Mawaru Penguindrum – 23

Think Outside The Box

I must start by sharing this particular image, showcasing the reactions to Penguindrum each week. Really funny. Anyways, this train ride is almost at the end. What is Penguindrum’s penultimate episode going to set up for us? (Oh, for the people who commented last week, sorry for not replying as per usual.)

Flashback to 16 years ago in the subway. Sanetoshi has plans to break out of his “box” (surely mentioning that with the ongoing post-credits sequence with Shouma and Kanba) as it appears to be Kenzan placing bears strategically around the car. The confrontation of Momoka and Sanetoshi provides clarity to how Sanetoshi is able to be in ghost-like form and also the origins of both the Black Bunnies and the Penguin Veils. The thing with him being a ghost struck me as odd when it was first brought up, as well as giving the idea that Momoka’s soul split into the penguin hats now keeping Himari and Mario alive.

The Penguindrum equivalent of two shounen characters punching each other in the face at the same time

Himari was taken to the hospital after her moment in ep. 22, so Shouma is able to find her likely after being called in.Her time is limited to no more than a day. When Sho asks the doctor about Sanetoshi, doc talks about how he died 16 years ago, but did have a strange dream with Sanetoshi. Sho and Ringo have a touching moment together outside as the realization that Himari will die starts to set it.

Sanetoshi’s medicine doesn’t work, but he has another way! Great… another way. Always another way. Now making Kanba into his lackey, Sanetoshi does his version of Seizon Senryaku (an apple locked inside the revolving globe thingy) which brings the two to Masako’s house. As they arrive, Masako (now revealed as Kanba’s twin sister) flatlines. This reviving the dead thing is the magic of Sanetoshi, who’s able to resurrect Masako. She notices Kanba taking the half of the diary she had taken and her pleading to stop goes unanswered.

The frozen world imagery fills the hospital room as Himari recalls the moment she and her fake brothers went to the beach and she got lost. When she was found, Himari broke into tears of happiness as she realized she was a child that could be found. Himari knows what’s best for her brothers and asks Sho to find Kanba.

It’s a frozen world they live in

Kanba laughing at the crybaby. What a dick!

Shouma is as use to naked women as Kodaka from Haganai is

Shouma recalls an image were quite familiar with from the OP

Penguin #1 comes flying in thru the window and Kanba is standing on the window sill. He plans to take Himari thinking he knows exactly what’s wrong with the world and points a gun at Shouma. Kan hugs Shouma, says, “I’ve always wanted to do this to you”, and then shoves the gun into Sho’s stomach and pulls the trigger.

While Ringo stopped at the Takakura house to get some clothes for Sho, she has a Flashback to when she met with Yuri who explained the secret of the diary. Ringo’s unsure of what she can do, but knows that she’ll at least need the other half. The house phones rings, and apparently Kanba know Ringo was there. He explains that he has the other half of the diary and wants to meet with her and save Himari together. If someone tells you to come to them… not a good sign.

Ringo arrives at the aquarium and Kan speaks over an intercom telling her to walk toward his voice. As she approaches a bear, she becomes curious as to how he knew about the diary. She turns around and notices Sanetoshi (who lost his face for a couple seconds). The bear explodes and Ringo is knocked out for a moment as the diary starts to burn. Holding the diary close to her body proves to be bad method of putting out a fire; I suppose we could at least admire her determination as the diary burns to ash. Kanba throws the other half in the fire. For Sanetoshi and Kanba, mission accomplished! Nothing can stop them now as the get ready to board the Destiny Express.

Stop Drop and Roll may not apply to inanimate objects, but there was water nearby

Walking the flaming carpet is Kanba and Sanetoshi!

Shouma wakes up with the site of a pengi bullet nearby. It’s hard to know which color Kan shot him with, as the color tones of the scene plus the fact that those bullets seem to turn gray after a short time. After realizing Himari was taken away, the penguin hat talks to Sho and tells him to get on the Destiny Express where Kanba is heading. The hat claims that together, he and Kanba can find their Penguin Drum. I at this point am concerned that the Penguin Drum is an intangible item.

