Cmon in, we’re all celebrating Himari Day!
|Hello all! Oh man, summer animes are already here and so far it’s been a blast! I just finished going through the slice of life, adventure and action genre animes. So now I’m on to the psychological, magical and fantasy type! Indeed, I have no idea what to expect considering the little amount of information given on this anime. But hey! Expect some trippy stuff from the creators of Utena.|
|With little warning and only the slightest of hints, Mawaru Penguindrum had left otaku scratching their heads with uncertainty. It would involve penguins, we knew that much. Finally, everything has been revealed!|
|This show, no matter how many times I look at the PVs, is still really mysterious to me. I’m not quite sure what’s going to happen, but I’ve caught glimpses of the art and it’s GORGEOUS. Needless to say, I am super excited!!!|
|Hi folks! Brains Base puts out their 3rd anime of the Summer season, and this one’s a real wild one to start! Kunihiko Ikuhara is back after a long hiatus to bring us this tale of 3 siblings… and PENGUINS!!! So, thank you my kawaii penguin nakama! Let’s get started with the episode!|
The show has an opening narration by Shouma questioning “fate”, which leads into the opening, “Nornir” by Ruetsuko Yakushima Metropolitan Orchestra.
We’re introduced to our main characters, the Takakura siblings. Shouma (blue hair bishie), Kanba (red hair bishie) and Himari are enjoying a meal that the boys have prepared. The love these kids have for each other is gushing all over the place.
The first of two flashback scenes has the bishie brothers in the hospital with a doctor overlooking some test results. The doctor says that there’s not much they can do for her (Himari) and Kanba flips his lid on the doctor, wondering what doctor would say out loud that there’s nothing they can do to save her.
How nice of you to let me know a flashback scene is coming
As Himari declares that today is Himari Day, a couple of kids walking home from soccer practice are talking about the importance of the apple and that things aren’t over when you’re dead. And on Himari Day, the siblings go to the aquarium to see penguins. As they ride the train, Himari pleads with her brothers to do their impressions of the animals from the aquarium.
On Himari Day, we curl up on the couch and huggle pillows
As they enjoy the penguins waddling around, Kanba gets a call and the other two go to the gift shop. After looking at some dolls, Himari finds a penguin hat that she really likes, and Shouma especially approves! As Shouma is buying her hat, Kanba comes and asks Shouma where Himari went. Not knowing what happened to her, they run, only to find her laying on the ground unconscious. After they rush to the ER room, Himari apparently realizes not much can be done, says goodbye to Kan and Sho, and then flatlines.
Kanba – “Penguins aren’t so special.” Shouma – “Dude. you talkin shit about PENGUINS!!!!”
The bishie brothers stay by Himari’s bedside, and Kan admits that the doctor wasn’t a quack at all and starts to call their uncle Ikebe for help, which Sho-chan doesn’t take too kindly to and tackles Kan. Out of nowhere, Himari sits straight up and yells, “SURVIVAL STRATEGY!” with her penguin hat on. A possessed Himari explains that she’s extended her life, and before she can tell them how to save her, her penguin hat falls off and we see Himari return to her more common state. The siblings go back home and continue living in “bliss”, followed by another well-timed flashback scene with the doctor saying it’s a miracle that her condition has healed.
Nonononononono Himari, it wasn’t what it looked like!
A mysterious package arrives for the Takakuras in the mail, but before they can get past the ice and the blue metal blocks, Shouma has to leave. After running into a buddy, Shouma finds himself in annoying situations, from forgetting a bus pass to missing out on cabbage to not having an umbrella. A little penguin appears each time, giving him what he needs and then disappearing. Weirded out by the penguin and the fact that two people walking out of the convenient store can’t see it, Shouma runs home. At the house, the penguins are doing household chores, like knitting and using bug spray on some creepy crawlers.
