「死なない男」 (Shinanai Otoko)
“The Man who Won’t Die”

Rock Over Japan! It feels like ages since I heard that song (nine episodes in fact). It’s just too bad this episode didn’t confirm or deny my interpretation of what happened to Yuri. Instead, it raised some new questions, the biggest of which was, “What the heck did I just watch?” Mawaru Penguindrum never fails to get stranger every week, as a trip down memory lane for Masako was so utterly random that I found myself laughing helplessly by the end of it. Even now, I laugh just thinking about Masako’s straight-faced response to Sanetoshi about how it’s “quite certainly” numbing — another translation of “shibireru”. I don’t even know if that was intended to be as funny as it was to me, but hearing Horie Yui’s unfazed voice while Masako was about to die from pufferfish (i.e. fugu) poisoning was golden. Her deadpan delivery made it one of the funniest moments this season.

By now, it’s probably safe to assume that we won’t see a single “normal” character in this show, but Masako’s grandfather, Natsume Sahei (Kawada Shinji) is definitely up there with the rest of the oddballs. After all the twisted developments as of late, I’m just happy that they decided to portray him in a comedic tone. Masako’s dreams about killing her grandfather could have easily been a lot darker, but were instead purposely silly with all of the foreigner’s English outbursts. While I didn’t find any of those scenarios terribly funny, I did enjoy the ridiculousness that the repetitive screenplay added, as well as the anticlimactic conclusion where Masako’s grandfather kills himself like an idiot. There’s little question that emphasizing Sahei’s idiocy and showing how Masako’s just as stupid is exactly what they were going for, so most of the episode played out really well in my view. It was quirky randomness at its finest, much like “Himari” turning the camera on Masako’s maid Renjaku (Nakahara Mai) and making it into a gravure shoot.

Amidst all the goofiness, there was — surprise, surprise — some resemblance of a plot line this week. I’m not sure what to make of Sahei’s revival in Mario, but mention of how the black coats whom Kanba deals with are responsible for the death of Masako’s father and how they’re the “chosen ones” who are trying to correct the world seems to suggest that Sanetoshi wants to make some changes of his own using Momoka’s diary. For all we know, it could be that everyone’s pasts are messed up because Momoka’s changes twisted their fates in unexpected ways. Either that, or the world is still twisted in Sanetoshi’s eyes and he believes that he can make it “better”. I have no idea what that would entail, but I can picture things working toward an ending where all the characters — including Momoka — wind up in a world very unlike the messed up one that we know now.

* Ringo is Shouma’s stalker now? How cute.
* Can they really not be bothered to get another seiyuu to voice the Kanba when he’s a kid? It sounds so messed up hearing Kimura Subaru’s deep voice.


ED5 Sequence

ED5: 「イカレちまったぜ!!」 (Ikarechimatta ze!!) by トリプルH (Triple H)
Watch the 5th ED!: Streaming ▼

Preview & End Card


    1. Additional thoughts:
      1) The American voice was hilarious.
      2) I knew Renjaku sounded familiar. Haven’t heard Nakahara Mai’s voice in quite some time.
      3) I’m predicting that Masako, Kanba, Himari and Mario won’t make it out of this series alive, save for Ringo (or someone else) doing a timeline reset somehow.

      Also, FWIW: I’m not sure what was up with child Kanba’s voice in this episode, because we have heard Kimura Subaru voice him a little bit higher in flashbacks. Perhaps it had something to do with the flashbacks being from Masako’s point of view?

  1. bishojo behind the glass… lol gotta love the grandpa which masako spend so much time to killing but instead he end up killing himself. i also do wish they put gray Wednesday as ending theme

  2. I half expected Himari to say “Yoi dewa nai ka. Yoi dewa nai ka” (Or however you spell that phrase).

    Poor family members with no faces… I suppose at the very least they do exist, unlike some other series where the parents don’t even get mentioned. Absolutely the best use of “Engrish” in anime EVER.

    Kimura Subaru not even “attempting” a younger Kanba voice made me lol.

    1. Dam, do not go there. If you do, then it explains why Kanba knew Masako when they were young. Kanba/Masako’s dad is a player.
      If they share the same mum then that means KanbaXHimari is not as incest as MasakoXKanba.
      Interesting how Grandpa posses Mario’s body. Mario is Mario only when hat is on.

      1. That’s an interesting point… though I’d say Kanba X adoptive sibling you’ve lived with your whole life (as a sibling) and Kanba X genetic sibling you’ve also known for ages (not as a sibling) would both be equally weird in different ways. It’s not just the genetic part that makes a sibling, it’s the growing up together: most people I know who’ve grown up with adoptive siblings would not consider it less weird to ‘get together’ because they’re not technically related!

