12 Days of Christmas #6: Mawaru Penguindrum

Up until now, I have only written posts about anime I completed. So, you know, I got the whole experience, and supposedly unless I forgot it, no memorable moment should have slipped by me. This time, however, it is different. Not only have I not caught up with Mawaru Penguindrum, but judging from the reactions of other bloggers, I know that there are some extremely memorable moments coming up. Unfortunately, I wanted to cover Penguin, and although I could delay it by one or two days, it wouldn’t help much if I did, so, I said screw it, ” I will write another late, badly written post”.

Okay, finally done this post. It’s 2:24Am, 2 hours and 24 minutes past the deadline, sorry about that, sorry about any errors to, but I am too sleepy to check. Good Night!


So, let’s quickly talk abot Mawaru Penguindrum. Along with Madoka and Steins;Gate, Mawaru Penguindrum is probably the most talked about anime this year. Like Madoka, people have spent many posts just examining the plot, and symbolism. Actually, Penguindrum has far more symbolism than Madoka ever did. That does not mean the symbolism is better per say, but there is far more of it, and some of it is actually really interesting.

Plot and symbolism aren’t the only things that people dissected when it came to Penguindrum, a lot of posts were written about the characters themselves, in that regard, Penguindrum is also like Steins;Gate. So, while Madoka had great plot and average characters and Steins;Gate had average plot but great characters, Penguindrum has the best of both worlds.

Penguindrum also has the distinct advantage of feeling far less artificial than Madoka did (this is partly because of the great comedy seen in earlier episodes), and the characters have far more depth than Steins;Gate characters, well, that’s to be expected given that this anime is classified as “Psychological” on Wikipedia.

Of course, Penguindrum has it’s share of flaws to, it’s hard to think of many over the top of my head, but you could argue that there are too many symbols and too many references, so, it is easy to get lost if you are trying your best to dissect it.  But, the nice thing about Penguindrum is that, it scales really well. When we say a video-game scales well, we mean that as you increase graphic settings, it starts to look a lot better, but if you decrease them, it can still run on weak computers. Penguindrum can be enjoyable if you are dumb or smart. If you are smart, you will dissect it like a rat in Biology, if you are dum, you will simply watch along for the awesome cliff-hangers, the great plot, the wacky characters and the superb humor (though it seems to have gone down substantially as of late).

I guess, it wouldn’t be a far stretch to call Penguindrum the most versatile show of 2011, and besides being versatile, it is also clearly one of the best. Some might not like it, for some reason, but I think everyone holds at least a certain amount of respect for it. Oh and before I forget to mention it, Mawaru Penguindrum might actually beat Madoka in the frequency of brilliant twists department. Seriously, this show is really unpredictable, especially around and after the halfway point.

As for why I stopped watching it, well…

A few weeks back, I entered anime-depression mode, I just didn’t want to watch anything. Well, I partly blame that on Skyrim, it was during this sad time, I stopped watching Penguindrum and a lot of other shows to. Unfortunately, while I got back to other anime like Fate and Persona, I never did back to Penguindrum. I think that’s because somewhere in my head, I had gotten the notion that I need to sit down and be totally calm to watch this, and such a moment never really seemed to be there. Anyway, let’s talk about what I have found to be most memorable, as I have alluded to earlier, I have only watched up to and including episode 16. So, yeah, I am far behind, I look forward to marathoning it! Maybe,  I will write an update if I don’t feel too lazy…

Oh, and once more I would like to apologize for my lack of screen-caps. I really should have brought over my anime collection on an external or something.



What a sad family...Shouma, so reliable..wait...I think the order is wrong here...


Parents in anime are almost never bad. If the parents are presented as being good to their family, then their deaths or disappearance’s were noble and the parents were good people. Of course there are examples of bad parents (e.g. Hayate’s parents in Hayate no Gotoku), but how many animes do you know of that have parents who seem so nice and innocent but are actually terrorists?

