Posted by psgels on 23 December 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, Mawaru Penguin Drum



Revolutionary Girl Utena aired in 1997. When I watched it, it immediately conquered a spot on my list of favorite series ever, and still stands there. After that its director, Kunihiko Ikuhara, put out the Utena movie, and after that things became eerily quiet around him for more than a decade. Once in a while he did a random storyboard, but apart from that he really was strangely absent. So imagine my surprise when it was announced that he’d do another full fledged series again.

Right from the start it’s obvious that these two are from the same makers: this show is chock full of symbolism. Everywhere, the creators stuffed in references, cross references and visual symbols that only became apparent episodes after they appear. At first sight this is just random, but the great thing is that every symbol here has a meaning and place in this series. At first sight this series may seem like it’s complete chaos, but it’s actually surprisingly well structured on hindsight.

And yeah, this show pretty much has the best direction of the entire year. The way it combines the visuals, music and story together: no other show did it better during the past 12 months. The music does an excellent job of fitting within every scene it’s used, the animation really makes the characters come alive, the timing of all of the scenes flows really well. And the acting of the characters is really solid, especially considering the amount of broken characters in this series.

The excellent acting also leads to an excellent cast of characters. Just about everyone develops throughout the series. It also makes use of a ton of flashbacks and flash-forwards, to illustrate this, also giving the cast a ton of background in the process. The cast in this series really is dynamic, and engaging beyond belief.

And then there are the plot twist. This series really likes throwing plot twists, and being as unpredictable as possible. This makes for one heck of a plot. At first it might seem that this series is just throwing around twists for the heck of it, but nearly everything in this series is properly foreshadowed and hinted at on hindsight. The plot of this series is so tightly put together. This is an anime original series, so there is no need to be afraid of rushed endings or stories that just stop in the middle. The ending of this series is amazing and closes off this series wonderfully. This really is one of my top picks of 2011.

Storytelling: 10/10 – Great sense of timing and bringing out all different sorts of emotions. Really tightly written plot.
Characters: 9/10 – Excellent character development, very likable characters, although some take a bit to get used to (Ringo!)
Production-Values: 9/10 – Very solid and inspired animation, excellent soundtrack.
Setting: 9/10 – Penguin Drum is highly symbolic, and even its setting makes use of this. Because of this, things aren’t made 100% clear, but this is a very interesting way to get its messages across.

Suggestions:
Revolutionary Girl Utena
Simoun
Noein

59 Responses

  1. c160 says:

    Agree so much with all your points. While people may be divided on the plot and the characters, but I think the presentation is really like no other. Really looking forward to Kunihiko Ikuhara’s next series :)

  2. Keira says:

    If I know him good enough, next one we will have Penguin drum the movie. Yay!

  3. kazid33 says:

    Eehehehe not to much to say, only about the screen shoots, mean while i see the Mago ones I say wow amazing. But i see this ones and i say what the hell whit this show?? hehehe.

    Happy Chisrtmas and New year.

  4. Loz says:

    Overall Penguin Drum is a great show. It expresses itself well. Tells a good story, in a very interesting and entertaining manner. It successfully explores topics that have been used to death, yet makes them feel fresh. It also strikes a great balance between a seemingly positive/cheerful story on the surface with some very dark/twisted undertones.

    It is always encouraging to see shows with this much creativity still being released in a market that is, lets face it, overpopulated with very poor material/shows.

    Perhaps this description would best describe a show like Penguindrum:

    Art – The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination.

    However, I will also touch upon elements that some people seemed to have had an issue with. The the quite blatant marketability of some of its characters e.g. the penguins, and ‘symbolism’ which could be turned into a gimmick for merchandising etc.

    I only saw this a good business sense, as they managed to incorporate so much into the show, so well ans seamlessly, without taking anything away from the show. So full credit to the creators.

    Great show. Enjoyable. Good twists. Need more shows of this caliber more regularly.

  5. zo says:

    Oooh I get it! Double H were Momoka’s bunnies!

  6. kevin says:

    psgels, you say in your review that while it seems like chaos at first its not in ‘hindsight’. Could you elaborate how the entire series is not just hollow chaos?

    You also say that the plot twists make sense in ‘hindsight’, please explain how asspulls and complete 180s every episode is good plotting in anyway. I’d love to hear a more detailed elaboration on this.

    For me I had the opposite reaction to the series. I had hopes that the final episode would make it all worth it. Instead in ‘hindsight’ it made everything meaningless. In the end it led to nothing.

    • vi says:

      oh look, kevin the faggot is still trolling psgels penguindrum posts. big surprise.
      the kid who cant provide a single example from the show to back anything he says and relies on ad hominem to make himself sound like the douchebag he knows he is.
      once again im forced to wonder why you (psgels) allow him to continue posting this mindless dribble.

      • kevin says:

        Psgels allows me to, because I’m actually discussing the show and giving my thoughts on it. Unlike you and a few others who find it to be so very enjoyable to constantly keep talking about me. Don’t you have anything better to do then repeatedly spam out “WHAT A TROLL!?” comments, simply because an opinion someone voices is not the same as your own? Grow up buddy.

        • Machi says:

          You’re allowed to post because this is a blog not a forum. Had this been a forum you’d have probably received at least a cease and desist order to stop posting on this topic. In addition because this a blog its not as if he has the staff or time or rules to really moderate messages.

          Also I would easily question what you mean by discussion since A) Psgels is not replying to you B) you’re not adding anything value added from a few lines that only reveal the gist of your opinion and C) nobody is really trying to converse with you since most just tell you to be quiet being rather fed up.

      • Addictd says:

        Even if you disagree with kevin, it doesn’t make him a troll. Sure, he thinks the opposite of what most people that visit this site say, but that’s no reason to start attacking him and start calling him a troll. You’re not acting any better than he was in his first posts. At least lately he’s shown more respect in his posts than most of the people that reply to him, and you’re a perfect example of it.

        • Kim says:

          Yes I see how Kevin shows respect when he called people who enjoyed the show in the final episode thread a bunch of dumbasses. LOL

          • kevin says:

            Well when you all attack me in the manner in which you all do, that is what you are – Dumbasses. Grow up Kim.

