Mawaru Penguindrum – 11 Review
Episode 11 – You have finally realised it!
This episode is all about love, the past and Blood-C?
So Ringo is once again back to her psychotic ways in this episode, but with a slight change.
I love how each episode title is at the end of the show as it would have revealed too much if it were at the beginning since the titles are essentially the theme for the episode.
I had such a hard time concentrating while watching this show because they kept talking non-stop. This is definitely not a show to watch when one is mentally fatigued, but I shall do my best reviewing this episode!
I love this frame
Blood-C done right
If you guys have not seen Blood-C, (I won’t advise you to watch the show) you will still understand what I am getting at. So this episode once again drops more hints about the past and lays down one cryptic message after another in hopes of increasing the suspense and building up the plot. However, the problem is that we have yet to see any of these issues resolved or answered. (Doesn’t this sound like what Blood-C has been doing?) That being said, this series does what Blood-C failed in doing; which is actually having enough material to unfold the story in that manner whilst making sure that things remain interesting.
Love is in the air
This episode is undeniably all about love. Whilst last episode places a focus on the girls being more proactive, this episode is essentially everyone reassessing their love for one another and it definitely was interesting to watch. What was hilarious though was the reappearance of the frogs but in a female version instead. Significance? No clue.
Natsume x Kanba
As if one stalker wasn’t enough, we had to have 2 stalkers in this series. Thankfully, she is not as energetic as Ringo.
The whole scene between Natsume and Kanba was a very stimulating one and I appreciate that (except for the fact that I had to re-watch the scene 3 times to understand what they were saying because I kept zoning out).
I found the red sweater at the beginning with Kanba’s picture pinned to it really interesting as well because if we carried forth the idea from the previous episode of the “red string of fate”, Natsume actually pins the photo as though as she is trying to grab a hold of fate and make it hers as oppose to leaving things up to fate. Which brought me to the part of…
Fate is in their hands?
Each of the characters are all trying to fight fate despite making it seem like they are trying to go with the flow. They are taking their own fate into their hands and proactively seeking out a way to get what they want in life.
Ringo is forcing herself to win over Tabuki and become her sister thus fighting her own personal fate. Natsume is essentially forcing herself onto others. And everyone (Natsume, Takakura household and Ringo) is unable to accept the death of someone close to them and are fighting to keep that person alive in their own way.
Magical Number 16
This episode has been constantly dropping hints about something that happened 16 years ago as well as random number 16. We have the frogs which appear every 16 years and it’s business has to be done on a 16 year old. Then we have Kanba, Natsume, Shouma, Ringo and Momoka that are all tied to a mysterious event that happened 16 years ago.
I am not sure if I like the fact that more issues are introduced into the story halfway through the show but if they are able to tie everything together nicely, then who am I to complain?
What I want to know is the significance of the number 95 that we see in the OP and on the train.
Ringo was really interesting to watch in this episode. The way in which her character came to the accept the fact that she may love Shouma was executed really nicely. I actually enjoyed it despite worrying that Ringo may end up reverting back to her psychotic ways. I think that I am over Ringo being crazy and over the top and do not wish to see any more of those situations happen again.
So we start off with Ringo blushing whilst talking to Shouma signalling that she has some feelings for him, but as usual, Shouma is dense and is unable to read the atmosphere thus resulting in Ringo reverting back to her old ways. (This was development no.1 of the episode.)
Then we had Ringo hesitating to put the frog on her face. This is a big contrast to her attitude previously where she would do everything and anything to get Tabuki without thinking twice about it. Although Ringo still doesn’t realise it, she is actually starting to doubt what she is doing. (Development 2)
Ringo actually pushes Tabuki away is unable to go through with doing the act despite having forced herself upon him previously. (Development 3)
She is still in denial as despite not wanting to go through with Project M, she still asks Yuri to give up on Tabuki. (Development 4)
Yuri brings the issue to light. (Development 5)
There has got to be something behind the trains. I have been thinking about this for awhile but I am super certain that the trains are there to signify something. What? I have no clue.
Every episode uses the train line/stops to show the progress of the episode and which episode it is. We are also constantly shown the station signs and each flashback is like an entry into a train heading towards the station of the past.
Also, with each episode, the train changes into something that is related to the character’s situation. For instance, with this episode, the number 95 kept appearing during the scene with Ringo, Himari and Shouma talking about the past.
Furthermore, the amount of time the characters spend on the train in each episode just shows that there has got to be something to it. I am just wondering if the trains are related to the characters in the same way the penguins are.
I am not sure if it is just me over-thinking things, but it feels like the animation quality has dropped.
When I was watching the beginning of the episode, I realised how many panning scenes there were. The good thing about it was that they were executed quite efficiently so it does not appear as obvious but for a moment I was really scared that the production studio had given up on the series.
Also, we have that repetitive scene of Ringo smacking Shouma silly. I have no idea what the point of that was but it did seem like a cop-out to me where they just repeated the animation for no real reason.
The upside is that the creative direction is just as good as usual. The dynamic camera angles were awesome and the usual creative elements were fun to watch. The issue with that is that because of how subtle (can’t believe I am using the word subtle seeing as to how this show is all about being over the top) some of the messaging is, it is easy to miss out on the connections made. (That and the fact that it is so taxing on the mind to watch this show because you never know when you are simply over thinking things. =P)
What we learned or what to learn
- Mario is related to Natsume
- Everyone is related to an incident that happened 16 years ago at “that” location.
- There is someone else who is after the diary. (I just hope this does not mean more character introductions, it is a bit late in the game for that.)
- Ringo does like Shouma and Shouma is warming up to her
- How does Kanba and Shouma play into the death of Momoka?
- Ringo’s magical frog spell actually works *shocked* (I always thought she was plain psychotic, maybe I am the crazy one)
- Trains have some sort of significance
- What is Project M (from the aspect of Natsume)
- Significance of 95?
Episode Rating: 8/10
Overall, the show is unveiling really nicely and I am loving this series. It is the only series apart from Natsume Yuujinchou that is consistent in delivery. Also, I don’t think that there is any other show in this season that would be able to measure up to the creativity in the execution, though I must say that every episode feels like an information overload.