The very idea that the father who worked so hard to protect his family could commit a crime as big as the train disaster is un-heard of. What is also really interesting was that the children (at least the two brothers, probably Himari to) knew about this and yet they still did their best to lead a normal family life. Penguindrum might not be that well known for its characters, but there was some great characterization and this episode did a lot towards that goal.

Despite all of their conjecture and theories, not too many people saw this twist coming. This twist was insane (for an idiot like me anyway), and the episode overall was heralded as being a magnificent piece. Penguindrum might have had a few jitters here and there, but this episode was surely not one of them.

The funny thing was, after this episode, a lot of the stuff in Penguindrum made a whole lot more sense, but at the same time, we were left with other questions and a rejuvenated desire for the truth. A series changing episode this was, even the Himari hospitalization at the end was really important.

Note: I don’t know if this changes in the later episodes or not, but regardless, the revelation was still a huge moment.



Unlike, the previous moment, there was no specific part of the episode I loved, but rather the whole thing. There was so much symbolism(which I didn’t try too hard to understand),  a lot of mysterious things happened, and don’t forget the gorgeous animation. My god, the animation in this episode was glorious. Watching this episode was quite literally like watching a masterpiece being formed before your eyes.

I already knew the episode was great going into it (Twitter and all), and as I was watching it, I was just like: “Yup, this episode is incredible, this is what a masterpiece of an episode looks like”.

Here, read Dragle’s post on it, actually, while you are at it, might as well read all of his Penguindrum posts, the guy knows his mythology and symbolism stuff.

Other memorable Moments

Yuri yuri raping Ringo

She can Yuri-Rape people


Penguindrum was the last place I expected to find Yuri rape, but it was here, and boy was it surprising. Poor, Ringo, well, Ringo essentially tried to do the same thing to Tauki a few episodes back, but back then, we just saw Ringo being desperate and crazy. Over here, Yuri wasn’t crazy, oh no, she was in control, total control. A lot of people just looked at this scene from the perspective of  plot impact, but really, when you think about it, there were some pretty crazy power-dynamics going on here. Ringo was helpless, it wasn’t that she was gagged or anything, when you are gagged, you can at least wiggle or squel or something, but nope! Ringo was drugged and she had absolutely no control over herself. CRAZY!

Shou getting in an accident-Episode 8

They actually make a really cute couple.


This moment was memorable because up until this point, I had been angry at Ringo. Ringo was crazy, she was doing stupid things, and she obviously likes Shoma, but doesn’t recognize it. This moment was a wake up call. It went a little something like this:

“Yo, bitch, you been crazy and stupid, now look, your stupidity might have just cost the life of this innocent man, who has done more for you than anyone else has. Are you going to wake up now?”

And, BOOOM! Ringo is now wide awake. I felt sorry for Shoma, but damn, I enjoyed Ringo’s suffering here. Note: I didn’t hate her that much, I just wanted her to learn a lesson…

Initiating The Survival Strategy–Seizon Senryaku!

One of the best action/transformation scenes of all time! –I couldn’t find a video, but luckily, inushinde had one!

Masako reminisces about her grandfather

This is actually a really pretty piece of art. I am quite impressed.


Another great episode for characterization, and even though no one else seemed to care, this episode was hilarious. The grandfathers “crush me” and his “I like my something like I like my women” speeches were so funny, but at the same time, they were deeply relevant to Masako’s character. Now, her catch phrase “Yada, I must crush him soon” got  a whole new light. It would seem that each of the characters have some very interesting motivations, and what’s more, all of them are connected somehow. Sadly, this is as far as I got, but I will discover the truth…someday.

The Penguins and their Antics.


Shoma’s penguin is clumsy as hell, Kanbe’s is perverted, and Masako’s is also perverted but also crazy. I actually paid quite a bit of attention to the stuff the penguins did, because to me it was somehow representative of what the characters were thinking or something.

Also, don’t forget the great stalking scene, where Ringo is stalking Tabuki, and Shoma/Kanbe are stalking Ringo. That scene made me laugh really hard, you know an anime is special when it can make you laugh like that, but at the same time consider some very deep things like fate, parents, the environment (???) , abuse , love and other stuff.




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