    • Machi says:

      It all makes sense in hindsight because you can only make sense of the structure by piecing together the scattered chronology of the story once you acquire all the flashbacks. Meaning if you want to make sense of everything use the parents terrorism plot from 16 years ago as a starting point and connect the dots of how each character was related and affected by the consequences, that their current action in the present timeline does make sense. Moreover, don’t write off Momoka or Sanetoshi as doing nothing as they pretty much orchestrated events of the present time line as well.

      What is wrong with the plot twists? They’re great because while we haven’t acquired certain chronological events at certain points to completely make sense of events they do reveal a crucial detail of how each and every character is related to one another, coincidence or fate. Moreover, they do point to the bigger picture that the chronology of events would imply.

      Other plot twists just are great because they reveal just how crazy the entire cast could be, Yuri being the biggest twist of all. So I don’t see any reason to wonder why he considers plot twists to be great.

      Its as I said earlier try to make sense of what has happened now that the entire show is over. Best start would be to look at a linear chronology of events, now that all flash backs are revealed. Also helps to consider that Penguindrum is clearly a very surreal show – I think this makes itself increasingly clear when we can’t even clearly define what the Child Broiler is (being both literal and metaphorical). There are things in the show intended to go against logic and interpretation but taken to be a ‘normality’ of the show since face it this show ticks definitions of surreal quite well, at first I thought camp but when you consider how it purposely obscures and fragments its narrative as well as mix symbolic, literal, and non-nonsensical images you begin to see its actually a pretty surreal work.

  7. Aidanak47 says:

    And…I am going to have to completely disagree with everything you said psgels. Yes I know I am being a pain but hey…the truth needs to be told.

    The plot twists were there for plot twist sake. And no, even with all the symbolism in the show the twists were not foreshadowed at all. Notice the number of times penguindrum ending an episode on a note that could turn the story darker only to completely negate it in the next episode. Once the series entered into the tenth episode it became clear that the writers had no clue what to do with the story. The middle part consisted of flashbacks and developments that basically put the plot at a completely standstill.

    Character became cardboard cutouts. Drained of any emotion and simply fulfilling a role. Ringo lost any interesting character traits the moment she gave up on Tabuki and became a lovesick girl. Shouma just angsted all the time at this point. Himari was just a mary sue with the only interesting point about her being the penguin queen personality. Any sympathy I had for her was lost after her fourth fake death. Natsume is a strange character being introduced as Kanba’s stalker with clear sexual intentions but then transformed into a caring sister. I can’t even count the number of times I seen a conversation being said in complete monotone. And even the parents of the characters are just a faceless drone with highly questionable parenting logic.

    Take into account that sometimes the real world looks like the fantasy world and the fantasy world looks like the real world at point giving the writers the convenient excuse for lazy writing. People often forget that people need to make logical or believable decisions even in symbolic anime.

    And finally the animation wasn’t great at the beginning but actually went downhill as the series continued. Someone was pocketing from the animation budget or the budget was just small because with all those repeating scenes and even an excuse to not even animate people there is no reason you cannot draw a face from a small distance away and have scenes consisting of still images!

    I don’t think it’s a bad anime. I had a great start but ultimately it’s just an interesting but poorly executed concept. Definitely not anime of the year.

    PS: Please just shut up Kevin. For your own sake.

    • kevin says:

      While I agree with you on all points. I honestly think you need to calm the fuck down. This is a discussion not a battlefield. Try to calm down, don’t give yourself an aneurysm.

      • AidanAK47 says:

        Quiet you. Speak only when you have something worthwhile to say. Besides I am not on your side. I think Penguindrum is flawed but still a enjoyable and interesting attempt.

        • kevin says:

          As do I Aidan. I have said that all along. If you are trying to piggy back off my arguement, then feel free. But you are simply repeating what I have said all along.

    • Stuff says:

      I do agree there are flaws in this show. For example, I thought Yuri almost-raping Ringo was unnecessary, and did not really add anything to the series but a decent cliffhanger. The sexual tension with Masako and Kanba was odd too. I also wish I knew where the penguins actually came from. I know they function as reflections of the characters inner self, but what? Did they come from momoka? Is that why the penguin hat owners have them? There wasnt any implication at all where they might have come from.

      However, I do not think the some of the other plot twists were a bad thing though. Fore example, Shouma being the fated one? It was a surprise, but it wasnt anything bad per say. I feel some people reacted negatively to that because they were shipping kanba and himari. I guess it was because I wasnt really invested in the romantic aspect of the story that i didnt care. (though I did grow to like shouma and ringo at the very end)

      As for the characters, I would say the opposite. I actually began to care more about the characters as the series progressed. I did not have very much emotional investment in the characters when the series first aired. I did not care about Himari what-so-ever at first, and Ringo annoyed me, but I grew to genuinely care for both. I also sympathized with tabuki and what he was saying in episode 22.

      I also completely disagree with your opinion on the animation. The colors were vibrant, the background art was gorgeous, there were a lot of neat visual ideas, the movement was fluid, and most of the episodes had above average animation quality. (the 1st, 5th, 9th, 12th, and the last five episodes being especially pretty) Theres only about 3 episodes I can think of at the top of my head that were sub-par, and small segments of a couple other episodes.

      May not be for you, but its anime of the year for me :)
      well to each their own.

      • AidanAK47 says:

        Stuff, the bad thing about the plot twists was that most were just to gave false sense of drastic development. For example, Ringo about to climb into Tabuki’s bed only to find a pillow there. Shouma getting hit by a car only to end up completely fine. Natsume having a last stand and dying but turning up fine. Ringo being burned alive but showing up next episode completely fine. Himari dying again and again and again…the list goes on. I mean come on mate, you got to admit that this was just to screw with the fans.
        If you liked the characters I can’t say anything about that.

        Remember that when I am talking about animation I mean the amount of movement and use of key frames. The only complaint I have about art was that they suddenly spotted drawing peoples faces from a distance. In the middle of the series if you pay attention you will notice how the shows animation degraded. Very little movement and plenty of still images.

        To me fate/zero is anime of the year. On animation, art, story and character it annihilates penguindrum but well that’s just pure opinion. Unlike numb-nuts(AKA. Kevin) up there I don’t plan on forcing people to accept this as the one and only true.

