Colloquium: Mawaru Penguindrum Episode 23

“I’ve had enough of listening to your bullshit you stupid bitch. Hurry and hand over your rotten, delusional ambition, this ‘Fate Diary’ to that dumbass.”

-The Princess of the Crystal (Momoka Oginome) to Ringo Oginome, Mawaru Penguindrum Episode Five

ajthefourth: In this latest post of Mawaru Penguindrum, much like this past week’s episode began, let us begin with a flashback. Recall in Episode Five when Shouma and Ringo get into a verbal, and physical, tussle over what was, at that time, Ringo’s “fate diary.” Shouma clumsily tries to procure it, Ringo wallops him, and Himari activates the Survival Strategy over the dinner table; after all, curry and survival strategies should be enjoyed with the ones you love, right?

The colorful quote above contains, following revelations regarding Sanetoshi and Momoka’s final encounter, quite possibly the first words that the Oginome sisters spoke directly to each other. This is followed immediately by Ringo’s disbelief and subsequent (amazingly awesome) climb up from out of the trapdoor in order to snatch the hat off of Himari’s head by force. To reiterate what I said in that episode, Ringo is a girl who acts.

"What's wrong with YOU? You perverted stalker slut." -The Princess of the Crystal to Ringo Oginome

Unfortunately, at this time in her life, Ringo was acting on a wrong intuition; the idea that her following absolutely everything that her deceased older sister had written in her diary would eventually bring her family back together. The Princess of the Crystal’s words are harsh in this episode (as they always are, if you remember in Episode 11 during the “big reveal” The Princess tells her to “Cry, monkey bitch.”) and for good reason. Ringo is hampering her own development by solidly living in the past, a past which belongs, not to herself, but to a sister who she has never met, and who everyone else deifies. This is The Princess’s (and Momoka’s) way of forcing Ringo to look at herself, and what she is sacrificing in the here and now in the name of carrying out a fate that doesn’t exist.

Yuri’s scene with Ringo in this week’s episode was especially poignant. It reminded me a bit of the badminton scene in Revolutionary Girl Utena; Yuri was making peace with her once-adversary Ringo, and validating the fact that Ringo is the one for whom the diary was left behind. I liked how Yuri phrases it that someday, Ringo will be able to use it to save someone she cares about, and that’s what Momoka would have wanted. I also loved Ringo’s response, that she never thought of “transferring fate.”

"You can have it back. I've finally realized that Momoka left behind it for you." -Yuri Tokikago

This points out one of Ringo’s more endearing qualities; even when she was forcing events in the diary to happen, she was forcing them of her own will. Yes, she acted in the name of destiny, using the diary as an end-all, be-all script to follow; however, she enacted these events forcibly through her own actions. Only twice did she seek magical help and one event was thwarted by Penguin No. 2 (Shouma), while the other led to the realization that she didn’t love Tabuki and had fallen in love with Shouma instead. The latter is the most important since the magical part of that plan turned out to be not so magical once it actually played out. In spite of eggchanted frogs and a fate diary in her past, Ringo is someone who has learned from her mistakes and is now thoroughly rooted in the present. I thought it was wonderful that she hadn’t thought of a magical solution like “transferring fate” to solve her problems. That’s right, Ringo, when it comes down to it the only person who can solve your problems is you.

Another possible interpretation of the hat that we could glean from this episode (and that I personally like) is that while Himari was watching her Shouma possibly drift further away from her, perhaps Momoka was watching her younger sister finally find love.

It’s a bit lovely and bittersweet, isn’t it?

vucubcaquix: We’re here. There is less than one week left where we can speculate to our hearts’ desires and the possibilities for our being right or wrong are limited only to the imagination with which we can apply to the direction of the plot. In a few days’ time, the canon will be set, the characters end their journey, the story will have been told. I’m going to take one last stab into the dark.

I’ve been paying a lot of attention to Kanba lately. His fall from grace has held my attention more than anything else, but I think I know why that is. We, the audience, are being set up for one last storytelling sleight-of-hand: Kanba has been working with Momoka the entire time.

Kanba’s descent into villainy has been quick and total, crossing moral event horizons by murdering police officers and openly allying himself with the man who is manipulating him. He states that he doesn’t care about the state of the world, and will actively destroy it, if it means a little more time with Himari. Something about that doesn’t ring true the more I think about it. Kanba’s desire above all else, is to be someone of use to the ones he loves. He will sacrifice, he will work, he will search, and he will take punishment, to help the ones he love. But will he willingly destroy? He’s been the source for a lot of unintentional grief because of his actions, but has he ever knowingly and intentionally caused grief for whom he loves? Other than his ex-girlfriends, that is.

