「許されざる者」 (Yurusarezaru Mono)
“Unforgiven Ones”

At first glance, this was the most straightforward and unambiguous episode in recent weeks. However, a closer look at some of the implications reveals that we’re really no closer to understanding what’s going on than we started. Questions continue to prop up, most of which surround Tabuki Keiju, who was reasonably forgiving of the Takakura siblings when talking to Yuri, yet pulled a 180 at the very end by setting his eyes on Himari.

I have no idea if he merely wanted to spare Yuri from the “dirty work” in their plan, but he does seem drawn to fate in his own way and didn’t simply have a change of heart after talking to her. If Keiju really has the same goal in mind, it’s probably safe to assume that he’s trying to bring Momoka back to this world using the diary. The question is, what does punishing Kanba, Shouma, and Himari get him? He doesn’t seem to share the same misdirected hate as Yuri, plus the Takakuras don’t have the other half of the diary, leaving “revenge” as the only motive that comes to mind. The episode title definitely suggests that it could be as simple as that, but I get the feeling there’s more to it after seeing Keiju use such a roundabout approach. Yuri I can see lashing out solely for revenge, since she made it very clear that she harbors a grudge. Keiju, not so much.

The other ongoing question pertains to the penguin drum itself. While it was nice to hear “Rock Over Japan” two weeks in a row, “Himari” continues to be coy about its true identity, only hinting that it lies with Kanba. (Shouma clearly isn’t needed.) One theory I have is that the diary is but a mere object to pit everyone in a life or death struggle, and the penguin drum embodies their fight against fate and desire to change it. One only obtains the “penguin drum” when they succeed in changing their loved one’s fate. It’s not a very concrete idea, but it does fit the notion that everyone’s unknowingly taking part in a cruel game that Sanetoshi is overseeing, where there will be a sole victor who’s allowed to reshape the world to their own “truth”. Their “truth” would likely include the people whom they want to be alive and none of the people whom they don’t — kind of like a zero-sum game. In order to regain what one’s lost, someone else has to suffer, which is sort of what we’re seeing now with “Himari’s” warning to Kanba and Shouma about how they’re going to lose big if they simply neglect the penguin drum.

As of late, the only straightforward portion of that plot are the constant projectile-filled encounters between Yuri and Masako. Seeing them continue to fight over the two halves of the diary is about the only thing that doesn’t continue to raise new questions, so I’m actually grateful that the story’s dumbed down when it comes to those two. I also prefer to see them bumping heads over messing around with Ringo and Kanba, since they’re a perfect match for one another — insults and all. Hopefully that paves way for more backstory on Tabuki next time, as I’d love to hear what his “fated take” on his scarred hand is. I can picture him getting his hand jammed in a train door while trying to rescue Momoka, but what I’d really like to see is a flashback that shows the Momoka tried to stop the Takakura’s Sarin gas attack.

* It may have been goofy-looking, but those penguins hacked up live octopuses like it was some gruesome execution. It’s not so pleasant when I imagine the real thing. I do love takoyaki though.
* I gather it’s only a matter of time before Kanba gets it on with Himari if she keeps stripping in front of him.
* I’ve joked in IRC about how the penguin hat will be a fetish in bedrooms before long, but there’s also a decent-looking cosplay outfit out there for those who want the “complete experience”.
* Full-length image: 25.

 

Preview & End Card

86 Comments

  1. This certainly was…something, wasn’t it?

    I hope we get to see more of Yuri and Masako’s fight, I want Yuri to win, but only by a little bit.

    It is worth noting that for all Yuri plans and fantasizes about things (raping Ringo, killing Himari), she’s notably bad at actually following through on them.

    Tabuki’s angle is still unknown. As for Sanetoshi, I feel that Himari not taking the medicine is probably not a bad idea…

    Fencedude
    1. How is she bad? We saw in the opening two or three episodes ago that Ringo WANTED her to go through with it. The only reason she didn’t is because Shouma stumbled in on them. Plus, she was arranging a second night of sex with Ringo this episode. As for killing Himari, not enough time has passed for her to do anything.

      revolution everlution that's me
      1. Huh? Raping Ringo would be bad, but I didn’t say that Yuri was bad. Yuri’s probably the most damaged character in the show (pending information about Tabuki, but his past would have to be a real doozy to beat Yuri’s), but she’s not been shown to actually go through with anything particularly terrible. Unlike Masako who did wipe the memories of at least four girls, that we know of.

