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Mawaru Penguindrum – 23 »« Mawaru Penguindrum – 21

Mawaru Penguindrum – 22

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「美しい棺」 (Utsukushii Hitsugi)
“Beautiful Coffin”

When I stop for a moment and look back on how Mawaru Penguindrum started and where it is now, I can’t even confidently say I can succinctly sum up the plot off the top of my head. A lot has happened in terms of characterization and conveying a deeper message, and only now has the series started to address the underlying plot in a way that should make sense to all viewers. We have Kanba’s grudge against the world because of Himari’s fate, where he’s sacrificing everything with the Kiga Group to either prolong her life or just take out his frustration through terrorist acts, and now both Himari and Masako’s desperate attempts to save him from his contempt. That’s easy enough to understand, with the only befitting conclusion being that his two younger sisters — and brother Shouma — succeed in doing so, but is also a testament to the fact that Mawaru Penguindrum has been more about the journey than the destination.

I could just as easily summarize the story as I have above, but that would hardly do it justice in light of all the symbolism and sub-developments that got us here. This includes the subplot surrounding Keiju, Yuri, and Tsubasa, which could’ve taken the series in any direction since it ties the Takakuras’ past with the present. If this were a one-cour series, they could’ve been cut out of the story for time-constraint reasons, but on top of keeping viewers guessing on where the story is headed, the idea that the Takakuras are haunted by their past simply wouldn’t have the same effect without victims of the Sarin gas attack. Even if they don’t have any further part in the story, following Tsubasa’s jealous stabbing of Keiju and Yuri’s decision to return half of Momoka’s diary to Ringo, they’ve already served their purpose of adding an extra dimension to it. Quite honestly, I’d be perfectly fine if Keiju and Yuri’s thirst for revenge is quenched from learning that Kenzan’s already dead and their relationship rekindled over Keiju heroically protecting Yuri like it was suggested here, as I’d like to see things resolved between “the kids” on their own.

If this episode was any indication, it looks like things are headed in that direction with Himari “returning” her life to free Kanba from the burden he’s placed on himself, and Masako remembering the sacrifice Kanba also made for her and Mario so that they could live normal lives. The latter came as a late-series twist but worked well with proof that Kanba still cares about Masako. It also led to a great cliffhanger to leave off on, with Masako following Himari’s example of acting as a martyr to repay Kanba for everything he’s done for them. I mentioned last time that I like the turn things have taken with Kanba shaping out to be the ultimate protagonist, but based on the revelations here, it’s probably more correct to refer to him as the ultimate martyr who’s in desperate need of saving. He’s done a bang-up job playing the bad guy role, so it’ll be interesting to see what Shouma does as well now that he’s come to his senses a bit. It looks like there will be more on Shouma’s side of things too, judging from the flashback to ten years ago where he found himself in a box.

Full-length images: 11, 25.

 

ED9 Sequence

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ED9: 「朝のかげりの中で」 (Ashita no Kageri no Naka de) by トリプルH (Triple H)
Watch the 9th ED!: Streaming ▼

Preview & End Card

Mawaru Penguindrum   22   Preview 01 Mawaru Penguindrum   22   End Card 01
December 10, 2011 at 5:03 pm
62 comments »
  • December 10, 2011 at 5:11 pmR

    I’ve truly hit the point where I don’t know where this story will go. I honestly can’t think of what will happen and how this story will conclude.

    What I do hope, though, is that Masako is okay. All those gunshot sounds were ominous, but I can still naively hope. Shouma’s dialogue in the preview for episode 23 suggests Himari does finally die, but again, this series can just as easily go the other way.

    Also, the Double H scene was seriously a great lead-in to an otherwise dark episode. Good to see them outside of Music Station/TV/train ads, as well as reaching out to Himari.

    • December 11, 2011 at 3:56 pmHisoka

      Although it would be an Ikuharu-type troll to have Masako still be alive, I don’t think that will be the case. I think they didn’t show the gunfight and aftermath to give her the epic dignity she deserved. I think it would be a good death for a strong character.

  • December 10, 2011 at 5:14 pmteri

    MASAKOOOO ;___;

  • December 10, 2011 at 5:19 pmjames

    finaaally someone who can look at the story more objectively than subjectively (which is absolutely fine, last few episodes have been a tearfest for me). Everytime I see someone talk about Mawaru Penguindrum it’s about how much they hate Kanba.

    • December 10, 2011 at 9:22 pmPokey

      An objective view would actually show Shouma’s superiority to Kanba. After all, Shouma is the one who thinks, and thinking is objective. Unfortunately, it seems the director has kind of a negative view of Shouma. If he had a more positive view, we would see more scenes where Shouma’s behavior improved everyone else.

