「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


  1. If you watch back to episode 10, then this was a totally different anime. I miss that!
    I miss the comedy and the weirdness of this anime, it was that what I liked so much.
    I really don’t like the route this anime has chosen…

    1. I agree, but slightly differently. I think Ringo’s role is pretty much done. My thought while watching was the Shoma is going to find his own spell to change the world or his Penguindrum.

    2. I believe that Ringo will be able to utilize Momoka’s spell in the finale. I wonder what she’ll accomplish with it though. Will she only be able to save one or two lives? Everyone’s life? Help Momoka in the past?

      Jack Spicer
  2. I’ve lost interest in this show (I blame fake wincest) but will finish it since I don’t want to stop at 20 out of 24 eps, helps that I love listening to both openings.
    I miss the days of Ringo trying to rape Tabuki.

  3. Goddamnit, Kanba. It’s getting more and more difficult to defend why you do the things you do when you pull crap like this. And to Ringo of all people?! Damn boy’s gone insane.

    I speculated a while back that Himari and Mario’s names were suspiciously close (both with “mari” in them), as well as the both of them apparently wielding caps and being sickly younger siblings. It’s good to finally be right about something in this show, even though it doesn’t help in trying to understand the bigger picture of the story at all.

    I’m with you re: Momoka. When the hat is on Himari, she was snobby to the point of cursing out her own little sister, calling her a crazy psycho stalker slut (among other names). Also, she kept dropping Shouma down a shoot while having sexy naked “Strategy” time with Kanba. However, she was reasonably nice in this episode to Shouma, so what’s with the personality shift? Otherwise, I’m expecting a really epic Seizon Senryaku next episode to help explain the relevancy of the past sequences, but even if it doesn’t, I’ll be slightly disappointed if the show ends without one more.

    It would be great if the final episode had Momoka show up in a real, non-flashback sense, too. Preferably to slap the fabulous out of Sanetoshi, because this episode left me incredibly angry at him and the rest of Kiga.

    Also, I’m guessing if the two hats are put together, Momoka will be able to recite the rest of the spell.

    Can’t wait for them to explain why both Kanba and Shouma were in boxes 10 years ago, as well as find out what the tangible “penguindrum” really is…

    1. Honestly, as much as I still adore Kanba’s character, goddamn. Just. WHAT ARE YOU DOING kid, seriously. I’m not sure what happened to you, but b-o-y, you need to stop, and I hope Shouma succeeds in er, saving you from what apparently a very dark and grisly fate for you.

      Personally, I’m sticking to the theory that Momoka’s double split personality, of being the friendly, innocent savior of mankind to the bitter, sarcastic and crude snobbish princess, as a result of actually “splitting” the hat in two. Thus, her personality splits; I’m not sure what triggered the altruistic side of her after everything that had happened, but I do think that it’s because of this splitting curse that we see such different sides to her character. More things that will probably never be wrapped up- and things I don’t mind much about (I’m enjoying this show too much for my own good).

      I too, expect one last Seizon Senryaku, with a full blown budget and flashy scenes, and I might be optimistic here- and I am rarely so when it comes to much of anything related to TV- but I think for the most part, Mawaru Penguindrum is going to end off with a relatively happy note. I say relatively when I mean that we’re not going to get as big of a kick in the face like we did with Utena but I think Himari for sure, will remain dead, but instead of going back on the neverending train, that continues its path over and over again, the brothers will move on- just as Ringo has done, with her family. Accepting your fate and defying it at the same time, is possible; and it doesn’t mean you’re weak or you’re strong, it means you’ve grown to realize the truth of your situation and have become stronger because of it. And in the end, I think that in a way, is the message of this show; let’s hope the boys understand that before all hell breaks loose, hmmm?

      I will admit though; I’m frustrated that we didn’t get any sort of character history on either Momoka or Sanetoshi, but then I think that their histories were revealed- they play a part in everyone’s lives, rather than just having their own individual histories. They are the participators and stimuli for change in people’s lives; I think that they are more of concepts or people who transcend the plane of realism we live in, and thus for that reason they are never sufficiently explained well enough (or it may just be Ikuhara and a little mess on his part) .

