Mawaru Penguindrum – 18
「だから私のためにいてほしい」 (Dakara Watashi no Tame ni Ite Hoshii)
“That’s Why I Want You There For Me”
The more I watch Mawaru Penguindrum, the more I wonder if the goal of this series is to illustrate the traumatic effects that bad and twisted parenting can have on children. This week, the story delves into Keiju’s past just like I had hoped, where we find out that he too had a terrible childhood because of his mother (Hisakawa Aya). At this point, I would’ve only been surprised if Keiju had a normal childhood, since none of the characters seem to be fortunate enough to have such a thing.
Be that as it may, Keiju’s attempt to make the Takakuras pay for their father’s crimes does raise questions as to what Ikuhara has experienced and/or been exposed to over the course of his life, because this isn’t exactly the type of material that someone just cooks up overnight — at least not to the degree that’s been shown in this twisted story of intertwined fates. To write and direct a story with such heavy themes, I imagine one would have to get into the minds of the characters at times, which quite frankly, isn’t something I could picture myself doing. After all, we don’t simply have one-dimensional killers here, but psychologically disturbed individuals who each have their own outlook on a warped world and how they intend to “correct” it. In other words, they have their own “truths” and their own forms of “justice”, and for Keiju it’s avenging Momoka who gave him a new purpose in life, even if it’s in the form of misguided punishment on Himari, Kanba, and Shouma.
Amazingly enough, there were some positives to take away from Keiju’s depressing story where failed to excel at playing the piano, got his fingers crushed, and was cast aside by his talent-obsessed mother. Child Broiler notwithstanding (which I presume is some metaphysical plane like the library in the sky), his traumatic experience isn’t nearly as bad as what Yuri had to endure. Also, while Keiju seemed no better at first for wanting to exact revenge on the Takakuras, he came to his senses and redeemed himself when he was reminded of Momoka by Kanba’s desperation to save Himari. The quick turnaround in his character was really unexpected — and even refreshing — as was the sight of him breaking it off with Yuri, who doesn’t look like she has given up on making the Takakuras suffer just yet.
In terms of the actual progression, they had me going for a bit with the idea of Himari sacrificing herself to stop burdening Kanba, even though I wasn’t emotionally invested in the scene itself. If anything, I was more in awe at the direction the series has taken, which now includes a twisted take on attempted murder. It’s a staggering step above the attempted rape by Yuri and miles beyond what started our as a fantasy-filled fight over Momoka’s diary, and results in a dismal conclusion that’s in desperate need of an uplifting turn of events. This isn’t only in reference to the Takakura siblings either, as it’s becoming much more apparent that everyone’s suffering. The only way I can see this series ending now is the idea I had before, where someone uses Momoka’s diary to transfer the “fate train” that everyone’s on now and remold the world into one where Momoka’s still alive and they all have normal loving families.
Preview & End Card