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Mawaru Penguindrum – 09

「氷の世界」 (Koori no Sekai)
“World of Ice”

I had the feeling that the pink-haired “beauty” in the opening sequence may not be a woman, largely in part to how a trench coat masks one’s figure, but I would’ve been perfectly happy if I were wrong in this case. I don’t mind the mysterious librarian of the Central Library’s “Hole in the Sky” branch, seeing as he’s voiced by the rarely heard Koizumi Yutaka from NHK ni Youkoso; I just don’t see what making him extremely feminine-looking is supposed to add to his character outside the initial “ugh”-type reaction.

Regardless of his appearance, Watase Sanetoshi’s introduction is an eye-opening one since he made himself out to be some otherworldly keeper of people’s memories in life. The way he referred to Himari’s life as a story suggested as much, giving off a very similar vibe to Book of Bantorra (a series that’s a lot better than I originally gave credit). His actions on the other hand revealed that he’s responsible for giving Himari a second chance in life. The penguin hat, the box of frozen penguins, and the sight of her deathbed from above were clear indications that this episode was about Himari’s trip to the afterlife after collapsing at the aquarium. The apple did provide something new though, reaffirming the Night on the Galactic Railroad foreshadowing by the two kids in episode one and building up a soulmate named Natsume Mario (Aranami Kazusa) whom Himari’s love for transcended death (presumably). Where this is headed I don’t know, but when the story’s about Himari and not Ringo for a change, anywhere is fine with me.

For that same reason, it’s nice to finally learn who the two girls in the ending sequence and all over the train advertisements are. The flashbacks kind of made it look like Himari had a falling out with Isora Hibari (Watanabe Yui) and Utada Hikari (Miyake Marie, who also voices Ringo), but I assume she had to give up on becoming an idol because of her ailing health. It’s hard to imagine that Hibari and Hikari would just abandon Himari after seeing how they were more concerned about Himari’s mother than getting their application in. The only thing that throws me off is how Himari completely cut off ties with them and they went on to form a successful idol duo without her. It could very well be that they ended up applying as a pair without Himari, or were told that they’d only get accepted only if they ditched her, but there hasn’t been anything to suggest either case. As such, I’d definitely like to see some clarification on what happened somewhere down the stretch. For now, it’s not as important as finding out what happened to Shouma though. Poor guy, risking his life to save stalker girls.

* I can only think of the wrestler Hunter Hearst Helmsley when I hear the name Triple H.


Preview & End Card

September 9, 2011 at 4:00 am
  • September 9, 2011 at 4:39 amricz

    I love this episode mainly because they’ve finally introduced new character

    BTW am I the only one who remember hitagi of bakemonagatari(or other shaft anime) when you watch this anime?

    • September 10, 2011 at 2:45 pmMr.Haha

      I think the same thing it reminds me specially to bakemonogatari. It kind of feels like something shaft would do hehe

    • September 15, 2011 at 4:08 amKyandi

      The thing is that Ikuhara inspired Shaft. If you watch Shoujo Kakumei Utena both series and Movie you can see how inspired Shaft has been by this. Now Ikuhara got one of Shaft’s staff to direct this episode. Brilliant actually.

  • September 9, 2011 at 4:44 amDer Fur Shur

    This was a very episode, and it answered several questions while opening up some new ones. Now I’m curious to see how Himari will react to Shouma’s accident. Also did anyone else find the “killing of the koi” scene hilariously dark?

    • September 9, 2011 at 3:17 pmKentaiyoshimi

      I thought the “killing of the koi” was rather dark AND disturbing, seeing as how those girls were so casual about killing a fish for its blood.
      Maybe its because I have koi at home (as pets, obviously), but the scene shocked me quite a bit.

      • September 10, 2011 at 4:58 amDer Fur Shur

        See that’s what I thought. I was like “Ok so they’re gonna just kill fish drink it’s blood” like it was completely normal. It was such a bizarre scene and oddly I thought the absurdity made it one of the episode’s funniest moments (not that I condone the killing of Koi for the pursuit of immortality)

      • September 10, 2011 at 3:04 pmMGO

        I thought the exact same thing at the koi scene! The show has never had such a dark scene before that he seriously disturbed me. And I felt some serious Paranoia Agent-vibes when I saw the bat…..

  • September 9, 2011 at 5:26 amKurofaise

    Perfect episode, oh god this series just gets better every week. One of the best of the year, easily. They could literally do anything and it would work, but it’s clear that they know where they are going with this and it’s incredibly well thought out and some of the detail they put into things is insane.

