Mawaru Penguindrum – 17 Review

Episode 17 – The Unforgiven

It seems like we are finally able to see the light at the end of the tunnel for this series.

All the characters and different storyline are starting to converge together and as Sanetoshi had said in this episode, “The war is about to break out.”

Review

In my opinion, the episode hadn’t really accomplished anything too significant, it was mainly a mix of many small revelations. The whole episode was essentially split up amongst all the main characters and had spent it’s time developing and building itself up for the approaching climax of the series.

Although the episode had predominantly focused on Himari, I had seen her character as being more as a mere device to push the plot forward and a tool to be used to bring all the characters together. Then again, this was probably always the case with Himari (with the exception of the episode 9).

I am actually happy with this episode as it shows us that the producers are finally starting to tie up all the lose ends in this series and with only 7 episodes left, it seems like we wouldn’t be faced with any rushed endings. If things continue on this way, the show might end on a really strong note and we wouldn’t have to worry about last season’s trend of disappointing endings.

The Penguins+ Symbols

It was really fun to see the penguins take the center stage once again as they have been left in the background in recent episodes. The lighthearted penguin-comedy mood in this episode did remind me of how things were in the beginning of the series before the mood of the show had darkened, and I had really enjoyed that moment in the train. But whilst I did have fun watching it, the penguins’ existence once again posses a question: What are they exactly?

I had always wondered how they were linked to the MP world and it’s characters. Most of the important items that have been shown to us are either stamped with a penguin symbol or some variation of it. I really like the way this series constantly reinforces the image of penguins in our minds through the items that are related to the characters and I am starting to think that all these “penguin stuff” is no more than a way to express another side of the main characters’ personality/inner thoughts/character.

Then we have Sanetoshi, the odd thing about him is that he is the only one that doesn’t have any relation to any penguin or penguin symbol. The symbols on his computer is that of Rabbits and he is constantly surrounded by some form of rabbits.

Also, isn’t the room that he is currently using the doctor’s room? I had always wondered what Sanetoshi had done with the doctor ever since he became Himari’s doctor. Was everything an illusion? Did he kill the doctor? I mean, the whole human world in MP seems to resemble a fragile illusion that may break at any point – just like a big lie. I guess that would make sense since Sanetoshi did also mention that “In the human world, truth and reality aren’t always one and the same” and essentially explained that human’s merely use the idea of “truth” as an excuse for their actions. I guess only time will tell what the reality behind that world really is.

The Cast

I really can’t find it in myself to like Himari’s character. Despite the fact that everything in this show revolves around her, I really dislike her spoiled attitude. I known I can’t blame her for developing such an attitude since her brothers are constantly sheltering her. However, despite her good intentions, I really didn’t like the way she just upped and left the hospital without worrying about the fact that her brothers and the doctors might be worried for her safety. That just plain selfish and annoying.

What I did like in this episode were the small bits of Tabuki’s unmasked personality interacting with Yuri. With the way the end of the episode was set up, we might finally get to see some back story about Tabuki’s character and the reason behind his fingers (think back a few episodes). Perhaps Momoka had used the diary to save his fingers in the past?

During the scene between Tabuki and Yuri in the penthouse, the third champagne glass(with a crown like framing) had an unusual amount of focus placed on it to show us the importance of Momoka in Tabuki’s and Yuri’s relationship (note the way that the bottle is placed and framed between where Yuri and Tabuki are sitting). It had also felt like the producers were trying to remind us of Yuri’s past and the fact that Momoka had done something to change the “view” that Yuri saw, after her father’s existence was removed by Momoka, by showing the Tokyo Tower through the champagne bottle. And I can’t help but wonder if that incident was related to Tabuki as well.

The start of the episode also had me hoping that this episode was going to explain what Kanba’s relation to the men in black was. However, the episode had obviously not taken that route and we will probably only be getting the answers about that when Masako and Kanba finally clash once more.