      • December 10, 2011 at 10:57 pmjames

        I guess I should have specified what I meant by “Objective.”

        A lot of people are getting genuinely angry by kanba’s actions but they aren’t really analyzing the situation logically. Given the circumstances and what Kanba was put through, I can understand WHY he does what he does. I’m not necessarily saying it’s the right choice, but at the very least I can feel sorry for him. I feel like there is a lot of pressure on him with Satenoshi basically saying “himari will die unless you do what I tell you,” and the “ghosts” of his parents put pressure on him as well. Do I think he’s doing the right thing? Not at all. Also, I don’t think Ikuhara is really saying what is right or wrong. That’s is ultimately up to us to make an opinion on.

      • December 10, 2011 at 11:19 pmjames

        not to mention Kanba, at this point, can probably already be labeled “insane.” When was the last time you could snap a psycho out of his insanity?

      • December 10, 2011 at 11:49 pmPokey

        Kanba isn’t acting logically at all. You have a wrong understanding of the situation. He’s overrun by his emotions, to the point that he’s sacrificing his heart, and even pointlessly sacrificing it, Show Spoiler ▼

        Shouma is the cool-headed one. Even when he’s put through extreme pressure (exactly the same pressure as Kanba), he doesn’t have a breakdown like Kanba does.

      • December 11, 2011 at 12:17 amjames

        Yeah, you misread what I typed completely. I said the people who are getting angry are the one’s being logical. Nowhere did I say anything about Kanba being logical. In fact, my second comment stated that he was insane.

      • December 11, 2011 at 11:54 amPokey

        You seem very “compassionate,” james, but I’ll just have to repeat myself that the people who dislike Kanba’s actions are the logical ones. We can see the logical consequences of Kanba’s actions. What you’re speaking of is a predetermined reaction, what happens to Kanba, not what he does. It’s no different from measuring the speed of a ball as it rolls downhill. That’s the course of an inanimate object.

      • December 11, 2011 at 12:37 pmjames

        haha I guess you could say that I’m compassionate, I’ll take that as a compliment :3

        Anyways, it’s not that I don’t think people should “dislike” kanba, it just bothers me a little when people outright “hate” him. I know it’s just fictional characters, but for me, I feel the need to defend people who, although act unreasonably, are in a really tough spot. But yeah, you’re right, his actions pretty much are like a ball rolling down a hill and I don’t like that he’s doing all these things, but although it’s his “choice” I don’t think he likes what he’s doing. That’s the reason why I can’t find it in my heart to really hate him. The only person I can, without a doubt dislike is Satenoshi. Everyone else is being manipulated.

      • December 11, 2011 at 1:34 pmPokey

        If Kanba didn’t like what he was doing, he wouldn’t do it. At least, he would stop after getting very important outs from the people close to him. Kanba has made himself defective and he only has himself to blame.

      • December 11, 2011 at 1:48 pmjames

        The same reason people commit crimes they wouldn’t commit if they weren’t put into certain situations. Plus, I think he’s too insane already. His ears are deaf to reason.

    • December 11, 2011 at 12:18 amjames

      illogically*

    • December 11, 2011 at 11:26 amSnowolf

      Ah, Kanba. Probably the most complicated character in this show, I have to say.

      While I do agree to some degree that Kanba is definitely the tragic hero of this series, I cannot say that in this episode I sympathized with his actions. I can sympathize with his character but that is a completely different thing. Kanba has hotheadedly decided to take the burden of the Takakura’s sins upon himself, and in doing so, has bitten off way more than he can chew. It’s also revealed the nature of his heart; his life is completely validated by Himari’s existence (much like how Tabuki before thought his whole life was about Momoka) and now he is doing everything in his power to make Himari live. I can definitely feel sorry for Kanba in those regards, because Shouma is the one who naively has accepted fate (this does not mean that he loves Himari less- he just is much more emotionally and realistically compromised than Kanba, who refuses to accept reality to the point where he starts visualizing ghosts and his dead parents). Kanba in those aspects, is definitely a character to feel sorry for. But killing people without any sort of care in the world? That I can’t accept, and it angers me that Kanba has come to the idea that other people’s lives- even Shouma’s, to a degree, by leaving the family- are worthless in comparison to Himari’s. There is no way to excuse Kanba’s actions in this episode despite what he’s gone through and what he’s tried to do. Likewise, while we may have felt sorry for Ringo’s situation back in episodes 1-8, we still can’t excuse her actions of nearly raping Tabuki.