    I loved Sanetoshi, his appearance is just an appeal and ties in with Ikuhara’s style, he’d hardly every go with a masculine type of character, he loves to make his male characters to have feminine features and I’m cool with that.

    I’m wondering how serious Shoma’s injuries will be, cannot wait.

  • September 9, 2011 at 5:28 amCroos

    Himari arc yay.

  • September 9, 2011 at 5:36 amjrj

    awesome episode as far as visual goes… it sort of gives SHAFT vibe during several scenes… what surprised me was that penguin #3 was already marked at that time, and that might mean this flashback might not be 100% genuine…
    hopefully more explanation will be given and nothing terrible happen to Sho… this guy definitely deserves better treatment :( the preview (if it ever counts), however, suggests that next episode will deal with Kanba and the penguin ball woman, which should be exciting to watch too :)

    can’t wait to see more of it, and as always, thanks for the post, Divine! and thanks for the PVs on the side :)

    • September 9, 2011 at 6:14 amFling

      I got the SHAFT vibe too.

      I was looking at this blog and apparently this ep had the same director as Bakemonogatari so maybe that might explain it?

    • September 9, 2011 at 7:21 amDelon

      3-chan is marked already because she is also in himari’s dream, notice how she is also sleeping at the end?

    • September 9, 2011 at 10:01 amjrj

      Fling, thanks for pointing that out :) Bakemonogatari is one of my all time favorite too… kind of wish they could animate the later volumes :3

      Delon, I guess that could work, but it is kind of strange to have 2 people sleeping and sharing the same dream… (unless we are talking about inception kind of thing here…) Still, I think it is suspicious that she is already marked in a seemingly flashback.

      • September 9, 2011 at 1:46 pmDelon

        well a penguin is not really a person thou xD and it seems they are connected to each other (they can understand/see each other) so i say it’s highly possible~

  • September 9, 2011 at 5:38 amugh

    this anime gives me a headache every week =.=

    some questions i have:
    - who threw the eraser at Himari? if it’s Hibari or Hikari that’s some aiming skills…
    - the statues outside the library with a golden chair on the right – the man on the left resembles Tabuki so could the woman on the right possibly be, Momoka? if that’s the case, did they meet at a library or something
    and why is the man holding onto an apple
    ??????????? everything seems significant (of sorts) but i can make no sense *-*

    and what’s with that scene with the stick figures sitting down in a room/concentration camp…?? does anyone have any ideas?

    • September 9, 2011 at 6:00 amJoojoobees

      The concentration camp scene — maybe it is a bomb shelter?? But that doesn’t explain what a “Child Broiler” is.

      Amazing episode. Amazing!

      • September 9, 2011 at 6:23 amaaa

        oh yeah bomb shelter is a possibility what with the sarin gas attack.. as for “child broiler”.. could it be referring to cannibalism? people resorting to drastic measures under harsh conditions? or a subtle reference to hansel & gretel or possible child abuse..? sorry if i don’t make sense

    • September 9, 2011 at 10:09 amJunk

      Pretty much everything IS significant. And it’s always really hard to compile a complete list of what the references, meanings, and connections are in an Ikuhara work. They’re so smart it’s challenging to know which interpretations are meant and are accidental but still perfect.

      Starting places (blogs where more time can be dedicated):
      And this is a pretty intelligent post about how important or unimportant it is to chase those meanings in the first place:
      She may be wrong (nothing in the show is without meaning or has not been thought out, nothing is in there to ONLY be silly or surprising) but it’s still a very good read and can justify a shallow watching of Mawaru if you don’t want to take the deeper, more complete mind-blow.

      I don’t know yet when the next Mawaru novel is coming out but I’ll also add that Ikuhara has said he supports viewers reading the novels before watching the relevant anime ep (spoiling) so the viewers can focus more on getting more content out of each ep beyond the basic plot because they already know it. That should say something about how densely packed the episodes are with extra dimension of meaning.

      My only comment on this episode is just a reminder that everything we saw is truth. We may not be shown the context, relevance, or to what extent this is reality vs. not-reality, but we’re never shown something which is a lie and can later be dismissed.

  • September 9, 2011 at 7:02 amZwei


    then surely this guys haven’t seen Ikuhara’s Revolutionary Girl Utena

    seeing this episode made me remember his artistry, symbolisms and style used in RGU

    • September 9, 2011 at 10:48 amHomura

      Especially the whole upside-down elevator, “let’s go deeper” theme. Total Utena, with Sanetoshi instead of pink-haired Mikage.