        However one thing I find odd is how from all the comments I read people haven’t mentioned what I believe was the main theme of pengiundrum. I mean I thought it was obvious. In the animeapple blog on a post about the first episode of penguindrum I made a wild guess after researching penguins that Penguindrum would have the theme of sacrificing love for survival. After watching the show I think I was right. Yes, I know this show is left up to individual interpretation and can be see in a number of ways but to me that seemed like the most obvious view of it. So it’s strange to see no one mention it. After all survival strategy, penguins being a family of three and if the parents leave the child alone it will die, penguins have to go through great measures to insure that the child lives, Tabuki and Yuri being in a loveless marriage to hold the illusion of a family, Shouma and Kanba neglecting Himari to find the item to save her, Ringo trying to force her and tabuki together to make her family get together again…it’s everywhere in the show.

        • AidanAK47 says:

          *Stopped drawing faces from a distance
          Not spotted

        • wendeego says:

          Fate/Zero is pretty amazing, but it’s ultimately a pretty conventional (but extremely well-executed) epic urban fantasy story with remarkably gray morality and a firm grasp on philosophy. It deserves credit for being the first TV series based on a Nasuverse work to be legitimately great, as well.

          That said, I prefer Penguindrum because while it might not be as technically well made, it pushes the boundaries of Japanese animation so far that it distinguishes itself from pretty much every anime I’ve seen. If Fate/Zero is an all-around competent production, Penguindrum is a battle-cry. You can debate its weaknesses or its merits, but I think that if the anime industry turned to Penguindrum for inspiration, we’d be in for a wild ride for the next few years. Would take that future over a future of well-made but conventional epics, any day.

          Fate/Zero, Steins;Gate, Madoka Magica, Penguindrum, Hourou Musuko…this year’s been pretty great for boundary-pushing stuff, hasn’t it?

    • kero says:

      I agree with most of what you said.

      I’m not going to pretend I enjoyed the ending, when I didn’t.
      Anohana made me cry, Crossgame made me cry, but the ending of MPD just had me wrinkling my forehead going, is this it?

      Another comment on the end episode talked about how the emotional experience was the important thing. Well, I felt completely detached from the ended, I didn’t care at all by the end of it all.

      Like you say, after Himari dies and revives for the nth time, there are no heart strings for them to tug on.

      I was super excited at the start, I really felt like it could have gone somewhere, and if I was to put it crudely, I think it derailed and went up it’s own ****.

      I enjoyed most of the ride, there were some episodes that I love, and some interesting things going on, but the payoff wasn’t there.

  8. billish says:

    well, kevin, for one, the brothers goal since the first episode is to save himari, which resolves completely by the end.
    i’d have to quickly research the answer and proof to your other question, which at this point i have no desire to do (or time).

    the one example i offered is simple and yet answers your first question, with, again simple, evidence, and yet it is much more than you have offered in terms of analysis or evidence. you like to use the word “hollow” which is unfortunately exactly what your arguments are. thus, i would like to ask you a question.

    You state that, in ‘hindsight’ the final episode made everything meaningless, and that in the end it all led to nothing. I would like you to elaborate, stating examples, to support your argument.

    Do as you please.

  9. billish says:

    @ kevin

  10. billish says:

    seems pointless now; meh

  11. dango says:

    This show is defintely a masterpiece, full of symbolism, amazing characterization. There were so many original ideas and the animation itself is incredibly beautiful. The symbolism is done exceptionally well and there are no glaring plotholes that I see. To me it does not really matter if they did not explain everything, it one of those series in which you just enjoy the ride. :D This was definitely the best show of the season and a worthy successor to Utena. I definitely am going to miss this show.

  12. Matt says:

    Ultimately, Penguindrum had more to say than Utena but significantly less time to say it. It was still a masterful show–definitely the best anime I’ve seen, though I’m no expert–but it could have been more.

    I can’t complain about the way the plot resolved itself. Plenty of people have already analyzed the finale and made sense out of it, and the results match up thematically with the bulk of the series, so I won’t argue.

    Among all the chaos, the stereotypes that were made and broken, the symbolism that illuminated the plot and the symbolism that confused the hell out of me, I’ve felt a personal connection to this show and its characters that I’ve rarely had with stories in any medium. And while I wish–and know–that it could have been even better, it’s been a joy spending these last six months watching it. Thanks for the review – I can’t wait to see your perspective on this year in anime.

  13. Lyra says:

    What was the deal with Mario and the emperor penguin hat anyway?

    • Machi says:

      Natsume being related to the terrorism in the past, her dad and all, Sanetoshi and Momoka wanted to get her onto their side. Basically Mario is like Himari for Natsume which is bait for her to follow them. Just coincidence like Himari Mario’s life was ending so the hat and Sanetoshi had something to use for Natsume. In the end though Natsume deviated from it all and was far too busy trying to save Kanba instead.

  14. tktym says:

    how come himari has to get naked a lot?

    • Machi says:

      Ask Momoka XD She’s the one actually controlling Himari when she’s wearing the hat. Looks like Momoka might not be as nice as Yuri & Tabuki paint her to be. Probably even more of an exhibitionist.

      @Stuff: For the Penguins Stuff I think they function more as caricatures of the characters to lighten the mood of a scene without having to resort to fan service. Of course as for their function plot wise I’d say they were supposed to be helpers who basically mimicked their owners but clearly aren’t very competent – which is where they end up functioning narrative wise as a sort of comic relief to a scene. Closest thing to gratuitous fan service really is Himari when possessed by the hat but it disappears half way later.

  15. kevin says:

    You all should watch this because it completely sums up why Penguindrum is not that great.

    http://www.capsulecomputers.com.au/2011/12/anime-say-episode-6-penguindrum-is-still-dumb/

    • kevin says:

      Also psgels, unban me from the shoutbox. Stop bullying me, when I only intend to discuss this controversial series.

    • psgels psgels says:

      Apologies. I didn’t know that rejecting something also means banning someone.

      Having said that: I can understand that you want to discuss. I can not understand insulting the ones who like it.

      • kevin says:

        I still can’t comment there.

      • psgels psgels says:

        How about now?

