「運命の至る場所」 (Unmei no Itaru Basho)
“The Place Where Fate Leads”
Well, it looks like Ikuhara’s intent on keeping me guessing until the very end, as I have even less of an idea on how Mawaru Penguindrum will conclude after watching this episode. And here I thought this precursor to the finale would confirm my suspicions that Momoka’s diary would transfer everyone’s fate to a better one. Instead, it took that idea and completely derailed it. No diary, no spell. The only thing left appears is the Penguindrum itself, which Momoka’s implied isn’t her diary.
What the Penguindrum is remains to be seen, but this episode did make it fairly clear that everything stems from an unresolved struggle between Sanetoshi and Momoka that transcends death. He wants to destroy the world and she wants to save it. As some sort of twisted compromise to prevent Momoka from changing fate and stopping him, Sanetoshi splits her into the two penguin hats and himself into the two black bunnies. That’s all fine and dandy within the confines of this surreal story, but I’d be lying if I said I have a good grasp of all the implications of this revelation. Up until now, Himari’s alter-ego has proven to be nothing more than a snobby and demanding existence that doesn’t hesitate to use Himari’s life to threaten Kanba and Shouma into retrieving the Penguindrum, so it’s beyond me how she’s supposed to be reflective of the altruistic Momoka in any way. Meanwhile, Sanetoshi’s been leveraging Himari’s life in a somewhat similar fashion to get Kanba to do his bidding. It could very well be that they both saw Himari and Mario as a means to coerce Kanba, Shouma, and Masako into helping them, but it’s been such a roundabout affair for both parties that I don’t even want to try and speculate what the intentions were behind every little detail. (e.g. Mary and her Lambs, the Child Broiler.) That doesn’t even include Keiju and Yuri’s personal reasons for getting involved, so it’s much easier to simply assume it was all a means to deliver the theme of the series. I don’t doubt that everything’s interconnected more than that, but I’ve long since given up on trying to rack my brain around Ikuhara’s.
What there’s little doubt over is that Sanetoshi saw Momoka’s diary as a threat to his plans and needed other people to destroy it for him. Momoka on the other hand has been focused on getting Kanba and Shouma to find their “own” Penguindrum to put a stop to him. Where things get messy is Sanetoshi’s metaphoric talk about how everyone’s trapped by the box known as “self” and how he plans on taking revenge on the world by freeing everyone from their boxes. From the sound of that twisted reasoning, one would assume that his form of salvation is death. That much I can understand, but I can’t say the same on where his reasoning comes from. It’s slightly different from Kenzan’s where he seemed to have a grudge against society and how it’s ruled by “chosen ones”, seeing as Sanetoshi considers himself to be one such individual. In any case, we do have our expected showdown between Kanba and Shouma, though your guess is as good as mine as to exactly what it’s over.
Full-length image: 27.
ED10: 「HEROES ～英雄たち」 (HEROES ~Eiyuu-tachi) by トリプルH (Triple H)
Watch the 10th ED!: Streaming ▼
Preview & End Card