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.

      • 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…)

Leave a Reply

CHANGE USERNAME
Masky
Huh? Found weird manga named Marry Grave. It feels like older manga but I'm not sure what its release date is.. Has rather interesting art and premise though first chapter is bit clunky on exposition
Kaiser-Eoghan
slightly disappointed to see happy sugar life not being covered =<
Lenlo
Oh man, 57? Franxx must have really gone down hill, because you seemed pretty into halfway through or so Aidan
Kaiser-Eoghan
<Crazy aunt in happy sugar life will have Belldandy's voice actress
<Terror the terror OMO
Kaiser-Eoghan
How do I save Chi no Wadachi's protagonist =< Manga giving me post traumatic stress ;M ;
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: And that game, to the moon is getting an adaptation. I haven't played it nor know anything about it though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: It seems you were onto something when you said in your satsuriku no tenshi impressions/posts that other freeware games might see a chance at an adaptation. I recall you talking about a game called To the moon on here a few years back.
Vonter
I did like how they decided to use a Halo aesthetic for the lack of a better term. Bases and alien ships have this Halo like design and color schemes to them. Also when I though a harem could only be depicted in one way, this series proves me wrong.
Vonter
But after season 2. Oh boy, the series becomes a really intriguing and exciting sci fantasy journey, with lots of motivations, hillturns and mystery.
Vonter
I catch up to the Voltron series in Netflix and man. It might the best anime-like series I've watched all year. I was having doubt after season one because while not awful at the start, it's very typical Voltron good versus evil and the like.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Chicago was one of the first Manga I read when I was 11, by the same author as 7 seeds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: A 7 seeds adaptation would be preferable, its the more mature of the two. My favourite parts of that manga is everything relating to Hana and also the flashbacks to Ango's team's past, also that flashback side arc which was set in that shelter centered on that guy who had nothing to do with the cast.
AidanAK47
For Mahou, I just wanna see the first VN translated.
Amagi
We will never see the Mahou sequel VN either
Amagi
Theoretically ufotable but I think they'd prefer to wait for the updated story of the new VN sooo never ever
AidanAK47
Op was pretty good for an anime that didn't exist. Honestly wonder what would come first. The remake of the VN or an anime adaption by Ufotable.
Amagi
Just as the Tsukihime anime doesn't exist (liked the OP of that nonexisting anime though)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: The original Basara anime doesn't exist, only the manga does.
Amagi
@Lenlo: I really loved it and as far as I know most people who didn't read it refused it due to its drawing style not the content. The style could get an improvement as anime and I think the story is something most people would enjoy. The side characters were all awesome and pretty diverse too, which is kinda worthy of mention because the series had a ton of them.
Amagi
Arisa might get a decent fanbase as well considering it's some sort of mystery-thriller shoujo despite it's appearance.
Lenlo
Oooh Basara would be one I would want to see
Amagi
@Kaiser: I wish we'd get an actual Basara or 7 Seeds adaption some day. But guess it's impossible in the age of 12-episode series.
Lenlo
Yeah, the Marvin reveal was done in as tasteful a way as I could see it being done. It was just creepy enough without being voyeur
Kaiser-Eoghan
**Done
Kaiser-Eoghan
*superficially
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I have never read this, LetDai is sometimes compared superficial to banana fish.
Kaiser-Eoghan
More fantasy/horror shoujo/josei manga, old ones, not otomeshit or school lifeshit could be adapted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And wasn't the reveal regarding Marvin down in a tasteful/restrained enough way while still getting the point across?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Akimi Yoshida is actually quite diverse, aside from banana fish, she also wrote Our little sister.
Kaiser-Eoghan
"and NOT with naked muscular men. That’d be depressing!" Thank fuck we still have the slender ones then lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
By the looks of it Sugar life's only getting 12 episodes, which means it'll stop just before it really gets going.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I think 2 volumes of the manga have been covered so far.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: "However its spelt" and there I am, realizing how rubbish I am with names and remembering/spelling them.