        I do agree that Yuri would be more than happy to sleep with Ringo, but I’m assuming she’d actually wait for consent this time.

        Fencedude
      2. You’re reading way too much into Ringo’s response to Yuri’s second invitation for a ‘girls-nite’. Ringo gave a very Japanese response, in that she gave a very un-enthusiastic yes. Japanese hate to say no so they will say ‘sorta-yes’ which means no.

        However, accepting her invitation for dinner was kinda odd.

        Scruffy
      3. Actually in reference to that here’s the relevant line from the novel

        Show Spoiler ▼

        Scruffy
      4. Scruffy, by “Ringo wanted to do it” I meant she told Shouma over the phone she was about to do things he “couldn’t even dream of.” She was wide awake when Yuri was about to touch her. That’s why I said two or three episodes ago.

        revolution everlution that's me
      5. I see. Two points against that. One, I don’t know if Ikuhara decided to go with the novel’s idea on that. A lot of things in the Utena manga were very different from the anime. Two, it would be strange for Ringo to know what was happening during the act (when she called Shouma) only to forget it later. I don’t think spiked drinks work like that. It would take her blocking the memory out of her own mind, wouldn’t it?

        revolution everlution that's me
      6. The chapter that relates to Ep 17 is almost word for word. Its very interesting in that you get to hear what the characters are thinking, particularly Ringo. In reference to how date-rape drugs work, about the only thing I know (having no experience in them of course!) is that they effect your judgement and memory.

        If you want to check out the relevant chapter of the book it’s here . The person who is translating them is Good Haro

        Scruffy
      7. That spiking someone’s drink and then attempting sex whilst their defenses are down constitutes rape isn’t in debate legally. And it’s known that the drugs preferred can have varied, complex effects, not just merely passing out – they can be sedative, hypnotic, dissociative (including loosening inhibitions – just think of alcohol alone) and amnesiac.

        Yes, Ringo talked to Shouma on the phone (in what I thought was a rather fatalistic way – she certainly didn’t seem like she was looking forward to a lovely bit of fun!), but as we can see, she wasn’t exactly using her hands. It was probably a ruse by Yuri to tease Shouma, a way for Ikuhara to show that Shouma cared enough about Ringo to rush over and stop her from doing something he thinks she would regret, and give a reason for Yuri to hesitate and change her mind. And since Ringo passes out not long afterwards and doesn’t remember what happened, I’d be hard pressed to say a young girl spiked and bound by someone she didn’t seem to contemplate sex with before, and minutes away from passing out from the drugs, was in a state of mind capable of consenting to sex.

        Besides, if Ikuhara wanted to portray the sex as consensual Yuri wanted to have consensual sex, why drug the drink in the first place? Without wanting to have an unpleasant debate on what constitutes rape, I think it safe to say that anything that differs from the typical scenario of date rape in this fictional representation, is there to further the plot, rather than invalidate the idea that Yuri would be willing to rape.

        Minnako
  2. Like Divine said, the ‘Penguindrum’ is most probably a metaphorical goal, something intangible. I’ve got a feeling that the ‘Penguidrum’ that they have to obtain is in fact their own fate. It could be compared to the Holy Grail in Fate/Zero as an object which ensures their survival or wish.

    Hrmmmm
    1. An extension of this theory could suggest that the plot lines (symbolised by the rail tracks in the eye catches) of all the characters are in a state of flux.

      Ep9 “The answers probably lie at the destination of fate”
      Ep13 “I want to find out whether the concept of fate exists in this world”

      This could all be a faux world that Sanetoshi made up just to play his game. That bastard.

      Hrmmmm
  3. It definitely is interesting seeing people expressing their own interpretation of what is “right” or in this case it’s labeled “truth.” I guess that’s what Satenoshi was referring to when he said not all truth is reality? Not everyone’s desires can be fulfilled. I can’t help but feel sorry for every single character in some way (Himari the most though!). I hope there will be a legitimate ending for this series, and not just another convenient deus ex machina

    james
  4. ” I gather it’s only a matter of time before Kanba gets it on with Himari if she keeps stripping in front of him.”