      • December 11, 2011 at 12:04 pmPokey

        I don’t think Kanba has been portrayed as a hero. He’s been doing dirty work the whole time, and the story has never been about him. If you notice, almost all of the maneuvering Kanba did has happened off-screen, which is unusual. He’s just been a player in a story about the penguindrum.

      • December 11, 2011 at 3:41 pmSnowolf

        @Pokey: Oh, in a way I disagree; Kanba is certainly a hero- it depends on the perspective you have, or what you take away from the definition of ‘hero’: I specifically use the term Tragic Hero because it doesn’t necessarily mean that the character has to be noble to be a hero.

        Mawaru Penguindrum plays with the concepts that driver certain symbolic terms- “soulmate”, “fate”, “ghosts” and I think “hero” is no exception here. While I can argue and say that it’s because of Kanba that Himari has been alive up to this episode, by giving his life juice, by racing after the van that had the Penguin Hat, by paying the money for the medicine, etc. It does not matter if his methods are crude; the end result is the same- Himari is alive, and if Kanba were not to exist, she would surely be dead since episode 1. At the same time however, does this excuse him from the consequences of his actions? Not at all, but his intentions, while exclusively, selectively selfless (and thus, for the large part, very selfish) are there and thus he fits the perfect role of a tragic hero. Notice that a being a tragic hero does not mean that you have to have good actions; in fact, a tragic hero’s most notable characteristic is how he or she falls from his or her pedestal of justice. Kanba could certainly verge on the definition of becoming an Anti Hero which is what I think you’re talking about, but he’s way too simple minded for that. His cause is for Himari, and nothing else. Either way however, Kanba has certainly done ‘heroic’ acts, regardless of their darker and more troublesome consequences.

      • December 18, 2011 at 2:53 pmMrmz

        Now that I read the definition of tragic hero I guess it does define Kanba… Kanba could be a tragic hero turned fallen hero Or an antagonist tragic hero who has to be faced but the protagonist (Sho) Evil or not, Kanba is definitely an interesting character, very complicated and I guess he feels like he is the only one that can protect his loved ones by sacrificing himself… but right now he needs to be saved the most!! And I got the feeling that Sho might be the one who’s going to do so, seeing both Himari and Masako failed at it (I still haven’t seen ep 23 (was busy with finals :’( ) just watched episode 22 :D and will watch 23 now but I had to come and read people’s thoughts about that episode ;)

    • December 11, 2011 at 4:06 pmHisoka

      I can’t imagine hating Kanba, even tho I hate his actions lately. I rather like Kanba, at least from the standpoint of his characterization — he’s the brother I’ve been both more entertained with and more emotionally wrapped up with as I see him desperate to save Himari. Their love is *tragic*. Shouma by contrast doesn’t interest me much, although I can see that he’s deeper than his actions would have it appear.

  • December 10, 2011 at 5:31 pmtheskylion

    That “box” has the look of an oubliette; a place where a prisoner is tossed in and forgotten about, without the benefit of mercy. If so, who did he offend and how?

    I’m recalling the film Serenity here: The Operative spoke of being a monster. He was a man that was trying to make a better world, thou the actions leading to his goal including killing children. When confronted about this, he offered no illusions that he would be part of inheriting this ‘better world. He knew what he was, and knew he had no place in it.

    Kanba is ringing this feeling like a bell for me. He feels his action are neither right nor wrong, but necessary. This is the most terrifying sort of villain one can face. Like The Operative, he has conviction, belief that his cause is the best course for all involved. That Kanba doesn’t include either of his sister’s in the decision making process, I cannot feel sympathy towards him.

    That they aren’t included means the sacrifices they make might come to naught. Or have very little to do with saving Kanba from his own path, his own train of destiny. He made his choices, which are the biggest signposts of that path.

    If it weren’t for the love his sisters felt for him, I could almost hate the character. Almost. I’m reminded of HBO’s OZ. All those characters made their choices, and went to jail as a result. No one every paints jail with rose and teal. It’s is a bad place, where bad things happen to you. You make your choices knowing the risk of going to jail. But, the presentation always made you feel sympathetic towards the characters, despite how ‘bad’ they were. I couldn’t hate Beecher, but I could fully hate Verne Schillinger. You can feel something for a character, but not excuse their actions. Kanba crosses lines. That he is self aware enough to distance his brother and sisters from this is his only hallmark of decency.

    Damn this show hits you hard.

