Mawaru Penguindrum – 16 Review

Episode 16 – Uncrushable Man

Probably not one of the best episode but still a decent episode.

We finally get to learn more about our dear Masako and the past that haunts her.

Review

It is interesting what a big role Family plays in this series. We are molded into who we are through our parent’s actions and everything is pretty much a domino effect from then on.

This episode felt pretty random through the most part of it, however, it did pick up towards the end and brought back the tension and suspense that we have gotten used to over the last few episodes.

It has been a very long time since we saw such a light episode of Mawaru, and it had reminded me of the beginning of the series where the episodes were more lighthearted and fun to watch.

Natsume Masako

It has been a long time coming, and we finally the chance to see her past. As with all the other characters in this series, her family is the driving force behind her actions.

I had found her Grandfather’s character to be really fun to watch and the whole “dreaming of murdering my grandfather” thing was interesting as well.

What I am curious about is the whole possession scene that took place during the Blow Fish part. Is this supernatural element meant to be part of the bigger plot that ties everything together? One thing’s for sure, this show never cease to complicate things. To add to that, we have the whole cursed situation as well. What is the curse? Is it real or is it merely Masako’s impression of the situation?

In the end, this episode presents more questions than actual answers. Who is her father? How did Mario end up in that state? Who are the black men? Etc etc etc.

Also, in one of the dream, Masako hits her grandfather with a golf ball and throws him off the cliff, I am wondering if that is related to what Masako was talking about with regards to the penguins pushing their leader off a cliff a few episodes back. (I can’t remember what the exact description of that whole scene so I might have to go back and re-watch that part)

I Can’t See My Face!

This is not the first time we are faced with characters whose faces are covered. I had brushed the whole thing off the first time around as being merely a comical element of no importance. But seeing as to how this “thing” is makeing a reappearance, I am wondering if there is a reason behind the lack of faces with regards to certain characters? For example, we have the Fabulous Max dude in Ringo’s overactive imagination of Yuri back in Episode 7 and then we have the fact that all the passersby are faceless blobs of grey and now we have the grandfather and Masako’s father. There has got to be something to it.

Himari and The Dynamic Duo

Every episode we are shown snippets of Double H characters doing things that are related to the episode. Further more, all these scenes always takes place in the ever important location of the train. My question is how all of this is meant to play into the whole storyline and mystery behind this series? We are already 16 episodes in and whilst it is looking like we are finally getting somewhere, there are still a crazy amount of unanswered questions that have left me wondering how they are all meant to relate to one another.

One weird part was Himari’s reaction to Kanba’s comment about Sanetoshi. Despite the fact that Himari seem to like Kanba, anything that is related to Double M takes precedence in her life. I had not expected her to preach to Kanba instead of actually trying to figure out why Kanba would feel that way. I can’t wait to see an episode that explains the Double H situation.

What was a nice welcome was the Survival Strategy. It has been awhile since we last saw it in such a lighthearted mood and the whole situation in that scene was so odd. It makes me question why everything comes back down to something sexual in this series. =P The whole poem verses part was super random but had me laughing at it all. I wonder what the importance of that was or what it is in reference to.

I will not be crushed!

Why Kendo? Out of all the sports, why did he choose Kendo? I have nothing against that sport, am just wondering…

Anyway, back to the grandfather. He is creepy when he is normal but he was at his most disturbing level during that scene with the rocking horse.

I am probably reading too much into it but that scene reminded me about a literature piece I was taught at school (some time ago =_=”). The story had a scene where the kid always rode his dearest rocking horse and would play with it. My teacher had tied that whole scene to sex and with the way Mawaru is, I wouldn’t be surprise if the whole rocking horse scene was the grandfather having sex with the blonde assistant (who conveniently is a “loser” character being dominated by a “winner”). I mean, those rings of fire, coupled with the motion of the rocking horse and the way that blonde dude looks is… =/ shall leave it to your imagination… (Okay, I am not thoroughly disturb and shall switch to a different topic)

I also found the grandfather’s way of looking at things in black and white to be very interesting. “Winners and Losers”, this whole 2 colour thing comes into play constantly during the series with the penguin symbols being half and half (or even the penguins themselves are 2 colours) as well as the balls that Masako shoots from her cross bow. Or maybe I am just reading too much into things.

