Mawaru Penguindrum – 16
「死なない男」 (Shinanai Otoko)
“The Man who Won’t Die”
Rock Over Japan! It feels like ages since I heard that song (nine episodes in fact). It’s just too bad this episode didn’t confirm or deny my interpretation of what happened to Yuri. Instead, it raised some new questions, the biggest of which was, “What the heck did I just watch?” Mawaru Penguindrum never fails to get stranger every week, as a trip down memory lane for Masako was so utterly random that I found myself laughing helplessly by the end of it. Even now, I laugh just thinking about Masako’s straight-faced response to Sanetoshi about how it’s “quite certainly” numbing — another translation of “shibireru”. I don’t even know if that was intended to be as funny as it was to me, but hearing Horie Yui’s unfazed voice while Masako was about to die from pufferfish (i.e. fugu) poisoning was golden. Her deadpan delivery made it one of the funniest moments this season.
By now, it’s probably safe to assume that we won’t see a single “normal” character in this show, but Masako’s grandfather, Natsume Sahei (Kawada Shinji) is definitely up there with the rest of the oddballs. After all the twisted developments as of late, I’m just happy that they decided to portray him in a comedic tone. Masako’s dreams about killing her grandfather could have easily been a lot darker, but were instead purposely silly with all of the foreigner’s English outbursts. While I didn’t find any of those scenarios terribly funny, I did enjoy the ridiculousness that the repetitive screenplay added, as well as the anticlimactic conclusion where Masako’s grandfather kills himself like an idiot. There’s little question that emphasizing Sahei’s idiocy and showing how Masako’s just as stupid is exactly what they were going for, so most of the episode played out really well in my view. It was quirky randomness at its finest, much like “Himari” turning the camera on Masako’s maid Renjaku (Nakahara Mai) and making it into a gravure shoot.
Amidst all the goofiness, there was — surprise, surprise — some resemblance of a plot line this week. I’m not sure what to make of Sahei’s revival in Mario, but mention of how the black coats whom Kanba deals with are responsible for the death of Masako’s father and how they’re the “chosen ones” who are trying to correct the world seems to suggest that Sanetoshi wants to make some changes of his own using Momoka’s diary. For all we know, it could be that everyone’s pasts are messed up because Momoka’s changes twisted their fates in unexpected ways. Either that, or the world is still twisted in Sanetoshi’s eyes and he believes that he can make it “better”. I have no idea what that would entail, but I can picture things working toward an ending where all the characters — including Momoka — wind up in a world very unlike the messed up one that we know now.
ED5: 「イカレちまったぜ!!」 (Ikarechimatta ze!!) by トリプルH (Triple H)
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Preview & End Card