I’ve been thinking about Tyler Childers’ comment about a character from a popular sci-fi franchise called Firefly. In the franchise’s movie, Serenity, there’s an antagonist named the Operative who commits atrocities in the name of Good. What sets him apart from other antagonists is that he recognizes that his actions can be considered, in a manner of speaking, “evil”. He works towards creating a new world, knowing full well that he’ll have no part in it because of what he’s done. The more I think about it, the more it may be the case that this could very well be describing Kanba and what he’s doing.

Think back to episode 17 during Penguindrum’s last Survival Strategy session. Shouma and Kanba ask the Princess of the Crystal point-blank, is the diary the penguindrum? She answers not by confirming or denying that fact, but by withholding more information from the both of them. For a moment, anyway. Once Shouma disappears, the Princess and Kanba once again appear to consummate the Survival Strategy session, and Kanba admits to her that he feels it can no longer be him. He can not be the one to save Himari. The Princess responds by saying that yes, she still believes that Kanba is capable of the task, and proceeds to tell him what exactly the penguindrum is. She tells Kanba and only Kanba. Not Shouma, and not the audience.

It’s important that Shouma not know for some reason. Information is being withheld not only from the audience, but from him as well. Shouma is completely blind to what’s occurring, and my theory is because it’d be easier to dupe Sanetoshi into trusting Kanba fully with less people knowing what the full plan is. Kanba’s actions in this episode lead me to believe this, despite taking on even more seemingly antagonistic aspects. He steals both halves of the diary, sets them on fire, and shoots Shouma at pointblank range. But, Kanba already knows that the diary is not the penguindrum at all, and that it may not even be necessary for the spell based on what the Princess told him. And yes, he shot Shouma, but he did not kill him despite having both the power, and the predilection towards more drastic measures. The spent casing we see on the floor of the hospital room is a penguin ball, and we know what those are capable of depending on the color. But the color of the penguinball ammunition is something that the audience doesn’t know. If it was red, then there was something that Kanba wanted Shouma to forget, possibly reinforcing the necessity for blindness to prevent some kind of bias from tainting Shouma’s actions. But if the spent ammunition was blue, like Masako’s in episode 19 when she assaulted Himari, then perhaps there was something that Kanba wanted Shouma to remember in order to inform these latest actions.

Shouma woke up on the floor of the hospital room, perhaps altered somehow by Kanba’s attack. When he comes to, the Princess of the Crystal is finally revealed to be Momoka all along, and she says to him that the penguindrum is waiting on the Destiny Express. She knew what the penguindrum is, she told Kanba what it was, and she’s telling Shouma where to find it. Kanba stands there, proclaiming that he’s waited for Shouma to show up, and there we end the episode.

If Kanba indeed has been a double agent for Momoka this entire time, what would that have accomplished? Was it precisely just to lull Sanetoshi into a false sense of security? Does this erase the sins that Kanba has committed supposedly in Momoka’s name? What if he isn’t successful? The blood of several people are now on his hands, and he’s committed acts that are irredeemable in many peoples’ eyes, including my own. Does he harbor no illusion about the state of his own soul and the possibility of not being able to participate in the world he may be trying to save? Will the price of the sin be erased if the memory of it also vanishes? Or does the act itself live on regardless of its perception?

Kanba desires above all to be of use to the ones he loves. If he takes on the Goddess’s punishment and ceases to be in a physical sense, will his scorpion’s soul continue to illuminate the night sky? The symbol of the depths he has plumbed after falling so far into the darkness, will it be brightness? Or nothing but ash?

Just one more episode left…

If we're being completely honest, our hope is for this end.

33 Comments

Filed under Colloquia, Episodics, Mawaru Penguindrum, Mawaru Penguindrum

33 responses to “Colloquium: Mawaru Penguindrum Episode 23

  1. As an aside, I’m inclined to think that, given the choice between the two colors and their after-effects, the spent penguinball was blue. This is my hunch due to the fact that the episode closes out with that flashback scene of Shouma and Kanba in cages asking each other who the other one is. Perhaps something embedded in this memory, combined with what Momoka/the penguinhat told him is what caused Shouma to look so magnificently badass in that closing train scene.