  3. This show has always been weird, yet i keep loving it. But it has to be the first time i am having such a long ,’WTF is going on moment’!
    Kid Kanba really disturbed me too but it is on purpose they did it as we heard their kids voice like 3 eps ago or so…I just dont get why and probably never will lol. I guess the good thing with this series is when you expect it cant get any odder, it actually does. I wonder how it will end for them all.

  4. there is thin red line between genius and insanity, and this show is crossing the line twice, and then starts to jump the rope using the line, all the while singing happily 😛
    stop this train, erm, anime i’m getting out! /sarcasm off 😛
    Anyway, we now have no less than 4 groups vying for the diary: Himari and her bros, Masako and her brother, Yuri, and finally Ringo (and her deceased sister?) while the pink haired bishonen with his black rabbit flunkies seems to manipulate at least 2 of the factions. We can as well enjoy the insanity while it provides us fanservice.

  5. It’s just too bad this episode didn’t confirm or deny my interpretation of what happened to Yuri.

    Of course not because the scene with Yuri was left purposely ambiguous. We weren’t supposed to get the details.

    Ringo is Shouma’s stalker now? What the heck?

    It seems a lot of people missed the point of that scene or are taken it too literally. Let me ask you think did Ringo ever call herself Tabuki’s stalker when she was actually stalking him? Who pointed out to her that she was stalking Tabuki in the first place? What Ringo said to Shouma was just a call back to that.

    But what Ringo is really saying is no matter what you say or think I am not going to give up on you. She is taking the negative word stalker and turning it into something positive.

      1. Thanks!

        Well I saw from different comments (not necessarily just here) that a lot of people didn’t get that line so I figure it doesn’t hurt to explain it even if I misinterpreted what you said. 🙂

    1. I agree I loved this entire episode. But I think Masako is my favorite character right now. Between that scene and her emotionless “Yes I have learned that lesson.” while dieing I couldn’t help but love this episode even more. And then the ending leaves me wanting to know what happens next.

    2. I was so happy to see this episode. I also appreciated the more honest ending to the episode after Masako’s fugu eat contest with her Granpa’s spirit. I feel like she does indeed love Sahei but certainly did like him as was terrified as to what sort of life Mario would have had being the Natsume successor. The unspoken “I wanted to here you say I love you” being as her and Sahei share so many personality traits makes sense to me.

      It also makes sense now why Kanba had the black trenchcoat’s look into Masako’s red penguin ball projectiles.

  6. An observation:
    Are the “links” between the “stations” in the eyecatch of any significance? They seem to link different “stations” together… possibly showing which episodes are connected to each other?

  7. Each new episode trumps the previous interms of sheer randomness and unpredictability. Given how most shows are rather straight-forward and predictable, Mawaru Penguindrum throwing curve-balls at the audience is quite a pleasant surprise.

  8. am I the only one who think the maid looks so much better (sexier) when she is forced to be taken those SM pictures? :3
    seems like we might start getting into the core of things as the black coats and that doc interact…
    and oh no, Ringo becomes a stalker again… :3 poor Shouma 🙂

    1. haha, I didn’t mean in a bad way. Ringo’s character certainly had a good change, and I do hope she and Shouma have a bigger part in all this. 🙂 more curry roll cabbage is always welcoming too :3

    2. I like the new Ringo – I think she makes it clear that in Shouma’s case saying she’s his stalker is more of an in-joke than a threat. She’s taking his feelings into account, and not doing all of the crazy stalker things that she did without hesitating before. I never thought I’d root for a stalker character, let alone one who could be as annoying as her, but damn Ikuhara knows how to turn his audience…

  9. I think the anime was much more interesting during the first half of the series, and took a turn for the worst with all this strange stuff.

    Nonetheless I’m not a picky anime watcher so I’ll enjoy it anyways.

    1. Well i was thinking along the lines of Kan Shu and Himari.. Like when the two had to run around looking for the book. I feel that the 3 gets less focus now and we’re focussing too much on supporting cast. I found the setting and story behind the 3 siblings was much more interesting

    1. I hope there would not come a day when I see a post on RC saying “Surprise!”
      You two are actually the one and the same person but just blogging using different styles/personalities…

      Well just joking, I am 100% sure it won’t happen. But it is still a scary thought.

  10. Too much awesomeness in this episode.

    Rock Over Japan with a funny Seizon Senryaku.
    nonsensical perfect sounding English.
    Deadpan humor.
    Irony showing that Masako isn’t much different from her grandfather in a few respects.

    Mawaru Penguindrum’s been too much of a blast so far. I have full faith that the last 3rd of the series will continue to only get crazier as it reaches its conclusion.

