The Beautiful Casket
|How’s it going everyone? December hasn’t been too bad for me, what with all these little things I’ve been getting; feels like a Christmas month! Times are good and fun is being had. As Christmas is inching ever so closer, so does the ending to Penguindrum. As you’ve already seen her profile icon below my own, OC-senpai will be joining me for impressions this week!|
|It may be exam time, but nothing can stop me from getting a weekly dose of Mawaru Penguindrum! It just takes a little time management. The recent episodes have been so intense that I can’t watch it in the morning or else I’ll be more focused on either holding back tears or figuring everything out instead of studying. This week is no exception.|
Of all the people, Double H is on the train to visit Himari. They’re wearing the cliche famous people disguises that only makes you look like a murderer as opposed to people that just don’t want to be noticed. Nobody is home as the girls ring the doorbell and Ringo, who was just arriving, confronts them as she’s suspicious of what they’re doing. Ringo is surprised that they’re Double-H, and the girls chat as Hibari & Hikari came to say thanks for the scarves and to lend Himari their newest CD single to listen to. Now, 2 OSTs so far have been released, but why the hell ain’t I Rockin’ Over Japan yet with Triple-H? Cmon people, let’s get the rest of this incredible music released!
Shouma walks right past the two girls as he arrives home to see Ringo waiting. He’s concerned that Himari didn’t go to his uncle’s house and is feeling (as he should) angry at himself about not taking her feelings into consideration. Ringo correctly assumes that she is with Kanba.
What is D-Day? June 6, 1944… Wikipedia has more information, or you could play Medal of Honor: Frontline’s opening mission. (Quick tangent: that D-Day mission in the game has been one of my most favorite gaming experiences, but anyways, I’m not so sure if Penguins are storming Normandy…) The black teddies seem like a dangerous weapon as a factory is getting them ready with an apparent need for another 300. The “dogs” apparently have found some information about the plan, and Kanba plans to head to “that forest” to delete the information.
A lot of anime are doing the crazy computer monitor setups for one. The table & chair are a classy touch.
Flashback. Sanetoshi tells Kan about Himari’s medicine, but that another way to save her is to accept the curse of his and the Takakura parents.
The curse of the parents become transferred to the children
Himari hugs Kanba as he’s doing some computer business, trying to take some of the burden off his shoulders by apologizing for not noticing the sacrifice he was making for her. All that matters to Kanba is saving her and would never forgive the world if she did die, so he seems fully intent on living the curse of Sanetoshi and the Takakuras. All for her.
Chasing him in a Tron-like room with a Matrix color scheme, Himari opens a door and realizes she’s back at the aquarium. Thinking back to the day she first died, she thinks of what might’ve happened had she just stayed dead. Falling to her knees, she speaks to God wanting them to give back to Kan everything he’s done for her, and a shot comes out from the sky as she falls down and Threetie starts to become translucent.
Stellar (pun not intended) imagery
Yuri (spoilers already) asks Ringo to meet her as a flashback plays of Tabuki protecting Yuri from the person who’s about to attack her with a knife. It turns out to be her troupe buddy Tsubasa who runs away. Tabuki reflects back on how he & Yuri were beyond help, and Ringo leaves with half of the diary Yuri had taken from her.
Masako catches up with Kanba as he plans to go toward the “forest”. Enemy vehicles are tailing them, and Kanba pulls out his smartphone and uses a bowling app to get some orange balls to roll underneath the car and explode. They make their way to the inside of the statue in the middle of Ikebukuro, but are surrounded by police. Kan fries a PC and kicks a floor opening. The underground he plans to use hasn’t been traveled upon in many years. Masako goes on about Himari and how the Natsume family was cursed, but Kanba continues to tell her not to follow him.
I want this game made! (except I don’t need exploding bombs)
The po-po are quite relentless as they have tracked Kanba underground. Another flick of the finger sends an exploding ball down, clearing the path for Kanba as he makes it to the bottom floor, followed by Natsume. The cops aren’t done yet! Another searchlight is powered up as they start to shoot at the two. He dives and protects her while a flashback shows Kanba wanting to stay with their dad so that Masako and Mario could live a normal life.
Kanba takes some damage as the blood puddle is expanding at a rapid rate. His Kiga Group partners surround he and Masako and pick up Kanba to walk away, refusing to surrender to the police. The Penguindrum soundtrack gives a rousing (seemingly) sendoff to Masako as she decides to stall the cops to protect Kan. Gunshots are heard, cut to the episode title “The Beautiful Casket”.
Post-Credits: Flashback from 10-years ago, Shouma was inside a caged box, not knowing where he was at.
Weekly Marching of the Penguins:
The girls are riding the train, so they get a break from the interpretive dance slogans
Such charming young ladies Double-H are
#1 is trying to study, no time for pr0n
Another amazing episode of Penguindrum. Have I expressed my love for this series properly yet? I don’t think I have. I love this show with all my heart! It’s not a perfect 10, but it’s got some very special qualities to it. Mostly, I love the cryptic nature of the show and how every week presents a new mystery. Will they be able to wrap it up neatly in time for the final episode, or will we be left with an even bigger mystery at the end? I can only hope they get to explaining everything, because I feel like the truth is only ever lightly danced around – never directly given. What is Kanba using those dark teddies for? Where is the “Forest?” Why was Shouma in one of those boxes before? Is this related to the Child Broiler somehow?
