Mawaru Penguindrum Episodes Eighteen and Nineteen

And I’m back.

Ish. Sort of. I’m trying, at least, to make a more concerted effort to blog on a weekly basis at the very least, although its all terribly schedule dependent. Its only too bad that while I was blogging a show like Penguindrum that I found myself with scant time to actually blog. I wish I could promise to go back and blog episodes already long past, but I know I’d be lying if I said I’d even try.

Originally I was going to bundle these episodes in with twenty for a truly massive post, but I don’t think its really possible to do so without it becoming unwieldy. So I defaulted to my original intent – post about eighteen and nineteen – although my timetable is off. This was supposed to happen sometime last week. But enough chatter.

I really enjoyed episode eighteen. While it was the nth iteration of “will she or won’t she?”, and that Himari did manage to, miraculously, survive, was obvious from the get-go, it didn’t feel tiresome. At least, it didn’t for the audience! It became rather clear that, as some of us have suspected previously, Himari has resigned herself to death. Or, more aptly, she has accepted her death, and she also instinctively realizes that she should not be alive, and that the cost for her borrowed time is too high.

Which, of course, casts Kanba’s actions into further specious light. Is Kanba truly acting in favor of Himari’s best interests? Or is he just unwilling to go on without her in his life? I tend to think the latter, although I don’t think there is intentional malice in his actions; he simply hasn’t taken the time to actually sit back and think over whether what he’s doing is beneficial to Himari herself. Is Himari happy? Kanba may talk about her laughter and smiles a bit, but there is no indication that he considers these in any meaningful way – he enjoys seeing her smile and hearing her laugh… but is Himari actually happy?

This isn’t to say, though, that Himari is actively unhappy, exactly. There is just a strong sense that she knows its time for her to move on. The glimpses into and ruminations over her own past seem to indicate that she isn’t entirely happy with her life, but at the same time she has accepted it and knows she is out of place in what was her own world.

Y’know, I wanted to avoid making Revolutionary Girl Utena comparisons, but its very hard to. This is what happens when you only direct a few things, and one of them is weird and wonderful and memorable like RGU. Momoka is so Utena that it’d be impossible to ignore. Spoilers follow! Look away! I.e. stop reading this paragraph and skip the next two as well! Bursting into flame to save an imprisoned friend from sure doom? Vanishing in order to save? Penguindrum’s version of being stabbed by thousands of swords in lieu of your friend, before vanishing from the world.

Although, there is a key difference – whereas Utena gives Anthy an opening to save herself, Momoka is a direct savior, busting people out of the Child Broiler and destroying fathers and towers.

But the RGU comparisons continue, as Tabuki and Yuri were strongly reminiscent of Akio and Anthy in their scene toward the end of episode eighteen. In the final episode of RGU, the duplicitous siblings have a conversation in which they, essentially, state that in spite of the fact that they knew they were both wicked, they love/d each other anyway. While this is obviously not what was said between Tabuki and Yuri, their conspiratorial scenes in prior episodes and in this final scene here had a similar overall tone.

Moving along into the next episode (sorry, Tabuki, can’t really care enough to hash over your parental issues anymore than to say ‘they exist’) (yes, even if you are sexy sensei)…

Shouma is Himari’s soulmate. And! She isn’t biologically his or Kanba’s sister. And if she was adopted, and the doctor on the telephone to Mr. Takakura spoke of only one baby, and not twins, then Kanba is probably an odd one out as well. And probably not Himari’s brother, either, only since Himari’s quick memory shot seems to imply that her past was a solitary one prior to Shouma’s appearance in it. Which is not the twist I was anticipating – if anything, I was expecting Shouma to be the odd one out since he hasn’t had the family-oriented flashback scenes that Himari and Kanba both have had (Kanba with the rush to the hospital, Himari with the falling mirror).

As for Himari having a crush on Shouma… well, I did jokingly say to someone way back toward the beginning that, well, if Kanba liked Hmari, then Himari probably liked Shouma, and Shouma probably liked Kanba… although I didn’t really expect any of my joke to be true.

The apple is the reward for those who give up everything for love. Hmm.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Mawaru Penguindrum Episodes Eighteen and Nineteen

  1. Vucub Caquix says:

    Whelp, I liked your post despite having to skip over about two paragraphs. I’m on 31 or 32 or Utena and closing fast! (shit’s gotten crazy, and Anthy’s gotten creepy)

    • A Day Without Me says:

      My dear, Anthy was always creepy to an extent. Her unwavering apparent cheerfulness from the beginning was a big hint that something was off about the young woman.

      Glad to hear you’re enjoying RGU. Have you seen the movie yet? I only wish the TV series could’ve gotten that animation budget!

  2. Etrangere says:

    I’ve been missing your posts!!

Comments are closed.