      I’m also confused about if there are 25 or 24 episodes; the train station sequence shows 25 stops, but the episode count on the website seems to suggest 24. Either way, it’s been a brilliant, absorbing and fascinating ride, and I’m going to be sad to see this show go, and not wake up on a Thursday for the Penguindrum Express, shouting “SEIZON SENRYAKU! SHIMASHOUKA!”

    2. More on the names, thanks to R pointing out the ‘mari’ I just realised that ‘hi’ is usually used with females (eg. hinamatsuri is girl’s day) and ‘o’ is ‘man’ or ‘male’. So Himari and Mario are female and male halves of the same things.

      Apart from that, my thoughts are the same as the top comment.

  4. I got the impression that when the hats are separated two different personalities appeared that had to other parts of momoka. When put together she will appear (I could be wrong) I think she had sexy time with kanba maybe because since she is in himari did not want to take the life energy of himari loved one (kanba is too but himari has always loved shouma in the romantic sense and this episode proved it) so kanba the willing participate was the only viable option left. I agree its getting harder and harder to defend kanba but regardless i still feel for the guy in the earlier episodes he was always the confident playboy but when it comes to the one woman that really matters shouma is the one that always wins. I can see how the both are twins in terms of personality and I cant wait to see how this show down will end.

  5. AAAAHHH, I don’t want this series to end T__T though, partially, I do >__< it's become so dark 🙁 I loved it when it was funny…now it's really sad u__u
    I don't like Kanba…I didn't like him since the beginning of the series ¬¬U aaah, and my heart almost stopped when Masako "died" for a moment…and when Kanba pulled the trigger and almost killed Shouma…
    Ringo being deceived…POOR RINGO!!! I felt so bad for her when the diary was destroyed 🙁
    Also…what's with Shouma and Himari's kiss? O_o I didn't like it one bit…was it all Shouma's imagination?
    Ringo lying on Shouma's shoulder was so cute…I really hope they end up together!!
    Ahh…only one more episode…I hope we get our questions answered :O I want to know about the boxes

    1. Consider it Himari goodbye kiss to Shoma. If you were not paying attention, Himari has always loved Shoma. She never went after him because they became family to avoid her fate, but this is her regret.

  6. I started watching this series thinking it would be just a generic anime comedy, and it started off that way in the first episode of two. Within the first few episodes I was actually on the verge of dropping it until Ringo and her obsession with the diary changed the whole tone of the series. Then slowly all the characters started showing their true twisted selves and suddenly this was the “must watch” series of the week for me. Dare I saw it, in terms of creativity and absorbing storytelling, this has to be one of the top anime in that category this year.

    1. I started watching this expecting the white rabbit acid trip that Ikuhara’s is known for. The fact that we are still guessing even to the end is actually a hard thing to archive. The last episode will be a testament to his vision for the series I hope as if it doesn’t wrap up well or mind blowing (I’m not expecting cleanly though.)

  7. I’m interested in the juxtaposition of Shoma and Kanba. I have a suspicion that THEY are the black rabbits that Sanetoshi split into while the rabbit kids are a diversion.

    Next episode will be either MIND BLOWING or Completely Confusing…

  8. When it comes down to it, despite all the confusing shenanigans this show managed to pull out of it’s ass, it’s a nice story about “family,” however you want to interpret that word.

  9. Also, about the hats, since Himari and Masako teamed up to stop Kanba, is it possible that masako GAVE the Mario’s hat to Himari? She seemed to know more about Satenoshi than anyone: “He’s a curse.” She also seems to be sacrificing mario for Kanba at this point? She pointed that out last episode, and assuming that shit did give away mario’s hat too…i dunno, just speculation

    1. They never released Masako age which had me guessing the whole time. At first I thought she was older then Kanba the way she behaved. Then younger then Kanba the way she reacted to him later in the series.

      I’m not surprised they are twins. Twins either get alone really well or want to reject each other in their lives. Every rarely do you see middle ground until they are adults. The fact that there both red heads I thought was an interesting “coincidence”.

      You can look at the beginning of the series as she tries to replace Himari in Kanba’s eye by playing a devoted girlfriend makes a lot more sense as she switched tactics after the first two/three encounters failed in the current timeline.

      Anyways I’m so glad that she didn’t end up dieing for a lost cause. I was so pissed/heart broken for her I could care less that Himari had given up her borrowed time. (No a good thing to feel given she is a main character.)

