The point where I realized what the Penguin Drum was came at the beginning of this episode, in which we saw the caged Shouma and Kanba, and Kanba found the apple in his cage. There, it all made sense: Kanba would share the apple, and they both probably would have died if that apple wasn’t there, making their lives even more fragile than Himari’s. At first I thought that those apples were a symbol for Ringo, but the way it kept being used in the second half just didn’t add up to that. It still remains interesting that at the beginning of the show, the penguin hat sent the brothers to Ringo of all people. But in any case, it remains very cruel what this implies: in order to save Himari, the lives of Shouma and Kanba were needed.
And it is as I hoped: this ending really is amazing. The story came together wonderfully. The characters reached their catharsis. It all fitted really well. It’s not like all questions were answered, but in this case I believe that this doesn’t matter much. This show answered enough things and the rest is just up to our imagination. There is more than enough room to fill in the blanks. This series relies really heavily on symbolism and the surreal to paint its story anyway. What this show is in essence is a character study. And on that, it really delivered.
Overall, this show just completely dominated as my favorite series for the past half year. It was one heck of a step above all other shows that aired. Now that it’s finished, can I say that I like it better than Utena? To that, I unfortunately have to say no: this series is amazing, but I still like Utena better. It just as more fresh, it had better character development, it could take more time to show off its cast. And even then, Penguin Drum still remains as one of the best two shows of the year. I’m not yet sure which one is the best, but I’ll get to that in my 2011 summary.
Rating: *** (Awesome)