It’s time for some FABULOUS! The penguin hat appears yet again on Himari, and after yelling, “SURVIVAL STRATEGY!” we get a trippy scene accompanied by the song “ROCK OVER JAPAN” by Triple H. Himari emerges from the mecha-esque machine in a whole new sexy outfit, trapping her brothers and explaining some more about how they are lowlifes and that there’s a price for Himari’s continued-past-expiration life. After Shouma gets the classic Mr. Burns’ send-off, Himari initiates the “SURVIVAL STRATEGY!” on Kanba, with her clothes coming undone and reaching into Kanba’s chest and pulling out what can be presumed as his heart.
Just wondering. JUST WONDERING.
After SURVIVAL STRATEGY wraps up, it’s nighttime and Shouma is dreaming in his sleep and Kanba is sitting by Himari’s bedside looking over her.As the lights dim, he says, “just wondering” and then goes to give Himari what can only be assumed a kiss on the lips. Before we see lips touch, the scene cuts to outside the house. Cue the ending “DEAR FUTURE” by coaltar of the deepers.
Weekly Marching of the Penguins:
Might I recommend some cabbage to you. It helps fight cancer.
Penguin #3 is currently knitting Hato’s new scarf. It’ll look so cute on him!
Rejoice! For our kawaii imoutou has risen from the dead!
Shouma – “Yeah, you creepily rubbing my junk won’t impress the ladies.”
A little extra FABULOUS for ya
Just what the hell is this bear-like mecha?
When we previewed this anime, we really had little idea what to expect. You would’ve had to dig real deep to find just character designs of the 3 siblings and the penguins. And even after feeling like maybe I can sense the rhythm of MP, it’s only up to “fate” as to where Ikuhara takes this show.
The artistic direction of this show looks to be just gorgeous and stunning to take in. Colors are so incredibly vibrant and the tiny details in the Takakura household and everywhere else are so exquisite and really filled with “bliss”. And the vibrancy of the house and how close the siblings are to each other are reflections of one another. I also really enjoyed the OST thru the episode, and the OP and ED themes are really good while not only just introducing new characters, but posing other questions (like who are the other two girls with Himari in the ending).
This episode really bounced around in genres. It starts off as a slice-of-life type show, then hits you with some dramatic tragedy, recovers and becomes a humorous comedy with the penguins, and then goes to a FABULOUS fantasy with Himari’s penguin hat possessing her, and then tosses in a bit of (potential) incest by episode’s end. It all has a really wild flow that I couldn’t help but be sucked into as the scene transition queues were interesting, specifically the flashback ones about the “miracle” of Himari’s health. And I swear, that conversation those soccer kids had while walking is dropping so many hints; the same can be said for the number 95 used in the OP and during the transformation sequence. It’s just that, brilliantly, I have absolutely no idea what’s to come of it and where things can head. Hop aboard the Ikuhara train and enjoy!
I’d be remiss if I didn’t address the incest display at the end of the episode. All things considered, the element of incest was bound to happen. It borders on sickening just how much they all love each other, and while they were generally just a happy family in a parentless household, something about Himari’s “Seizon senryaku!” has changed the fate of Kan-chan. Incest is a tricky subject, so hopefully you won’t mind some bro-on-sis action.
Wow! I’m contemplating watching this episode over again. But I think I have the gist of it. Considering this is from the creators of Utena, I knew that this would be a mind blowing type of anime. With all the philosophy type of explanations, the random things everywhere and being shown characters that are needed to be seen while the rest of the people are just props, is so like it. The story itself is so interesting so far but there’s just some random elements that I’ve noticed that make me laugh.
Starting off a story with tragedy is just sad! I was like, “WTF, you don’t have such a tragic death in the beginning?!” But who would expect that there’s more to it? Those damn pengins were bound to have something to do with this after all. The opening theme was just awesome and I love the uniform designs from Utena and seeing such cools ones in this anime is a plus. As well, seeing that white haired prince looking guy totally gave me a Utena feel in the opening hah! Seeing that some mystical god has a play in the fates of the main characters was interesting.