Lenlo
Oh man, Banana Fish is 24 episodes? Oh awesome. All the time in the world
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: In small doese, small doses he would be tolerable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
An anime about all of us would be fucking magnificent and I will hear nothing to the contrary of this fact.
Lenlo
However that name is spelt
Lenlo
Hmm, Steins;Gate 0 Okabe, or what? Cause Hyoin Kyoma would drive me up a wall.
Lenlo
Oh Grand Blue has some great reaction faces.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not slice of life, but outside of all the dark stuff, I'd probably think Okabe Rintaro would be a fun guy to be around.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually that brings up something, in all of the slice of life dramas/comedies out there, a good measure for how worthwhile some of them are could be "Which ones would I actually like to hang out with the characters in"
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember when Free! aired, joking with another guy on here who would be who.
Kaiser-Eoghan
You could probably get great reaction faces of the manga/show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't think I could keep up with the drunkening though.
Lenlo
Wait, ive been psychic robbed? When? How?
Lenlo
Ive known people like them before, though less cartoonishly dude-bro. They are fun in bursts. Made for some good experiences. Luckily the ones I knew, also knew when I was at my socializing limit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Jokingly we'd all be blond otaku-t-shirt guy though =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I have committed un-intentional psychic theft of your thoughts.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mario has to be the skinny dark haired Asian guy because it fits.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As funny as these characters are, I probably wouldn't hang out with then if they were real, I'd probably be iritated by them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually hadn't thought it as far as the personalities .
AidanAK47
For I am the one that trolls
AidanAK47
@Kaiser/Lenlo, Wait then whose who in that screenshot. Cause looks wise I would likely be Iori but personality wise I would be closer to the burly dudes.
Lenlo
As for the updated setting, I think it will work out. Keeps it sorta relevant for modern audiences. I'm curious if the changes will be obvious or not, but the story should still work
Lenlo
As for Banana Fish, after this episode, Im not to worried about the fetishizing of homosexual relationships. Unlike alot of Shoujo/Yaoi-lite/bait stuff, it actually seems to condemn some aspects of the trope in manga.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, I had the exact same thought for that screenshot and the writers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: lol Now imagine each of the characters in the screenshot representing a writer on this blog =P
SuperMario
Fixed
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I posted using my phone so that was the best I could do
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to state, regarding banana fish, for those avoiding it because of shounen-ai vibes or because its aimed at women, even though its listed as shoujo, its really the female equivalent to a seinen manga, it also created, even in Japan a massive crossover audience that also included heterosexual males.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Whew lad, might want to center/neat-en up the screenshot on the latest post =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
See lenlo, while I love the adaptation, I'm still worried about the updated setting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The manga had something about American foreign policy and the Mafia boss having to do with anti-communism, I wonder will the anime commit to that.
Lenlo
So far, Banana Fish is ony of my favorites. Im gonna make it very clear why tomorrow when I post on it, but boy I wasnt expecting it to commit so fully.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay, my ranking so far of the premieres: -Angels of death
-Happy sugar life
-Banana fish
-Grand blue
Shichisei and planet with are dropped, will only watch sirius until I get bored. Don't like shounen action so I'm not continuing Angolmeh.
SuperMario
I know he's a good writer, hence I was looking forward to Dog eat dog. That film made me think he passed his prime
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Raging bull and mishima also he wrote those.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Nicholas Cage is awful and so was Dog eat dog I can agree to that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its alot better than that I can tell you. Also he wrote the affliction, taxi driver and hardcore, all great films.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: you mean First Reformed? I watched Schraders' previous work Dog Eat Dog and absolutely hated it. Hated it with a passion
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I don't even know that until you pointed out
Kaiser-Eoghan
*movie blog
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: How amusing, you uses "red blood moon" on your movie blood as a section for bad anime, and have the AKA abbreviation right next to it and that has the same spelling as the Japanese word for Red.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I've got a feeling you might be a fan of Paul Schraders new film, its a mashup of Ordet, Winter light, diary of a country priest and Taxi driver. It is speechy, but it has alot to say and Ethan Hawke is great in it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't think i'd be able to stop myself pulling an animal ears girl's ears if they were real. I'd have to know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think I needed to watch it, just so I could have the feeling of getting away from the world while not needing to think.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: that's basically the appeal of Cgdct shows. They're hardy deep or even have that much conflict, but they're adorable and fluffy. Good enough for me ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
The filter/visual style angolmis was going for initially completely took my concentration away from the show.
