Mawaru Penguin Drum Episode 2
What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.
Series Premise: Mawaru Penguindrum is a weekly television anime series starting in July 2011 from the creator of Revolutionary Girl Utena. Two older brothers take care of their ailing younger sister Himari, who is saved from death by a spirit residing in a penguin-shaped hat. With the assistance of three “helper-penguins” that only the three siblings can see, they must search for the mythical “Penguin Drum” in exchange for extending Himari’s life.
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ep. tl;dr review: Shouma and Kanba search for the Penguin Drum; I still don’t understand half of what I just watched.
Episode Summary: After Himari returns back from the dead, Kanba and Shouma do their best to return back to their normal lives — as normal as possible with three “helper penguins” that only they can see around the house. Suddenly Himari dons the magical Penguin cap, they are transported to a magical world where the Penguin Spirit haughtily gives Kanba and Shouma the task of finding a girl named Ringo, who has the Penguin Drum…probably. After ditching school and tracking her down at a local all-girls’ school, the two brothers keep watch with the help of remote cameras and penguins, following her to a bookstore then lingerie store, and then a surprise meeting with their own school’s homeroom teacher. Still tailing Ringo, Kanba and Shouma follow her as she sneaks under their homeroom teacher’s house, where they learn she’s really a stalker herself.
My Impressions: I really don’t fully understand what’s going on, but that’s okay because this is totally awesome and I want more.
Okay, okay, I do have a pretty good grasp of the immediate story of the two boys trying to save the life of their resurrected sister by hunting for the mythical Penguin Drum. Mostly what I don’t get is the “why” of it all involving the penguins and such. Not that I think that there is any explanation that will make sense, and not that I think that an explanation is really possible, either. The whole psychedelic sequence where Himari dons the cap, yells SURVIVAL STRATEGY! and they are all transported to Penguin Tron is some crazy-ass stuff to be sure. However, the magical sequence in the second episode was nearly identical to the first episode (just with some different dialogue), I hope they don’t plan on repeating the same scene in every single episode, and we get some new Penguin Tron scenes down the line.
Back in the “real” world, we have three chibi-penguins that only the siblings can see, who seem to mostly be around for comical relief. And there are some funny bits involving the penguins in silly situations (No, silly penguin, you cannot wear a wig, you are a penguin!). Although their true origin and intent are unclear, it’s best to do what Kanba and Shouma are doing: Just roll with it, dude.
The odd one this time around is the girl they are all chasing, Ms. Everyday Schoolgirl Ringo…who just happens to have in her possession a Mirai Nikki. Could that be the Penguin Drum they are supposed to get? Nah, can’t be that easy. But Ringo certainly is a creepy girl, crawling into the crawlspace to listen to a bird-watching program of the guy she’s crushing on. Ooooookay.
This was just loads of fun to watch. I am loving the unique visual style of the show, the Lily Hoshino character designs, the bright colors. Plenty of times the little jokes or reactions made me smile. I really can’t quite put my finger on it, but I’m loving this. Could be the sleeper hit of the season.
And like last time, I’m loving the ending theme song, Dear Future by Coaltar of the Deepers (think a Japanese version of the Gwenmars, or Cocteau Twins). I almost never-ever mention or notice the opening or closing songs on shows, but this song really sticks out for me.
- Preview reviews:
- Episode 1 (September 16)
- Info resources:
- If you like this, you might also like: Revolutionary Girl Utena – that’s a no-brainer. Also try Otome Youkai Zakuro. But for similar mind-trippiness you might also check out the movie Summer Wars.
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “After last week’s episode of rants about fate, this episode was decidedly different in tone. Practically the entire episode involved less philosophic rhetoric, and instead focused on the wacky penguins goofing off and spying on Ringo and her friends, which came along with a bunch of obligatory hidden camera panties jokes.” – Emory Anime Club
- “Although, the real scene stealers this week are the penguins. God damn, just seeing them walk is so damn cute… sending them off to do infiltration missions and such was just so cheating lol. Now I wish I had one of them myself lolol. ” – Kurogane’s Anime Blog
- “Another quirky, interesting, “No really whats going on here please?” episode this week. A good amount of funny, some interesting points to be noted about the brother’s characters (and the penguin’s as well) and then there’s the whole Ringo thing…The penguins provide pretty much most of the comedy and lulz in this episode but Kanba’s SUPER FLIRT ATTACK also was hilarious as hell. It was also the BEST moment in the whole episode. It had me in stitches. It was BRILLIANT. Absolutely BRILLIANT. And man those penguins. They are win, times three.” – Anime Evo
- “It’s almost as if someone has delved into the recesses of my mind, pin-pointed exactly what will make me shout “Awwwwwww” out loud between bursts of hysterical laughter, and then distilled it into animated form just for me. Yes, other stuff happens in this episode and all that, but who cares – give me episodes of cute little penguins trying to do undercover work and I’m utterly smitten. ” – Hanners’ Anime Blog
- “Incidentally, this is one of the reasons why I’m really enjoying this original series so far — it has a knack for keeping me guessing on what kind of show it’ll turn out to be, as I’m not even sure what genre to classify it as yet.” – Random Curiosity
- “This week, Mawaru Penguindrum just got a thousand times more bizarre, yet is somehow finally starting to slowly come together. We have a good idea what the Penguin Drum is, or at least have a lead, while further exploring the symbolism through means of apples, penguins, and cryptic planters…And really, those are the only two things set up so far: That the two brothers are trying to keep their sister alive for as long as possible to bypass the fate that lay in store for her, and there’s a metric fuckton of apple related hijinks.” – Shinde Iie
ROUND TWO RESULTS FOR SUMMER 2011 SHOWS:
Thumbs-up for Round Two: Mawaru Penguin Drum
Thumbs-down for Round Two: Blood-C
Coming up next: Kamisama Dolls, No. 6, Dantalian no Shoka, Uta no Prince-sama, Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, Nekogami Yaoyorozu, Kamisama no Memochou, Nurarihyon no Mago Second Season, Natsume Yuujinchou-san, Usagi Drop