Instead of the typical Triple-H animated ending, Sanetoshi continues talking boxes. Getting ready to repeat the same thing from 16 years ago with placing teddy bears on the train, Sho arrives, looking to set up a final confrontation between the two.

Yeah! Showdown time.

Post Credits: Kanba was in a box, too.

Weekly Marching of the Penguins:

Quit trying to turn me on Esmeralda!  It’s not like it’s… working or anything…

A sweet yet very somber moment between #2 and #3

I wouldn’t date a 2 or a 1, so it’s really a moot point.

This episode was a defining one for Sanetoshi. We had sort of gathered at some point that he was the main villain of the series, but this episode was basically a coming out party of his plans to seemingly destroy the world. The progression toward this moment for him was pretty solid as I recall key moments and phrases from past episodes that hinted at all of this, and it was great to see his confrontation with Momoka and how the hats and bunnies came to be. The box analogy still needs some more explaining with Shouma and Kanba spending time in their own boxes. And though Sanetoshi believes he has won by having the diary burned, he doesn’t really know what Momoka is up to.

The hat splitting off into two proves some people right about Momoka still being around via the penguin hat. What does strike me as odd is why for so long did Himari act like such a bitch when the hat took over her. And if it’s talking to Shouma, then was it talking to Mario too? The lack of interest the show has in Mario is frustrating, but I’ll just hold on to hope that Mario (via Momoka’s hat) plays a pivotal role in stopping Sanetoshi/Kanba. These characters have been cheating death long enough; I would think that with Sanetoshi and Momoka’s battle finally reaching a conclusion, others will pay the ultimate price.

As I mention in the summary, I really like how the beginning validates Sanetoshi as a ghost presence, and how it defines that the Penguin Veils are Momoka. It’s a revisiting of that Schroedinger’s Cat Theory from episode 6 with Tabuki, and who knows if this applies also to what we are seeing with Sho and Kan in these post-credit scenes.

There’s quite a bit of business to cover for next weeks conclusion. What happens to the world? Will anybody truly die? I really hope 22 minutes covers enough bases. This penultimate episode was effective at advancing the plot, yet not showing too many of its cards. Like… we learned stuff, but only made one scene of direct advancement toward the ending with Destiny Express. I’ve felt from the beginning that the series would end in the most bizarre way and there would be so many questions afterwards. I don’t mind if there’s a thing here or there that’s left open-ended, just as long as I don’t feel kitchen-sinked by the episode.

Episode 24 [Final] Preview:


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 – 23”

  1. draggle says:

    Thanks for sharing that first image… hilarious. I read through the first twenty two episodes, and it was pretty good… but then I saw the last episode, and I had the same reaction as those guys on the couch!

  2. Gecko says:

    Thanks for that first image. Those guys are perfect.

    I don’t think Kanba’s been cheating on death so much as Himari. The entire show has been about saving her, but gosh, she just keeps getting extensions and extensions…
    But I do agree about Sanetoshi cheating on death a little too long. If he’s going to keep bringing people back to life, he must be paying somehow with his life or something.

  3. Miyu says:

    HAHAHA I love that first image. Thank you very much for sharing. Everyone loves some Kanba/Shoma action. *waggy eyebrows*

    And after all these truths are revealed, the only thing I can say is.. Wow. How did Ikuhara even come up with such a complicated plotline with intriguing characters who all have their own special story to tell? Amazing.

    I’m looking forward to the last episode. And at the same time dreading it because then I won’t have those weekly marching of the penguins to look forward to ):

  4. TheVoid says:

    I thought it was silly that Sanetoshi is the shota bunnies.

  5. skylion says:

    The Penguindrum equivalent of two shounen characters punching each other in the face at the same time

    Until I am proven otherwise, I am going to disagree. I think this is San punching Momo in the face, and her surprising him with reflected attack. He didn’t sound at all pleased being split into bunnies. None of us would be really.

  6. Snowley says:

    Can’t wait for the last episode! How the hell they wanna end this all in one episode?? How exactly “getting out of the box” will look like? Does this show has any more sense that being one big methaphor? I’ve seen so many crazy theories till now, I’m really curious who was right. They gonna need at least 40 mins for this.

