Mawaru Penguindrum – 18

Tabuki lacks talent, and thus must be broiled

Hello reader. Hope all is well with you. This week, I’ve been enjoying some shiny new video games in the way of MW3, MGS HD Collection and a little later Skyrim. While I’ve beaten Uncharted 3, I’m very much looking forward to Skyward Sword.

So for the Pengi Show this week, we last left off with Tabuki about to serve an unheated dish of revenge.

Keiju gets his turn for some backstory. His mom loves talented people. Tabuki is alright at piano, but his brother is even better. While his mom is sure that his brother will get first place, Tabuki is worried that he’s no longer needed.

How Tabuki’s hand got messed up

Looking to exact revenge on the Takakura family, Tabuki pushes Ringo leaving her locked inside the elevator while he grabs Himari and pulls her out. He calls Kanba and gives him the location, and also asks that Kan bring his father with him.

Ringo tries to plead with Tabuki to stop and is trying to understand why he’s doing this. Tabuki flashes back to when he was in the Child Broiler, unable to play piano due to an injured left hand and about to become an “invisible entity”. Momoka breaks into the Broiler wanting to save Tabuki. Because he can’t be number 1 at the piano ever again, he refuses and takes the ride to basically be completely “shredded” into invisibility. Momoka is persistent and grabs Tabuki, confessing her love for him and even holding on to him despite having a blowtorch shooting at her hand.

Momoka breaks in to save Tabuki from the Child Broiler

Kanba arrives to see Himari being held hostage in a construction-style elevator (?) held by wiring and can only watch as Tabuki explodes them one by one. Ringo’s gonna call the police, but Kanba doesn’t want her to, so she calls Shouma who is on the train and not noticing he got a message from her.

Tabuki was quite a good bad guy. Who’d a thought?

After Sanetoshi explains the magic of a camera, Tabuki throws out some pics of Kanba when he was taking the money needed to save Himari and knows that the organization involved is run by Kenzan. After blowing up a couple more wires while explaining how Momoka could’ve been a savior to humankind, there’s only one wire left.

Kanba grabs the wire waiting for Tabuki to blow it up, and with a little help from #1, he’s able to hold on and keep Himari from falling. Himari sees her brother going through so much pain just to hold on and she decides that she’ll accept her father’s punishment and jump. Tabuki sees a bit of Momoka in Kanba with his desire to save Himari and snaps out of his revenge mode. He’s able to save Himari from falling.

Tabuki walks away telling Ringo to not be like him and he takes a slap from Yuri for saying that Momoka, Yuri and he were just a fake family. Shouma arrives later and holds his siblings as they collapse, wondering what they did to deserve all of this. Ringo assures Sho that she won’t be like Tabuki, she doesn’t hate his family and she wants him to be there for her (taken from the ep title).

Weekly Marching of the Penguins:

“Gonna save Hi…OH LOOK A QUARTER!”

Himari – “I’ll distract Tabuki, you knit a rope for me. Oh hey, it’s red, hehe…heh…”

Pengi Pengi no Balloon! His eyes also break like glass here.

#1’s got a fever, and the only prescription is more porn!

Spiffy new banner. Ness does some great work.

I saw Hime tweet that this episode was very Casshern Sins-like. The main contributor to that would be episode/storyboard director Shigeyasu Takeuchi (also director of Yumekui Merry and various DBZ movies). I have not seen Casshern Sins, but am interested now after seeing how visually excellent this episode was. In Yumekui Merry, I really loved how all the dream worlds were designed, and I’m really high on how Takeuchi-san adapted his visual style into the Penguindrum world. This episode stands with #9 as one of my favorites from the series not only in animation, but in pacing and story composition.

I was seriously sucked into the near-ending scene with Kanba and Himari. I wondered how or even if Himari would be saved, and though I hoped Shouma would get some glory, I’m not sure how Tabuki was able to make it down in time. They show him still upstairs a couple moments before she decides to jump. The only thing to determine is that he’s also Superman. Anyways… this is the most Himari has been involved with her brother’s “work” and I’m curious what her reaction is to everything. And now it’s fully impossible to not like Ringo. She was pleading for Shouma like I’m sure most of us were, and though we’ve seen her character develop some since the diary was stolen from her, no scene with her has had a deeper impact than the ending; fate will bring those two kids together soon enough.

Tabuki’s past is a little less grim and disturbing than Masako’s and Yuri’s. They only really spent the opening segment and a little bit later with he and Momoka, but I really like how the episode showed the progression with he and Momoka and used it to justify why Tabuki would snap and want to take revenge on the Takakuras after previously telling Ringo not to. He actually turned out to be a very convincing bad guy, as his look and attitude were pitch perfect for a guy that we would’ve thought only positive things of prior, but seeing Kanba do for Himari what Momoka did for him, he couldn’t go on hurting them. Tabuki and Yuri would attest to Momoka being a savior, but look at how those two are now, especially Yuri; having that last bit of hope taken away from them has twisted them in a pretty bad way.

Back in episode 9, I literally went WTF? with the child broiler, but I feel that this episode provides a slight sense of understanding and the ideology behind it for me. Tabuki’s fear of never being able to live up to his mom’s expectations perhaps made him feel worthless enough to feel “invisible”. There’s a bunch of kids that have overly motivational parents and feel so overwhelmed by the constant pushing that any bit of failure affects them deeply; perhaps Tabuki wanted to be really good at piano, but just couldn’t compare to brother. Himari’s brief stint in the broiler likely stemmed from when she realized that the music group could only be Double-H instead of Triple-H. If that’s a possibility, then both situations came out of something musical.

