Mawaru Penguindrum – 04
「舞い落ちる姫君」 (Maiochiru Himegimi)
Ikuhara must not like me or something. Just when I got into the “Survival Strategy” swing of things and was looking forward to another “Himari” appearance, he decides not to have one in the very next episode. Between a big shiny forehead and a penguin cap to cover it, I’m going to have to go say I prefer the latter, especially with the “ROCK OVER JAPAN” insert song that comes with it. Also, things just don’t feel the same without “Himari” kicking off an episode by telling Kanba and Shouma that they’ll never amount to anything.
We did have the penguins adding some amusement though, putting a literal spin on “giving head”. More of Ringo with Shouma tagging along wasn’t too shabby either, particularly when the skunk got involved and sprayed the heck out of Ringo on two separate occasions. (Swapping clothes with Shouma is NOT going to get rid of that smell.) The comedic aspect picked up a fair degree, largely due to Ringo’s wild delusions coming to a crashing halt, making everything play out rather nonsensically until Kanba’s ex-girlfriend/teenage model Kuhou Asami (Hayami Saori) got pushed down an escalator at the very end. (I really didn’t think she’d show up as a character after her name came up in episode three, let alone be voiced by Saori.)
Naturally, they want us to believe that it was Ringo fulfilling her destiny, which is why I’m inclined to believe that it wasn’t her at all. All we saw were some feminine fingers and blank pants, plus Ringo’s diary only mentions a girl in red shoes, an escalator, and Asakaka-mitsuke Station at 9pm — nothing about pushing her down. The girl that Asami was talking to about plans to crush Kanba (presumably) — Natsume Masako (Horie Yui) — made it sound like she wasn’t exactly in the best company, so who knows what kind of haters she may have attracted. The character who I’m more concerned about is Yuri, after she told Ringo that she doesn’t have a chance against her with Tabuki. Those are some fightin’ words, and actually made our stalker girl come off as the victim in all this. She definitely came up on the short end of the stick on several occasions, so I can’t shake the feeling that her OCD-like obsession with fulfilling what’s written in her diary is largely just that — an obsession.
Largely but not entirely, as there appears to be a catch to how her diary works. Judging from the past two episodes, it seems to have the tendency of being correct but not quite how Ringo usually envisions things. Because of that, I get the feeling that we’re going to be given the runaround with the Penguin Drum for a good while, and that there’s more to it than simply Ringo’s diary. She’s clearly one of the main characters and getting way more screen time than Himari as of late, which makes it hard to imagine that Kanba and Shouma will be chasing her around forever. The introduction of Asami, Masako, and the other members of the “Heart-Broken Victims of Takakura Kanba Assocation” already suggests that there’s going to be much more to the story than the wild goose chase that we’re on now. Then there’s the other side of Yuri that’s very unlike her usual image, which has drawn a lot of attention to herself even when she’s not acting.
Where we go from here is anyone’s guess. It’s definitely getting harder not to get swept up in the lighthearted pace of things so that I can try to take in as many subtle hints as possible, but I love what that adds to the entertainment value.
Preview & End Card