Mawaru Penguindrum – 14
「嘘つき姫」 (Usotsuki Hime)
Isn’t it about time they rename this series “Momoka Penguindrum”? It seems like just about everyone is hung up about Ringo’s deceased sister and every subsequent person has it progressively worse than the last. Lesbians? I really didn’t think this was that kind of show. That sneaky Ikuhara, what exactly is he trying to pull here with one girl drugging another so that she can have her way with her, rope and all? All I see is some kinky and arguably alluring fan-service, which comes as a bit of a surprise because I thought they blew the entire episode budget on animating Yuri’s shiny sports car. However, it turns out they left just enough to show what a cougar will resort to when she can’t control her urges any longer.
There was a fair bit going on in this episode, starting with the revelation that Tsubasa’s actually a woman and sleeping with Yuri as a poor substitute for Momoka. The sight of that had me wondering if Tsubasa was the mysterious motorcyclist with the other half of the diary, but as the episode went on, it became more and more apparent that it was the number one suspect, Yuri. Now I’ll have to admit that I was a bit confused by some of the comments in previous episodes, where people believed Masako was on the motorcycle and Yuri called Ringo at the hospital to get the remaining half, because I was thinking of the reverse the entire time. There was some mention about how Masako couldn’t have been retrieving the diary from Ringo while she was lying in wait for Kanba in the basement, but it was pretty clear that Masako didn’t know where the other half is, so my lingering suspicion has always been that Yuri was on the motorcycle. Well, we got confirmation of it here, and amazingly enough, it still paled into comparison with all the other developments that came with it.
There’s no shortage to twists and turns in Mawaru Penguindrum it seems, because as soon as one thing is cleared up, I’m left with a pile of other things to try and make sense of. Mention of Yuri’s first love before confiding in Momoka made it sound like she might’ve had a fated encounter with Sanetoshi years ago, even though my prevailing suspicion is that our librarian’s first love was Momoka. (Everything seems to stem from her after all.) Then there’s the cruel game of sorts that Sanetoshi is playing with Himari’s life, making Kanba take on more questionable jobs from guys in black trench coats. In the latter case, the only thing that doesn’t come as too much of a surprise is Kanba’s sister complex, which didn’t faze him even after Masako got straight to the point about what a lot of viewers (myself included) have been thinking. At this point, it’s probably safe to assume that everyone’s vying for the diary because Sanetoshi promised them something in return for retrieving it, but the question still remains on whether Masako’s advances toward Kanba have any direct connection to saving Mario. It seems like a character-focused subplot to make things more interesting — much like Himari’s worries about what Hikari and Hibari think of her and Ringo’s feelings for Shouma — but I haven’t ruled out the possibility that everything’s connected by “fate”.
The only thing that I found somewhat strange is how Shouma distanced himself from Ringo because he feels responsible for Momoka’s death. If that were the case and he sincerely feels that he can never apologize enough, one would think he’d continue to be her friend if that’s what she truly wants. Clearly, Ringo doesn’t blame him for what his parents did, and Shouma’s making it harder on her by not wanting to see her anymore, so I wonder if I should just chalk this up to how dense Shouma is about a girl’s feelings (like Kanba always says). Either that, or some misguided frustration over the chain of misfortune that’s befallen on his family. If it’s neither of those, I can only really see this as something for his own sake, as Ringo is a painful reminder of the guilt he feels. I gather that’s the case, judging from how Ringo said she hasn’t considered Shouma’s feelings, which is kind of messed up. If anyone should be feeling apologetic, it should be Shouma. Anyway, I definitely want to see what becomes of their relationship, especially now that Yuri’s made a stake on Ringo.
ED4: 「Bad News 黒い予感」 (Bad News Kuroi Yokan) by トリプルH (Triple H)
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