    Also, I miss referring to Himari/Princess of the Crystal/Momoka as “The Penguinhat.” ^ ^

    • Hayashi07

      Regarding the blue and red ball theory, I suddenly thought of something. Kanba has red while Shoma has blue hair, I think the color of the ball might also relate to them. If the red ball’s purpose is to forget, perhaps Kanba (having red hair) has forgotten something important leading to his change and what he is now, while the blue ball’s purpose is to return memories, Shoma (having blue hair) has probably gotten back some important memory which would explain his current behavior.

  2. Blackholeheart

    To me it seems logical to call the penguinball as being blue, as our closing scene is Kan and Sho in the cages but the significance of that and how it relates to Sanetoshi’s “box” allegory remains to be seen. The revelation of Sanetoshi’s duality as the black rabbits blindsided me which is funny considering I spotted most of the other duel nature plot elements some time ago but that’s what I love about this show, this late in the game it’s still surprising me.

    And Ringo, how very much I’ve grown to love this strange, strong little girl. She has had the most remarkable and well executed character development I’ve seen in years from any media, her “Love is not enough” line was heartbreaking.

    Till next week, your friend in penguins.

    • hikoboshiandorihime

      ajthefourth: Great minds think alike! ^ ^

      The duality in this series, interestingly enough, links back to the Schrodinger’s Cat reference back in Episode Six, and also was something brought up by wendeego in a comment below. I’m going to expand on it much more in that response so look forward to it! Thanks, as always, for commenting.

      vucubcaquix: Yeah, the idea of duality is something that’s been stuck in my mind ever since you first mentioned it, and carries through to even the most minute details. Two rabbits, two penguinhats, two opposing sides, two different philosophies. For a show that concerned itself with a very fundamental question from the very beginning about the nature of the universe, it’s done a pretty elegant job of managing the scope of these questions to something very manageable: to love someone enough to possibly let go.

      And yeah, Ringo. I am quite smitten with her, honestly. A girl who was portrayed as hopelessly deluded due to being exposed to some rough moments early in her life, has come out of the experience a wholly self-actualized person. She was outwardly the only character for a time that recognized that there are some things that are ineffectual to rage at, such as the death of a loved one, and should be instead viewed as events to learn from, to bear with, and grow stronger by.

      She is a wonderful girl, indeed.

      • Wow I was just getting on that idea of duality XD Yes, two opposing sides, two pairs of twins (why are they so obsessed with twins?) What I see is a big circle, where two ends of the ring will eventually meet each other. Reminds me of a theory of leftism and rightism, how they meet each other in a circle. Does that ring a bell for Kanba and Shouma?

        • Angelus

          Red/blue, left/right, it’s like the older style of 3D glasses. If you only see the scene in 3D if you have both the red and the blue images fused together.

          What concerns me more though is that the Flickr logo is a red ball and a blue ball…

  3. TheVoid

    The reason Shoma most likely never learned what Potc said is not because she wouldn’t tell him but rather that he himself doesn’t want to know.

    Every time that Shoma has fallen down that hole it’s because his own Penguin presses the button that sends him down it. He doesn’t want to know what’s going on between Kanba and what he thinks is Himari.

    • hikoboshiandorihime

      ajthefourth: You know, that’s an excellent point. Shouma’s penguin has fairly consistently been getting in the way of what Shouma is physically doing as a reminder of his obstinacy or inability to act. Add this to the fact that it has been sending him down the chute since day one, and there are some very interesting implications to this.

      There is, as you say, the implication that he doesn’t want to know what’s going on with Himari; however, it’s also implied that some part of him simply doesn’t want to know anything at all. Something happened to Shouma between the time he “rescued” Himari, where we saw him being lonely but assertive, to the first time we see him in Penguindrum, and I think that we’re going to be finding out exactly what next week.

      The thing about Shouma is, in the first and second episodes, he was presented as a bit of a chump. Then we see him slowly start to befriend Ringo (in spite of both of them denying this fact) and his will begins to change although the effects of his attempts to act are still woefully unsuccessful. The easiest turning point to cite is in Episode Four when Ringo drowns herself on purpose to get Tabuki’s attention and Shouma rescues her in spite of his penguin’s actions implying that he’d rather not. Following this, Shouma becomes more and more conflicted with his penguin defying his attempts at every turn (most notably when he tries to save Ringo from being raped by Yuri and his penguin throws a bottle in his path). If we’re going along with the thought that the penguins are still extensions of their owners’ thought processes and desires, then Shouma remains the character that is the least in-tune with his own thoughts and emotions.