      • September 9, 2011 at 12:13 pmsigmasox

        The SHAFT comparison isn’t completely wrong though, because Nobuyuki Takeuchi was one of the key animators for Bakemonogatari. It’s too bad a lot of people (incl. the Japanese audience) aren’t familiar with the fact that he was also one of the chief animators for Utena however…

        I’m still confused with who Mario is. I initially felt he was the kid holding the apple with Himari at the “child broiler” like a few others, but Show Spoiler ▼

        If so, it’ll fit in neatly with why Masako is after Project M and has her own penguin, as well as Sanetoshi’s little speech on Himari’s prince. Is anyone familiar enough with Aranami Kazusa’s voice to tell?

        Isora Hibari and Utada Hikari. Heh.

  • September 9, 2011 at 7:10 amDelon

    The himari walking-out of the school scene is probably her getting expelled from the school for trying to kill the fish. And that probably is the reason that Double H cannot be with her anymore.

  • September 9, 2011 at 7:19 amhurin

    So Himari knew an older boy but forgot about him. Did she get hit by a red ball?

    That was creepy, because by process of elimination the older boy was either a) a new character b) one of the brothers, and soon it’ll be to late to introduce new characters.

  • September 9, 2011 at 7:26 amewok40k

    Himari got to quit school due to staying in hospital almost nonstop. The girls have continued attempt to become stars without her, and possibly were angry for Himari “abandoning” them.
    Finally some answers (where did came the penguins from!) and tons of more questions!
    Also, symbolism abounds! And that feminine librarian… The hidden library of human memories, express lift to the mysterious places and more…Utena legacy indeed…
    One question – can somebody decipher teh 7 social sins inscribed on the statue before the library entrance?
    I’ve got a feeling they might be as relevant to the story as inscriptions from the Faust in Madoka…

    • September 9, 2011 at 7:43 amDelon

    • September 9, 2011 at 11:12 amcx

      I’m kinda doubting those girls were angry at her for abandoning them. I think the whole flashback with her mother was to show her that she can’t can’t get everything she wants or will hurt people she loves. The flashback with her friends and the fish showed they would give up things they love or want to help her. I believe she did something bad to them turn them completely against her so they would not give up trying to be idols.

  • September 9, 2011 at 8:13 amYuumei

    To be honest, I forgot all about Shouma’s accident from last week until it was brought up at the end. Maybe because this episode was so interesting. I’m glad to see the identities of some new(?) characters being clarified but there are still tons of questions that need to be answered. I’m still really curious as to what happened to the Takakura parents…

    I’m also happy that Himari got some focus this week. I like Ringo and all, but after this episode I realized that too much Ringo was a bad thing… This episode felt fresh.

  • September 9, 2011 at 8:40 amshinkirou

    totally troll, here i was waiting for the suspend of shoma accident and turning point of bitch/ creep stalker ringo and it delay to next week, PLS GIVE ME BACK MY TEAR AND ANXIOUS TT sob.. sob..

    Btw any idea on himari soulmate (the silhouette boy figure) is it kanba or shoma o some random guy we dont know yet? just curious….

    • September 9, 2011 at 9:40 pmkaze

      Totally this!!! I want my ringo suspense scene continuance that I have been waiting a week for!!

  • September 9, 2011 at 8:52 amddt

    The three girls are also in the ED.

  • September 9, 2011 at 9:28 amPanino Manino

    Best anime of the Year.

  • September 9, 2011 at 10:09 amdeafvader

    No Shouma continiuation? Pulled a BakaTest.
    This ep brings a new meaning to life flashing before your eyes when you are dying. I take the library as gateway to afterlife. With books being memories/emotions and the long queue of people in the library giving away their “this life” for the next. (Japanese reincarnation??)
    Guess since Himari is always sick and near death all the time she could see the Penguins (Puttis?????) which could be shinigamis?
    I think there might be some really important reason which is to be kept secret on why Himari had to leave school. If it is sickness, someone would pick her up but she is alone. And it seems like the WHOLE school is looking at her. Not one person or a small group. And throwing the eraser…. could be chasing her away? maybe she did something or was framed??

    Anyway I am betting that 1 of the idol is the rich girl (the red head current antagonist).

    P.S. Anyone thinks that Ringo’s torn diary could have came from the central library Annex? Her sister’s Momoka’s death somehow connects Ringo to the library.

