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.

Review

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

-ra

(I went a bit nuts with the amount of images, hope you like the review, I was a tad rushed with it. Sorry!)

About Saranaufogus

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

Posted on October 22, 2011, in Anime, Mawaru Penguindrum, Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Does it really matter what is the secret of Yuri’s body? What’s important is that her father was a jerk and abused her. I still don’t think that Yuri is a hermaphrodite or anything like that. I think she has her genitals mutilated by her father’s chisel.
    You say Momoka was a goody-two-shoes but she didn’t hesitate to basically kill Yuri’s father to save her. Momoka was just a 10-year-old girl who thought of everything in very black-or-white terms. At least this explains why her body was never found. She made a major change with the diary and the price was her whole body. This reminds me of Full Metal Alchemist actually.

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    • “Does it really matter what is the secret of Yuri’s body?”

      I think that I am getting tired of not actually knowing any answers at all. Does she have any issues with her body or is it all psychological. All the half-assed answers is starting to get annoying. =/ Too many assumptions are required.

      “You say Momoka was a goody-two-shoes but she didn’t hesitate to basically kill Yuri’s father to save her. Momoka was just a 10-year-old girl who thought of everything in very black-or-white terms.”

      Well, with the whole goody two shoes part, you are right that she saw things in black or white. But she reminds me of all those main characters that saves the day and kills the bad guy. There are those sentimental ones that actually do regret and try to “save” them, but there are also those who fight for their friends and end up killing the “evil” person.

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  2. Did you watch this episode raw or subbed? Because you didn’t understand much.

    Yuri’s dad’s a psycho. He probably hates his ex-wife because she found out he was a potential serial killer and left him. He’s saying that she’s ugly because he wants to convince himself that he left her, not the other way around. He might have even killed her.
    Also, he hates Yuri and calls her ugly because of his hate towards her mother. So there isn’t a hereditary disease or anything like that. It’s just that she looks alot like her mother. He wants to love her, but his idea of love is abuse. The rape probably didn’t happen since Yuri was ugly to him and he wouldn’t want to rape ugly things. He may have used his scalpel for that, though. *barfs*

    By the way, why are you obsessing over Yuri being a guy? Isn’t it possible for her to be bisexual or a lesbian? You’re quite the homophobe.
    Anyway, she can’t be a guy. Why would she be called a girl’s name if she was a guy? Her father surely wouldn’t have allowed that because it wouldn’t have been “beautiful”.

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    • “Did you watch this episode raw or subbed? Because you didn’t understand much.”

      Subbed, and I probably would have to go back and re-watch the ep since you said I had not understood much. Rush or no rush, that is not an excuse.

      “Yuri’s dad’s a psycho. He probably hates his ex-wife because she found out he was a potential serial killer and left him. ”

      Well, I know that he is a psycho, am sure I wrote it somewhere in there. At the end of the day, all of this is mere speculation because as I remembered, nothing explicit was actually revealed and most things happened behind closed doors. =/

      “By the way, why are you obsessing over Yuri being a guy? Isn’t it possible for her to be bisexual or a lesbian? You’re quite the homophobe.”

      Lol, half my friends are either homos or bisexuals. I doubt I am a homophobe. =P (I would say more than half, but the ratio has dropped quite a bit)

      I am only saying that she might have extra parts because of the whole chipping away and sculpturing idea. One has to have something to be able to take it away.

      “He may have used his scalpel for that, though. *barfs*”

      Yup, I thought that that may be the case but once again. No one really knows.

      “Why would she be called a girl’s name if she was a guy?”
      She doesn’t have to be a guy, but she can have undeveloped guy parts and look all woman. Thus the whole name thing did not really matter too much to me. I am not sure how the characters are written for Yuri in jap but I thought that the name could be a bi-sexual name. (the way it is written could change all that though) Then again, I don’t really know so I shall not say more. =/

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      • Sorry for being rude.
        The thing is that I got really worked up when I saw just what a sick bastard Yuri’s dad was and when I read your review and I saw that you lingered more on the slight chance that Yuri might be a guy instead of the psychological effects her dad’s abuse had on her (she’s unable to love anyone, man or woman, except Momoka) I got even more worked up.
        Then when I read ” 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.” I felt like you were trying to justify him hating and abusing her and that doesn’t sit well with me.
        Yuri didn’t have any issues. It was her father that had them and he reflected them on her. Anyway, I can see that I was overreacting.

        By the way, I found out that Yuri is a male name in Russian, but a female name in Asian cultures and in some spanish-speaking countries. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuri

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      • “Sorry for being rude.”

        Its fine, did not take it badly. I was wondering if I really had missed understood the episode since I did have a crazy day yesterday =)

        “The thing is that I got really worked up when I saw just what a sick bastard Yuri’s dad was and when I read your review and I saw that you lingered more on the slight chance that Yuri might be a guy instead of the psychological effects her dad’s abuse had on her (she’s unable to love anyone, man or woman, except Momoka) I got even more worked up.”

        I understand what you mean. I wasn’t really too worked up since I know a few people who (although they have not gone through anything to this extent) have been abused as a kid and even now. Sorry if it seemed like I was pushing the issue onto her and cutting her dad some slack. Her dad is a crazy ass pyscho thats for sure, I was merely wondering if there were any other issues with Yuri, I am not saying it is her fault or anything along those lines. Just curious.

        “By the way, I found out that Yuri is a male name in Russian, but a female name in Asian cultures and in some spanish-speaking countries.”

        Cool, thanks for the link. =)

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  3. “(I don’t even want to go down that path)”
    Oooh but you know you want to, you totally do.
    But I actually think it’s relevant because I still believe Sanetoshi is somehow in love with Himari/Hat-sama.
    And I think he knows a lot more than we think he does.

    I had something to say about the whole symbolic of bondage, it depends on which side you consider but, it’s about the illusion of forcefully taking something and givign willingly
    Throw fate into the mix and the analysis would be something like, winning against fate is an illusion, you can tie her up and try to take what you want but in the end fate controls the game.
    That’s quite interesting now you mention it.

    And, about Yuri and her father, I still can’t be sure about what exactly happened beside her father obvious psychological abuse.
    I have no idea at all about what happened on the physical part, but what I know is that at home, naked and all she doesn’t seem to have any injury anywhere. It’s quite strange.

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    • “Oooh but you know you want to, you totally do.”

      Nooo, I dont. =P It is the path of no return.

      “you can tie her up and try to take what you want but in the end fate controls the game.
      That’s quite interesting now you mention it. ”

      Heh, how about the fact that all of us are fighting against fate to find the truth earlier? We are going to find it out anyway (whenever the production team feels like allowing us). Maybe this is the whole point of the show being structured around so many qns -> to tempt us. =P

      “I have no idea at all about what happened on the physical part, but what I know is that at home, naked and all she doesn’t seem to have any injury anywhere. It’s quite strange.”

      Well, I don’t think that the areas that were shown were the injured areas. The face injury only came at a later time I thought. So did the leg injury. But my memory is failing me. =P

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  4. Another winner from the House of Kunihiko Ikuhara. I suppose the infodump could’ve been stretched out longer, but I also suspect it’ll actually serve to jumpstart a new arc.

    I’m very glad this show is still airing during the weakest season this year.

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  5. Looking back on this episode it makes it seem like the whole “Yuri has a penis” thing was a misdirection and that her disfigurement was more mental than anything else. Yes, she had parts of her chiseled out by her father, but the way she spoke of the scars it seemed as though it would have been something more noticeable than scars, which again leads me back to thinking that it was psychological as a result of her father calling her ugly and trying to rework her as a piece of art. At the end of the last episode I was prepared to hate Yuri, but they explained her back-story well enough to sympathize with her, even if it did make the episode information dense. As far as how far the extent of the abuse went, if it was indeed beyond the chiseling, it may just be another misdirection but its hard to rule out entirely; unfortunately the way this episode went, its seems like we aren’t going to find out much more about her past, unless we get it from Tabuki, who I’m now sure will get an episode dedicated to his memory of Momoka beyond what they’ve already shown. The deal with his scarred hands might just be a result of the Penguindrum’s compensation.

    It wasn’t a bad episode, they explained a lot, and it seems as though Ringo is safe, although the wording made it a bit difficult to figure out if nothing at all happened in that room or not. As far as her speaking out of character to Shouma, that was more than likely a side effect of the drugs than anything else. There wasn’t a whole lot else that could’ve been done in this episode to ramp up the tension, without falling into that trap of what I like to call “clusterf*king the series” which essentially happens when a plot point or event takes place that is to encompassing to overlook or move on from without resolving, making the series essentially committed to climaxing within the next few episodes following that moment. Recent example would be Blood C, when the monsters killed basically all of Saya’s classmates, and then following that, when the ‘teacher’ started to explain the truth, there was nothing the series could do except roll with it from there and finish it off. In a series that doesn’t last multiple seasons or arcs, that pretty much signals the end is about to happen, so in that respect I’m glad that they scaled it back from the previous episode and didn’t ‘clusterf*k’ the penguins.

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    • “Looking back on this episode it makes it seem like the whole “Yuri has a penis” thing was a misdirection and that her disfigurement was more mental than anything else.”

      I want to read a transcript of the last episode to see what was actually said to see what the real issue might be =/ But I think that I am kinda over the whole thing with Yuri, I don’t really care if she is being abused or if she is a guy. Gonna simply move on from the issue, too tiring to think about it much more, shall wait for MP to simply state it out in plain terms. =P

      “its seems like we aren’t going to find out much more about her past, unless we get it from Tabuki, who I’m now sure will get an episode dedicated to his memory of Momoka beyond what they’ve already shown. The deal with his scarred hands might just be a result of the Penguindrum’s compensation. ”

      You are probably right about the scarred hands part. I can’t wait to see Tabuki’s story since his is the only one right now (apart from Natsume) that we have not heard much about.

      “As far as her speaking out of character to Shouma, that was more than likely a side effect of the drugs than anything else. ”

      I was thinking about that, but I don’t know my drugs so I don’t know what happens when one takes drugs anyway.

      “so in that respect I’m glad that they scaled it back from the previous episode and didn’t ‘clusterf*k’ the penguins.”

      Lol =D
      Speaking of penguins, I wonder if we would be getting any explanation/story on them soon.

      Like

  6. Dragon:

    Did you watch this episode raw or subbed? Because you didn’t understand much.

    She was “a tad rushed” to use her own words 😉 .

    Zammael:

    I suppose the infodump could’ve been stretched out longer, but I also suspect it’ll actually serve to jumpstart a new arc.

    Really? To me it seemed fine as I assumed that the series has plenty of time left to address the rest of the stuff in its own time. Or what part of this episode’s revelations should be explained in more detail? Of course, the way Penguindrum is handling its exposition does kinda drag… I simply hope that they got the pacing right to make the whole thing a good preparation for the finale.

    viishous:

    There wasn’t a whole lot else that could’ve been done in this episode to ramp up the tension, without falling into that trap of what I like to call “clusterf*king the series”

    One thing bugged me about the way this was resolved and it was the fact that it just seemed so bloody random… Nothing of it was necessary, Yuri drugging Ringo, then trying to rape her while Shouma calls at the same time and the Random Friend of Shouma hears them since they are just in the next room, Shouma storms into that room intending to save Ringo when he slips on a bottle and falls unconscious. How the hell is that scene supposed to make any sense?! And when Yuri just says after the flashback “So apparently she’s nothing like Momoka after all… Well, time to move on, I guess.”… Really, that’s it? That’s the resolution to what has started at the end of the last episode?
    So in the end the episode just presented a platform for Shouma and Ringo to reconcile (sort of) and allowed Yuri to have a flashback about her past and Momoke – that’s all (and the tension from last episode’s cliffhanger just makes a ‘poof’-sound)… This episode was simply random and without any purpose or lasting effect on the story. In the end it merely seemed like a waste of time in terms of development. The flashback of this episode was fine – the rest was not, I think.

    Kuuki:
    Yuri’s dad is a psycho indeed and he has a long list of obsessions starting with his hate for anyone who’s not part of the family and ending with his hate for everything he thinks is ugly.
    But I think the details of his craziness weren’t the focus of this episode. What really mattered was what Momoka did and despite her trying to save Yuri, I somehow doubt that in a series like Penguindrum “changing fate” is something one should do. I think, there are far greater consequences to it than Momoka may know.

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  7. Huh. I hardly had a problem with this episode per se: it kind of feels this story’s finally beginning to tie together. I think!

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    • “it kind of feels this story’s finally beginning to tie together. I think!”

      We can hope so, I mean, all the main components are now made known (expect for mystery man in black and Natsume’s past). Perhaps this week episode would shed some light on Kanba and his situation?

      Like

  1. Pingback: Notes of Mawaru Penguindrum Episode 15 « Organization Anti-Social Geniuses

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