But seriously, this takes magical girls to another level! Himari turned into a damn mahou shoujou! QB IS NOW A PENGUIN! BUWAHAHAH! And somehow the brothers are tied all into this. Yes yes, they are bishies, oh so yummy looking ones too. Did you guys totally notice that steal from Utena when magical girl Himari pulled something out of the oldest brother?! That scene make me laugh but it was still cool despite being a reused element. The animation so far in this is one of my favorites for the season. Totally matches and their house with all the random crap in it so looks like it belongs to kids who have no adult presence.. somewhat cool look. But oh man, the penguins! So awesome and cute! But what happened next with the sister being controlled by the god was just funny. Anyways, I have more to say but I’m sure the others will have covered it. I look forward to the next episode but I don’t think I’ll be posting with Jrow on this. Pengin #2 ~ Reporting out~!
To put it simply, Mawaru Penguindrum is all kinds of awesome. The first episode managed to squeeze a lot in while not being rushed, something I tend to chastize first episodes for doing on a regular basis. The events unfold one after another, ranging from depressing, serene to holy incest in a penguin sandwich this is INSANE. I don’t know how the show manages to transition between all of these things so fluidly, but it does. As soon as I pegged it down as a fluffy, slice of life – the main girl died. As soon as I thought I was dealing with a drama, PENGUINS CAME OUT OF NOWHERE. This is quite easily one of the most unique anime of the season, one where you would give someone dirty looks if they don’t at LEAST try the first episode.
As much as I love the bright colours, the wonderful mishmash of genres and integration of adorable penguins, I do have a few gripes. Himari is a sweet girl, and there really is no reason to dislike her. Her penguin takeover mode is also awesome, if not just for the reason that the transformation sequence was so hypnotic I didn’t even dare to breathe for the entire duration. So far so good, right? But then incest happened. If this increases past my threshold of tolerance, it’s an instant drop for me. Some people don’t like gore, and some people don’t like incest. I’m one of those incest-haters. I can only hope she is magically not related to any of them by some convenient plot device.
Seeing as incest is my only real complaint, I can honestly say this is going to be a wonderful show. The perfect blend of everything you could ever want with the bonus of penguins. I watched this with my friend and we were incredibly distracted by the penguins. I don’t know how we managed to stay conscious during that insane spaceship transformation stripping sequence. I am curious as hell what this search for the Penguin Drum is and why Himari seemed to rip her brother’s heart out. This is one of my favourites of the season so far, you can bet I’ll be watching this every week~
Princess of Crystal
Oh god, where do I start with this one. Right from the first episode I am already hooked and this might just be my favorite show of the season. First off, those penguins – oh my GOD, I want one! They are the manifestation of ADORABLE. Hell, they give Yune from Ikoku Meiro no Croisee a good run for her money! Needless to say, from the cutiepatootie penguins to the colorful Takakura household, the art in Mawaru Penguindrum is simply GORGEOUS. I love it! Everything is so vibrant and upbeat and, when coupled with the very interesting story going on here, it makes for a masterpiece in its own right. An interesting thing to note is that the only characters that we really get any focus on are the siblings, the penguins and, to an extent, the doctor. All other people are smooth moving, grey stick figures and it sort of emphasizes the separation between the “real world” and the fantastic story at hand.
The story is just brilliant. Brilliant. So much happened in one episode and though, at times, I was at loss as to what was going on, it was still epic! When Himari died, I was quite shocked and thought that she had come back as a ghost at first. That she was possessed by the hat was really interesting and I’m really curious as to what on earth the entity within it is. Also, I wonder what “survival strategy” is? And the INCEST man! What’s with that?! It was odd but I’ll definitely give props because, with the abrupt cut off, the scene was executed perfectly. It certainly added to the shock value of the show. I love that I have no idea where and what everything is going to lead to.
We have a small cast of characters thus far, but I very much like what I see. Character design was by Lily Hoshino, who also did Otome Youkai Zakuro, and I’m so glad she did because it was absolutely lovely. Finally, the cherry on top for me was the OP. Etsuko Yakushimaru (who also sang the OP for Arakawa Under the Bridge and the ED for Yojouhan Shinwa Tantei) captured the whimsical feel of Mawaru Penguindrum perfectly with her soft, airy vocals. I loved it. I LOVE THIS SHOW.
Episode 2 Preview:
Slurpin’ on TP.