      Whew! Sorry to write so much! Thanks for the comment!

      vucubcaquix: The idea that something happened to him, and is possibly the reason why he’s no longer the same assertive person he is now that he was as a child, may have something to do with the penguinball that Kanba shot at him in the hospital room. Emily, you mentioned that during one of our conversations. I’ve become more and more attracted to the idea that what Kanba “always wanted to do” was maybe reassert Shouma’s assertiveness and independence and effectiveness by jarring some thought or emotion he has long since suppressed.

      Kanba’s always taken on a protective role with regards to the family, but maybe the best protection one can provide is the means for someone to defend themself?

      I guess we’ll see next episode.

  4. This is my ideal Kanba end to be honest. It fits with how his character was presented earlier on – trying to prevent Shouma from being involved in the work he was doing. No matter how much Kanba says he loves Himari above everyone else his actions say otherwise. He freaked out when Shouma was hit by that car and he protected Masako without hesitation even when doing so might have killed him and derailed all of his plans to save Himari.

    What I wonder about the ending is if we’ll get a massive reset or not. What Himari said about never even thinking about transferring fate got to me. Can I be happy with the ending if all these sad events are negated in some way? If some of the characters remember what they’ve gone through then maybe. Like how Yuri remembered her life from the other timeline. Everything they’ve been through is important to their development – an After School Nightmare type ending may tear me apart.

    • hikoboshiandorihime

      ajthefourth: Well, we now know that the diary is no longer an option for transferring fate, which means Penguindrum has constructed a very typical scenario for its final episode. The villain (Sanetoshi) has lured one of the main characters (Kanba) to his side after a bargain to save a loved one (Himari). Meanwhile the other main character (Shouma) feels betrayed, and the magical object that has been used in the past for things like this (the diary) has been destroyed. What will our heroes do now? ^ ^

      Perhaps the answer lies in Super Frog Saves Tokyo, where the protagonist apparently fights an otherworldly battle by Frog’s side against Worm, but remembers none of it. These battles have apparently been taking place for ages, with no one side the winner, but complete disaster always averted. Before the battle, the protagonist asks the typical “Why me? I’m not a fighter.” question to which Frog’s response includes the idea that the protagonist will not actually fight, but simply stand by Frog’s side and cheer him on, keeping up Frog’s morale.

      Sometimes it only takes one other person’s support to inspire someone (as cheesy as that sounds) however, darkness can never be vanquished forever. After all, it lies in the hearts of everyone, where it belongs. ^ ^

      vucubcaquix: I’ve paid more attention to Kanba than I really realized as the show was airing. There was a certain flavor of melancholia that permeated him that I found more agreeable than with Shouma (though that in no way implies that I dislike Shouma, as I’m rather fond of him as well). Kanba is a person of sincere motivations and intentions, who acts those out with insincere actions, like lock-picking and theft in the beginning, assault and murder more recently. He was a character that was becoming more and more blackened in the name of something righteous, with the more and more he acted.

      But was it intentional? Did he willfully cross over into darkness in order to be some beacon against its source? Whether he was or not will speak volumes about his commitment and cunning (not to mention the writing), and the core of his character to be of some use to the ones he loves.

      But that reset, does it absolve him of his actions? Does the weight of sin vanish if you commit it knowing in advance that it may absolved? Does it remain on the sinner? Do the ones sinned against have no say? Do your actions have any meaning if the consequence can be swept away?

      And if so, what does it say about the person who was willing to gamble their life, their integrity, their soul, on the chance of forgiveness and absolution?

      Kanba fascinated me more than I realized as the show aired.