Then we have the survival strategy. This was the first “normal-ish” survival strategy in a long time. I guess now we really know what goes on every time Shouma gets ejected from the scene by his penguin – Kanba and Himari get down to some naughty things. I am honestly confused as to what this is all about. I assume that their “connection” (whatever connection they are doing off frame) extends Himari’s life. If that were the case then what is with the medicine that Sanetoshi is providing Himari? Is it merely a tool to allow Himari to garner enough strength to continue on with the survival strategy? That medicine is starting to seem like a pink viagra =_=”

She definitely summed up what this show is telling us over the last 17 episodes. =P

Speaking of the survival strategy, how does the hat get on Himari’s head anyway? Does she suddenly get possessed and it gets onto her head or is the penguin putting it on her head everytime? =P

As for Penguindrum, it is interesting to see that even the Penguin Queen doesn’t wish to reveal the real form of the penguindrum. All we can assume is that it is the diary, but because of what the queen had said in this episode, it is most likely something related to Kanba’s being. I am really curious as to why she is not willing to divulge that information, this whole situation is starting to seem like some tragic love story. Speaking of love, will we ever find out who that mysterious man who had gave Himari the apple in episode 9 is meant to be? Well, it is quite obvious that this show has a lot of things to wrap up and the producers definitely have their work cut out for them.

The Random Others

  • The fighting scene between Masako and Yuri was so odd.
  • I loved all the random octopi that were splashed throughout the episode.
  • If Kanba had gotten the idea that Himari might be as a knitting store because of the paper bag, then why didn’t they visit that store first?
  • I can’t believe the cute penguin killed the cute, alive and kicking, octopus!!! T^T
  • The massive stuff toys that Himari’s Penguin had knitted were awesome!
  • Didn’t Kanba mention to Himari the colour that he likes in the last epiosde? So why was she so confused in the knitting store?
  • I love how the Takakura twin’s shopping bag is like an endless pit of stuff. =P

It’s all about the Takoyaki

Episode Rating: 7.5/10

Overall, it is nice to see that things are finally coming together. Although I would have liked more character development to have been explored in this episode, I am still happy with how everything had turned out. Even though this episode was probably not the most symbolic nor the most entertaining episode of the series, it is still an important milestone for this show.

-ra

Ra’s Question of the Day:

What would be the worse possible ending for Mawaru Penguindrum?

I think for me, the worse ending would be if everything were a mere dream that Momoka had thought up. =P
(Reminds me of those days in school where the teacher would say that the biggest “nono” when writing an essay is to write it off as being a dream)

About Saranaufogus

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

Posted on November 5, 2011, in Anime, Mawaru Penguindrum, Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. I suspect the PenguinDrum is less a material object and more of a metaphor for gaining one’s fate, a goal.

    Each character’s plot line is always in a state of flux.

    In the previous episodes, these furtive answers are suggestive:
    Episode 9: “The answers probably lies at the destination of fate”
    Episode 13: “I want to find out whether the concept of fate exists in this world.”

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  2. And I think the Penguindrum is Shoma.
    And the diary is necessary so that they won’t need to use the Penguindrum.
    I think.

    And it would make sense, why he’s the only one completely left in the dark, why the Takakura only had one child, and he’d be a perfect result for Project M.

    That being said and about Tabuki’s fingers. I think he’s the one who used them in order to use the diary.

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  3. Looks like you touched on everything, also nice to see that I wasn’t the only one that saw Himari’s character as annoying and spoiled this episode. I was also kind of wondering about Ringo agreeing to see Yuri, it seems like she forgot about that whole ‘attempted rape’ thing. Hopefully they plan on revisiting it to show what happened immediately following that incident since they sort of glossed over it when it happened. I was also a little wowed that Tabuki is just as evil as Yuri, I had really thought that he was, not not necessarily good, but maybe more of a straightforward character, aside from his fingers.

    I couldn’t say with any certainty what I think the penguindrum is, I just hope they don’t give it a throw away ending where in the end we still don’t understand what anything is, so things like whats up with the penguins, apples, all the alluded to, but not directly shown or told sexual implications and the overall history would need to be resolved. I’d say Himari dying would make it a bad ending, but she’s been pretty annoying lately, it would really only be sad for the brothers if that happened.

