Mawaru Penguindrum – First Impressions
Since there is some downtime in the middle of the week due to fact that the anime I choose to review are mostly either on Monday or Friday (which means I end up dying due to the lack of time on those days since I have work), I have decided to write about my first impressions of Mawaru Penguindrum even though 3 eps are already out. =p So here is the review based on the first few episodes.
This is such a kooky, adorable and surprisingly entertaining anime.
Brain’s Base has definitely done it again with another awesome anime this season! But before I say much else, if you are thinking that because the title sounds too “cute” for your liking, watch the first episode before making your decision because this is not a “cute” anime aimed at a younger crowd.
I love the framing that is done in the show
The plot revolves around the three siblings that makeup the Takakura household. Himari has always been a sickly younger sister and is currently living on borrowed time, and may die at any moment. Since the doctors are unable to do anything for her, they had told her brothers, twins Kanba and Shouma to take her home to live out the rest of her days with her family. Then on the self-proclaimed Himari-day, they decided to go to the aquarium to have fun but Himari collapses and dies after being brought to the hospital. While the brothers were grieving beside Himari’s body, Himari suddenly comes back to life and is “controlled” by the penguin hat that is on her head. The penguin queen had given Himari back to them but at the cost of the brothers helping her find the Penguindrum. Helping them along the way are 3 penguins, one for each of the siblings. No one else are able to see the penguins except the siblings.
The penguins are definitely the charmers of this show, this is not to say that all the other characters are duds, on the contrary, each character has their own unique personality which makes it all the more fun to watch. The brothers can be such idiots at times and so much like typical boys that they make you feel like they are your brothers. The realistic portrayal of the characters and their thoughts balances out with the craziness of everything else. This also means that when the characters laugh, you laugh, and when they are sad, well, you can guess what happens then.
I was wondering if I should even give this anime a shot at first, but after seeing that it is done by Brain Base, I just had to watch it and I don’t regret any minute of it.
Those station signs reminds me of Summer Wars
The plot though crazy does not let you down with corny lines, instead, the character lines are nicely structured so as to make sure that there is some substance/value to everything they are saying. It is easy for this anime to go onto the wrong path and turn lame, but it does not and every time I think of how stupid(in a fun way) some elements are (i.e with the penguin queen), I just get more and more into the show instead. How odd but entertaining.
The anime also has its “creative moments” with the play on passer-bys and the crowds being a typical styickman figure instead (like those toilet signs). The moments of creative craziness is also evident in certain scenes with the sudden burst of vibrant colours and odd objects, but it is all done tactfully and in a playful manner so this will not turn the viewer away from this anime. So if you think creative artsy-fartsy stuff is not your thing, fear not for this is for most of the part, standard animation, all this anime does create more symbolic imagery as oppose to the normal representation of certain things. The character designs are also very nicely done and the look of the characters suit the art style of the anime. The animated facial expressions that the characters have in reaction to events makes the show lively and that coupled with the vibrant colour palette results in a very nicely animated anime.
The penguins, ah, the penguins, they are hilarious when they do mundane tasks. They look so out of place that it becomes comical and adorable every time they appear. I wish I had one of those penguins! As long as they don’t stink and eat me out of a home. They are just so adorable to watch, the fact that they don’t talk and just communicate through actions makes them even funnier.
The comedy in this anime is also very well done. Each joke is refreshing and if any seem cliche, they are done in a tasteful manner. The great comic timing that the characters have makes the show hilarious at times and definitely a joy to watch.
Those “prison guard” penguins are just adorable
Overall, this is a long overdued first impresion review of this anime, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to take a break from all the action and drama and is looking to watch something funny instead.
I just hope that the mood of this anime will continue in the same direction away from the heavier moments in the first episode.
Recommendation: If you are looking for some light comedy, this is a good one to watch. If you just want a good anime that has some drama in it with adorable creatures/characters as well as some odd sci-fi themes, you should watch this!