      • Machi says:

        Psgels you do realize that the youtube post is no less insulting right XD Calling fans delusional. Literally it goes into generalizations without bother of trying to understanding certain things for the reason of ‘Penguindrum is dumb’. Yeah…

        In addition to having the common flaw that makes Kevin’s posts trollish namely cite your examples and analyze the scene XD. But no the show isn’t worthy of that so we just get sweeping generalizations that do not generate discussions at all or at least civil ones – you think starting off anything with an insult and only citing very vague generalizations would actually generate good discussions =/.

    • Hogart says:

      Kevin, this video was a colossal waste of time. You’re selling yourself short by hailing such a masturbatory rant as a summation that Penguindrum “isn’t that great”. It only summed up these things:

      – they have a hard-on for Un-go.
      – they think Penguindrum is shit.
      – they think you’re delusional if it made any sense to you, because:
      – they prefer stories to be told in a more traditional manner.
      – they won’t explain why that makes you delusional, they’ll just play Cruel Angel’s Thesis in the background instead.

      As a person who didn’t find Penguindrum amazing, but merely fun when I was in the mood for it, I find his validation-seeking far more pathetic than he seems to find Penguindrum. What’s next? Telling Madoka fans that their mothers are slags?

  16. Esmeralda31 says:

    Mawaru Penguindrum: a genial manner to air nothing in 24 episodes.
    Fried Air.

    Best wishes:-)

  17. wendeego says:

    Something that I read over in a comment on 8thSin’s blog, which I thought was pretty mindblowing:

    In the very beginning of the series, the three penguins are seen hiding in three trash cans. Kanba’s penguin is in a bin labelled “recyclable trash,” Shouma’s penguin is in a bin labelled “flammable trash” and Himari is in a bin labelled “inflammable trash.”

    At the end of the series, Kanba turns to glass and shatters (recyclable), Shouma takes Ringo’s sacrifice and burns out of existence (flammable), and Himari survives (inflammable.) Huh.

    Either Ikuhara is some sort of genius who had the entire show planned from the beginning, or he’s an extremely lucky manipulative bastard who somehow tied everything together on the fly. The show doesn’t appear coherent on the surface, but if you look closer, and closer, and closer…

    • Doggie says:

      The fact that this is what is considered genius by your average anime fan worries me deeply. Standards have plummeted, that’s for sure.

  18. VyseLegend says:

    While I did watch the entire show and anticipated each episode, I’m going to have to call shenanigans on the ‘deep’ and ‘well planned’ symbolism in the show. Quite frankly I can’t recall much of any coherent and clear point to this show, and I don’t think a long study guide should be required for that.

    And the show will probably be more remembered for its mischievous and pointless use of penguin animation than anything else.

    • jzar says:

      I have to agree. In the end it all added up to saying not much of anything. It didn’t have a story to tell beyond things happened that looked good.

      A show I am very sorry to have watched to the end.

      If you have not seen it you might want to look elsewhere for a decent story that at the end goes someplace and has something to say.

  19. Sapphire says:

    While I can understand those who loved and those who hated MPD (because it is a matter of taste), I just can’t grasp the ones who said that it didn’t answer anything, that it’s meaningless and full of nothing. Because that’s denying something that doesn’t have anything to do with taste, but with perceiving facts.

    Anyway, I think MPD provided all the necessary answers: we know who the characters are, how they relate to each other, why they are there and all of this is connected to a plot and shapes a plot that was able to finish what it began.

    To me, this was a story about how unfair life can be, how inevitable fate is and how love can conquer all. Life is cruel in different ways (Himari was abandoned, Kanba lost his parents as a child, Tabuki was neglected by his mother, Yuri was abused by her father, Ringo watched her family fall apart, Shouma had the burden of having terrorist parents) and we can’t escape our fate (MPD starts with Kanba saying he hates the word “fate” and it ends with Himari saying she loves it, which sends a positive message although we can’t fight it either we like it or not), but we can choose to live through love (Momoka, who saved Tabuki, Yuri and some people in the terrorist attack) or hate (Sanetoshi, who decided to rebel against his fate and seek vengeance). In the end, fate prevails, but love also wins.

    I am very satisfied with MPD’s ending, I think it fitted the series perfectly. I was afraid of not understanding what the hell was going on and finding it underwhelming (the kind of disappointment I had with Star Driver), but that wasn’t the case. It was beautifully animated and stylish (what more could we ask of Utena’s director?) and provided decent closure for all characters. The ending was also coherent with the diary’s importance throughout, because its spell for transfering fate was responsible for triggering the big finale.

    On a final note, I still like Utena better, I gave it a straight 9/10. It’s a whole world of colorful characters and fantastic fights that is not easy to defeat (however, I did understand MPD’s ending a lot better than Utena’s). As for MPD: 8,5/10.

    • Aidanak47 says:

      Penguindrum answered everything?! Ok then was the child boiler real or imaginary? Ah! That’s left up to interpretation. Why were Shouma and Kanba placed in boxes? Ah! That’s left up to interpretation. Why did Momoka possess a spell to effect fate and how did double h know it? Ah! That’s left up to interpretation. Why did pink hared guy posscess a spell that only cut Momoka’s spell in half instead of negating it and it so why did it split them in two? Ah! That’s left up to interpretation. Why was Kanba not still in Natsumes family? Ah! That’s left up to interpretation. Why did Natsume attempt to shag Kanba on their first meeting? Ah! That’s left up to interpretation. Why did Momoka AKA peguinhat appear to tell kanba and shouma to look for the penguindrum if the bloody pengiundrum was with them all along?! Ah! That’s left up to interpretation.

      There is a key difference between fact and interpretation. Say what you will but penguindrum answered nothing. That is a real fact.

      • Sapphire says:

        I’m sorry for having to quote myself, but I didn’t say MPD answered everything, I said it provided all the necessary answers, from my point of view. So I guess your whole comment was based on something I didn’t say, which means it was rather pointless. You might find a comment to back up yours, though, so please feel free to look for it.

        • AidanAK47 says:

          I didn’t misinterpret you. Those are questions that need answers. You say it answered everything necessary. (Since I need to specify so you won’t try to find a loophole in my words then I will)
          The child boiler is something that needed to be clarified. Because if it is real it calls into question how this place operates and why it was even created. If it isn’t then it calls into question the very goal of the terrorists. I really don’t want to have to waste my time explaining each questions significance in the story especially when you are just going to write each one off.