SuperWooper
(which includes a review of the inevitable AOTS) :^)
SuperWooper
Only one more First Impressions post to go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Grand blue is funny but like with wotaku I'm not sure there'll be an incentive to watch every episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Maybe every season or so I will try to fit in a cute girls doing cute things show. I watched Konohana Kitan yesterday and while hardly essential, it was actually sort of adorable.
Amagi
A bit new info about the next When they Cry. Guess the release date will be the winter comiket. Really wonder how it will be, I have to admit I enjoyed the endless arguments in the Umineko VN a lot. Also it seems it will get the same music composers again.
AidanAK47
@Anon, That airs on July 22.
Anonymous2394727
were is attack on titan 3???
SuperMario
I'll still write a post once the first impressions' over, along with my general thoughts on this season.
SuperMario
Meanwhile, we already decided which shows to blog for this season. The coverage is as follows:
Aidan: Grand Blue, Planet With, Satsuriku no Tenshi
Mario: Chio-chan, Shoujo Kageki, Hanebado
Lenlo: Steins;Gate 0, Banana Fish
SuperMario
Just an update to you, dear readers. We're working on finishing these 1st impressions posts and try to finish it in few days time (3 more posts).
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Harry not Eddie
**Gundam F91
Kaiser-Eoghan
Have the blurays of 08th ms team downloading now to re-watch. Never seen Gundam F91 one . Really looking forward to the final origin ova and whenever more of Thunderbolt is coming out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eddie was a bit crap though, especially when you stand him up against other Char-esque characters and some of the other characters aren't quite as compelling. Loved the old American style setting though, crazypants main baddy was fun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I finally finished/rewatched Turn A Gundam lately. It delivers strongly on its spectacle Heim and Soleil were great and my favourite gundam girls , the artstyle grows on you and because of that art style, it gets away with being one of the weirder phase gundamns, where G Gundam wasn't so lucky in that regard.
Amagi
Highscore Girl is way more annoying than I exptected it to be.
Amagi
Haven't played it (yet) but AFAIK they stay there and only move from floor to floor, I guess it's why they shortly mentioned these murders on the different floors.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Does the entirety of satsuriku no tenshi stay in the building? I could seen the sense of claustropohbia for the audience disappearing if they left it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking back on that comment, I should say, I have not read grand blues manga, so its entirely possible why the animes presentation made me laugh a bit because I've no comparison.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, that blonde muscular guy in Grand blue made me laugh.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like how we have very little idea of the buildings layout in satsuriku no tenshi.
Amagi
Not really looking forward to Gridman as I see the typical warning signs I noticed for Kiznaiver and Franxx as well here. The only positive thing is that the series seems to have an actual villain for once. The lack of that was one of the problems that bothered me with Franxx (not counting literal faceless aliens as "actual villain").
Amagi
I hope next actual Imaishi anime will be a good Trigger again. Honestly didn't really like any of their series done by other directors, Promare would be the first series done by the TTGL team again after KlK and Luluco. My only fear is that it might be a TTGL clone but it's too early to for that.
AidanAK47
I am gunning for Kyohime Lancer and Mordred Rider. Thankfully I don't really care about the five starts so my odds are not quite as bad.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes I am happy I got her with just one ticket since I am saving for the upcoming rate ups as well, especially Summer. Hell I need Martha.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Had a few moments like that which were not related to Fate go. Anyhoo I didn't bother rolling Da Vinchi as I got no real interest in him/her(Hard to decide when their reason for genderbending has more to do with beauty rather than gender.) Instead saving my Quartz for either the summer servants for the Knights of the round.
Amagi
Not lying but I had I dream yesterday about getting FGO's Da Vinci with one ticket, woke up, spent one ticket and got her (Yes. "Her"). I am so far into that anime stuff guess I am now developing esp powers just for that.