      Don’t forget they were born the day of the Sarin gas attack… when fate was altered.

  10. Who else got a utopian socialist vibe from this anime (or just an anti-capitalism vibe in general)? The world that Sanetoshi wants to get rid of is a world in which only the elite are given any sense of importance. Those who can’t contribute just get thrown in the child broiler or end up like Yuri and Keiju.

    Also, hope there’s a final seizon senryaku next episode

    1. It is rather anarchist-nihilist vibe with destruction as main theme. Sanetoshi just wants to destroy existing order, along with all the peoples “in their boxes”, he doesn’t want to free anyone like Momoka was doing.

  11. Question is, who split into Shoma and Kanba?

    Even though Momoka is speaking thru the Hat this episode, Shoma and Kanba could still be a split embodiment of Momoka. Shoma in a cage doesn’t remember who he is or how he go there. Both brothers were born when Momoka died. (So was Ringo. All three care for Himari.) ShoKan could also be someone we haven’t even met in the series except through their separate personae.

    Anyone else looking for a Dark Crystal finale to go with their Rock Over Japan reprise?

    This episode was strong; I don’t think I will be disappointed with the ending regardless of what happens and what remains unexplained.

    1. Shouma is about to step up and take action next episode. It seems like the flashback with the boxes will be the beginning of the episode, and then the final confrontation after that.

      I think Himari is quite foolish to tell him to save Kanba. She must not understand Kanba’s character. The only thing he acknowledges is power. He has a lust for power (the only people who lust for power are ones who don’t have it, and particularly, who don’t understand its operation). Dr. Sanetoshi has power, and he knows how to put it to use. This attracts Kanba.

      It’s hard to guess what Shouma will do to convince Kanba. On the assumption that it comes down to brute force, it doesn’t seem Shouma can win, if their last fight is any indication. Shouma will probably try to reason with him instead, a mistake, since Kanba can’t be reasoned with. He lacks the intelligence that Shouma has that would allow him to practice acts of reason. However, there are some other strategies that Shouma can use to win Kanba over to his way of thinking about Himari’s fate.

      Shouma knows that Kanba is a playboy who discards women (Himari, Masako, and several others) like used toilet paper, because he doesn’t value women. In fact, he doesn’t seem able to notice the sense of the women’s feelings. He knows about Kanba’s shady business deals. He knows Kanba is willing to fight his only brother, and tell his brother that their bond doesn’t mean anything. I don’t think he knows about Kanba’s terrorist actions (blowing up police cars without a second thought). All of these serious considerations make it clear that Kanba is inherently unlike Shouma, as if he were born with a condition that made him subhuman.

      Shouma knows enough about Kanba that they’re both desperate to save Himari. He knows that following Dr. Sanetoshi’s plan will strip Kanba of what little humanity he has, and although Kanba also knows this, it hasn’t entered Kanba’s thought stream (which is never more than a trickle) because its entrance would dissuade Kanba from being a pawn. Shouma will have to act like Dr. Sanetoshi to influence Kanba. It seems this is possible, and he’s already worked his magic on Ringo and Himari. Kanba will be the first male to see that magic.

      This makes me think that the incest angle really will come into play, not explicitly enough for anyone to think Shouma and Kanba are in love, but enough for them to go beyond the affection brothers have.

  12. Hmm… I wonder if the spell was split into Kanba and Shouma? No real reasoning.
    I did enjoy the symbolism and Ringo ‘bursting’ into flames like the previous opening.
    Dear Shouma, please do something badass. I have faith in you.

  13. This episode was a great set up to the finally that did answer some of the long lingering questions.

    I like the fact that Ringo didn’t burst into flames like the intro because she is no long trying to Momoka replacement/sacrifice and walking her own path out of her sisters shadow (second into). If she does change fate it’s for her own reasons now.

    It’s nice to have a reaffirmation that the hand in the end credits are Shoma’s reaching down. Also despite Himari loving Shoma so deeply she only wishing for his happiness without her even in the last scenes. He character was always kind hearted but it’s her grief for the things she can not have that makes her shine.