          The main point is that I could say penguindrum is all an illusion that two brothers are having while dreaming of banging their sister. And you wouldn’t be able to find anything concrete to prove me wrong. Because any necessary answers that you did find were gathered mostly from interpretation.

          • Stuff says:

            The thing about penguindrum is that people who understand the show generally come to similar conclusions. The interpretations people make of this show make sense. The themes and messages that are present in this show are unified, and although there maybe slight variations of how something is interpreted, they arent completely different from one another. Theyre all related.

            I dont understand some of the references the show makes, but the fact that they exist means I cant dismiss them as pointless, because I dont understand them.

            The core of the show is understood, so yes I do believe the necessary questions are answered as well.

          • Sapphire says:

            It goes without saying that the 3rd paragraph of my 1st comment is entirely based on my personal interpretation of MPD. I think this is pretty obvious and I can’t see why do you think we disagree on that.

            However, I am able to separate my interpretation of MPD’s message from the answers which I believe to be necessary to understand any kind of series. Those answers, as I’ve mentioned, concern the characters’ identity, purpose and connection to each other. MPD slowly provided these answers as it progressed, like any good mystery series.

            Besides that, the plot presents its main problem/question at the beginning (Himari’s illness and the brothers’ will to prevent her death/will Himari be saved?) and in the end we are given the solution/answer (the brothers had to die in order to save Himari/yes, Himari is saved).

            Because of this, I think it’s unreasonable, stubborn and even childish to say that MPD answered nothing. Saying that MPD answered nothing only seems like a frustrated rant from someone who didn’t get what he was hoping for, instead of a reasonable statement.

            Anyway, I also have questions that I can’t find answers to. For instance, I don’t understand the point of Shouma and Himari being soulmates, I thought it was going to have some kind of meaning or impact on the story and it didn’t.

            On a side/final note, if I may, I suggest that you should never try to read poetry, because you would definitely need to put your interpretation skills to work.

          • zo says:

            to answer this question: It was not real. It was a metaphor.

            Just like how Shouma and Kanba being in cages was also a metaphor.

          • zo says:

            I was talking about the child broiler btw

      • Passs says:

        Can’t say much typing on a phone, but personally I thought it was obvious that some of the things you said were metaphors, child boiler alludes to social institutations(like school) that molds kids into mindless workers and destroys their potential, personality, creativity etc.(and this phenomenon is especially evident in Asian countries like Japan, china). And the cages were referring to the distance between people, as we are all stuck in our own body/mind/soul whatever u call it, and it is only through love and sharing can we interact and survive.

  20. bubble-t says:

    This show was one heck of a ride. In many ways.

    Although I have gazillions of remarks I want to make about this show, I just would like to say that the creators implemented the symbolisms which can mean something or not depending on the interpreter (the viewers), but the common message is there: love.

    Whether people understood all the minor (or significant) details present around the series in whole or not, anyone with half a wits would understand the main theme the writers wanted to get out there.

    At least, that is how I felt about MPD as a whole. I would have never picked up many ‘trivial’ elements throughout each of the 24 episodes (e.g. the three penguins and the labels on the bins someone mentioned above) unless someone else pointed them out.

    Nevertheless, I do admit that this show displayed very intricate artistic direction that I rarely see in many modern shows.

    Whew, now that I let everything out, I have no idea what I wrote myself… so this post is not going to make much sense. So… moving along… pretend I was never here…

    (P.S. To psgels, thank you for writing such enjoyable summaries of this show!)

  21. Z.L. says:

    Man, now I am really bummed I didn’t watch this series. But it’s so hard to find all the episodes! Psgls, where did you watch it?

  22. pastel says:

    Having read all of your arguments and rants, can’t you just stop calling each other morons and bashing each other? To each their own, people.
    (I loved Penguindrum though…)

