift to anime compared to this.

  4. Vikkei says:

    @Jordy: That makes the scene where Himari’s penguin shoves girlie mags in Kanba’s penguin’s face all the more…interesting. :P

    @kevin: Great to see that everyone’s favorite Alternate Opinion Commentator made it to the new website — welcome! ;D

  5. Jordy says:

    @Vikkei
    Yep, I especially liked how they used them in this scene. http://gyazo.com/1b1756c94372f305cf98c68dc1ca4093.png
    Kanba was trying to play it cool, but thanks to them Penguins (see the pic) you could tell that he was boiling inside.

  6. Stuff says:

    I believe this episode allowed natsume to get some closure. What she wanted was to not only save kanba, but the be told that he still cared for and loved her. Him saving her shows this. Tabuki and Yuri were also given some closure. Tabuki realizes that what he wanted was to be told that he was loved, and that he should feel fortunate that he had someone, as some children in the world do not, or something like that.

    @kevin: I genuinely believe you’re what they call tsundere for this series. :) I mean, you claim that youre watching this show for shits and giggles, but for YOU to watch this far sure says something. I mean, if i hated a show as much as you claim to hate this show, i wouldve stopped at around the 3rd episode, yet you seemed compelled enough to continue watching. “I’m only watching this show cause i’ve gotten this far, its not like i enjoy it or anything” SUREEEEE. ;) You wouldnt be watching every single episode if that were the case, you would just wait until it ended. Even if you dislike it in some way and find it absurd, theres something about this show that has you coming back to it every week once it airs. It’s okay if you deny this, because it wont have me thinking otherwise. :)
    You can keep commenting though, i actually enjoy reading them <3

  7. kero says:

    ahhh kevin, wonder which anime he’ll troll after this one is over?

    Only two episodes left or so I hear, so make the most of it!

  8. Julian says:

    …. are you high?

    Do you know that poetry is created through the abstract connection of concrete notions, which thus creates an advanced form of critical and subjective analysis?

    Do you know that canonical literary works, such as 100 years of solitude, win Nobel Prizes because of ambiguity.

    Do you know that you’re a retarded freak who is dipped in a shitton of shit crap and melted with the fiery depths of shit hole hell?

    Now, find an argument to this. That is, if your intellect will allow it. And no, your rant is not freedom of speech, it is hate speech as every argument you have is bases and refutable in every possible way :D. Welcome Back cunt.

  9. Snowolf says:

    I loved seeing the Double H girls again. That was a great add to the show because the last time we really got any idea of them was back in episode 9, and it really warmed my heart to know that despite everything (? I’m still not sure what exactly happened) they consider Himari to be a very good friend and they even wore the scarves and loved her and just I have a lot of feelings about friendships. Also even more ironic was Ringo apprehending them for stalking when, er, she’s had quite the history herself. I’m still irritated by how little Ringo is appearing in the episodes as of late, but I guess this makes up for the fact that for the first half of this show, it was all about her and her…..delusions. I was glad to see that she was working with Shouma (who is still whining and it really is starting to get on my nerves- I love this dude but seriously, Ringo needs to whack some sense into him) to find out where Himari was though.

    Then we kind of get a kick in the stomach as we go back to the main plot with bittersweet Himari/Kanba scenes, where Himari literally begs Kanba to stop working with the terrorist PinGroup to the point where she hugs him and runs after him desperately. An interesting pattern I’m seeing is how Himari transforms from someone who waited- sitting in the Child Broiler, waiting for her cure, waiting for her brothers to come back- to someone who is taking up the stand herself, and is now running to get her brother back despite her death coming up soon. I’m really starting to dislike Kanba’s actions (I love him but boy he needs to stop) because all of a sudden, he has become Tabuki in a way that his entire life is validated by Himari’s existence just because of some bandage transfer and he quite lierally, denies her of her feelings. I’m not sure if Himari’s emotions at this point are stemming from deep hearted concern for her brother, or actual love. Kanba has truly become the Knight who has fallen from his pedestal, only to rise in the darkness, and now Himari, who represents all that is pure and kind, is trying to wheedle him out of that track before it’s too late. While this most certainly feels like the typical fairy tale story, it is completely swapped- instead of the Knight trying to save the Princess, it is the other way around. That said, Ikuhara has shown us throughout this show that nothing is really quite what it seems, as demonstrated with Himari entering some kind of state of mind/metaphysical area where she enters the past. She prays to God- the most interesting aspect of this entire episode- and exchanges her life on that fateful day back in Episode 1 so that Kanba can live a normal life. Which is funny, because if anything, Kanba has no life without Himari, as he’s been saying over and over for the entire show.