    Random Note: I was wondering when the crowds of people would start to become noticeable individuals(I was expecting the last episode if thing were reset). In both scenes for the bomb set up the crowds are defined people. Although you don’t see there faces you can feel the weight of the crime about to be committed by/in the main casts eyes.

  14. Speaking of a world gone off the rails, how about the plot? What the hell happened to this show? The themes introduced early on, as well as the characters those themes were paired with, just went completely off-track. I can’t see any way of satisfying the thematic issues raised by the first 18 episodes.

    1. You mean the themes of unity and friendship? The theme that was always present in both the games in the anime and pretty much the main theme of iM@S in general? Because this episode had plenty of that.

  15. Wow, Kanba’s entrance to the hospital sure was… um… interesting. You can always count on him to be dramatic. But, how did Kanba get in through the window, anyway? There’s no wire cord attached to the side of the building or anything. I guess that’s part of the drama, he just flew up from the ground, huh?

    Seizure Senryaku
  16. What was that badly drawn short all about? About halfway through the episode. I thought it was totally out of place. Just like Kanba pulling a gun on Shouma and saying he always wanted to do that. Wow.

  17. “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.”

    Good point. Seriously, WTF.

  18. Am I the only one kind of bothered by the comment rating system? I usually have a popular opinion so I’m kind of lucky, but what about people that happen to have opinions different from everyone else? Do they deserve to feel like outcasts? Sheesh, this isn’t youtube, we should be mature enough to accept all opinions here -___-

    1. Along the same lines, people should also be mature enough to not abuse it too.

      So far, it’s been used fairly from what I’ve seen. If you look at the comments that have been disliked, it’s often because they came off trollish or extremely biased. It’s completely understandable.

      1. I’d prefer it if they were either just upvotes or one of those plusminus systems. I get that this system right now is quite effective moderating against trollers and the like but it’s a bit unnerving to see how many people are actually thumbing you down just because your opinion doesn’t match theirs. Sometimes I see posts that are politely written, not meant to be offensive in any way and yet they still get thumbs downed because people really aren’t mature enough to understand that others have different opinions.

      2. I’m over exaggerating it, but I still don’t care for people thumbing down comments with stupid reasoning. People can subtly attack your opinion without needing to explain why. I could thumb someone down just because I don’t like them rather then actually judging the content of their post.

        I prefer sites that use the plus-minus system because they still function to highlight the really good posts while hiding the REALLY bad ones that are actually stupid, rude or trolling and not just an “unpopular opinion”.

      3. Point noted Harumi, but I’ll have to agree with Sacred Element on how people don’t have to let the odd down votes get to them personally. Most of the time, people can’t even be bothered to vote unless they feel strongly about what’s been said. Even then, if the down votes are indeed valid, all it says that people aren’t in agreement with what’s been said. A comment won’t be hidden unless the number of dislikes drastically exceeds the number of likes.

        If it makes you feel any better, I put myself up as a subject of ridicule all the time just by publishing a post. People are probably more concerned about scrutinizing what I’ve said than commenters. The whole “opinion” thing doesn’t matter to them. See the comments in this post for example.

    2. No, its just you. Rule by consensus is the Perfect Justice afforded us by history. After all, this was an important lesson handed down to us by the honorable Hitler and his majesty Robespierre.

  19. I for one thinks it isn’t a very nice addition to the site. Surely it has its good sides but the cons far outweighs the pros IMO. Now I’m curious too of what others think of it, if it isn’t too much to ask, a poll would be nice. 🙂

  20. slowpoke.jpg. This episode was great, but not without some cringe-worthy moments.

    How did Shouma recover and even run after getting shot by Kanba? The shot was point blank, there’s no way it could have missed.

    Ringo hugging the diary to slow the fire was also rather weird. I’m not an expert at physics, but wouldn’t her body heat and sweat only speed up the fire? Surely it would’ve better to soak the diary in the aquarium water just next to her.

    Nevertheless, Penguindrum is one of the best series this year.

  21. This is getting more and more confusing just whe I thought I understood the anime. I thought Himari didn’t join Shouma’a family till Shouma was about 7 yrs old and from the looks of it Himari was about 6-7 at the time when Kanba still didn’t join Shouma’s family yet. When Kanba joined Shouma’s family Himari looked much younger than when she joined Shouma’s family. There were also pictures of them together when they were younger which makes it more confusing.


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