  5. It’s an interesting thought you guys have raised about Kanba being a double agent for Momoka. What intrigues me the most is the role Momoka the hat has been playing all along, like the ruthless comments she spat in the past survival strategies, and what she has been trying to achieve as a hat. In this episode’s standoff between her and Sanetoshi, it reminds me again of the idea of Man’s Fall, when she said, “I’m going to expel you from this world.” If Momoka is a symbol of Christ, then Sanetoshi might well be the serpent that seduced Adam and Eve to take the fruit of destiny, and thereby destroyed the perfect world shared by God and humans. We can see that Sanetoshi, as a self-proclaimed phantom (and metaphor for curse), cannot carry out substantial actions nor even touch the fate diary except luring Kanba into doing his part. What piques me further is what Momoka says to Shouma at the end: The Black bunnies are going to destroy the world. Ok, the two cute little rabbits with Sanetoshi have been nothing but adornments (and some sort of metaphor) but now they seem to be carrying a tad more meaning, that is – possibly, human desires and self consciousness born from the forbidden fruit and fall from Eden. And in this case, the bunnies, who represent the dark side of human emotions (like the grief from unwanted ‘transparent’ children) are born from the fall of Sanetoshi, and can be considered as the real impetus behind the destruction of the world. After all, how could a devil work if the human heart is pure?
    I also recall something that the Princess did from a previous episode. The right-hand woman of Masako has been spotted by Momoka during a mission to spy on Kanba and Himari, and Momoka activated the survival strategy. Somehow this little scene keeps bugging me, as the Princess has only shown herself to the Takakura brothers and Ringo (have I missed anyone?). What this implies might be an alternative to Sanetoshi’s way of saving the world by destroying it – to liberate everyone from the boxes. I’ve been paying close attention to the ED lyrics, and find them an interesting parallel to the story. In the end, both the angel and demon are just trying to liberate people or themselves from this world th at ‘doesn’t even allow free thinking’. OK, enough of my bullshit XD

    • It also explains why she notices the woman so quickly. She’s probably seen her before through Mario’s hat.

    • hikoboshiandorihime

      to himitsuhanazono
      vucubcaquix: Man, that is an excellent point you bring up. In a lot of instances in the bible, Satan, or the serpent, or any other antagonist, doesn’t really have the right to interfere in humanity’s affairs directly. They have to stoop to trickery, cunning, temptation, anything that can lead a person astray. I’m sure there are instances otherwise, but the devil in scripture is mostly not allowed to directly interfere, notably physically, but has agents working his will through them.

      Sanetoshi can’t touch the diary himself. There’s something about it that makes it so he can’t, or is possibly not allowed to…

      Also, your comments are never bullshit! We always welcome them! We may be a few days late in replying because I’m a bum, but that’s beside the point…

      ajthefourth: Going back to Episode 12, before Himari/PotC/Momoka passes out, she tells them that they are “cursed children of fate” who have lost the penguindrum. She then says that the world has called forth dark bunnies once more and that they must obtain the penguindrum to “escape the fate that binds them.” She also uses the language “derail” perhaps in a reference to transferring fates like switching trains (as Momoka says to Yuri).

      It’s true that Sanetoshi cannot enact the Survival Strategy by himself and has to use others since he is a phantom. I revisited Episodes 11 and 12 in order to respond to your comment and stumbled upon something possibly interesting. The first time this all was happening, it was Kenzan who was put in charge of things. This isn’t to say that Sanetoshi was a phantom back then; however, he certainly was a person of influence (if we’re comparing him to real-life people, Shoko Asahara, the leader of Aum Shinrikyo would certainly come to mind). With Shouma’s allegory, and rewatching the scene where Kenzan is given the good news of the birth of his son, “Mother and child are doing fine.” I can’t help but wonder if Shouma’s allegory was possibly a hint that Kenzan was ensnared by something similar to Kanba; a promised survival of his firstborn son and his wife perhaps? Just a crazy theory.

      What I see in all of this, “The world has called forth dark bunnies once more.” is something similar to (and excuse me for repeating myself) Super Frog Saves Tokyo. There is an evil force (Worm) that perhaps didn’t start off evil, but builds up over time until it is about to cause catastrophe. This is when our heroes Frog and Katagiri swoop in to stop him. The battle always ends in a draw because “evil” can never be vanquished forever but only be pushed back to where it is equal with “good.” Perhaps Sanetoshi’s thoughts behind the attacks didn’t begin so badly, but slowly, festering over time, became so strong and unwieldy that he felt it necessary to unleash his accumulated fury by destroying the world. This is where Momoka comes in to stop him, but of course, she can’t vanquish him completely, so the battle ends in a draw.

      I can’t wait to see how our cursed children of fate handle their own battle. Thanks for commenting! ^ ^

  6. Glad to be of service. I’ve been thinking of monsters and men for a while now, since I’ve been engaged in my own writing recently. I despise the use of static villains in storytelling, feeling that it only makes the heroes as much cardboard cut outs. Our characters in MW are not cardboard cut outs (well, unless they are animated that way in Ringo’s daydreams….everyone has their own type of Rock Over Japan, don’t they? IMAGINE!)