    As of this episode, man, so many beautiful seqences. I also like how it turned Cain and Abel between brothers (but it was kinda predictable, Shoma has Himari’s love, something that Kanba will never have, but Shoma doesen’t care about this “blessing”). But talking hat? This is misleading. I started to wonder about Shoma’s true identity even more.

  7. Overcooled says:

    I’m kind of sad that Masako DIDN’T die. No one in this show just stays dead, it makes their supposed “final moments” so much less dramatic. :/ I really hate when they kill a character, only to revive them moments later. The only exception to this is Himari – I’m glad she’s stuck in this show as long as she has.

    But wow, this was another beautiful episode. It really felt like the second last episode before the real shitstorm goes down. I hope there’s no “kitchen sink” feeling in the finale too.

  8. Yuki says:

    Kanba is really clouded by his feelings for Himari…
    Also, why do I have a feeling that the scene between Sho and Kanba is because of the female staffs? (remembers an interview I read…)

    Kan saying that he has always wanted to do that to Sho (the shooting Sho part) means that he must have had hated Sho? Cause he knows Himari likes Sho? Or did I miss something? Haha! In any case, maybe Sho and Kanba will merge with one another to save the world. lol.

    A wonderful episode, and I’m nervous for the next episode.

    • skylion says:

      I dunno about some of the stuff from that scene. “I always wanted to do this” He says that when he embraces his ‘brother’ then shoots him…with an unknown colour of penguinball. What did he always want to do. Give his bro a hug? Make him forget, make him remember? As always, this show will play the mystery before any reveal; and the reveal is more mystery.

      I’m nervous as well. I’ve been addicted to the macabre mystery of this show since the beginning; but the past four episode have really really played me hard. Ever since Himari’s rescue from the Child Broiler I’ve been feeling so desperate for all the characters.

  9. Foshizzel says:

    That special reaction photo! Ahahahaha awesome <3

    Man just when I thought the dairy was the penguindrum, guess it is just ordinary diary but hey that is still cool. Ringo needs to take some fire safety classes...STOP DROP AND ROLL GIRRLLLLLL <3

    Shouma and Kanba THE DUEL! Next week, or will they team up?! Vuc made a cleaver idea that we didn't see the color of the penguin ball he used, maybe it was something to help him remember? Or something.

    • skylion says:

      I thought that too, but then you think of rolling around….when the ground is on FIRE, just moments after a robot teddybear BLOWS UP!

      Besides, the diary is made of special burntastic paper as all good quality fate transfer diaries are.

  10. Vivi says:

    I totally forgot about Schroedinger’s Cat, that does work well with Sanetoshi and him being a “ghost.”

    I really hope no one pays the ultimate price, I love everyone D: except for Kanba but I don’t really want him to die or anything haha. It’s tough because we don’t exactly understand the “rules” of how this universe even works, so cheating death may not even be that hard, with the exception of Himari & Mario since they had illnesses (while the others were wounded in battle, I guess that’s sort of different in terms of Penguindrum?). idk what I am talking about. But yeah, I hope Mario gets a crazy important role without just appearing out of nowhere!

  11. anaaga says:

    I laughed when Ringo was holding the burning diary. She can just hit it on the floor.

    Just sayin’

    • Dan-go says:

      But that would lack drama and symbolism OH GOD THE SYMBOLISM. ITS EVERYWHERE!!!!!

  12. Dan-go says:

    and i agree, this show has built up far too much for it to all be cherries and roses at the end. My bets on Himari kicking the bucket, but not before acknowledging her soulmate :3

  13. Oracion says:

    This episode was pretty epic. I was so scared for Sho for a second there. I feel like his awesome side is gonna come out next epi. I’m real excited for it but dreading it too. I’m scared that someone’s gonna die permanently, but I really think people will die, but Momoka will come back to life and be like, “OH, let me help you with that real quick” and BOOM resurrections gallore. I just want lots of stuff. The visuals were so cool as always!

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