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Anonymous66886
Hey
afgm
i did summer session so I have a midterm every two weeks
K-Off
@afgm Midterms? Most university/college systems would be starting school right around this time.
afgm
Midterms have been slowing me down considerably haha
afgm
@K-off: yeah I did! thanks for that. I've been looking through the code stuff, just getting to know it.
reaLjustified
I think the rabbit character does the job
reaLjustified
I think the banner might look even better without the girl. Or make her tiny and off in the distance. I don't know, I'm not an artist by any stretch so that's just me.
K-Off
Finally bought my first new car, a 2015 Altima, my used Sentra served me well for 3 years but damn was it a pain in the ass, and of course its trade in value was fuck-all. But luckily my credit is good enough for me to land a relatively low annual interest rate. Which is excellent because I need to shave off my remaining student loans to maximize my dti since I want to purchase a home
Kaiser Eoghan
You might say the new banner will be...Friendtastic!
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm fairly content with either the top one or the bottom one either way. Though the current banner does have the character standing on the left.
K-Off
@Friend Looks great, and I prefer the bottom one. Maybe it's just me but the tree hugging the leftmost edge makes it look a little inclusive.
@Afgm Forgot to tell you but I did change your status a few days ago, hope you noticed it.
afgm
It's beautiful, Friend
Fri3nd
@Anonymous Thank you, it's my values, a quick lasso selection and a levels adjustment should give that a quick fix :P
Anonymous60656
Looks really nice. some lighting variation to create a sense of depth and atmosphere would be nice @Friend. It looks quite flat for some reason even though you have four layers to play with
Ikhta
@Kaiser Eoghan Yeah I think the same too. Hopefully. Thanks Kaiser
Friend
Here is what it will more or less look like by the end (https://i.imgur.com/hnB8lpd.png) I'm going to render the rest and add more atmosphere with some wisps of light. Let me know which one you prefer! If I'm not happy with it by the end I might even just scrap it, I don't want to force a design for the site :D
afgm
heard*
afgm
Unfortunately, I have heared that Amanchu is actually propaganda from an alien species set on annihilating civilization through cultural and religious dominance
Kaiser Eoghan
@Ikhta: You can relax on that front and breathe easy, Amanchu is basically simple, cute slice of life quasi-sports comedy that kind of gets more moe-ish later on.
Ikhta
Oops sorry. After I send a msg, I can see my previous msgs. Sorry about that. Weird, why is the chat box like this o_o
Ikhta
I just reloaded the page my msgs are gone. Wth is wrong with this website? Why was msg deleted?
Ikhta
Does anyone know?
Ikhta
Hi can anyone tell me is Amanchu illuminati or not? I'm a christian. I don't want to be watching it if its demonic,anti christ or illuminati.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I'm syked for baldr sky and that other apparently fucked up one thats getting translated soon we talked about with ninja.
Kaiser Eoghan
...damn you shoutbox...auto-hyphening me as you do...
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, how things change, at 19? I think I was at the time I remember un-ironically thinking school days ending/second half was clever/different/subversive. Now I find it idiotic, silly and manipulative regarding the protag being a cheap attempt to get the audiences hate.
Kaiser Eoghan
Some don't seem to like the second season of EF as much as the first, just putting that out there. I remember its visual style being a selling point and shaft at their A-game stylistically. Wish I'd watched it dubbed though, the eyepatch girls voice was irritating as all hell in Japanese.
AidanAK47
EF is alright. I can promise it's not another school days.
Anonymous59512
Bleh 91days running behind schedule and had to run a recap episode. Doesn't bode well.
Anonymous59460
Do you recommend that I watch EF? I don't want another School Days.
AidanAK47
Yep. They are making it out that shes a relative of Luvia.
Masky
I mean, I didn't even realize she was supposed to be a Finn before you said that, I didn't caught on that when anime called Miyu "transfer student from Finland", its because Luvia sort of adopted her into Edelfelt family or something?(iirc)
Masky
Anyway, so regardless of subjective experiences, does anyone have a clue why Luvia Edelfelt is a Finn anyway? .-. I'd have thought she is anime British... Is there actual reason besides "let's pick random European country"?
Masky
Yeah I wouldn't mind message deletion on those ones
AidanAK47
If you want I can delete those messages. Anyway this chatbox refreshes every two minutes so you might need to refresh the page to see new posts.
Masky
I mean, like, you pointed out that I was talking about superficial stuff right before I point out that I was referring to superficial stuff :'D So yeah, blergh, wasted time writing that
Masky
Also ah dang it, you posted something right before I posted it so you just ninja'd me .-.
Masky
Meant to write "(so countries that aren't England, German, France-)" xD
Masky
Oops typo there
Masky
Well yeah, I haven't checked how many times each of different European countries are mentioned in variety of Japanese media, all I said was that out of lesser known countries(England, German, France, Spain, etc) I have seen Finland referred most and that weirds me out xD
AidanAK47
Anyway I get what you mean but I feel you just focus too much on drawing connections on a superficial level. If you simplify something down you can draw connections between anything but it's the details that make all the difference.
AidanAK47
@Masky, But whats the point of making a statement if that statement isn't true or at least holds ground? Generalized statmements are annoying because they are often said in ignorance because the one making the statement hasn't bothered to verify it and is basing it entirely on an unreliable and selective memory.
Anonymous58340
Things that are generally true tend to be true generally
Masky
This is why generalized statements are annoying, because someone always take them too seriously and nitpicks "but it doesn't happen that often" or "when you say always it isn't always" xD
Masky
I dunno why I bother sometimes, since its not like you want to understand what I mean anyway : D
Masky
@Aidan: Bah, meanie~
afgm
the technology isn't super refined yet, but it definitely has the potential to make drawn animation obselete
afgm
The setting is especially enriched by the CGI
afgm
Berserk is amaaaziiing! Oh my god! The animation is so detailed, movement wise! You can't get that with drawings.
afgm
@SuperMario: lol yeah
AidanAK47
@Mario, That sucks. Though I often find realistionships too troublesome to bother with.
AidanAK47
@Masky, no you often don't. You tend to make random generalized statements. Hence why I assumed this was also a generalisation based on small cases. And it still is.
SuperMario
But Flowers of Evil is a great series, I agree
SuperMario
@afgm: you talking 'bout the anime, right? Because the events after the anime are when sh!ts just got real.
afgm
It's one of my favorite series
afgm
@SuperMario: Flowers of Evil is anti-romance, but it is a celebration of love apart from it. Nothing makes me more hopeful than to watch a protagonist recover from a prolonged and debilitating manic episode.
Masky
So I guess technically she does have Finnish name even though it doesn't really sound like it to my ears...
Masky
Just to note Luvia is tiny municipiality here, never heard of it before though. Edelfelt sounds like it has Swedish origin, but it is name that is name of apparently somewhat famous Finnish painter. I haven't heard of that guy, but I don't really know many Finnish painters because I'm not into art history.
Masky