    Which brings me to a topic I wanted to discuss for quite some time: The Imagination. It is such a useful tool that humanity possesses. Nothing would be possible with the imagination teaming up with our other tools, those being reason and emotion. Put that into working hands, and you have the shape of the world. And it isn’t just useful for storytelling.

    I was discussing this with my Dad quite recently. He is a retired robotics engineer, and is a staunch realist. The last person to you would expect to even regard something like MW. He is dumbfounded by my ability to imagine fantasy worlds. I told him that I was dumbfounded by his ability to see and imagine engineering feats. But his designs for industrial robots and my plots involving steampunk contraptions both start in the same place.

    IMAGINE! really was a battle cry all along. Imagine a new world. Don’t be hidebound by what fate has in store for you. You can change it. But you have to have the hope to do it; so that you can use the tools at your disposal to shape the world. IOW….Momoka.

    Sanetoshi, by contrast lacks that spark. Despite his revealed epiphany at the beginning off the episode, he is nothing more than a thug. He is using the same tactics as the world he despises. He makes no self sacrifice; being ‘split’ by his own spell seems to have come as quite a shock for him. He sacrifices others. And he de-humanizes all of us. Boxes indeed.

    I like the idea of Kanba as a double agent. I’m not sure it is true, but it does have merit.

    I don’t know if the colour of the penguinball is ever germane at this point. All it took was severe stress and a glance at the spinning fan blades for Himari to recall her past. And…isn’t it supposed to be a forehead shot. Or is that just Masoka’s predilection? If it has to be a colour, then it should be blue. We are in the final act of the play, and now is the time to remember, not to forget. So Shouma remembers what a bad ass he is actually supposed to be?

    Yeah, I hope for the Shouma x Ringo ending as well. That small embrace they shared spoke volumes. It looked like a door opening. His embrace with Himari was, so very sadly, a door closing.

    • I have a different take on your theory, kind sir. I’m guessing that both Sanetoshi and Momoka have their imaginations sparking, as evident by both being able to use Survival Strategy and being able to alter fates (bring back the dead) though how they both use their imaginations is different, Momoka uses it for good and Sanetoshi uses it to wipe out the world he hates.

      You’re not alone on the Shoma x Ringo bandwagon.

      • I don’t blame you for disagreeing, I almost take your theory to heart, but for the thing I will reiterate: He uses the same selfish viewpoint he hates to defend his action. Momoka doesn’t. The Seizan Senyakuu is nothing more, and nothing less, than a tool. He doesn’t think of self-sacrifice, which takes some pretty unusual imagination.

        Ah, Momoka using her stuff for good…Depends on your point of view. Now that we’ve seen this much of the story, and argument can be made for that. But, by the middle of episode 18? With Yuri and Tabuki being such selfish beasts you wonder why Momoka even bothered.

        Oh, I just had a thought. Was Momoka’s fate transfer tried way before the story even began? Did it effect Sanetoshi in an adverse way? We’ve been talking about cycles. Are we just watching the current cycle underway? Yes?

        Oh, Shouma and Ringo why do we love this pairing so much? I think it is because they naturally challenge each other. Our love of drama demands that sort of thing.

        • I think that the Seizon Senryaku is a tool created from the imagination, that’s just my hunch. Tools are good or bad depending on one using it and for the purposes of this show, I’m willing to consider imagination as a tool. You don’t need to think about self-sacrifice in order to have a great imagination. Momoka’s version is that she’s taking on the fate of others while Sanetoshi just wants to wipe out people. It was plainly stated that all Sanetoshi cares about is to destroy the world he hates and doesn’t care about what happens next, he could die afterwards for all he cares as long as he destroys the world he hates.

          We would never know if the fate transfer truly affected Sanetoshi in any way other than being split in half since the spell was just half-cast, though the train crisis was averted.

    • hikoboshiandorihime

      to Tyler Childers’ first comment
      ajthefourth: You’ve pointed out one thing I absolutely love about Momoka/PotC and her battle against Sanetoshi: She is a fan of guiding her “subjects” but never does the work for them. Sure she may berate them with angry words but she gives them the tools and tells them to figure it out. Sanetoshi, on the other hand, seems much more direct in imposing his own will on others and making them carry out his nefarious plans. While Sanetoshi binds others and is in turn bound by his own ambition and blindness, Momoka is readily willing to imagine and accept anything that comes her way. I feel as if she’s also tried to impart this wisdom upon the ones that she’s chosen to guide in her life: Yuri, Tabuki (even if they didn’t start to get the message until recently) Himari, Shouma, and Kanba. Imagine that you are not bound by fate. Imagine that there is a way to the world that you want, and you can achieve it by your own hands.

