Mawaru Penguindrum – 20
「選んでくれてありがとう」 (Erande Kurete Arigatou)
“Thank You For Choosing Me”
If this latest episode was any indication, it’s looking more and more like Mawaru Penguindrum intends to keep the Child Broiler as a figurative representation, leaving its significance open to interpretation. While that’s not all that unexpected, learning that Himari was unwanted by her mother and befriended by Shouma seems to suggest what it may actually be, namely, the act of abandoning children on the streets where they’re eventually forgotten and die. It could very well be that all the talk about becoming a “transparent” alludes to being forgotten, whereas the broiler itself purposely lessens the unsightly depiction of children dying. It’s almost as if the broiler a staging point in the children’s lives, indicating that they’ve given up on living as it looks like they willingly go there themselves. The facility itself on the other hand appears to signify society and how these children have become victims of it. What brought about this idea is the sight of the abandoned kitten that Shouma and Himari saved — befittingly named “San-chan” just like Himari’s penguin but with the world “Sun” instead of “Three” — which was also a victim of being unwanted and literally thrown into the trash. Judging from Himari’s reaction, the loss of the kitten reminded her that can’t escape her place in society, despite her attempts to disillusion herself with the help of Shouma, so she resigned to her fate and threw herself in the trash, i.e. the Child Broiler.
Assuming that’s the case, the question one might have is why the series is purposely being vague about the subject matter with a figurative approach. For practicality sake, if Mawaru Penguindrum wanted to depict an abandoned child on the streets, holding onto hope that her mother would come get them, it could’ve easily just shown Himari drifting in and out of consciousness to suggest that she’ll die before long. My take on it is that this form of “artistic” depiction allows the series to mask the message that it ultimately wants to convey, leaving it up to the viewer to gauge the implications for themselves. Those who don’t pick up on all the signs or simply don’t know any better will interpret things to the best of their understanding, which allows the series to shelter the less suspecting viewers. Yuri’s backstory served as the perfect example of the different interpretations that can result from the same episode, so I gather the Child Broiler, “Hole in the Sky” Library, the Adam and Eve-like forbidden fruit, and possibly even Momoka’s diary are intended to represent a more familiar concept in today’s society, be it fate, religion, or simply the harsh reality of the world that most people turn a blind-eye to.
As for some more concrete developments, it was really hard see the terrorist-like preaching by Shouma’s father Kenzan as anything other than that. They may see the mistreatment of “unchosen ones” as a great injustice in society, but that hardly wins over my support for their radical methods. The most surprisingly implication is that Kanba is actually Masako’s older brother and that the “Takakura siblings” is just a pseudo-family formed after the fallout of the Sarin gas attack in 1995. It was already mentioned back in episode sixteen that Masako felt like her father was used by the “Kiga Group” (and their constantly changing name), but it’s definitely news to find out that she might’ve been stalking her brother all this time. Next up to that is all the talk about love bearing fruit between Himari and Sanetoshi, which I presume is in reference to Shouma. I really wasn’t sure how to take Himari’s talk about being unsatisfied with kisses alone, other than she’d rather prefer to stay as make-believe siblings if she can’t go all the way with Shouma as her lover. Whatever the case, I do have a hard time imagining Shouma will see Himari as anything more than a younger sister, since he hasn’t exactly shown any interest like Kanba, who is supposedly free of incestuous implications now. I have an even harder time imagining how this series will end, so I’m just hoping that everything comes together in a somewhat fulfilling way.
ED7: 「Private Girl」 by トリプルH (Triple H)
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