  • September 9, 2011 at 10:38 amHomura

    Why is Sanetoshi hyper-feminine? 2 words: Lily Hoshino. Mwaa haa haa!!!

  • September 9, 2011 at 11:23 amGuardian Enzo

    Here’s Super Frog Saves Tokyo, if anyone’s interested. Murakami is an amazing writer, and this sort of reaffirms the connection to the Kobe earthquake and the Tokyo sarin attacks.

    It’s exhausting watching this series. I love smart, literary anime – but getting anything from Ikuhara is like getting blood from a stone. It’s cool that you need reference websites just to follow all the references and allusions in a series – but should you?

    • September 9, 2011 at 11:48 amStuff

      • September 9, 2011 at 11:51 amStuff

        sorry that was meant to be a normal comment. and to reply to your comment.. I think these type of series are a treat for those who get the allusions, references, and symbolism, or for those who enjoy digging around for them.

      • September 9, 2011 at 4:09 pmHomura

        @Stuff, that’s really cool, thanks!

      • September 10, 2011 at 5:27 amalabaster

        nice find.xD

  • September 9, 2011 at 11:23 amren

    As if this show wasn’t great enough, this episode was superb. The pacing, the music, Himari. My heartstrings were pulled and I remembered I’m not a robot!

  • September 9, 2011 at 11:34 amdxb_blackwolf

    Isn’t this anime kinda overrated. The only episodes I liked so far were the last two..

  • September 9, 2011 at 12:49 pmMyna

    Who else got Utena vibes when Himari was in the elevator?

  • September 9, 2011 at 2:30 pmx

    New characters, confusing scenes and lots of looking back into the past. Nothing much have changed. In terms of time line, virtually no time has pass. Still, this was a good episode, specially when compared with previous episodes. Himari still annoys me for some reason. I was looking forward to dropping this anime if this episode didn’t give me a reason to continue watching. Argh, I guess I’ll continue to torture myself watching this.

  • September 9, 2011 at 3:08 pmlialiakicks

    Show Spoiler ▼

    But regardless of the interesting symbolism, I absolutely loved this episode. We finally know who the two idols are! Definitely wasn’t expecting the person in the opening with pink hair to be a man, but then again Touga was also disgustingly beautiful so whatev~ ;)

  • September 9, 2011 at 3:33 pmRickyMack

    second the Hunter Hearst Helmsly reference

  • September 9, 2011 at 4:16 pmKamion

    That was easily the best episode of the season. No competition here.

  • September 9, 2011 at 5:10 pmSeishun Otoko

    Yes, a Ringo-less episode… What a breath of fresh air!
    Can we even call this Himari’s back story? Everything is such a mess but I’m still loving it ;D

  • September 9, 2011 at 5:44 pmSanaki

    Finally, no more Ringo!!! My Penguindrum has returned!!!!

    Incidentally, both of Ringo’s ex-friends are named after famous singers:
    Utada Hikari –> Utada Hikaru (most people will get this one, I think)
    Isora Hibari –> Misora Hibari (very famous enka singer, maybe not so well-known by anime fans?)

    • September 9, 2011 at 5:59 pmSeishun Otoko

      Incidentally (or maybe not), Hikki has mentioned that Misora Hibari is one of her favorite singers ;D

  • September 9, 2011 at 6:43 pmbluance

    The introduction of Sanetoshi was interesting, I sure didn’t get the deja vu effect till the end. Though the cliffhanger still continues, can’t wait!

  • September 9, 2011 at 8:53 pmClick

    I really love this series and loved the back story behind Himari and her friends (which I felt was quite touching), but I just couldn’t stop laughing when they brought up Triple H, since it just kept reminding me of the “pro” wrestler xD.

  • September 9, 2011 at 10:50 pmFadeway

    Himari is a bland and boring character, especially compared to Ringo, so this episode was much needed. I still prefer my weekly Ringo goodness though.

  • September 9, 2011 at 11:37 pmr0llchan

    vocare ad regnum!

    yeah, good thing Hunter (Triple H) wasn’t there! :D

    at lest this episode has no Ringo, which is a relief. hehe. although, she again returns to episode 10. :-(

  • September 10, 2011 at 1:07 amKurisu Vi Britannia

    The pink-haired girl is actually a GUY!?

    -_- Shit just wrinkled my brain.

  • September 10, 2011 at 3:17 amKurisu Vi Britannia

    The only thing I think of when someone mentions Triple H is the Hentai series lol.