      As an aside, I absolutely loved Shouma’s scene with Himari. I felt that it was the parting scene that they never had when he (possibly erroneously) told her to leave and she said “goodbye, my soulmate” to no one but herself, her penguin, and the falling snow. This way, they were able to acknowledge their love for each other and it was a very sweet parting. ^ ^

      vucubcaquix: No, thank you. I didn’t think too much about the idea of the Operative at first because I felt like a lot of the underlying motivations between him and Kanba were just a bit too far apart, but the revelations of this latest episode and a few of his specific actions just kept nagging at me. When I woke up the next day, I remembered what you had said and I was thinking about the idea of undercover and double agents, and then I was reminded of the fact that Kanba may indeed know something that the rest of the cast and the audience may not know about and it just then clicked. I checked other blogs really quickly to see if anybody had mentioned something similar to this, but when I didn’t I decided to go whole hog on it.

      I mean there’s a chance that you and I could still be totally and completely wrong on this, but I feel that going big or going home on the speculation would be in the general spirit of the show.

      The use of a static villain in fiction has it’s place, usually in things that concern itself more in the execution of well worn archetypal stories, but dynamic villains I agree have more to them when you want something to elicit a bit of thought in you. It can be a bit of a dangerous storytelling technique to take, since while writing villains can be pretty fun, if not handled well and the audience doesn’t find themselves properly sympathizing, it can come off as really clunky and ham-fisted. I think Kanba in Penguindrum’s case will be an interesting test case to see if the audience will accept a possible vindication of a character who has crossed the Moral Event Horizon…

  7. I love your theory that Kanba is a double agent! I hope he’s not though… I kind of feel like that would be a cop-out. I’d rather have Shouma go and save Kanba. And then tragically die in Ringo’s arms. :)

    • hikoboshiandorihime

      vucubcaquix: I may be crazy, but I think the signs are there for a possible role-reversal/reveal. I was saying to Tyler Childers above that dynamic villains or antagonists are interesting when executed well since they can do a good job of eliciting thought and reflection from an audience, but the devil is in the execution. We’ll see if Penguindrum has the chops to pull something like this off. Assuming that is, that they even attempt it.

      Also, NUTS TO YOU. RINGO DESERVES HAPPINESS.

      ajthefourth: If there is anything I want to see from this series, it’s Shouma finally remembering his sense of self and that he can make a difference/have an effect on people. That last shot of him in the train as he calls Kanba’s name is fabulous (max).

      Ganbatte, Shouma-kun!

      Also, I agree, if one of the two is going to die I want it to be Shouma instead of Ringo, although honestly I’d love for both of them to live and Kanba to die if someone’s going to bite it. ^ ^

      vucubcaquix: For the record, if someone is going to die, it’d make sense for it to be Kanba.

      After all, he’s the one with the Scorpion’s Soul

  8. Glad to know that I am not the only one who remembers Kanba’s consummation session with the Princess of the Crystal and seriously considering Kanba being a double agent. Although this might be a miss, I’m guessing that the Penguindrum has something to do with the brothers’ bond with each other.

    • hikoboshiandorihime

      ajthefourth: Agreed, I definitely think that both Takakura brothers need to be working in tandem in order to solve this one. Think of how many things in the series that have been shown to be two halves of the same whole (most specifically, the diary with “the spell to transfer fate” which was torn in two and only able to have the desired effect if the two halves were reunited), I’m sure the Takakura brothers are the same. Thanks for the comment! ^ ^

      vucubcaquix: You know, I’d say that you may be guessing right. There’s still no guarantee to what the last episode is going to have, since there’s no telling with Ikuhara sometimes, but like I said above, going big or going with regards to the speculation would be in the spirit of the show. The reason I say that you’d be guessing right is that if you remember, the first time we see a Double H placard on the train this episode it was blank when Ringo was on. But later during the end credits there was a message that flashed by really quickly:

      “Two is better than one, getting along is beautiful.”

      I think that’s some pretty effective foreshadowing there…

  9. Luni


    Just realized, and at this point, I think it only serves to be a connection in foreshadowing or symbolism, but I noticed that Momoka/PotC always stands on the white teddydrum. On the other hand, everyone else who enters the Survival Strategy stand in the black teddy drum. This was probably to foreshadow/symbolize the fact that the bears were used by Kiga/ Penguin Force to initiate their survival strategy.
    Any more significance? I don’t know.