  11. I think the penguin hats are how the dead can posses the living. This episode show that Mario is by his grandfather and Himari is hinted to be by Momoka right? The two were powerful in a supernatural way so maybe that has something to do with it. Actually, I’m confused as to who is possessing Himari because Momoka didn’t seem to act that way from last episode. But if Sanetoshi’s first love was her then it seems like he is talking to her when he talks to the penguin hat here: https://randomc.net/image/Mawaru%20Penguindrum/Mawaru%20Penguindrum%20-%2013%20-%20Large%2020.jpg

    On a side note, I hope they explain what happened between Shouma and Ringo-chan next week

    1. …also. Not like Momoka? We barely know her. I get this very uncomfortable vibe here. Yuri’s father’s word’s ‘don’t trust nice people’ are clearly the way he cuts her off from the rest of the world. But he may be saying something true. Wouldn’t that be the ultimate mind screw, Momoka isn’t all that nice, at all.

      1. I’m probably wrong though because Mario wasn’t wearing the hat when he was possessed. I was trying to find a reason why the grandfather was able to possess him because it seemed so random.

        And yeah, it was disturbing that we didn’t get to see her much but last episode we saw how she treated Yuri which implies that she’s kind and hopefully not detached from the “real world”.

  12. Masako probably didn’t even know Kanba when he was a kid, that’s probably all in her imagination and that’s why he looks like teenage-kanba in smaller and has his normal voice – she can’t imagine him otherwise.

    I dunno.

    I loved this episode. After all the dark WTFery last episode this was really a great way to relieve that tension a bit.

  13. Mr. President watch out! The american(?) guy was hilarious though he failed to save him every time (in her imagination and reality).
    I enjoyed seeing Masako using the same lines that her grandfather used. They were so alike in the end. I think she did not keep the american guy with her in the company when she took it up, but who knows.

  14. Instead, it raised some new questions, the biggest of which was, “What the heck did I just watch?”

    Makes sense. Ikuhara’s works can’t really be understood unless you’ve done a lot of reading.

  15. “If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away.” Thoreau

    After a bit of thinking… I have a idea of what is happening. Penguins march… we all march to the beat of a different drum. If that is true… Then I think The Penguindrum moves from person to person. At some point Momoka comes to have it, uses it to save her childhood friend. Ringo has it the moment she is born, (Operation M I won’t spoil my idea here.) it passes from Ringo to Sho when he saves her from drowning. Sho in turns saves her from being hit by a car, it’s back once again with crazy stalker who decides to change her fate and stalke Sho. Her music (fate is changed)

    Himari’s fate is all based on illness and the Triple H failure, It’s possible the drum is a physical object for her, a small drum instrument decorated with penguins she played in Triple H that she has lost and her mind won’t let go until she ‘finds’ it. I believe her fate is tied to Mario in some way we dont’ know yet and Senetoshi.

    Kamba and his Ex-Girlfriend Masako both fight the fate of having siblings in the same crisis, and are willing to give up their (destiny or fate) to save them. They are aware of their parent’s mistakes and resent them, but will in the end turn out to be like them.

    Sho and Ringo are connected. Both feel lost to fate and feel overshadowed by someone more loved than they are. And struggle with shutting their eyes to the truth (the bombing for Sho and something ‘else’ to do with Himari and Kamba and Operation M for Ringo) Sho doesn’t feel he deserves to live and fate is seeking revenge, Ringo also for her being born the way she was. (Operation M) It’s no wonder her name means ‘apple’ And apples are everywhere in this anime.

    Yuri and Tabuki are connected by falling in love with the same person, Momoka. (guilt)

    So the layers of the show are finally coming together. I don’t believe anything is random. It’s nutty but makes sense. All are suffering some kind of mental anguish (break) and want the ‘drum’ or fate to spin around and change.

    Just my little take on it so far. I really enjoy your articles on this. HUGS Fuzzi~

  16. “What the heck did I just watch?”
    Pretty much how I feel. I just watch it for the sake of watching by now.
    And I’m sure someone has already mentioned it – though I haven’t been reading Mawaru’s randomc comments – I’m pretty sure Himari’s outfit is 18+.

  17. Divine, thank you so much for pointing out puns (like the “shibireru” one) that fansub groups don’t bother to translate. Speaking of which, if you can’t translate it in English, is it so ugly to put a note on top of the screen explaining the pun? Don’t want to start an argument though.

  18. Thanks for these reviews, Divine. I admit to being partial to reading reviews of any series I enjoy to savour the references I’ve missed and come across some interesting new opinions, and that’s never been more vital than with a series as weird and wonderful as Penguindrum! I look forward to seeing how this will all progress, and which of our crazy theories will turn out spot-on.

  19. I’ve been surfing on-line greater than three hours these days, yet I never discovered any interesting article like yours. It is lovely value enough for me. In my view, if all web owners and bloggers made just right content material as you probably did, the internet can be a lot more useful than ever before.

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