Ringo + Shouma

Shouma is once again all gloomy and wallowing about their (Origome and Takakura) family history and how that stops them from being together.

This episode had essentially did what the last few episodes had done, they showed the new side of Ringo. Ringo is back to being a stalker but this time, she is Stalking to fight against fate whereas previously she was stalking to… force fate? =P Whatever it is, I hope for more fun scenes but by judging the more mature tones of this series the show is probably never going to go back to the lighthearted mood that it had previously.

The Chosen One(s) + Pink

What show is complete without the special chosen ones?

It is only normal for the men in black to be related to Kanba and Masako’s father who have been chosen. Sanetoshi had played the part of the mediator when Masako was out cold and I am overly curious about what Sanetoshi is.

He seems to hold all the knowledge with regards to these few special people and he is also able to transcend time and space and life? I am not sure, but he is an enigma that I wish would solve itself.

The whole idea that Kanba and Masako’s father are selling themselves as a chosen one to get what they want and to supposedly put life back on track is intriguing. I wonder if this is related to something Momoka had done to change fate. If that is the case, how does Yuri play into all of this? Masako had also made an off-handed comment about not wanting to get on that “train”. I am not sure if she chose the word train simply because the scene took place on a train or if it is a hint to a relation to something else.

Whatever it is, this episode had shown us that Masako knows a lot more about what is occurring than she is letting on whilst disregarding everything else and is simply focused on helping Mario and getting Kanba – the two people she is shown to have an attachment to.

Kanba you freak!

What the hell.

That voice is not a young kid’s voice! I was freaked out that they used the same VA for a young kid. Some VA’s can make their voices sound younger but apparently this is not the case for this VA. =P I am just wondering if this was all on purpose or eluding to something more?

This episode showed Kanba walking through the garden’s of the Natsume Clan and talking to Masako.
What is their history and how is he able to walk around so freely in the middle of the night? Also, how does this play into his hatred for the Natsume Clan? Argh! So many questions!!

At the end of the day, this episode merely scratches the surface of the relationship between Kanba and Masako and it only shows us the fact that these two were related to one another as kids and had plotted about some “curse”. (What is this curse?)

“Half price lunch boxes!!”
Doesn’t this scene/image look like it would fit into Ben-To quite easily?
=)

Overall

It is more questions than answers for this episode but at least now the questions seem to have a more specific direction.

I can’t wait to see what happens next and am dreading the day Mawaru ends. T^T

Episode Rating: 7/10 – was still fun despite not being the best episode around and all the random moments were nostalgic to watch

-ra

Ra’s Random Moment:
Made Jap Curry for dinner! (with a instant roux of course =P Haven’t the slightest clue how to make the dish from scratch. Anyone want to share their recipe?

Question of the Day:
What ingredients do you like in your Jap Curry? =D

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About Saranaufogus

An Anime fan who can't seem to keep her thoughts to herself. Find me on: Instagram | Twitter

Posted on October 29, 2011, in Anime, Mawaru Penguindrum, Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. That was a quirky episode, that’s about all I got lol. Actually I’m not sure if I was watching an oddly subbed/dubbed version, because during each scene where Masako dreamed, there was that English guy in the background acting surprised. The voice reminded me of Mid-Boss from the Disgaea series.

    Apart from that I think its about time for the show to move back into the main storyline revolving around the siblings and Ringo, I liked their scene in the subway but it was so short it would’ve been easy to forget they were in the episode at all. Himari, like you said, was weird for how she reacted when talking about the doctor, and I’d kinda like to see the reason behind that, otherwise she just became my least favorite character of the series, without her penguin hat on. I tend to dislike characters that have knee jerk reactions when someone badmouths a clearly shady/evil person.