    However, it does interest me that Ikuhara is finally toying with the idea of a “divine” figure of sorts; we’ve always had the theory that both Sanetoshi and Momoka are on a level that could be paralleled with God, as they both have the ability to visualize fate and transfer it (at a price, with Momoka). The image of Himari witnessing some sort of nirvana or enlightenment is curious because for the entire show, Himari has always placed her faith in her brothers. Once both of them cannot be reached however, she places her fate, literally, in the hands of an unknown being- we could compare this to the story of the Three Lambs back in episode 12 and 13, where the Goddess finally executes divine punishment onto Himari the lamb; and thus, Himari has finally either accepted that she was never meant to exist in the first place (she was always an Unchosen) or that she has finally accepted her punishment and/or role as the Sacrificial Lamb. Now, if this is true, we have come to the point of introducing an alternate timeline where Himari never existed, and while that would be an amazing concept to play around with, we have two more episodes and I don’t think that would fit at all. However, I’ve proposed the idea that rather, Himari had entered a ‘state of mind’; much like the metaphysical place of the Child Broiler which I also feel is a state of mind, and thus is in this area where she wants to desperately give up her life in exchange for Kanba’s. Ikuhara is known for his very twisted endings though- especially the idea of “oh I woke up and it was all a dream~” so I’m not sure here. Either way, I personally believe Himari is very much alive. (They do say the third time is a charm however, and this is the third time they are ~killing~ Himari off)

    The closure that was brought between Yuri and Tabuki was heart aching because finally, Tabuki realizes that revenge will bring nothing; he and Yuri were blessed to be chosen, in a world where children are unwanted, unneeded, unclaimed- they were the Unchosen, and became the Chosen. As said in 20, to live is in itself, a punishment. But through Momoka’s love and spirit, they were given life, only to realize that life itself is sometimes, as worse as being invisible and never having a destiny in the first place. Does this mean they’ve accepted their fate? It’s interesting how Mawaru Penguindrum really toys with the idea of fate and what it means to fight against it or to accept it. Just because we accept fate does not mean that we are weak, as seen with Ringo as she finally detaches from the idea of reclaiming her family. And just because we fight against fate, denying the impossible, does not mean that we are strong, as shown with Kanba, who futilely fights to save Himari’s life. Yuri and Tabuki have come at their ends, finally accepting what they were given, and moving on; though the price that came with this understanding is extremely steep, as it’s implied that Tabuki is either on the verge of death, or is already dead. (He could be healing though.)
    I feel that everyone in a way, is trying to fight fate but in doing it, are only working with fate. Even more surprising was how Kanba tried to strangle Sanetoshi (this dude is really becoming desperate) when Sanetoshi clearly shows that either he exists on a plane that cannot be physically tangible by any means, or shows powers of divinity, or is really, simply, a ghost. The fact that the Takakura parents appear behind him as they enter the Train makes me feel that Kanba has been hallucinating Sanetoshi, or rather the fact that he is either a concept brought into a somewhat tangible form, or lastly, he, like the penguins, is only visible to the Takakuras and Masako and certain others.
    Masako’s death was the biggest shock though, because honestly, the way she died was extremely similar to how Himari died for Kanba earlier this episode. Both women care deeply for him; Masako is Kanba’s biological sister, who was saved from being brought into the terrorist organization at a young age, while Himari was saved by Kanba through the treatments and such. While both have extremely different personalities, at heart, they are very much alike, and it’s almost haunting to see that Himari, through the idea of fate and destiny, is brought to her death, while Masako, through real cruelty and real guns, is brought to her death. Her speech was quite fitting and brought me to tears; as children, do we really bring our own fate? Both girls made a choice in this episode, but Masako is the one who ties it back to the “curse” of her clan. Can we really escape the bonds of family in the end? Even if those bonds are cursed themselves?

    With only one episode to go for me (I won’t be able to watch the finale until January, as I’ll be on a vacation trip to a place with no internet access, alas!) , I don’t know how things will be wrapped up, but all I can say is that it looks like a serious showdown is about to begin between Kanba and Shouma. I was a little disappointed with this episode revolving around Kanba and little focus on the plot heading toward an actual climax, but I’m grateful at the same time, for fleshing out Masako just at the proper time and giving her a great death that was well deserved.

  10. wendeego says:

    All I have to say about this episode is that I’m now convinced that the soundtrack of Mawaru Penguindrum is just as good as or better than Utena’s.

    I mean, man! Masako’s last stand? That was scored by like two or three major leitmotifs all working together, only to soar into epic orchestral fury silenced by gunshots. Beautiful.

    I am a little worried about how the plot will resolve itself, but there’s been enough evidence interspersed throughout that Ikuhara knows what the hell he’s doing so I guess I’ll sit tight and see what happens.

  11. Hogart says:

    An enjoyable ep, but I’m underwhelmed. I suspect I should have been far more moved by what happened in this ep, but I was too distracted by how shallow the characters are turning out. I enjoy literary archetypes quite a bit, mind you, but for some reason MPD is still feeling simultaneously straightforward and impregnable. Still pretty damn good, but too much work for the payoffs so far. I do have hope they’ll pull off something wild in the last couple of eps.