    I figured those two were already busy trying to add another sibling to the Takakura family.

    synkronized
  5. That preview image of the Yuri’s husband sitting on a little girl’s lap is disturbing. I’m sure it ties into the image of him kissing the little girl’s feet in the OP. But what does it mean? I’m guessing he’s not a pedophile.

    revolution everlution that's me
      1. Right, but I was thinking why little girl Momoka? Yuri said she’s still alive, so she’s an adult by now. Maybe Tabuki can’t forget her as a child.

        revolution everlution that's me
      2. Tabuki has his chest bared in that image, and Momoka is removing his glasses. It’s an erotic image, which anyone who doesn’t have a low I.Q. can see. I do think it has an important meaning for who Tabuki is. A lot was revealed about him in this episode, actually. We know now that he isn’t a dope who Yuri strings around. They’re working together.

        revolution everlution that’s me
      3. I get the impression that Tabuki would alway be search for Momoka in the woman he dated and falls short. It not that he is a pedophilia but everything he does is for Momoka to the point of worshiping her and idolizing everything she did in her actions. He is searching for a woman that never grew up.

        Ani_BEE
      4. I find it quite sad that both Yuri and Tabuki never got over Momoka enough to form new relationships – that their current one with each other, which at first looked genuine, is really more of a pact to obsess over the no-longer-around Momoka who they were both deeply besotted with when kids. It kind of shows that they haven’t really grown up at all, not when it comes to coming to term with grief. How old would we say they were when Momoka disappeared/died?

        Minnako
      5. Do we know that from the novel, or is this an educated guess? It looks about right, but then again how age is represented varies from series to series. Given the kinds of hints that were thrown around, I certainly hope she wasn’t much younger…

        Minnako
    1. Again, the preview cards are done by Lily Hoshino. She’s a BL mangaka whose uke usually look like ten-year old girls, making a lot of her work look like shota. Ties in with the mature themes of the series but really it’s also the artist’s aesthetic. Most of these preview cards have been implicitly erotic BTW.

      Hisoka
    2. Perhaps we’re meant to find the contrast between the little girl Momoka in the eyecatch, and the fully grown, sexualised Tabuki disturbing. After all, Yuri and Tabuki are literally still obsessively in love with someone who died when she (and they) are kids. Not that they’re literally running after kids these days (though Yuri’s not far off…) but like Ani_BEE rather eloquently said: whilst they’ve matured and become adults with all that entails, they’re ‘searching for a woman that never grew up’. One can imagine that to be a very complicated emotion indeed…

      Minnako
  6. MOST of the characters are clearly Utena counterparts. Maybe all of them are, but I can’t figure them out. So far I have:

    Ringo = Shiori, Himari = Utena, Sanetoshi = Mikage, Kanba = Touga, Shouma = Miki, Mario = Mamiya, Masako = Juri.

    What about Tabuki, Yuri, and Ringo?

    Redskins
    1. I’ll play. Yuri’s got a little of Nanami in the beginning of the series, Shiori in the middle, but she’s also the Chairman’s daughter Kanae as Tabuki becomes more Akio-like.

      Sanetoshi’s only Mikage if it turns out he’s being played.

      Momoka is Dios.

      If you think Mario = Mamiya, do you think he’s an illusion?

      Hisoka
      1. Interesting comments! Perhaps Yuri really is Kanae. I think Momoka can’t be Dios. You can tell what a lively and real person she is, instead of just Akio’s prince persona. Mikage is definitely Sanetoshi, and Mamiya was never an illusion, since Tokiko talked to Akio about him. It’s just that Anthy replaced him in Mikage’s consciousness for a little while.

        Redskins
  7. “At first glance, this was the most straightforward and unambiguous episode in recent weeks. However, a closer look at some of the implications reveals that we’re really no closer to understanding what’s going on than we started.”

    Maybe you meant to say this, but I think that’s part of the point. The anime is just like real life. Everything, everything has loose ends.

    Seizon Seiju-kun
  8. is it just me or the turtle symbol on the back of the diary raise some questions? considering the rest of the symbols are mostly penguins?
    the two bunny/assistance already talked about punishment… so I guess things might turn uglier from here on…
    and please, more “battle” between “fabulous” and “crush” are always good 🙂

    jrj
  9. “I also prefer to see them bumping heads over messing around with Ringo and Kanba, since they’re a perfect match for one another — insults and all.”