    One other thing I noticed, but I’m not too sure if we’ve seen before is the train line scene, it was at an angle this episode, and I think it’s been straight up until now. I’d have to check back, but if it is different then it could be a signal that the plot is going to start changing direction again.

    Like the Ben-to reference lol, in a series that generally sticks to he laws of physics I was a bit surprised that they had Masako stuff all that blow fish in her mouth at once, if anything that seemed more out of place to me than the the oddly sexual survival strategy meeting with her maid.

    To answer your question of the day, I’ve never eaten curry like that, the only Japanese foods I can make are gyoza (prepackaged and frozen), miso soup (also pre-made) and sushi rolls (using smoked salmon and canned tuna because I’m way to unskilled to strip a fresh fish)

    Like

    • “Actually I’m not sure if I was watching an oddly subbed/dubbed version, because during each scene where Masako dreamed, there was that English guy in the background acting surprised.”

      Nope, it was not your version, the dude was really speaking in English. It was hilarious! I guess he is meant to be a westerner with his blonde hair and all.

      “Apart from that I think its about time for the show to move back into the main storyline revolving around the siblings and Ringo, I liked their scene in the subway but it was so short it would’ve been easy to forget they were in the episode at all. ”

      I know what you mean but I can just see the show focusing on explaining Kanba’s story and moving onto tie everything up from there. Or even throw in the story of Double H. =/

      “I tend to dislike characters that have knee jerk reactions when someone badmouths a clearly shady/evil person. ”

      Same here, same here. Can’t stand it.

      “One other thing I noticed, but I’m not too sure if we’ve seen before is the train line scene, it was at an angle this episode,”

      I was curious about the curve as well, but I just wrote it off. If you do go back and read the scene, do share with me what you discover ^^

      “I was a bit surprised that they had Masako stuff all that blow fish in her mouth at once, ”

      I got hungry looking at that scene, I want to eat Sashimi!!

      “To answer your question of the day, I’ve never eaten curry like that, the only Japanese foods I can make are gyoza (prepackaged and frozen), miso soup (also pre-made) and sushi rolls (using smoked salmon and canned tuna because I’m way to unskilled to strip a fresh fish)”
      o_O What? Never tried Jap Curry? *shocked* =P I usually just use the premade roux pack from the supermarket:

      http://www.sb-worldwide.com/curry/index.html

      The website is quite crappy and looks very “english” lol. I am sure there is a Jap website for that company but I can’t read jap so, =/. Give it a shot if you find it at the supermarket.

      Like

  2. I have never ever eaten Japanese curry, to answer your question XD

    As for the episode, I still don’t know what to make of it.

    But you made me realize something, I did dismiss the poems as just a comedic effect but I realized sending haiku back and forth is traditionnally how you’re supposed to court someone.

    Like

    • Another one who has yet to have tried Jap curry! T^T Do they not sell it where you live?

      “haiku back and forth is traditionnally how you’re supposed to court someone.”

      =_=” Why am I not surprised about this fact. Lol.

      Like

      • Mmh, that’s a very good question, I suppose they do, in Asian stores probably or in very very big supermarkets. Which, are all at the very least a 1h drive away from there, so I don’t get many occasions to look for it.
        I wish I could try though

        Like

      • “Which, are all at the very least a 1h drive away from there, so I don’t get many occasions to look for it.”

        Sounds like a long track =/ Maybe the next time you do go there you can go and look for it.

        Alternatively, just go to your local Jap store and I am sure they would sell Jap Curry, it is such a popular dish. Or you can see the recipe Jack had provided below and try it out for yourself =)

        Like

  3. http://www.mangareader.net/386-26074-35/addicted-to-curry/chapter-1.html

    The manga ‘Addicted to Curry’ tends to have a curry recipe in each chapter. The one I linked above has a basic Japanese beef curry you usually see shown in anime. The manga itself is generic shounen fare, but there are a ton of recipes if you browse all the chapters.