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    • As far as the Ringo thing is concerned, that spiked drink really seemed to mess her up, so I doubt she really has a concrete memory of that night (it’s likely that she assumes her memory got fuzzy because she was drinking alcohol and it’s also likely she considers the attempted rape some kind of hazy dream if she remembers it at all). I mean, she didn’t seem too excited to hang out with Yuri again… But I also hope they revisit the incident.

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    • “I couldn’t say with any certainty what I think the penguindrum is, I just hope they don’t give it a throw away ending where in the end we still don’t understand what anything is, so things like whats up with the penguins, apples, all the alluded to, but not directly shown or told sexual implications and the overall history would need to be resolved.”

      That would be annoying if it did happen but that is actually quite a likely solution. This whole series reminds me of reading a piece of literature, you analyze and try to support what you have to say through the facts but little is usually explained in a blunt manner so you are left to assume the certainty of what is said.

      “I’d say Himari dying would make it a bad ending, but she’s been pretty annoying lately, it would really only be sad for the brothers if that happened.”

      Well, it would mean that everything that they had done would be pointless, but I wouldn’t mind her becoming a sacrifice.

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      • Even if I didn’t find her character appealing, I wouldn’t want Shouma and Kanba to end up like Yuri and Tabuk. Those two became twisted adults still in love with a girl who never (as far as they can prove) grew up (something only further hinted by the creepy eyecatch at the end of ep 17), whose potential for future relationships was crushed by their obsession and inability to cope with loss even 16 years on. Shouma and Kanba are emotionally fragile enough, and I can totally see them becoming equally consumed if Himari died.

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      • “Even if I didn’t find her character appealing, I wouldn’t want Shouma and Kanba to end up like Yuri and Tabuk. ”

        True, it would be sad if they did ended up all twisted if Himari dies. Shouma is already a broken person and Kanba is like a drowning man trying to stay alive.

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    • I think the thing that I want resolution on the most is what is going on between Penguin Himari and Kanba during the survival strategy. It seems pretty obvious, but this show is misleading on purpose, and that whole implied sex could be nothing, and I think it changes how a person views the series if they read into whether they are or aren’t having sex. I don’t need visual confirmation or anything like that, but I wouldn’t mind a small infodump toclarify why they have to do it, beyond just saying that it saves her life. The other thing I realize now is that Kanba is involved in everything, but from behind the scenes, he knows Tabuki, and Yuri by extension, has a past with Masako, is directly involved with Himari, chases Ringo, uses those penguin shots things, makes a lot of shady money, and is a part of the Penguin Men in Black.

      I guess the drugs would have to explain Ringo’s indifference towards Yuri, and I’ll concede that the siblings probably would snap if Himari dies permanently. It’s not that I specifically want her to die, its just that aside from the episode that focused on her past, she’s been hard to empathize with. She’s dying but isn’t at all torn up about it, and while she clearly appreciates her brothers, it seems like the isn’t fully aware how much they all mean to each other. Hence the going out of the hospital without saying a word.

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  4. “She’s dying but isn’t at all torn up about it, and while she clearly appreciates her brothers, it seems like the isn’t fully aware how much they all mean to each other. Hence the going out of the hospital without saying a word.”

    I agree with that, she doesn’t seem to fully understand her situation either. She dies, wakes up being slightly better and does what she wants. I mean, it is understandable that she is the sort of person who wants to live every moment since life is short, but her lack of care about others is so annoying. =P

    “The other thing I realize now is that Kanba is involved in everything, but from behind the scenes”

    It is true that he has his hand in everything, but I don’t know if I would say that he is connected to Yuri simply by relation. I don’t think that there has been a scene with Kanba and Yuri together yet, has there? (can’t seem to recall.. don’t make me use my brain so early in the morning XP)

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  5. i think Kanba love himari, and himari love him. they love each other and this because u can see that himari even get naked infront of kanba, many times. this implies she want to have an intimate relation with him.

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  1. Pingback: Notes of Mawaru Penguindrum Episode 17 « Organization Anti-Social Geniuses

  2. Pingback: Notes of Mawaru Penguindrum Episode 17 | Organization Anti-Social Geniuses

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