「 ペンギンパーク」 (Pengin Pāku)
“Penguin Park”

Twilight learns the joys of fulltime work balanced with fulltime parenting and it’s taking a toll on him. Good on him for at least trying to set boundaries, telling HQ enough is enough- he needs a break. Which I wholeheartedly agree. How on earth can they expect Twilight to raise a child and weasel their way into the Eden upper echelon if Twilight’s burned out?

Unfortunately, setting boundaries doesn’t work out so well, with Twilight being coerced into retrieving a microfilm (classic spy mission) from a penguin. Kind of hilarious that he’s supposed to be inconspicuous but ends up standing out for his exceptional mental acuity in remembering penguins. I feel bad for the employee when the staff discovers the real deal isn’t as good as the counterfeit one. Twilight unintentionally put that guy in a bad spot there.

This is the first time I’ve noticed Loid smoking, which prior to this, I thought was unusual, given that it’s based on old timey espionage movies where smoking was pretty much a given. That Twilight quit because of Anya and was only smoking for appearances in the espionage rendezvous was worth a chuckle.

The Forgers really are a well-oiled machine without realizing it. Anya helps Twilight by reading penguin minds and then finding a bad guy and having Yor finish him off. In a way, Anya is the one who can co-opt all of their powers and roughly know how to use everyone else because she’s the only one privy to their secret identities. Twilight is the brain, Yor the brawn, and Anya, the coordinator.

Those neighbor ladies really are the worst-so focused on Twilight cheating-can’t they be more positive? Then again, cheating makes for more juicy gossip for bored housewives than a man working overtime. Though nowhere near as juicy as the actual story. But, why say all that in front of Yor-they’re doing all they can to elevate poor Yor’s anxiety. If Yor knew the truth, I don’t know if she would be relieved or anxious about being married to the enemy.

The most adorable moment for me was at the end when Anya was playing spy organization with her stuffed animals and Yor and Loid playing along with it. Hopefully they’ll figure out soon that children’s temper tantrums are short-lived and they don’t need to be so afraid of it damaging their family. I had to laugh at how cleverly Anya played her parents for candy with that spy mission to the sweets store. She sure can be a clever little kid when motivated-imagine what she could turn that cunning towards when she gets older (especially after learning a few things from Papa, Mama, and Bondman).

I am really curious as to why Anya is obsessed with peanuts-I’m not sure if it’s a pop culture reference or just a character quirk. If it’s some sort of reference, the only thing I could find after some digging was the spy comedy My Favorite Spy where Bob Hope played a character called Peanuts-that might just be a coincidence though. I loved the nod to the OP on Anya’s peanut bag-the name of the snack “Mazekoze Nuts” translates to “Mixed Nuts”, the name of the OP song. The band who performed the song, Official HIGE DANdism, is represented by the mustachioed peanut (“Hige” means beard or mustache in Japanese). The caption on the bag which reads in English something like “A heavy snack-it will give your father a stomach-ache if he eats it” is a reference to the song’s chorus about life and relationships sitting heavy on the stomach like a handful of peanuts. All in all, a clever detail.

I feel like the 1st cour ended on a good note, focusing on the family dynamics and zeroing in on Twilight’s motivation to put himself through work hell in the first place, to protect the futures of children. They ended it on its strong point-the Forger’s growing bonds and the awkward, endearing moments of figuring out the whole family thing. This was a very classy 1st cour-immersing you in the vintage nostalgia of mid-century fashion and spy flicks but with a finish of modern sensibilities. I enjoyed the layers to this family with the ironies we the audience are privy to in the characters’ internal thoughts, as well as, the personal struggles they touched on or at least implied with Anya and Yor. I also liked how they made Anya’s mind-reading powers more three dimensional, showing both the positive and negative aspect of it, instead of glorifying her powers or focusing only on the negatives for laughs.

Everything from the soundtrack (which was amazing, by the way), directing, seiyuu, and so on, brought the manga series to life in a way that exploded with color and personality. The only part that leaves me hesitant is how long they can stretch out the incredulity of Yor and Twilight not being suspicious of the other person’s super-human like abilities without it growing old. They’ve kept it fresh so far, managing to play it off well and the upcoming manga material also shows promise of the charm outshining minor flaws. I’m very much looking forward to the 2nd cour-I only wish it wasn’t a split cour- a good series like this is very much needed in the sparse summer season.


    1. It IS a split cour, in other words 2 parts of the same season, as Princess Usagi posted.

      (oh wait, she also mentioned she was “looking forward to the 2nd cour”, I see why you are confused).


  1. Since it is a split cour, I think of them as two separate parts-hence cour 1 and cour 2. MAL even lists cour 1 and the cour 2 that comes in the Fall under separate entries. Even though the series is continuing in the Fall, I labeled this post as END because it is the end of the first part and with there being a gap between the cours. I hope this helps make it a little easier to understand!

    Princess Usagi

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