  • December 10, 2011 at 5:37 pmtheskylion

    I was watching a recent episode at work, and a co-worker (a non anime fan, and not even close to being a nerd) asked what it was about. I first told them the title, “What on Earth is a Penguindrum?” is what they ask. “No one seems to know” is what I answer. “Oh, it’s one of those type of shows, like Lost, that never really tell you anything”. “Well, it’s really about these kids trying to keep their family together. And there are things that happened in the past that make that hard.”. “Oh, well that sounds pretty interesting”.

    For me, that is what this show has been about. Those Three, trying hard to keep something precious to them alive and well for as long as possible. And Divine hit it spot on, it has been about the journey.

  • December 10, 2011 at 5:45 pmBass.EXE

    This series is crazy. I thought it was going to be like a comedy of sorts, with crazy penguin antics throughout. Well, the penguins have stayed, but I certainly wouldn’t call it a comedy…

    • December 10, 2011 at 10:25 pmTre

      The penguins stayed relevant to the plot for all of 2 episodes. Which is particularly funny when you look back at the first episode.

      It would be hilarious, if after 20 episodes of having everyone completely ignored the penguins’ existence, one of them realizes that they haven’t answered the question of what the damn things are and where they came from.

      • December 11, 2011 at 10:00 amBass.EXE

        Exactly. Or like the second episode when they were using them to scope out Ringo. It seemed like they were going to be a fundamental element to the story, and then they’ve slowly faded out to comedic support characters. And then Masako popped up with her own penguin, so I thought they’d actually explain them but…

    • December 11, 2011 at 11:48 amSnowolf

      LOL, It’s Kunihiko Ikuhara. What were you expecting? :)

  • December 10, 2011 at 6:02 pmtomato-san

    I couldn’t believe Masako said “sama”… No way.

  • December 10, 2011 at 6:16 pmTSouL

    Kanba bowled a turkey!
    I also like how you made full-length images on the 2 different affections of love. From Kanba’s view:
    Himari – will sacrifice self to save you
    Masako – will sacrifice you to save me

    both of which still leads to pain for the girls… Kanba you player you…

  • December 10, 2011 at 6:23 pmAvalanche

    Is it wrong that I want that the bowling app?
    Hmm, I’m not sure what to think of Kanba. I like how well he turned out as the current antagonist, but I can’t seem as evil.
    Shoma… Despite how much I like his character, he has yet to do anything praise-worthy even though most of the first half of the series was centered around him. All he ever really did was ‘save’ Ringo at the lake, the car, and her innocence from Tabuki (In a way) and Yuri. There was the thing with rescuing Himari,but she left him after realizing he has given up on hope.

    My only other thought is what the hell happened to the penguin hat?

    • December 10, 2011 at 6:42 pmjames

      Everyone is caught up in the curse and Satenoshi’s manipulation. I still don’t know why he gave the hat (momoka, basically) to the takakura’s if she is against his ideals.

    • December 10, 2011 at 7:00 pmTheVoid

      What? Himari left because she realized she needed to stop Kanba since she is the reason he is doing all these awful things.

  • December 10, 2011 at 6:57 pmTheVoid

    The problem is that Kanba isn’t a martyr. Everything he is doing is out of selfishness. Himari accepted her inevitable death long before now. Kanba on the other hand can’t get over it and instead of moving on decides to lash out on the world to save someone who doesn’t want to be saved. Himari is willing to give up her life to stop him but even that won’t stop him from lashing out at the world out of hate.

    It’s his selfish lust for Himari that guides him to continue the curse of the Takakuras and Sanetoshi. Show Spoiler ▼

  • December 10, 2011 at 7:08 pmClick

    Wow. During the last 8 minutes, my jaw hit the floor. Everything from Masako’s and Kanba’s symbolic descent into into hell to Masako’s last stand were awe-inspiring.

  • December 10, 2011 at 7:37 pmJif

    MPD is indescribably beautiful, thank you for the review. I’ve learned to stop guessing about this show. The journey has been convoluted as hell, but above all, it’s unforgettable.

  • December 10, 2011 at 8:09 pmSeishun Otoko

    Tsubasa has sparkly eyes and oden on a stick again?

  • December 10, 2011 at 8:44 pmRandom

    Masako just solidified my opinion of her as the best character in this show with this episode. Her monologue in the final moments… so epic. If she dies I will be completely devastated.

