「嘘つき姫」 (Usotsuki Hime)
“False Princess”

Isn’t it about time they rename this series “Momoka Penguindrum”? It seems like just about everyone is hung up about Ringo’s deceased sister and every subsequent person has it progressively worse than the last. Lesbians? I really didn’t think this was that kind of show. That sneaky Ikuhara, what exactly is he trying to pull here with one girl drugging another so that she can have her way with her, rope and all? All I see is some kinky and arguably alluring fan-service, which comes as a bit of a surprise because I thought they blew the entire episode budget on animating Yuri’s shiny sports car. However, it turns out they left just enough to show what a cougar will resort to when she can’t control her urges any longer.

There was a fair bit going on in this episode, starting with the revelation that Tsubasa’s actually a woman and sleeping with Yuri as a poor substitute for Momoka. The sight of that had me wondering if Tsubasa was the mysterious motorcyclist with the other half of the diary, but as the episode went on, it became more and more apparent that it was the number one suspect, Yuri. Now I’ll have to admit that I was a bit confused by some of the comments in previous episodes, where people believed Masako was on the motorcycle and Yuri called Ringo at the hospital to get the remaining half, because I was thinking of the reverse the entire time. There was some mention about how Masako couldn’t have been retrieving the diary from Ringo while she was lying in wait for Kanba in the basement, but it was pretty clear that Masako didn’t know where the other half is, so my lingering suspicion has always been that Yuri was on the motorcycle. Well, we got confirmation of it here, and amazingly enough, it still paled into comparison with all the other developments that came with it.

There’s no shortage to twists and turns in Mawaru Penguindrum it seems, because as soon as one thing is cleared up, I’m left with a pile of other things to try and make sense of. Mention of Yuri’s first love before confiding in Momoka made it sound like she might’ve had a fated encounter with Sanetoshi years ago, even though my prevailing suspicion is that our librarian’s first love was Momoka. (Everything seems to stem from her after all.) Then there’s the cruel game of sorts that Sanetoshi is playing with Himari’s life, making Kanba take on more questionable jobs from guys in black trench coats. In the latter case, the only thing that doesn’t come as too much of a surprise is Kanba’s sister complex, which didn’t faze him even after Masako got straight to the point about what a lot of viewers (myself included) have been thinking. At this point, it’s probably safe to assume that everyone’s vying for the diary because Sanetoshi promised them something in return for retrieving it, but the question still remains on whether Masako’s advances toward Kanba have any direct connection to saving Mario. It seems like a character-focused subplot to make things more interesting — much like Himari’s worries about what Hikari and Hibari think of her and Ringo’s feelings for Shouma — but I haven’t ruled out the possibility that everything’s connected by “fate”.

The only thing that I found somewhat strange is how Shouma distanced himself from Ringo because he feels responsible for Momoka’s death. If that were the case and he sincerely feels that he can never apologize enough, one would think he’d continue to be her friend if that’s what she truly wants. Clearly, Ringo doesn’t blame him for what his parents did, and Shouma’s making it harder on her by not wanting to see her anymore, so I wonder if I should just chalk this up to how dense Shouma is about a girl’s feelings (like Kanba always says). Either that, or some misguided frustration over the chain of misfortune that’s befallen on his family. If it’s neither of those, I can only really see this as something for his own sake, as Ringo is a painful reminder of the guilt he feels. I gather that’s the case, judging from how Ringo said she hasn’t considered Shouma’s feelings, which is kind of messed up. If anyone should be feeling apologetic, it should be Shouma. Anyway, I definitely want to see what becomes of their relationship, especially now that Yuri’s made a stake on Ringo.

* Full-length images: 02, 17, 29, 32, 35.
* I don’t know why I forgot to mention it originally, but yes, I do think that Yuri is either a hermaphrodite or a transsexual.


ED4 Sequence

ED4: 「Bad News 黒い予感」 (Bad News Kuroi Yokan) by トリプルH (Triple H)
Watch the 4th ED!: Streaming ▼

Preview & End Card


  1. Wow, you go Yuri. Seriously, that was some nice stuff at the end. As usual, Penguindrum remains a steady stream of intelligent fun and quality entertainment week after week. And while it may be very premature to say this, I’m still willing to say this may be the anime of year, or even the decade.

      1. Eh, you’re probably right :P. So far Fate/Zero has been practically unstoppable, and Guilty Crown is one of very, very few 2-cour noitaminA series. But whether or not Penguindrum gets overtaken, I have no doubt that Ikuhara can make a fantastic series out of this.