Joking aside, like I said, Finland is mostly mentioned in otaku pandering material for some bizarre reason. For example, I once saw review of game that is about stripping vampires(not hentai game, can't remember name though) and I noticed it had one random Finnish character who actually did have Finnish name.
Masky
@Aidan: Hah, take that for being arrogant "its on your head" : D I know what I'm talking about most of the time
SuperMario
But isn't it fitting that the anime/manga I'm currently following is Flowers of Evil, a pretty much anti-romance manga. Well, might as well write a reflection on the manga if I feel up to it :)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I wish I were joking, but it's okay. I don't want to bring the atmostphere of the shoutbox down by my personal affairs.
@afgm: thanks man. Well I'm just keep moving on, no use thinking back too much on that.
Kaiser Eoghan
Oh. whoa whoa, I thought Mario was taking the piss/joking with that post...thought wrong.
afgm
@SuperMario: That sucks man. How are you holding up? I know long distance relationships can be hard to maintain -- it gets pretty lonely.
Kaiser Eoghan
Really glad to see that Vinland saga has gotten properly good again, it was starting to get back on track slowly but surely, now it, with this new chapters revelation fully has,
Kaiser Eoghan
Ireland was mentioned in Nabari no ou and an episode of original gundam, two of gundam 00s characters are Irish.
Kaiser Eoghan
I don't like generalized statements, much prefer Colonelized ones actually.
Kaiser Eoghan
There was a dating sim adaptation by studio deen in 2003 that did a girl of the week format, one of the girls was finnish.
SuperMario
Just broke up with my girl after 3 years. Figure that it never works out for a long-term relationship... (That's a generalized statement right there)
AidanAK47
So that's one. Can't say I remember seeing Finland elsewhere besides that show where all the countries are turned into anime characters.
AidanAK47
Luvia Edelfelt is from Finland?! Well damn you learn something new every day.
AidanAK47
And now I find a screenshot of them saying Miyu is from Finland. Which is weird because nothing of the sort was mentioned in the manga.
AidanAK47
Most I seen was anime characters saying Norway which was generally used as a means of saying NO WAY.
AidanAK47
@Anon48363, its sad that when I see a comment like this my first reaction is suspecting its a Bot. Thanks though.
@Masky, nope. No they didn't. I think this may be in your head.
Anonymous48363
Been enjoying the site for 7-8 years, if not longer. Thank you for your efforts in keeping the editorial line intact wrt reviews and happy to discover new content in the process. Keep up the good work!
Masky
Anyway, speaks of your "high taste" I guess. Finland gets brought up in some of otaku fanservice material for some bizarre reason. I'm weirded out by that since Finland is most obscure backwater place I've seen mentioned most out of other obscure countries xD
Masky
Of course it is possible I'm remembering wrong too(and did read wrong) and they did mention it only once :P
Masky
How funny you say that and then mention that weird magical girl spinoff right after wards xD The part where they introduce Miyu to rest of class has teacher saying she is transfer student from Finland, unless I read subtitles wrong
AidanAK47
Gonna wait on the Prisma Illya episode post. Figure I cover two episodes in one considering the slow pace isn't giving me much to work with.
Got to say I thought this would give me much more to talk about.
AidanAK47
I don't remember Finland ever being brought up in anime. Or video games. Or anything for that matter.
Speaking of the preview I have at least checked the source material. Just need to buckle down and start writing it.
Masky
@Bam: I know right? :D
Bam
I agree with K-off regarding keep the business end of stuff off the shoutbox- I just have no means of communicating with all of ya'll. We can Skype, but I suggest Google hangouts for conferencing. That way we may be able to record special podcasts, and now's probably a good time to get this to the next level.
Bam
I also volunteer to help with the workload for the season preview. I would be down to cover two series, but they have to appeal to me, cause there's no way I can be fair and PG-13 with the reviews of aweful shows.
Bam
@Masky: "Generalized statements are in general rather annoying". Hehe, that awefully sounds woefully like a generalized statement to me m8.
Bam
First Dark Souls III DLC titled Ashes of Ariandel just confirmed for an Oct 25th release. Thankfully this time, all regions and platforms are getting the expnasion on the same day. Here is a reveal trailer to launch the Hype Zeppelin:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iu1NCPMC7D0
Bam
Friend: please send me, or post, the finished banner once you have it complete. I would like to take a gander. Thank you.
Masky
...Espicially since characters supposedly from there rarely have names that sound Finnish.
Masky
So anyhoo, so why is Finland one of countries that tends to get name dropped a lot in anime/manga/japanese video games? As Finnish person that weirds me out
K-Off
@Friend Damn, kind of surprised to see how abstract some of those concept art are for Mulan. But generalizations are just easier to make if all they care about is validation.
Masky
Generalized statements are in general rather annoying, but everyone loves to make them anyway for some reason :D
Friend
I'm nearing completion with our banner, in terms of work-hours Id say 3 hours? But in real life that equates to about 4 days because of stuff.
Friend
Something that annoys me: when a fellow artist makes a generalized statement about the industry by saying something silly like "japanese animated films have more creative input involved." Uggh Google "Alex Nino Mulan Concept" and tell me if you still think that. Sorry about that X/
SuperMario
And it might sound weird to you guys, especially majority of you are in one of the hottest days of summer, but I'm gonna head off to snow mountain for skiing this coming weekend. So expect the weekly posts will be a bit later than usual.
SuperMario
I don't know if that guy @Bond is still lurking around here, but I'm still interested In doing that thing with him
SuperMario
@Aidan: imho, those numbers don't really mean if we have nothing to compare them to. I'll say the ratio between original/ all anime for particular seasons would tell us a lot better
AidanAK47
But it does counter the point of "We don't get enough original anime anymore" which in itself was a pretty silly statement.
AidanAK47
Of course just because they are original doesn't automatically qualify them as good.
AidanAK47
@Anon44887, that logic would apply if it was an exception. 9 original shows last season, 14 original shows this season. 20 in the next. Are they three seasons all an exception?
Anonymous44887
@AidanAK47: An exception that proves the rule
Vonter
Just to ask does any of the shows being reviewed have a great soundtrack. Just asking for asking.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I recall he posted under the name Bold/bond, the same poster who made the chart.
AidanAK47
Who was it again bemoaning that we don't get enough original(Not adaption) anime anymore? Cause there are 20 original shows next season. Great for anime but hard for me cause what am I gonna write in the preview?
AidanAK47
I am a bit too stubborn to burnout.
@afgm, I didn't change a thing.
Anonymous38539
I hope AidanAK47 would not suffer an Anime Burnout. I love this site and it pains to think that one day, no one will be writing the seasonal previews and yearly summary.
SuperMario
@Aidan: you have 91 days's episode as 9 instead of 7
AidanAK47
Bloody hell, even the spambots are referencing Pokemon Go now.
K-Off
For future reference, let's direct admin dialogue to email, apart from direct feedback.
@Mario We're working on allowing users to set up accounts.
SuperMario