    In my opinion, the fact that recent events have thoroughly derailed everyone’s potential happiness just underscores how necessary it is now for someone to use the spell in the “penguindrum” (Momoka’s diary) to symbolically set things back on the right track. My money is on Ringo sacrificing herself to finally realize her once-forgotten goal of becoming Momoka and using the diary to redetermine everyone’s destiny. After all, she used to base her entire existence off of being Momoka so she could restore her parent’s happiness. It would make sense (and be in character) for her to want to re-devote herself to this goal to ensure just Shouma or Tabuki’s happiness. I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that she’s always portrayed as being set on fire in the OP…

    I think recent events also reinforce the idea that Momoka is probably the personality in the penguin hat. Sanetoshi has reiterated that Momoka hindered his plans with her diary, as opposed to helping them. Similarly, Sanetoshi sabotaged Shouma and Kanba’s efforts to cure Himari by providing Kanba with the medicine that stops working with repeated use, and distracting them from what should have been their real goal: obtaining the diary. Sanetoshi probably wanted to prevent them from reuniting the diary with the person who could use it to further interfere with his plans, that is, Momoka/the penguin hat tyrant.

    Or maybe I’m completely overreaching. Who knows. :P

  • December 10, 2011 at 8:54 pmPtolemaios00

    There was just one thing I was thinking throughout the last half of the episode:

    “Surrounded by police and SWAT? There’s an app for that.”

  • December 10, 2011 at 8:54 pmNeko

    just loving this show! Its time for Shouma to do something…anything!
    i keep thinking Ringo will use the diary and this ep is not helping. I hope to be wrong!

  • December 10, 2011 at 9:32 pmtomato-san

    It looks like next episode might be a Shouma episode. I’m so excited! I guess episode 19 and 20 are still fresh in my mind.

  • December 10, 2011 at 9:38 pmPokey

    I got to thinking about how Shouma improves the people he gets close to, and how Kanba makes them worse. Shouma is the one who snapped Ringo out of her stalking phase (remember how crazy she was back then?), and we just found out he saved Himari’s life many years ago. I don’t think anyone else could have pulled her out of that depression. Kanba, on the other hand, won’t even return Himari’s hug, and he actually made Himari wish for her death, so Kanba wouldn’t have to fight anymore. Now it looks like Show Spoiler ▼

    • December 10, 2011 at 11:36 pmR

      To be fair, the only physical affection we’ve seen Kanba give anyone is towards Himari, and she was asleep at the time. He seems like an extremely repressed individual, what with him harboring feelings for Himari all this time. I imagine him dating girls and dumping them was a way of coping with those feelings. There’s also the fact that from a very young age, his biological father seems to have thought he wasn’t good enough, and that thought affected how he is under the Takakura household.

      And really, he leaped in front of bullets to save Masako, which I think speaks volumes over if he had returned her hug.

      If I wanted to play devil’s advocate, I could also note that while Shouma bringing Himari into Takakura household saved her, it also triggered years of loneliness for her. Sure, she would have died in the Child Broiler if it weren’t for him, but what kind of existence is she living if she’d been miserable and trapped inside a doll house up until her departure in the last episode?

      Shouma saving Ringo is the only “improvement” we’ve seen that hasn’t had negative implications thus far. I’ve a feeling this will ultimately be the key to the conclusion of the story, because from what little we’ve seen of Ringo the past couple episodes has shown her getting much stronger, mentally and emotionally. She’s going to be the one to take up the role Momoka left, and rightfully so.

      Kanba and Shouma are pretty much Red Oni/Blue Oni. You may like one over the other, but I personally don’t believe Kanba makes people worse. His fall to the dark side is not something I agree with, but I can empathize with why Kanba is trying to follow these terrible ideas through.

      Kanba is an “ends justify the means” type of character, who is fighting so hard for something he believes in that he doesn’t care what he has to do to obtain it. Shouma, being the only true biological Takakura child, has been living with a huge weight of guilt upon his shoulders and just tries to live unnoticed, persecuting himself/his family/his life because of his parents. I believe they’re both good people with good intentions, but I think it’s unfair to just paint Kanba as poisonous to others when he has the best intentions in mind, regardless if they’re for his own selfishness.

      • December 10, 2011 at 11:55 pmPokey

        Thank you for your thoughtful reply. Concerning what you said about repression, I’m not sure that Kanba is repressed. If he were, could he be such a playboy? It seems like there’s something else about him that makes him who he is.