    1. LOL I assumed it was because she was like, 10 (or younger) and he’s clearly older. She may have been in love with Tabuki at the time (does the diary imply this?), or Yuri, or just not mature enough to feel in love with anybody? Or maybe she just didn’t fancy him? A strange guy going up to you in a massive deserted library would probably send off paedo vibes and scare the hell out of most people, not act as an aphrodisiac hehe Interestingly, I feel his interests in Momoka are no more love than Ringo’s for Tabuki: he was so surprised to find someone who could experience the world remotely like himself that he attached onto that person regardless of whether he got on with them

      Besides, I guess they’d have totally different philosophical approaches to fate. Or maybe they just weren’t ‘fated’? Curious, though…

  2. Well, it is Ikuhara. If you’ve seen Utena, then you’ll know that he’s quite a fan of cars and lesbians. There’s been a lot of Utena stuff in this show as of late, to be honest. I’m not a huge fan of this drugging and tying up and non consensual rape though. It’s really bugging me and it’s pretty gross in its own way. Shouma’s actions in this episode really irritated me, and I kind of wanted to punch him in the face; just because you have your own deep insecurities doesn’t mean you get to shove them onto others, and he was being a jerk. Hopefully he’ll get over his ignorance and ridiculousness and come to see the light of his ways.

    There is speculation of Yuri being a hermaphrodite based on her comments of the ‘secrets’ of her body. Knowing how far this show has gone with certain aspects, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least. I’m not sure what Natsume is up to in regards to Kanba, and what Kanba is doing with these shady men, but it sure is going to bite him back when he’s done. As she said pretty accurately, he’s teetering on a cliff, and I’m curious as to what will be the final push- another sacrifice of his life, or of monetary gain? I’m also intrigued by the whole Triple-M subplot. But most of all, I hope Mawaru Penguindrum can wrap up all of these storylines in 10 episodes; they keep adding more strings, which is no problem, and then tying them with other strings, but that can lead to a lot of loose ends if not handled properly. Then again, this is Ikuhara, so I don’t really have that many doubts…at least, not yet.

    1. Hmm, I don’t know why I forgot to mention it in my post, but the first thing that came to mind is that Yuri’s a transsexual when Tsubasa said what she did. Mention that her marriage with Keiju seems to suggest as much too. However, her little monologue at the end about how Momoka knew the truth and still thought she was beautiful seems to imply that she’s a hermaphrodite.

      1. Also, the idea that she will give Ringo ‘a body that cannot live without her’ leads me to think that she might impregnate Ringo? I don’t know. This is all so very messed up.

    2. Oh Yuri you cheating wife.

      Just having an affair with Tsubasa is not enough. Now you got to have Ringo as the main dish too.
      Lol, stalker/attempted-rapist Ringo is about to get raped by Yuri (lesbian/possible transexual). For some strange reason, I hope it doesn’t happen..

      Anyhow, this series sure is one big massive drama combo ride. Combo Fabulous MAX!!

      Food for thought: If Yuri is a hermaphrodite, did Keiju knew before marrying her?

      1. I agree about hoping it doesn’t happen.. I liked how she finally stopped obsessing and started to really care for Shouma. I like the ShoumaxRingo pair, so the whole rape thing doesn’t work out for me

  3. I’m pretty sure that Yuri’s first love was Momoka.

    Also, why are you surprised that Tsubasa’s a woman? The theater company Yuri is part of is a very thinly veiled expy of the all female Takarazuka troupe.

    1. Yuri told Ringo that most first loves don’t work out and that she had someone like that. She also said Momoka is first person that new about her secret and still thought she was beautiful, which to me suggests that it happened after her first failed love.

  4. Hopefully 10 episodes are enough for Tabuki’s crazy reveal (can there be any doubt that he also has a crazy secret), and perhaps a little more concerning Masako, before we push the plot to a climax and resolution.

    1. OFF TOPIC: Divine, do you only post things after the subs are released?

      I just watched Last Exile raw a while ago — It was awesome btw — and I’m waitin’ for it to show up here xD

      1. I don’t wait for subs no, but the other writers have to. (Enzo will be the one covering Last Exile.)

        It just so happens that my posts have been coming out after subs because I don’t get home from work until 7pm. As I mentioned in the Guilty Crown post, the notoriety of beating out subs has worn thin as well, given that 1.) fan subs are generally fast and 2.) a lot of shows are simulcast.

    1. Just being a lesbian is enough to hurt an actor like Yuri, how many Lesbian actresses in hollywood do you know about off the top of your head? She doesn’t have to be a tranny or anything like that, simply being a lesbian is enough to scar a famous women,

      Also the part about teaching Ringo so she can’t be without her is the typical NTR/Rape bit we get in Hentai time and time again. She figures through simple extreme pleasure that Ringo won’t be able to live without more of that “good feeling”.