    • manlyflower says:

      You know, I agree with your point, but I think it’s really important though that they are a little shallower than real people. Just take Tabuki’s final quote, about everyone needing someone to tell them they were loved. I mean this hits a core tenet of the show and I think it’s good that a lot of characters are built around that idea. But yeah….

      Amazing episode. Honestly, I like this better than Utena. I can’t explain it but it just feels more coherent and better executed than it. I am loving this anime. My only concern is them wrapping it up well, so good luck.

  12. vi says:

    you should really ban kevin from commenting. that kid is beyond fucking stupid and contributes absolutely nothing.
    ive been reading your blog entries for a long time and always enjoy reading the comments in between episodes – but i do not enjoy reading some half-assed troll and a bunch of naive people who actually respond and take him seriously.

    • psgels psgels says:

      You do know that you’re not acting much better than Kevin right now, right?

      • Perrin4869 says:

        What’s with the hate towards dear old uncle Kevin? :P
        Kevin, come play with us!

      • Tim says:

        Not really. “vi” may be using un-classy language (ala Kevin) but I’ve been thinking similarly for a while now.

        It’s one thing to have difference of opinion, it’s another to allow a troll to bring his venom continually.

        >Hey, Kev-baby. Since you don’t like it here, why don’t you just go away, huh? Find some other place that wants to read your rants.

        >I couldn’t care less what you think of these shows, or me. I just expect civility — which you obviously have never learned.

        >But no, that wouldn’t suit you because you are a TROLL.

        >You LIVE for being nasty and forcing everyone to have you around even when it’s clear that nobody gives a hoot what you have to say. Not because you are right or wrong — but because of the way you are an ASSHAT about it.

        >So beat it. Scram. Get lost.

        >Nobody really wants you around here because you simply have no idea how to “play nice with others” even if you don’t agree with them.

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  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:32 AM)
    But Eva just left a bad taste in my mouth as a whole, I understand that Bam you are very passinette about it and thats fine, I wasn’t aiming to provoke. I just feel that its frustrating that like alot of certain anime, that I am not allowed to dislike it or have reason to.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:32 AM)
    If anything at least I found Ikuhara’s symbolism while obvious at least in utena and straightforward was at least visually interesting to look at.
    I love every David Lynch film and again I thought Lain was exceptional.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:26 AM)
    And I found the monogatari franchise to be a massive letdown/waste of potential after showing some genuine promise with two of its earlier arcs, only for it to get so caught up in itself quickly and then losing me.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:21 AM)
    I do believe that a nonsensical narrative can increase enjoyment and creativity of something and I dislike being spoonfed information but it won’t automatically make me enjoy every show/film/etc that uses that approach.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:08 AM)
    In both attempts that I tried to get through darker than black I felt that it could have been so much more were it not so episodic and that it could have gone into more depth, as it stands the show never really worked for me beyond the ovas, some of the action scenes and Yins background.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 12:03 AM)
    I agree that there are loose threads in Evangelion that were probably never fully developed by the committee, and a lot of symbolism (primarily Christian) that were only there for flare and edginess. But everything I say is backed up by the information available in the material or straight from the infodumps. If you see the Eva proposal to TXN (Tokyo TV) you can see that everything, and so much more actually, was planned from the beginning; albeit some stuff did change when Anno lost his mind.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Mar 5. 2015 11:58 PM)
    The alpha strike was to infiltrate Central Dogma and take command and eliminate everyone inside. Seele is not really a sentimental type, if you hadn’t notice, so a ouple of hundred casualties before everyone turns to goop is pretty inconsequential.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Mar 5. 2015 11:56 PM)
    @Aidan: Gendo is one of the few at NERV (if not the only one) who knows about the scrolls and the truth behind the Evas, and keep in mind Shinji is primarily piloting 01 just to get his acceptance; so he was certainly needed. Plus in the original series you need an intermediate vessel to connect thru an entry plug (Shinji and Asukas, moms) so not any kid will do. This is before the dummy plug and Toji mind you.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Mar 5. 2015 11:50 PM)
    There is being obtuse and indirect. And then there’s just being plain nonsensical. I don’t want to spell out everything but I hate to see people tie thin threads together and act like it was some great master-plan when it could just as well have been a guy just throwing any random shit together that he could think of. Ikuhara for one got away with that bullshit far too often.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Mar 5. 2015 11:45 PM)
    @Bam, And why was alpha strike necessary? If the goal is to destroy the evas and such then why not do as I suggested. Remove Gendo. Then it would be a piece of cake. And killing everyone just seems excessive and really unnecessary.
    Pretty sure anyone in Shinji’s class was suitable to be an evangelion pilot. And alright, shinji’s connection to the Eva is a reason to keep him in. But Gendo…not so much. He doesn’t influence it in any real way personally.

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