    • September 10, 2011 at 10:36 amKabayongtao

      How about the wrestler? :D

  • September 10, 2011 at 3:51 ammac65

    I suspect this series is a re-watch after we reach the end to see how all of the pieces fit together.
    It’s very engaging right now.

    I almost thought the narration in her dream was leading to a brocom for her and that Watase Sanetoshi
    represented her brother (I thought I saw a resemblance, but I could be wrong). Especially just before
    she woke, it looked like a kiss was about to happen in her dream?

    I’m puzzled by many scenes in her dream – the eraser, the students watching her walk away,
    the Penguins, the Apple, etc.

    Unlike Gosick where each arc resulted in a complete piece of a larger puzzle, it seems that
    these arcs are inter-woven and themselves are incomplete. We learn more, but not enough
    for a any type of solid conclusion.

  • September 10, 2011 at 5:39 amalabaster

    The fact that 3-chan was already marked was probably because Himari was merely dreaming this whole time. The episode was about what really happened to her in episode 1, and probably at that time, the penguin she saw was not marked. The only reason 3-chan was marked in her dream because her subconscious is already aware of that penguin in the present and associates it to her dream.

    Also, I bet it was her mystery boy she met in the concentration camp that threw that eraser. Couldn’t have been the rest of the triple-H since the window was obviously closed.

  • September 10, 2011 at 1:49 pmIron Chocobo

    So, who’s this?

  • September 10, 2011 at 3:28 pmHomura

    Everyone keeps asking why 3chan has a number in the flashback/dream. Assuming these penguins have vertical elevators (that take you into another space that isn’t contiguous), can’t they have lateral portals that take you to another time? I don’t mean this to literally explain how marked 3chan showed up in the past, but if time and space can clearly fold back on itself as in Ringo enacts Momoka’s past in her present, can’t penguins travel through the folds?

    Too much? Do we know whether in this timeline the sarin attacks happened on the day Ringo was born, or instead are they going to happen in a past that hasn’t happened until these kids mess with their fates?

  • September 10, 2011 at 4:31 pmBored Person

    Some character always winds up in the hospital each episode :3

  • September 10, 2011 at 7:21 pmshika

    finally! The only “ringo” in this episode is a fruit and we got to see another side of Himari.

    But I wanted to no more though. Can’t wait for the next one!

  • September 11, 2011 at 3:47 amnanci

    Why do i feel that the mysterious boy may be the “friend” of Shoma and Kanba in the episode 1? That said that Ringo was very cute ? Or in the episode 2 The one who was delaying Shoma on the subway when he was going to follow Ringo?
    His face didn’t appear, okay he is a minor character but Ringo’s friends are too and Kanba exs, the doctor ? They appeared like in one episode and we sure saw their faces. Most of them got some lines and their faces are shown why just this “friend” Yamashita doesn’t?

    That is my opiniom but now i am confused. Went to animelist to see his name and Mario Natsume is listed as the blonde kid and he has the same surname of Masako …. >_____<;;;;

    Or guess 3 Sanetoshi is the mysterious boy? Kinda doubt but let's see :)

    • September 11, 2011 at 7:32 pmnico

      Mario Natsume is Himari’s soulmate (as hinted in his VA’s blog) and there’s a chance he’s also the blond kid with the penguin hat (though this is not confirmed).

  • September 12, 2011 at 10:13 amAlien

    i think the two girls, Hikari and Hibari, did the application behind her back, because the flashback they looked guilty, and little Himari looked like she didn’t know anything walking out of school.

  • September 12, 2011 at 2:51 pmjebnemo

    Have I missed it all this time, or has someone mentioned what appear to be vials of liquid that appear at about 2:06 in the OP? More symbolism? Something for Himari?

  • September 14, 2011 at 8:23 pmBilly D

    You guys realized this is a flashback, right? Going back to episode 1 and “looking forward” from the lost-H (himari’s) point of view.

    Well played.

  • September 16, 2011 at 1:42 pmpokpokza

    I love this ep bc i want to learn about her pass as well

  • September 23, 2011 at 2:49 pmLunafloon

    Did anyone else but me notice Threetie/Number 3 sleeping on what looks like a pink book?

    I’m thinking either one of the books from the Libary Annex (more likely) or the other half of Ringo’s fate diary.

    • September 23, 2011 at 2:50 pmLunafloon

      Okay, nevermind, just checked the pictures again and you see her take it in the box with her, oops!
      Still, maybe it’s evidence that their dreams were connected, since I don’t remember her having the book before now…