      Using the rope might just show that she’s into some hard S&M and it’s her “dirty/dark” side and not that she’s got a penis between her legs which, IMO, there’s no reason to think that at this point.

  5. Can’t agree more with you. Shouldn’t Shouma try to make up for Ringo’s losses if he’s suffering from guilt? His reasoning for being such a dickhead doesn’t quite add up and he was portrayed to be quite a considerate kid.
    I didn’t find the penguin skits as funny this week and maybe it’s healthier for No.1 to develop some sexual interest in his own species too ;P

    Seishun Otoko
  6. Well that ended badly. One more show dropped…
    Ikuhara huh.
    I have to agree with ‘I thought they blew the entire episode budget on animating Yuri’s shiny sports car.’I thought it was cool but unecessary as was the lesbian and date-rape scenes:(
    Divine spelling ‘The’ 2nd par.

    P3t3r P4n
  7. So it was a Jaaaaag. I thought it mighy have been an Aston Martin DBS until I saw the front grill. Probably an XF-R since it looks just like a DB9.

    Tsubasa: No don’t leave

    Yuri: Sorry but I’m leaving, in my Jaaaaaag.

    Tsubasa: OK

  8. I think she’s just gay. Her actress lover in the beginning said, “You can only share this feeling with another woman”, so…yea. Though her comments on beauty also raise the possibility of some kind of disfiguring mark/scar. We still don’t know how Tabuki got those massive scars of his during his early childhood after all…

    But, this is Penguindrum. Yuri could end up being a space alien and I wouldn’t be surprised. It seriously gets crazier every episode.

      1. They were like how old when Momoka died? Ten years old or something? No transsexual is that young. Transgender maybe, but Yuri self-identifies unambiguously as a woman, so…I’m just assuming its some form of disfigurement, possibly linked to Tabuki’s hand scar.

  9. My money is on:

    (1) Momoka being the spirit of the Penguin hat. Notice how the only people who have witnessed the Survival Strategy sequence are the only main characters who would be unable to recognize Momoka’s personality because they’ve never met her?

    (2) Momoka being Sanetoshi’s mysterious “first love.” After all, she is everyone else’s, so it’s easy to assume she really was “special” and more akin to Sanetoshi than anyone else. And remember that the scene he talked about her in featured a short-haired young girl… probably of the same age Momoka was when she died.

    (3) The black suited men (who loan money to Kanba) being part of the terrorist group his mother and father supposedly led. They only meet on trains… The terrorist attacks took place on trains… Yeah, you see the connection.

    (4) Yuri just being a lesbian, as her name implies. She was probably just an ugly duckling in elementary school, and still considers that to be her “true form,” beautiful only to Momoka.

    And yeah, I agree with the other comments that say Momoka was Yuri’s first love. Yuri’s first love disappeared/didn’t work out. Momoka died… great way to disappear/make relationships impossible.

    1. I’m thinking the series should be called “There’s something about Momoka” – whomever she touches seems so affected, I can’t help but wonder if that isn’t an actual power of hers- and whether she might even think it a bit of a curse.

      The hat might be Momoka today, but I have a hard time thinking the Hat Entity that comes up with rather X-rated stuff is the same personality as the sweet, innocent-as-Tohru-Honda Momoka of flashbacks…

  10. I got a bad vibe from the preview at the end. “Is she really gone?” and something about a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. I said it last week but I’ll say it again: those ampules (which might be made from Momoka’s blood) could be changing Himari into someone new — Momoka? Hope it isn’t so, would hate to lose our Himari!

  11. I was wondering when Lesbianism would show up, since this is Ikuhara we’re talking about, and I also thought it was interesting that’s Yuri’s name is well you get the point, I liked this episode except for Shouma’s increased self-hatred at taking it out by rejecting Ringo, mostly because I wanted them to end up together

    Der Fur Shur
  12. Alluring kinky fan-service?

    She’s going to get RAPED. And not rape, ‘ha ha, hey I like this’ rape, but like rape RAPE.

    In fact even if it is ‘Ha ha, hey I like this’, the point is, this series won’t be funny anymore. Throw as many penguins at me as you want, if it happens, well…don’t you think this show will be less entertaining and more like “Oh god get it over with, please I don’t want to watch anymore.”

    1. I really think this came up way, way, way too fast. There was no warning in ANY of the previous episodes. Yuri just turned out to be a crazy rapist… and somehow I doubt the show will cover Ringo’s recovery.