Amagi
Finally new Sirius subs I hope they are tolerable.
Amagi
Chio-chan is relatable
SuperMario
She's one of the actress I'm really fond of. But of course given how big a status she is
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If voices could be married I'd marry hers =P
SuperMario
Other 2 shows are Cells at Work and Phantom in the Twilight
SuperMario
Kana Hanazawa's extremely busy this season. She's also voicing for 2 other shows. Give me a minute so I can check up these other shows
Kaiser-Eoghan
The most recent I've heard Kana Hanazawa's voice was in 3-gatsu no lion where she voiced Hina, hearing her voice psychochick from happy sugar life makes it all the eerier =P Also watching this feels like less of a slog than reading the early chapters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Scanners/photocopier machines however are the greater satan.
Amagi
What kind of cosmic rule forbids printers to ever work properly?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've heard that satsuriku no tenshi's manga adaptation apparently is paced better and more effective at immersing the reader.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think my time with shichisei subaru stops here, the cliffhangers just feel liked bad bait and while I hate jumping to buzzwords, this was just really generic and hamfisted. Its like I'm watching a crap adaptation of a bad moe datesim visual novel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yeah this is also a pretty stilted translation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I ended up watching it with mediocre subtitles also.
Amagi
Wait is Sirius subbed? Nonmeme subs I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Banana fish succeeds in making itself work as an action series all the more stronger, because it allows itself to have a good emotional backing. I'd forgotten how much of prick that one cop was in that scene in the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If you want a reasonably quick boredom killer thats gorier than some modern anime allows you could probably do worse than Sirius.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay, regarding Happy sugar lifes manga, Late volume 6-volume 8, we're kind of getting somewhere, especially with one particular flashback relating to Shio.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I too am not even impervious to cute and huggable things.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*mikocchi
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do plan on watch sorayori, konohana kitan and hakumei no mocchi someday.
SuperMario
*Asobi Asobase
SuperMario
So far, I enjoy Asobi Asobasa and Chio-chan so much that I watched them twice. Guess I do have a thing for cute girls comedy shows after all
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hataraku Saibou, wouldn't be the first edutainment thing in anime , kemono souja and Moyashimon aswell.
Lenlo
Nope, not this week. One week hold since we are sorta between/starting a new season
Kaiser-Eoghan
No steins gate episode this week?
Masky
Hue hue, seems like around time of first impressions I don't need to do my usual isekai complaining because it gets done by someone else instead :D
Kaiser-Eoghan
Someone ha uploaded 7 volumes of angels of deaths manga adaptation.
Amagi
I liked the first episode but no idea what kind of story it will have
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Should have watched the pianist, the piano or the piano teacher instead =P
SuperMario
Piano no Mori is a huge disappointment for me. still haven't watched the last episode thou
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've been backlogging Piano no mori for years.
Amagi
damn I totally forgot this exists
Anonymous2353882
That Piano no Mori ending episode... oh boy!!!
Kaiser-Eoghan
But you can probably just take my thoughts on planet with as being symptomatic of how shounen battlely stories almost never work for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Planet withs first episode felt disorganized to me and I didn't like the main characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
See, I think the problem regards planet with for me is that I watched it too close to the flcls ending, I know why its being compared but in flcl the disjointedness/messiness feels like something I can just let wash over me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: As I said it was a good premier, that despite my positivity I need more before I can see if it keeps up (angels of death).
Amagi
Man Hanebado looks really great animationwise. Now moving to the two comedies I expect to be above average. Get me another 1-2 good upcoming series and I can accept this season
SuperMario
Banana Fish is just above everything else so far
SuperMario
I'm not too sold on Angels of Death. You can read my feeling about it when the next post's out.
Amagi
Angels of Death and Banana Fish are clearly my favorites so far too. Planet With's last scene was interesting but I can already guess it won't have much of an impact on the progression of the story and the MCs are pretty annoying.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So far for me its Angels of death and Bananna fish , considering giving shichisei the 3 episode rule, instant drop for planet with.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yeah, planet with, again, this is far from something I'm capable of sitting through a single episode of.
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