Whatever Kanba is really up to, his interactions with this group has made him a really frightening character. If anything, he’s almost become a villain in the show. He is unfazed by death, and kills them by using a bowling app. A BOWLING APP. Come on, man, you’re killing people and you treat it like a game? Furthermore, I was sensing a similar situation to what happened in Steins;Gate with Okarin and saving his lady friend (I’m being very careful of spoilers, sorry XD). Personally, I feel like Kanba wants to save Himari for his own selfish reasons. It USED to be for her own good, but that’s changed as he began to sacrifice more and more and slowly sink deeper into this curse. She doesn’t want to live if it means he has to go this far, but Kanba isn’t listening to her AT ALL. She even tried to distract him by being overly affectionate on purpose (I think she was lying, that minx) but he didn’t react. What happened to his love for Himari? Is it more of an obsession than love now? Anyways, she’s tried to kill herself before to save Kanba the trouble, when Tabuki kidnapped her. Now she’s doing it again, although based on the preview for the next episode she probably isn’t dead yet.
Flash forward to Masako desperately trying to get Kanba to live, it’s debatable whether she genuinely wants to save him or if she’s also doing this just to hog him to herself. It could be either, but it’s hard to say. In one way, she wants to save him and is trying to protect him for his own good because she cares. In another way, she is incredibly possessive and offers to follow him down that dark path of being cursed as long as he’ll walk alongside her. It’s probably a little bit of both. Whatever the situation, I was incredibly sad when she sacrificed herself to save Kanba. I don’t get how Kanba got away with one bullet wound while Masako is probably swiss cheese right now.
At first I didn’t like Masako, but in her final moments she really showed some honorable bravery. Also, it looked beautiful with the falling glass, slow motion, slow panning up of her body and the final shot mimicking Masako’s pose in the first OP. Funnily enough, Himari also had a scene that’s the same as her running in the 2nd OP while Kanba turns a corner and heads towards a different direction. Another thing I keep noticing in this series and in this episode is the symbol of circles, or rings. It’s not only used to show episode numbers and in the subways, but it’s all over. In the beginning of the episode Kanba says to put “50 teddies in each ring.” The statue that he sneaks under is of two people forming a ring. He’s also surrounded by the Kiga group in a circle when he gets shot (although that’s probably just me looking at every circle I see and using top-down processing to skew reality). The rings also have arrows so it makes me wonder if it’s hinting at repeated cycles…How the children take on the sins of their parents, continuing it on from generation to generation. Nothing ends, it simply keeps going and going in an endless cycle. Or maybe it’s just a goddamned circle. WHATEVER, I TRIED.
“We just needed someone to tell us that we were loved.”
Goodness gracious. This would solve everybody’s problems in Penguindrum! That line and this episode was really effective at summing up the lives that Yuri and Tabuki lived. Both had in my estimation the worst parents of all of the Penguindrum generation, with Yuri’s dad looking at her as just a canvas for his art while Tabuki failed at being talented and therefore did not receive love. As for the Kanba/Masako/Himari love triangle, the different levels of love they all had for each other was played up big time. Kanba has gotten deep into this curse business with the Kiga Group so much that, even as he keeps on talking about how Himari is his world, I believe the idea of saving Himari has changed for him even if he doesn’t recognize it. And Kanba is Masako’s brother, so that’s why her love for Kanba also comes off as very possessive. I’m kind of interested to see what people have to say in the comments in regards to the idea of selfish and selfless love. Each of those 3 characters appear to have selfless reasons, but deep down inside, it could be selfish love that causes Kanba to act the way he is.
Kanba’s been the man. We’ve known throughout Penguindrum that he is a man of action. We’ve known how superior he is to Shouma, a guy who we once were led to believe was his brother. A lot of people (myself included) really like Kanba because of this. However, he’s now basically unafraid to vilify himself for his own selfish desire. While he does seem radically different from being played with by Masako and now Sanetoshi, I wanna side with the guy, but his killing ways with the bowling app has turned him into sort of a villain. Masako couldn’t get through to him, Himari’s having trouble getting to him, who knows what else Shouma could do. Is there anyway to snap Kanba out of this or will he end up as dead as Himari might be? The guy basically feels like he has to follow this curse that Sanetoshi and Kenzan have setup for him. People have teased Shouma’s character as being useless at times, but doesn’t it seem like Kanba is just being used?
Ringo’s chance to save the day might just be gathering steam. Yuri gave her the half of the diary she had, but now with Masako’s status up in the air, how does Ringo get that half back? If Masako is dead, maybe this is when it’ll be Mario’s turn to do something actually useful. While Ringo might be starting to reassert herself in the thick of things, this episode provided closure to the stories of Masako, Tabuki and Yuri. I think many might’ve assumed that Tabuki would take the knife (or that Tsubasa was the culprit), but I really like the way their story ends as I mentioned in my opening paragraph. As for Masako, kinda echoing the thoughts OC has, her taking a stand in defense of Kanba with that BGM and saying what might be Penguindrum’s most popular line was glorious. I was very neutral with her character early on, and definitely episode 16 made me feel pity for her. But by the end and knowing her full story, she surely stands out to me as one of Penguindrum’s best characters.
But where closure wraps things up (at least for Yuri and Tabuki at the moment), more questions are to be posed. As we are in the home stretch of Penguindrum, we are once again left with another post-credits scene that poses a question: why is Shouma boxed? Next week for sure, we’ll probably see who it was that freed Shouma. It’s obviously key to tell Shouma’s full story as a lead in to his likely inevitable confrontation with Kanba or whoever, just so long as it gets its point across and gets Shouma out of the damn house! There’s so much to see with what happened to Kanba and Himari. Grah! There are only 2 more episodes of this thing left. Cannot cannot cannot wait for them!
Episode 23 Preview: