Mawaru Penguindrum – 15 Review
We finally learn the reason behind Yuri’s actions
Episode 15 – Savior of the World
I feel like I have just been trolled by this episode.
So the episode pretty much dismisses the fact that Ringo was going to get raped by Yuri, and used the whole idea of “coincidence/fate” to have Shouma,who so happened to be checked into the room next to them, rush in to save the day and viola! Instant save! Everyone should pat themselves on the back if they had guessed that Shouma was going to appear and save Ringo, and the fact that Natsume did end up appearing at the Onsen after all! =P
But the main point about this episode was not Shouma nor Ringo, it was Yuri. So is our Yuri a girl, or not?
I don’t know why my face is contorted in disgust despite seeing a 2 naked girls on each other. Am I meant to be gay?
She did state that she was a girl when Shouma had rushed in on the two of them naked on the ground. My reaction was, oh, a girl eh? Then my next thought was, no nosebleed Shouma? Maybe Shouma is a girl after all? One can never be too sure with these things. After all, take a look at the recent news about this Taiwanese lady who found out that she had testicles after an ultrasound was done after going into the doctor complaining about groin pains. Mind you, under-developed testicles or not, this lady has not had her period in the whole 34 years that she has been alive and never thought to consult a doctor. This article really reminded me of Mawaru. =P Oh the weird things this show is doing to me… *shakes head* Now back to the story…
So anyway, with the whole metaphor/sybolism about Yuri and her father’s chiseling away at her body and loving her, I am wondering if there is still that possibility that Yuri is a guy and her father merely… removed, some part of her? I think the most obvious rational idea with the whole “Let daddy love you”, “Daddy wants to love Yuri” that popped into everyone’s mind was incest. After all, the pounding and the naked Yuri plus the constant repetition of the word “Love” would only naturally draw everyone’s minds to that conclusion.
Then we have the fact that the helicopter is tied into so many scenes in the episode which, to me, hinted at the fact that everything about the flashback played a part that would relate back to “the event” in some manner. Even Yuri herself said that Momoka made a trade that cost her her life. Perhaps it was a chain reaction of sorts that resulted from changing Yuri’s fate?
New toy? And doesn’t the shape resemble the bullet that Sanetoshi has been giving Himari to cure her? (I don’t even want to go down that path)
At the end of the day, when it came to Yuri, I think that most of us can agree on the fact that she got mentally destroyed by her father who is a pyscho. Oh, and “Dear MP writers, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YURI?! JUST TELL ME ALREADY! Thank you.” This whole deal with Yuri’s secret felt like it wa being dragged on and on and it is starting to get tiring to watch all the hints about something that might not even be worth the suspense. The real issue with Yuri was never explicitly revealed and we are left to guess if perhaps the only problem with her was her dad screwing with her head (or her) or if there is something more to it. If it is just the whole incest situation then I don’t see how that is a physical defect and so I highly doubt that that is the case because it must be something hereditary like Yuri’s dad had said.
Is this the result of abuse or bondage?
Then we have Momoka (whose face is finally revealed and she does not hold a really obvious resemblance to Ringo, then again, who really knows with anime characters =P ) whose diary and role is revealed in this episode. I personally felt like it was rushed and premature since there had been little character development when it came to Momoka. She was more like a hyped up unknown shadow figure that everyone is obsess with. Although we still have no clue what the obsession is about when it comes to the other characters apart from Yuri, I am not sure I am liking her whole “goody two shoes, savior of the world” personality since all the other characters have a dark secret to them that differentiates them from the “usual” characters in anime these days. Since this is the first time we are seeing her for real, I shall refrain from commenting too much on what sort of character she is going to turn out to be.
The diary scene had incorporated an image of a train warning symbol. Other words related to trains were also dropped whenever Momoka brought up the diary like with her phrase of “just like making a transfer on the subway” .
So, the whole deal with the diary is the transfer of fate which actually makes a lot of sense if that were in fact the Penguindrum. The big conclusion that we are able to draw from this is the fact that Himari and Mario can change their fate with it due to it’s powers, but at the same time, there is going to be a cost. I did like how the sacrifice that Kanba is making for his sister would end up tying into the way the Penguindrum actually works and I wonder if Sanetoshi is actually aware of what the Penguindrum does and the cost behind it all.
Now, the whole price to pay for the exchange of fate seemed too normal to me. Actually, everything related to Momoka felt too… normal, and not penguindrum-y enough. I was expecting some big twisted reasoning and not something out of a Shounen manga. =P It was pretty anti-climatic for me.
Does Shouma have eyes at the back of his head? I don’t really like it when flashbacks are done as though the person is thinking about it yet we see it from a 3rd person’s standpoint.
Before I forget about Ringo (and Shouma), what was with that sadistic talk through the phone? I thought Ringo was knocked out cold yet she was saying all these weird things. It felt so out of character for Ringo. I can understand her drifting in and out of consciousness but, that was weird. =/ I have to say that I did find the fact that Shouma arrived, tried to save Ringo, ends up slipping on a bottle that the Penguin was busy drinking from and gets knocked out cold, pretty funny. Serves him right for being such a pig in the previous episode. =P
When things had finally found it’s way back to present times, the whole fighting scene between Natsume and Yuri brought back the overdramatic element of this series with the Table Tennis racket vs a Cross-Bow-Gun(?) battle. It was an odd thing to watch but was entertaining at the same time. Also, it was nothing unexpected when it was revealed that Yuri had taken the real diary out of the safe.
Is there some significance behind bondage and torture? A normal mortal like me wouldn’t know so feel free to share your thoughts on this “theme”
Overall, the shock factor of this episode was no where near the previous episode nor was the quality of the execution of the scenes. The whole episode felt pretty mediocre in its execution to me (as compared to the other episodes) and lacked that Penguindrum spark and quirkiness (although it did appear every now and then) that I had grown to love. The series seems to be shifting into the revealing stage of the plot as it builds up to its climax. I am just hoping that this series has enough content to keep the energy of the show at the same level as previously.
This episode had also tried to give us a little bit of everything – flashbacks, metaphors, symbolism, drama, comedy, fate and romance. It was interesting to see all of this incorporated into one episode but I think the show is stronger when it tries to limit and focus on a few tropes instead of a mash of everything.
Episode Rating: 7.5/10 – Felt like an information dump but missing the complexity that the previous episodes had.
Well, we are still left with a massive amount of questions that hopefully we will see an answer to soon enough as I am getting impatient =P
(I went a bit nuts with the amount of images, hope you like the review, I was a tad rushed with it. Sorry!)