And the constant anonymous names just keep bugging me. Can we make it back to the old shoutbox, where you have to put down your name in order to write message?
SuperMario
I think it's one thing leads to another. he's getting too burnout that he doesn't know what to write anymore.
AidanAK47
@Anon36049, pretty much what he said. Though it seems to be a combination of anime burnout and writers block.
Anonymous36271
He suffered from anime burnout and is getting on with real life.
Anonymous36049
Hi guys I havent been around for a long time. Does anyone know what happened to psgels? I see that the new posts are not his.
AidanAK47
Disgaea 2 coming to steam. Sweet.
Gotta finish Disgaea 1 and hope they don't screw up the port on release day again.
AidanAK47
Illuminati are everywhere, regardless of wherther it's anime or not. Sword Art Online was the work of the illuminati. All in the name of the gaint magic eyeball triange god do they rule the landscape of entertainment medium.
Also Magic Eyeball-kun also argees that Rem is best girl. And none shall dare denounce that claim.
SuperMario
@Anony35181: never thought they're that much interested in anime thou
Anonymous35181
@supermario, illuminati confirmed
SuperMario
Is it just me or couple of messages from the shoutbox just gone missing?
Topgavin
Haven't been watching it myself, but apparently in Taboo Tattoo, that large-chested high school girl died while running *onto a live battlefield* to check on her boyfriend with a shirt that said "flag". 10/10
K-Off
@afgm Sent you a message.
@Friend Looks good, I'd be interested in seeing multiple witches as well.
Anonymous32745
Chemotherapy is a cause of cancer rather than a cure.
Anonymous32745
If you know someone dying of cancer, immediately inform them that allopathic medicine will kill them and turn them to natural remedies which often work.
Anonymous32745
"Medicine and science are powerfully institutionalized, but no institution or profession has existed for the purpose of encouraging people to act reasonably." - Ray Peat
afgm
.
afgm
@Friend: yeah it's a problem
@Koff: I emailed you a while back. did you get it?
Fri3nd
Huh, I can't use my username.
@Bam You're right, I'll work on it.
Bam
@K-off: It's moments like these that really remind you of mortality. People pull thru tho. medical science has come far in that field; but definitely not far enough.
Bam
@Friend: It's looks pretty good. I like Mario's suggestion of a series of witches, but a solitary one is more in-tune with the current banner. I would say however that there is too much dark in the negative space to the right. Could be just me tho.
Bam
@Kaiser: a series of consecutive 'yes'. I was really into Laloux, but FP is the one I liked the most. I've been watching Mr. Robot since season 1, and it's well worth your time. Not really all that cyberpunkish tho; mostly just cyber. And anybody who hasn't read Gibson's masterpiece is a fool of a Took.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Bam: Have you been looking into that Mr Robot series? I heard its meant to be some kind of cyber thriller, it could be our thing. Also have you read Neuromancer?
Kaiser Eoghan
And I suppose that brings me to that stranger things show then, I love horror so I guess that caught my eye, but apparently its a family/kids thing =< don't know whether to bother.
Kaiser Eoghan
I still say it takes me that extra bit of convincing to watch a childrens animated film.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Friend: The banner is in good hands I see.
AidanAK47
Well Coraline wasn't written by Laika. It was written by Neil Gaiman. Laika just adapted it. Still I would like to check out Kubo to see what all the hype is about.
SuperMario
@anony29442: I will watch Kubo this coming week so I will comment on the movie then. But I'm not that surprise if Kubo has a weak writing. Laika never really great at story development: I mean Coraline is exellent, ParaNorman is just okay and Boxstrolls writing is just so underdeveloped and full of plotholes
SuperMario
@friend: wow. It looks awesome. But why only one witch? ^^
Friend
Hey everyone! Just an update on our new banner, here's my WIP up to now: [link src="https://i.imgur.com/0QSv6IK.png
I'm"] trying a witch as a tribute to one of psgel's favorite anime maho shojotai. Feedback is welcome, I have a lot left to do. A 5:1 aspect ratio is the weirdest dimension I've ever painted in
Anonymous29442
I just saw Kubo and the 2 strings and im really shocked at all the praise its receiving. People calling it an instant masterpiece on looks alone but not enough are talking about how underdeveloped the characters and story were. It felt as if they made the whole thing up as they went along to the point where I couldnt suspend my disbelief any longer and got irritated.
Anonymous29415
qualidea code's characters havent become better in terms of how they are written; only that they have been fleshed out in the most generic and trivial of ways as to sympathize with them; and sure, they have become some what likeable in the same way you'd like a person who you heard nothing but kind things about but that does not save the characters from being boring. QC is still a bad show
AidanAK47
@Anon27511, even if the animation was kept consistent the story still can't really escape the done to death aspect of it's story. I agree that the writing has gotten better but despite that the show just feels...meh.
Anonymous27511
Fucking Qualidea Code, as the story and characters become more interesting, the animation and drawing proportionately decreases. Sad they simply do not have the budget to pull off what seems like a potentially very good story
K-Off
@Mike I'm sure you already heard but for some reason I didn't keep up to date. I thought it was strange that releases stopped in March after chapter 68,.
K-Off
Just learned that the writer of my favorite webtoon is battling terminal cancer, but despite it she hopes to finish it someday. God damn I would've never expected this.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Once spilled hot microwaved food over my hand by mistake, hurt for a day.
Kaiser Eoghan
*remaining
Kaiser Eoghan
@Bam: The story and ideas however were better in gandahar I felt. Time masters while good was a bit stop and start in its pace and animation.
I’m definitely interested in Laloux’s other, short animations and Mobius’ comic book work.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Bam: I watched Rene Laloux's remain animated films, Gandahar and time masters, I enjoyed both but not as much as Fantastic planet. I remember we talked about fantastic planet two years ago. Did you see the other two I mentioned. I liked the big moments and the ending to time masters, especially those angel things.
Anonymous27024
Ok. I beat Federation Force. I think the main positive is that the levels were playable despite the lack of voice chat. The bosses took a lot of damage and the beginning and end are relevant to the Prime continuity.
SuperMario
@K-Off: I did it once just like you did, and once when I put a metal bowl into a microwave. So yeah, boys will always be boys.
Bam
I tried my best not to half-ass either of them tho. Any oddity you guys see just write it off as mental exhaustion.
Total users: 25

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Flying witch 09d

Flying witch Review – 86/100

As I mentioned in one of my weekly posts, most of the reason why a slice-of-life anime show don’t work well is not because there’s nothing happen, but more because the cast isn’t interesting enough or the show tends to repeat the things that we already know. I’m happy to say that this is not […]

Bungou Stray Dogs 12a

Bungou Stray Dogs Review – 62/100

Well, we don’t usually give a review on the first cour of anime show, given the fact that the second part will air next autumn season. But since I’m not certain I would cover its second half, plus I don’t think this series will improve itself, I might as well give Bungou Stray Dogs a […]