      • December 11, 2011 at 11:39 amSnowolf

        It’s interesting as to how you talk about Kanba being repressed; I do agree completely, but what intrigues me is the fact that the way this show has been written so far, Kanba has been doing much of the action, while Shouma has been extremely passive, but emotionally active. And it’s because of that halved balance that it’s difficult to actually rationalize and sit down and choose which character is “better” because to be honest, neither of them are better than the other. We sympathize easily with Shouma because he is more emotionally volatile, but we keep our eyes out more on Kanba because he is the one who makes the decisions rather than pondering them. Ironically, as revealed, Shouma is the only biological son of the Takakura family, but he is not the one who truly inherits its curse; Kanba does, in standing up and trying to save Himari’s life through any means possible. While that definitely makes him a grey character (see my thoughts above on Kanba) I can’t say that Shouma is in any way better; he has no doubt, through his lack of action, hurt Himari and others just as Kanba has hurt others through aggressive action. He has however, made Ringo become an inherently more self-aware character, but likewise, Kanba has also been financially supporting the family for some time now through a part time job and also through the money he has received from the terrorist group.

        I definitely think that Ringo and Shouma’s relationship will be a key factor in the ending of the show; whether Ringo will sacrifice herself Momoka-style to revert the timeline back to the very beginning where Himari does die, or whether Shouma truly takes his parents’ sins and sacrifices himself to save both Kanba and Himari is something only time can tell, but judging from the credits of this episode, it looks like Shouma and Kanba are going to have their final showdown.

        In the end though, I don’t think this show is about splitting relationships as it is about mending them. There’s a great translated interview here where Ikuhara talks about his thoughts behind Penguindrum and the idea of a family unit and its importance in Japanese society today. We could all argue about Kanba and Shouma for days, but what it truly boils down to is how they both want to remake their family and how much they value the idea of a family, despite everything that has happened again. And I think that’s what makes this show so powerful- it is really so human despite all the whimsical, crazy and absurd plots.

      • December 11, 2011 at 11:41 amSnowolf

        Whoops, I forgot to link the interview- you can read it here, if you’re interested.

      • December 11, 2011 at 6:44 pmR

        @Pokey:
        Oh, you can definitely be repressed and still be a playboy. In fact, I think that might be the most common criteria when it comes to being a playboy. One particular example that comes to mind is James Bond. He has incredibly repressed emotions and lingering feelings for people in the past, but instead of trying to fix them, he plays the misogynist card and sleeps with anyone whom he can conquer.

        @Snowolf:
        I agree 100%. I defend Kanba a lot because a lot of people chalk Shouma up to be some saint through inaction vs. Kanba’s current terrible state of mind, but neither of them are necessarily saints ー people just see “Shouma isn’t killing people, therefore he isn’t evil.” After my last reply, I was left pondering that Kanba and Shouma balance each other out, and your reply only solidifies that thought in my mind. Now that Kanba has left the Takakura household, Shouma is 100% emotion, while Kanba is 100% impulsiveness. They might not be twins, but they sure do complete each other. Duality that has always been there since the beginning, but is ever more prominent now.

        That interview is fantastic. I read it when it was posted and it’s incredibly insightful. The following is Kanba to a T:

        “They just call them lunatics. A person who takes their thought process to extremes, without lying to themselves…

        I want to portray that in this project without showing it in a negative light.”

        Immediately following that is Shouma (and arguably, Himari and Kanba as well):

        “Even if that community is in a place of sin, those guys didn’t have the option to live in any other place. Even if the world sees it as terrifying and poisonous, to them, it’s where their memories live.

        I want to portray the sorrow and extreme emotions of such people.”

        Although I definitely see what he’s doing with Kanba, it seems that’s failed with quite a number of people…

      • December 11, 2011 at 7:27 pmKrahftwohrk

        @R, I think you’ve missed most of the things Ikuhara is conveying. Kanba isn’t repressed. Quite the opposite. He’s a lot less inhibited than normally, blowing up police cars with no remorse and throwing women away like used goods. He’s a reject.

    • December 11, 2011 at 9:05 pmR

      @Krahftwohrk:
      To be honest, I think all the Takakura children are repressed in their own individual ways.

      For Kanba, I personally find him repressed because of his feelings for Himari and his biological father. Like I said above, although he is 100% passion and impulsiveness, the way he approaches Himari is extremely roundabout. He’s loved her all this time, but the only time we’ve seen him show those emotions are 1) when he kissed her while she was asleep, 2) when he proclaimed that any guy would be lucky to get a scarf made by her and 3) when he becomes jealous at the idea of Himari knitting something for Sanetoshi. He may not be giving her a cold shoulder, but he sure isn’t very forthcoming about his feelings. Even when Masako asks him what’s so special about Himari, each time he just says, “She’s my precious little sister.” Only recently has he actually told Himari directly that she’s “everything to him,” but he was turned away from her and heading out the door.