  13. I don’t believe Yuri is an intersex, but rather a bisexual with some severe emotional and mental scars. Tabuki seems to have the more physical variety, but I’m definitely not counting out the possibility he has some issues too, considering Yuri, he and Momoka were all schoolmates.

    I was rather surprised Kamba didn’t react more strongly when Masako flat-out threw his siscom in his face, but then that’s what makes it so interesting. It’s like he’s accepted how twisted his love for Himari is and doesn’t care.

    My impression of Shouma was that he acted that way towards Ringo because, while he blames himself and Kamba for her sis’s death, he’s also hurting from the unfairness that’s befallen his family, so he’s dealing w/ things childishly (i.e. removing the object of his guilt – Ringo – from his life so it’s easier to numb himself out).

    My final theory is concerning Mr. Pinkette, Sanetoshi. In the end, even he will be shown to have a sympathetic/pitiful backstory involving his unrequited love for the “other one like him.”

    Can. Not. WAIT to see how this all ends. I want this series to get licensed, hopefully eve dubbed, ASAP!!

  14. Wow, Yuri has just reached a new level of fabulous max…
    Also, I don’t know if anyone has noticed this and I’m just slow, but the lyrics from the op the way I see it seem to be spoken from Momoka’s point of view during the terrorist attack and perhaps it maybe an indication that Momoka’s presence is indeed still around whether it’s in the hat or not. Just a thought.

  15. I’m not mad at Shouma and he shouldn’t have to apologize. He saved her life from drowning, saved her life when she nearly got run over, stopped her from attempting to rape innocent man, and had to suffer with having a frog on his back.

    Ringo should be the one apologizing for making him endure her shit. Especially after beating him the episode after he got out of the episode when she attempted to rape the same innocent man once again.

    Shoma gets all the sympathy from me and Ringo gets none. Especially when people defend Ringo.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. THIS! Honestly, people keep forgetting what Ringo put him through, and all the humiliation (the frog incident), plus all of Ringo’s unethical actions Shouma had to stop.

      I’m not saying Shouma is a perfect gentleman, but siding with Ringo and dissing Shouma while demanding an apology is a bit too much.

      Ringo has no smpathy from me either.

  16. I can undestand Shoma’s reaction but guess he needed a little more tact. Besides Ringo was acting way too happy, of course he was going to be mad. But still, I feel a little sorry for her about the whole Yuri deal but I guess it’s karma striking back at her for trying to rape Tabuki. Yuri, well I kinda suspected either her or Tabuki were the mysterious rider but I wasn’t expecting two things. 1) Tsubasa being female and 2) Yuri being lesbian/intersex (not even sure which of those is correct).

    About Momoka, I’m suspecting she’s Sanetoshi’s first love and the original owner of the penguin hat. Since Ringo remembered going to the aquarium, probably their parents took Momoka there before and she met Sanetoshi there. And then some weird thing happened and she ended up as the penguin hat but without memories or something. Nah, I really don’t know what to think anymore. I’ll be waiting for the next episode

  17. Fridge Horror: Realizing that it is implied that elementary school Momoka and Yuri where in a relationship that made Yuri lust after Momoka so much that now as an adult she is raping her sister that is a ‘carbon copy’ of her.

  18. I think about what satenoshi said about a girl who is just like him (probably Momoka )half of story with many mystery left. Want to know more about subway incident! the mystery make this anime he best and the red rope of fate remind me of Madoka megica ( hope this wont go tragedy in the end )

  19. I kind of figured who took the diary but i was not expecting the whole ending scene. that was a twist. To the point, I do have a feeling that Yuri could be a hermaphrodite based on how she was talking about her body. but im not quite sure. either way this show is def getting better and better each episode but also more confusing and some wtf moments. Not that i blame the directors or anything but i do adore the creatots of Utena. So this will be a series that i will stop watching until the series ends.

    Side note: i hope this series doesn’t get too serious or to depressing.

  20. this is just messed up! I really hated this episode, I can’t believe how mean Shouma can be with Ringo. If she was mad at him and his family she would have said that to him. And I always liked Ringo. Because of her sceaming of how to make Tabuki love her, I always finded that hilarious and a little disturbing at the same time. But this is going over the line! I really hope someone comes and stop’s Yuri before she can rape Ringo

  21. ..I am the only one that thinks the person Sanetoshi found similar to him is Yuri, and Yuri rejected him for Momoka? Probably not. Eh. That idea just niggles in my brain so I may as well throw it out there for being torn to tiny little pieces.

  22. I found it quite odd that Momoka and Yuri were both robed while soaking at the onsen ryokan. Maybe they had drawn Momoka robed to kind of disguise the hint there with Yuri. Definitely points to something going on with Yuri’s gender or a disfigurement on her body.


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