Episode 19 Preview:

Working’!! with Penguins


Produces the MetaVerse podcast. Also plays games and watches sports of all sorts. Is an actual Pirate King.
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17 Responses to “Mawaru Penguindrum – 18”

  1. Snowley says:

    Oh wow, I liked this episode (like any other). Another bad parent, eh? The saddest thing things that happened to Tabuki are pretty common – children often suffer from parent that expect too much, especially nowadays.

    Himari and Shoma annoyed me. “Don’t do anything more to save me”? She doesen’t know how much he did already. It’s way past the point of turning back. And for Christ’s sake, Shoma, do someting constructive FOR ONCE, being sweet emo boy does not help with anything.

    Hug scene was so d’aww. More sweet siblings interaction plz.

    Show ▼

    • Jrow says:

      Ever since episode 12 or 13 when Kenzan said “boy” on the phone, I’ve been wondering what that means, and more and more I’m not sure what Kanba’s relation to the family is. Signs seem to point toward not being related to Sho/Himari, at least for me atm.

      • Snowley says:

        Oh, and Natsume mistook Kanba for her father apisode or two ago. Hmmmmm~~

      • Suzushina Yuriko says:

        No, if anyone is going to be singled out as not truly being related to the family, it’s Shouma. Kanba resembles his dad and Himari resembles her mom, but Shouma seems to always be the odd one out. Perhaps Shouma was adopted or something.

        Also, to Snowley, “do something constructive for once”? Doesn’t saving Ringo from drowning, being hit by a car, and stopping her from both becoming a rapist and a rapee count as doing something constructive? Shouma was looking in the other side of town and he got there as fast as he could, and the only reason Kanba got there first was because Tabuki contacted him.

        Sorry for the rant, but Shouma is probably my favorite character and I don’t like people thinking he’s useless just because he’s a nice guy.

        • Snowley says:

          On the other hand, Kanba could be Kenzan’s brother’s son, hence resemblance.
          It’s not like I don’t like Shoma. But it feels like he “cured” Ringo and that’s about it. Now he’s just wandering around aimlessly and that pisses me off. His role in the whole story is now only to make sad faces.

  2. Kitty says:

    Messed up episode that is all I have to say…. but Kanba got some bad ass points!

    • Jrow says:

      He got some badass points, and the episode had a lot of good shots of him looking cool and protecting Himari. Even though Kan is sneaking around and getting money and has a siscon, I really like his character.

  3. Miyu says:

    I feel like my mind is being blown every week – every new episode gives you this whole load of new information and you have to stitch it together with the background stories of each character to fully understand the story *w*

    I liked this episode, though. Tabuki turned out to be, in your words, a pretty good bad guy. I didn’t expect it, but then again you never really know with Penguindrum. I love how they manage to touch these deep themes while still retaining that refreshing humor!

    • Joojoobees says:

      I completely agree. All I can really say is: Wow, wow, WOW.

    • Jrow says:

      Penguindrum has proven to be very good at leaving viewers with something to think about. And we still got 6 more eps to go!

      Overcooled would attest to how great a seiyuu Akira Ishida is, so kudos to him for adujusting his approach to Tabuki this episode. As for retaining humor, I loved how it was done in episode 16. Deep theme of a grandfather being an ass and Masako’s grief with the situation, yet was dealt with in such a ridiculous and funny way.

  4. Overcooled says:

    I love this episode…Definitely one of my new favourites as well. I couldn’t even move from my couch as I was watching it, I was so entranced.

    I feel bad for Shoma. He wants to save his sister, but he’s left out of everything. He’s not working for an underground group to provide money, he’s not the one people contact to negotiate for kidnappings, and he’s never been able to get his hands on Momoka’s diary properly. He’s trying almost just as hard as Kanba, but doesn’t get anything done. To be honest, I think most people would be as lost as Shoma trying to save their sister from a disease and a talking hat. Kanba is just…special. Very special. I want to hear more about what he actually does to get the money from those shady people. It can’t be good. :/

    • Jrow says:

      This whole thing with Shouma the past couple of weeks being relegated to watching the door and not arriving in time really makes him out to be one of the only honest characters in the series. And now that Ringo’s changed so much, she fits right in with him and it actually strengthened the pairing of those two, especially with such an emotional end scene. I really like Shouma and I want him to do something great, but I fear it’d be at the cost of sacrificing himself which wo… jeez, I don’t wanna even think about it.

  5. BlackBriar says:

    Can things possibly get anymore messed up? I doubt it. As for your video game list, Jrow, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is on its way November 15th. I’ve gotta get a PS3.

    Porn as a prescription?! No way!! That’s news to me. What else are they going to consider as medication? LOL.

    • Jrow says:

      So many, almost too many games! I read a story that Best Buy is gonna sell Revelations for $35 on Black Friday. Damn sweet deal I might take up!

      I laughed out loud like an idiot when #2 was flipping pages. Like, what a team player helping his Pengi bro out. 🙂

  6. TheVoid says:

    The fact that he wanted Kanba to bring his father means he most likely wanted to punish their parents for what happened instead of the kids.

  7. Alynn says:

    I really liked this episode. ALL MY EMOTIONS. Ughhhhhh I need the next episode asap.

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