      And it’s precisely because he’s a reject that he’s trying so hard to become “good enough” in both his biological father and Kenzan’s eyes. He’s not a true Takakura, but like Snowolf noted above, he’s the one who’s inheriting their will and trying to finish what they started. He’s aware that he’s only becoming worse (in last week’s(?) episode, where he said something along the lines of “But I’ve already…”), but he can’t stop because he’s become disillusioned with the idea of keeping Himari alive and proving that he can defy fate, while also breaking the “unfair rules that govern the world.” He even hallucinated Kenzan and Chiemi praising him for being a good son, which further enabled his idea that succeeding their plan + protecting Himari = Kanba is not a failure.

  • December 10, 2011 at 9:46 pmWill to purity

    Kanba sure “released” often this episode, in public, as if we couldn’t see from his body that he was a man. Even the cops had more self-control. :)

  • December 10, 2011 at 10:46 pmXellos-_^

  • December 11, 2011 at 7:07 amewok40k

    Masako going down in the blaze of glory = epic!
    2-H paying incognito visit to Himari = heatwarming
    Himari being ignored by Kanba = heartbreaking
    Will Kanba survive? he seems quite badly wounded, at least…
    everybody dies?

    • December 11, 2011 at 12:00 pmPokey

      It looks almost like Kanba will die, but it’s hard to say. Either way, it looks like he’ll be out of commission for the last two episodes.

  • December 11, 2011 at 11:43 amSnowolf

    @Divine: Out of curiosity, why have you only put up some EDs of Penguindrum on the sidebar but not others? (I’m not attacking, I’m just curious :D)

    • December 11, 2011 at 4:41 pmDivine

      No reason really, other than forgetting to. I can update the playlist with all the sequences though, including all the IM@S ones.

      • December 11, 2011 at 6:34 pmSnowolf

        Nah, that’s fine- do it on your own time, of course. I was just wondering. :)

      • December 11, 2011 at 9:07 pmDivine

        It’s already done. I re-sorted the list too.

  • December 11, 2011 at 4:15 pmHisoka

    There will be (yet another) Himari resurrection in the near future, given the Birth of Venus penguin preview. Look for Ringo to make the ultimate sacrifice via her diary to bring Himari and Shouma back together.

    Also still rooting for an epic Rock Over Japan in the finale, probably in the real world where the digger capsule and bear pods are paralleled by real machines of destruction deployed by the terrorists. We need an epic finale to bookend the epic Ep.1.

    • December 11, 2011 at 6:19 pmskylion

      Given what to expect from Penguidrum, your hopes are much like the Tabuki’s aforementioned cat.

      But it all sounds weird with a beard.

    • December 12, 2011 at 9:08 amHisoka

      It’s not that weird.

      The preview shows Himari’s penguin Sanchan rising out of the sea like Boticelli’s Venus. In addition to referring back to Yuri’s arc (Venus de Milo), it also implies we’ll see Himari again. It would be the third time she comes back from the dead, a penguin-hat trick. Of course the graphic could represent Himari as the ideal love for both Shouma and Kanba — who they’ve both been fighting for, in their different ways.

      Ringo walking off into the mist with half a diary is like a loaded gun in a movie, you know it’s going to go off before the end. Now that Masako’s gone, look for the diary to be made whole either by Ringo on her own, or by a showdown between Ringo and the now evil (at least in his actions) Kanba – who gets Masako’s half and how the diary’s placed back together remains to be seen. But I think Ringo will sacrifice herself to activate the diary and set things right, which will make a lot of viewers cry. Also, I could see the diary putting everything back but in a new way, with Sho, Kan, and Himari now related by birth and the Masako household undisturbed, and Ringo like there never was a Ringo (hello, schrodenger’s cat). Too weird? Not for this show.

      “Rock Over Japan” should happen again. It started out repeated each ep like Utena’s dueling arena entrance, but then it just went away from the episodes all together. Ikuhara’s setting us up to forget its centrality, but he’ll bring it back in the final episode(s). I think that the surreal symbolism in the Rock Over Japan sequence has meaning yet to be specified, and since it looked in part mechanical, it could signal the initiation of a mechanical device in the real world. Taken as a schematic, you could see the terrorists using a “rolling chamber” (yep, that’s what they said to Kanba) like the flaming one on the tracks in ROJ to set off a chain reaction of destruction (previously, they were working in Antarctica, maybe drilling into the frozen world there as research for their plans?). ROJ might represent more broadly the mechanisms of fate, a chamber drilling through the earth (which is shown as a clockface) and into the workings of fate to create a new reality (in the original ROJ, penguin-hat Himari’s rebirth). Come to think of it, Princess-of-Crystal Himari is born from the white robo-bear’s belly like Venus from the clamshell. Creepy. Either way, look for a (new) “Rock Over Japan” sequence as epic as it was when you saw it in Week One but infused with way more meaning. Like it’s been discussed, there is the journey and there is the destination, and a ROJ finale would give a final destination to this crazy train ride, even if it’s back where we started.