    Is it not supposed to be Shouma instead of Kanba?

    Shibireru
  10. Am I the only one who was completely distracted by the penguins and octopi this episode. I literally had to rewatch the episode because I was too busy laughing at what the penguins were up to the 1st time around. Those penguins really know their food; I believe raw octopi tentacles are a delicacy in Korea. Those things never fail to amuse me.

    This episode didn’t have too much of a WHAM factor, but it definitely increases my anticipation for the next ep, especially with Tabuki playing a more prominent role in the plot.

    Kentaiyoshimi
    1. However that looks like a mafia interrogation or something.

      Penguin 1: Hold him down!! Okay, gonna tell us where the stuff is?
      Octopus: mmmph mmmpf!!!!
      Penguin 1: Wrong answer! (chop)
      Octopus: mmmmfeowsddsd!!!!!!!
      Penguin Add him to the mixer!!!
      Octopus: mnononnooo!!!!

      Richfeet
    2. exactly the same… I feel so wrong for failing to follow the plot just to watch penguins vs octopus – tentacle rape vs knife hacking – oh and repeating crossbow vs gatling gun (again Sergio Leone tribute…)
      oh and did the elevator to the top of the world at end of episode remind you of something?

      ewok40k
  11. The octopus killing disturbed me to no end. It went from a live octopus directly to a meatball.

    I used to watch my grandma butcher chickens and be fine. And I do love my food freshly picked and slaughtered, but this is a bit too fresh for me.

    InstantNoodles
    1. I always thought they were like a Greek Chorus, important in adding to the effect of a story and not really part of it, but that doesn’t make them any less annoying… especially with imminent punishment coming on.

      Also, Sanetoshi lives in the Dr’s office? And nobody’s noticed he’s set up camp there with a couple of rabbits? Or can no-one see him? Someone like him rather sticks out at a hospital!

      Minnako
  12. “I can picture him getting his hand jammed in a train door while trying to rescue Momoka,”
    But in episode 12, he couldn’t even get into the subway…

    Did anyone notice the animation was kind of weird in this episode? Like when they were in the fabric shop, Ringo and Himari seemed pretty stiff when they did close ups. But then it was good in the rest of the episode…

    Yuumei
  13. Am I the only one wondering who Himari’s true love in the Kiddy Broiler is? On first glance, it could be Mario, but isn’t he rather young? Then again the flashbacks in ep 16 where he doesn’t look much younger than Masako, so maybe he’s just young/frail looking for his age? Then for a second I thought broiler-boy could be Tabuki (the hairstyle kinda matches his, and he was also there at some point) – maybe that was Momoka’s memory? (TabukiXHimari is too disturbing for words considering ep 17). And what if it was Sanetoshi? Ikuhara reeeally keeps us guessing, doesn’t he?

    The penguins are both the best and worst thing about the series – hopelessly distracting (especially in the Ringo and Shouma conversation…penguin fart rocket WTF?!?) but at the same time so hilarious that you can’t help but love them being there. I guess it’s true to life that regardless of what’s going on in human lives, animals will be, well, animals, and continue on with their shenanigans regardless!

    I’m at a loss as to how to recommend this series: simultaneously both disturbing at times and so funny – to relative laypeople and casual anime-watchers, without coming off as a freak…

    Minnako
      1. I meant casual more in the sense of ‘doesn’t keep up with new anime regularly and tends to pick up stuff friends recommend’ than ‘sees anime as light fluffy cartoons to dip into’ –
        most of the ‘casual’ watchers I know are capable of having discussions about these kinds of themes in their novels/films/etc so this kind of anime probably wouldn’t faze them. Not like, say recommending it for your mum (though since mine forced me to read/sit through ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’, ironically I’d recommend it to her… if she watched anime). Problem is, if you watch a lot of ‘dark’ shows as standard, pretty soon your definition of ‘dark’ really has shifted far from your average person’s. I think laypeople are probably a bit more apt to expect anime to be more innocent (since they resemble cartoons) whereas they sit through similar kinds of themes in their films without batting an eyelid…

        Minnako
  14. Man these characters even considering doing something to cute little Himari is really disturbing. I’m also wondering if it gets to that how she’ll react to real danger. she’s kind of been oblivious to everything that’s been going on around her so far hasn’t she?

    sealouse

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