    Happy cooking!

    As for myself, I like spicy beef curry with really large potato chunks and the beef cooked in a pressure cooker to make it tender and stringy.

    Like

    • “The manga itself is generic shounen fare, but there are a ton of recipes if you browse all the chapters.”

      Thanks for the link!! =D I shall have to try the basic recipe some time soon!

      “As for myself, I like spicy beef curry with really large potato chunks and the beef cooked in a pressure cooker to make it tender and stringy.”

      Aww man, it sounds so yummy. I don’t have a pressure cooker and I usually don’t use beef because I am afraid it would turn all tough and hard to eat. What cut of meat do you use?

      Oh, and after browsing the manga, I feel like it would make an awesome anime that would have me drooling after each episode ^-^ hahaha

      Like

      • http://www.justhungry.com/japanese-beef-curry

        This link is probably a better one to follow. I linked the manga initially because I thought it was neat how they try to have a different curry recipe in each chapter, and this is an anime blog. :D I’ve tried a few of their recipes some years ago, but I can’t recall exactly which ones. So, they are real, but some can be really…unique.

        I use chuck roast (NOT STEAK), that I cut into cubes usually 1.5-2 inches in size. Size is obviously dependent on your preference. Always brown them before doing whatever you are going to do with them. I usually brown in a pan with a lot of butter, but that’s also totally a personal preference.

        If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you generally want to slow-cook the beef, which the recipe I linked has you do. I also usually marinate the chunks in some red whine for a couple hours/overnight, which can help tenderize the meat, as well as add some flavor. Again, personal preference.

        Depending on your butcher/supermarket, you can get away with pre-cut/packaged “Stew Meat”. Usually it’ll be chuck, but sometimes it’ll be random scraps of various cuts, hence the “depending”.

        Anyways, good luck with your curry!

        Like

      • “Anyways, good luck with your curry!”

        Thanks for the recipe! =D

        Like

  4. I’m glad that I’m not the only one who mildly disliked this episode. People on other forums called this episode “epic” but I didn’t like it that much.

    The assassination attempts were funny, but they got old quickly, imo. I loved the “OH MY GOD MR. PRESIDENT WATCH OUT!!!” guy. He was so random. Also, Sahei’s death was way kind of stupid. Masako’s dream practically materialized. That’s very unrealistic, even for Mawaru. By the way, how the heck did he possess Mario? And how did Masako survive the poison?

    Seizon Senryaku was awesome. A bit too perverted even for the Crystal Princess , but I loved it. That maid is HOT!! And apparently, she’s immortal since she looked exactly the same 10 years ago (Masako’s flashback) and she looks 25 now.

    To answer your question, I never eat curry. Mostly because I’m not such a big fan of it. But next time I go to the supermarket, I’m going to buy it, especially if it’s japanese!

    Like

    • “imo. I loved the “OH MY GOD MR. PRESIDENT WATCH OUT!!!” guy. ”

      =D He was hilarious! Every time he started talking in english I would laugh.

      “And how did Masako survive the poison?”

      I am guessing it has something to do with Sanetoshi. =/ That guy is a miracle worker. =P

      “she looked exactly the same 10 years ago (Masako’s flashback) and she looks 25 now.”

      Good point, did not notice that… hmmm.. I wonder if that means anything at all.

      “I never eat curry. Mostly because I’m not such a big fan of it.”

      Oh my god, where are all you people coming from? =P All coming out from the wood works about having never tried curry before.

      “But next time I go to the supermarket, I’m going to buy it, especially if it’s japanese!”

      Yes! You would have to! It taste different from Indian Curries or most Asian Curries. As unappetising as this sounds, I had a friend who describe it’s consistency as being similar to puke =P hahahaha. Enticing you yet? =P It is yummy though.

      Like

  5. “Half Price–”

    As soon as you said that, I thought the same thing^^

    Like

  1. Pingback: Notes of Mawaru Penguindrum Episode 16 « Organization Anti-Social Geniuses

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