      But you’re right about the cat, everyone’s opinion about this show has no bearing on the direction it will take. It does affect how we view the meanings behind what we’re shown though. I’d be more worried that Shouma is Schrodenger’s cat, implied by that Shouma-box in limbo at the end of the episode. When all is revealed, he might be the one who both lives and dies. I doubt that’s the intended meaning for the box flashback, but who knows.

  • December 11, 2011 at 7:34 pmsealouse

    I don’t get it. What’s going to happen to Mario and the other half of the diary? Didn’t Masako still have it?

  • December 12, 2011 at 10:26 amColonelMiiM

    I am intrigued by this show and to be honest I picked it becaused it seemed funny, considering that this year I watched anime’s such as Anohana, Sola, Full Metal Alchemist and Kaze no Stigma, and some of them have left me shattered by the story and others have left me shocked for the most part, so I picked this anime to lighten my mood up, because all the negativity has hit me again, and BAAM, it isn’t funny at all.

    This anime is like those classes when your professor asks you to dig your identity. If it were me, I would put it this way, there’s three sides to how people deal with reality:
    (1) Fight the truth: like Kanba-san, he wanted to do whatever to win a losing battle, no matter how extreme the consequence is, basicly like Kanba.
    (2) Accept reality and destiny: the mature decision which we all should abide by, we move forward and try to find a bright tomorrow, which is in Shouma’s personality.
    (3) Stay blind: until the very end, Himari was blinded by her own fate. We cover up reality and pretend to live happily as though we were destined to stay.

    I would hate for this family to split, because I don’t know where that would leave Kanba and Shouma as brothers, and the bonds they’ve formed, because to me, she was their bond.

    Other things we can derrive from this anime are:
    (1) Consequence will come to you wherever you go. What you reap in life, you will saw, even if you die, the generation under you will have to live that consequence tha it becomes a curse.
    (2) Children are not toys for you to make and throw away, take care of them, nurture them and they will become bright (like Tabaki Sensei and that blonde lady that I can’t remmeber at moment.)
    (3) If one of your family members die, look for a new life in the other people around you. Because once you forget that, the other people around you may become a sad being with intent to please you, even if they had to pretend to be that person (Momoko and Ringo.)
    (4) who was the bad guy in the Kanba’s real sis and Mario? was it the grandfather or the father? This shows you what role can parents play in their children’s eyes, they like their parents so much that they could not tell a truth from a lie, mostly.
    (5) Easy money has its penalties, whatever comes fast, must have something hidden in its agenda. Meaning: he got the money through a source, it helped him, but it took something too from him.

    In the end this is just my opinion. I am in love with Shouma’s charecter and a bit confused over who is Shouma? I know Himari wasn’t their sister, but Shouma? Is he Kanba’s brother? Who is Mario? If Kanba and that girl with Mario (Sorry I cant keep track of names) are siblings then what about the mother? Confusing….

    Sorry I wrote too much :) I’m just so curious to reach this anime’s final conclusion with the hope to know what happens!

    Cheers,
    M

  • December 12, 2011 at 10:32 amColonelMiiM

    I also want to add that whenever that Blonde-Momoka friend lover shows ( I mean her friend from the theatre who hit Tabuki) and talks, I can’t help but remember Edward-kun from FMA brotherhood, man its the same person who does the voice and that makes me giggle so much because it reminds me of him and I imagine him being that XD /random poster! xx

  • December 12, 2011 at 2:20 pmlorenzo

    This episode confirms Mawaru Penguindrum as one of my favourite series of the year. I didn’t think that it could replicate the feelings Steins;Gate gave me, but it did. Absolutely wonderful.
    I don’t really know what’s going to happen next. I mean, I’d feel bad if Masako or Himari were really going to sacrifice themselves (although I don’t think that’s the case, at least with the latter). And Kanba? I know he’s haunted by the “curse”, but still, he’s killed quite a lot of people in the last two episodes. I’m not saying he should pay with his life, ’cause I wouldn’t like that either, but I don’t think he can be a complete victim either. And finally, I still don’t know what to do of the Takakura parents. It seems like they really were behind the attacks, but… they don’t really seem bad people.
    I don’t really know. Well, I guess that’s the point of a great series!

  • December 12, 2011 at 4:40 pmshoo

    this show have wayyyyy too many flashbacks.