28 Oct 2011

Mawaru Penguindrum - 16

It's becoming impossible to decipher Peguindrum's multiple plot lines and the large amount of hints and red herrings thrown at us every single episode. Of course, they do try to explain some stuff, showing some of the characters' background and motivation, but so much of it is still shrouded in mystery. If someone asked me "What DON'T you understand about Penguindrum?", I would reply "I don't understand ANYTHING."

It's not all that bad though. The last few episodes provided some insight on some of the weirder characters in the Penguindrum universe. I think only Sanetoshi needs his own episode now, since we more or less can sympathize with all the other characters. The animation, art, and overall pacing of the episodes remain excellent.

Episode 16 is probably the weirdest fast-paced episode of Mawaru Penguindrum so far. Several times I started laughing a bit before wondering "wait... should I be laughing at this". It was all so confusing... Masako is mentally scared by her grandfather (and lack of a father), but I laughed at her several "attempts" at killing him. What should have been disturbing (killing your own grandfather), was made funny and yet serious at the same time. Same thing when Masako pushed Mario away from the plate of blowfish to eat it and die from poisoning (while we see that Mario was pushed into the lake and, hence, died too).

This episode also signalled the triumphant return of 生存戦略! Always happens at the most unexpected times. It was almost as if they threw this in for the fans, since in the grand scheme of things this Survival Strategy was totally irrelevant.

Ikuhara was quoted on Animedia: “If [the show] is a roller coaster, the first half is just the ascent, it gives you time to enjoy the scenery. But, the in the second half… you fall at immense speed (lol). It’s scary and heartrending.” Judging from the curve on the train tracks in the commercial break eye-catch, this episode is the end of the ascent and the beginning of the thrilling descent. The hype has been built-up, now it's time to show us what you can do, Ikuhara!