    • hikoboshiandorihime

      ajthefourth: It’s something I’ve been wondering for a while actually, the significance of the fan-labelled “teddydrums.” The only thing I can see is that, if we’re going by the standard light/white=good, dark/black=bad, this could possibly tie in to the fact that Momoka/PotC is enlightened in a way that few are (see Tyler Childer’s comment above and my response) whereas her subjects are still a bit lost in the dark. ^ ^

      vucubcaquix: Honestly, I have noooooo clue. Y’all’s guesses are as good as mine.

      Although hey, knowing this show, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a kernel of meaning in EVERYTHING here, even color choices.

  10. I’m kind of surprised that people aren’t freaking out about the Schrodinger’s Cat mention in the sixth episode, since I think it was this episode that really crystallized that reference. Most obvious are Momoka and Sanetoshi, polar opposite forces trapped between life and death, carrying out their own plans in secret. But there are others too. Children processed through the Child Broiler become “invisible,” unrecognized by an uncaring society and trapped between life and death. The penguins can only be seen by their owners, and cannot be perceived by anyone else. Then there’s Himari, who has almost died so many times throughout the course of the show; in fact, practically every character has “died” at least once. The line between life and death is fuzzy, to say the least.

    But what really shocked me is when Sanetoshi argued that the common people of Tokyo were all trapped in their own “boxes.” Could they all be said to be Schrodinger’s Cats, in a sense? Trapped within their own perceptions, unable to tell whether they themselves are alive or dead? How far does this metaphor go?

    Really psyched to see how this show ends. Would love to see Shouma do something important, Ringo to have one last role to play before the show ends, Kanba to realize the errors of his ways–unless he’s on Momoka’s side, at which point I’ll just have to trust Ikuhara that he’ll be able to arrange things without the ending being a cop-out. It’s been a hell of a ride.

  11. Niko

    Since you guys like to analyze the Double H slogans, did you notice that when Ringo was on her way to the Aquarium, the animated placard showed no slogan at all?

    Considering most of these slogans seem to be moral warnings of some sort, I find it interesting there was none for Ringo. To me this speaks of her character development, and how far she has come, to the point she has become her own person and doesn’t need this little warnings anymore.

    I find it a beautiful little detail. Ringo is truly awesome <3

  12. Oh Oh Oh. I know what the Penguindrum is…..

    That CD that Double H wanted to give to Himari? Where is it? Like Himari’s hidden memory it seems to have fallen out of the scenery. Will it come back at a crucial moment? CDs spin…..yeah. Yeah?

    Good gracious, I’m reaching aren’t I?

  13. Whoaaaa this episode was amazing! So much going on like Sanetoshi being just a ghost, that is kind of cool I guess he can bring you back from the dead! I commented on Draggles blog post. I thought Sanetoshi was like a grim reaper! Able to bring people back to life? Dunno seems interesting if he was type or maybe he is just tricking Kanba? Either way great stuff.

    @Vuc- Damn I like that idea of Kanba working with Momoka and just using Sanetoshi to lure him into a trap or a “box” And Kanba hitting Shouma with a special penguin bullet? YES! that sounds about right I could see that spin with the brothers teaming up to help each other one last time.

    @AJ- Man I almost forgot how crazy Ringo’s dairy made everyone act! From Yuri, Kanba, Ringo and Shouma! And countless other characters…now that we figured out the diary is not the penguindrum it makes me laugh when I thought it had some mystic power…I actually have a video of that scene with Ringo running up to Himari and snatches the hat and throws it xDD

    http://vimeo.com/28801023 the clip is around 6:19+ I forgot to cut the clip ahaha

  14. 23

    What I’m paying attention to is Ringo’s fate after she’s burned. It’s sparked some interest of what her fate could be.
    And since now I know Momoka is the Princess, that may seem like a large attitude/personality change for her.

  15. Pingback: En que quedo Mawaru PenguinDrum: capitulo 4 « Nyaruhodo

  16. I’m sorry guys I have to ask this:
    Are you guys planning to do any winter shows? You must be, since both Fate/Zero and Penguindrum end in a few week(s).

    I always want to comment on these posts but I don’t watch Penguin. Hopefully, you guys’ll do a show I watch and comment on that.

    (Prepares for the bombardment after announcing that doesn’t watch Penguindrum).

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