Mawaru Penguindrum – 23 Review
Episode 23 – The Destination of Fate
We are finally nearing the end of the series and whilst this episode had me at the edge of my seat, the way things had unfolded had me losing faith that the series would supply us with an ending that will be able to live up to the expectations created through the journey of the series.
So it’s settled, Kanba is the character that I dislike the most. His actions are all justifiable by the simple reason that he is willing to forsake everything so long as he is able to get want he wants. Instead of an episode focusing on Shouma’s past and how he ties into everything, the episode had focused on Kanba and his actions as he worked towards his goal. I had honestly expected the episode to have covered some part of Shouma’s past but judging by the ED scenes, the key to the whole story lies in the meeting between Shouma and Kanba which would be explained in the last episode.
So lets recap what Kanba had done in this episode shall we?
- He declared that he will now be siding with Sanetoshi after having witnessed Masako’s revival.
- Honestly, wouldn’t most people ask if what they were seeing were the truth instead of having accepted that as being reality?
- Then my issue with his response to Masako’s death. Sure, Kanba was in shock and had shown some sort of worry but, I felt sad for Masako due to the lack of a “proper” reaction her death had gotten out of Kanba. I was genuinely hoping for Kanba to have come to his senses instead of falling deeper into trouble.
- Kanba shoots Shouma
- Argh, that scene just frustrated me. Although I can see Kanba’s reasons behind doing what he did, it still frustrated me that everyone is trying to save this sad character that has forsaken everything and is consumed with solely his desires. Watching this scene had me thinking of the saying that “bad people living a longer life than the good”. I have a feeling that all the “good” people in the series are going to end up dead with him being the only one alive living in regret. Hopefully I am wrong and everyone lives happily ever after (as if that is going to happen).
- Before I move on, I have to touch on the bullets. What’s is with those ball like bullets? Whatever happened to real bullets? Did I miss something along the way which had explained why a terrorist group would use bullets that wouldn’t do much harm? How did the ball concept come into play in the first place?
- Ringo goes BOOM!
- I wish I could say that it’s obvious that Kanba was so “hypnotized” by what Sanetoshi has to say that he hadn’t comprehend Ringo’s statement about the Diary holding the key to saving Himari’s life. But I can’t because we know that that’s not true. Kanba is only really acting/killing out of his own distorted need for approval/self-satisfaction whilst using everyone else as an excuse. The episode’s focus on the idea of “self” and Kanba’s sad need to reaffirm his existence is proof that the show has moved away from it’s focus on family and onto the idea of individuality.
- Speaking of the Ringo situation, Ringo’s reaction when she had realised that something was amiss was a tad odd. Her reaction felt too tame, it was as if she were numb to everything that was happening around her.
- Then we have the fact that the girl tried to put out the flame by hugging the diary. =/ How was that meant to help? There was no way she was going to be able to smolder the flames in that manner. Hopefully that isn’t the end of Ringo’s character, and if one were to judge by the trend in the series, it would be safe to assume that Ringo is still alive and kicking.
Of course there were many other things had occurred in this episode:
- Sanetoshi is a ghost/2rabbits and Momoka is a hat/curse
I can understand why Sanetoshi was playing mind games the whole time, but why hadn’t Momoka simply come out and say that she knews how to stop everything? It was not like her ability to talk was something that she had recently discovered. It had felt like this detail was left out of the whole series simply in order to allow the show to develop it’s mystery behind the Penguindrum. I feel like we have all been brought along on a wild goose chase with the truth only coming to light when the situation finally becomes dire.
- No one died
Am I the only one who is a tad tired of the fact that nothing actually happened each time we were made to believe so? I am glad that all our lovable characters are alive and well, but repeating this formula multiple times means that the twists in the show are no longer going to be as effective since we will be doubting everything that happens. Sure, there’s only one episode left so this shouldn’t matter too much, but I still feel upset by the fact that every situation was made to seem worse than they actually were for no apparent reason except to generate a reaction out of the viewers. Just in this episode we have Masako coming back to life, followed by Shouma looking as though he had been shot, and then followed by Ringo looking like she had been blown to bits. If we were to think back to how many other situations were made out to be worse than they were, I am sure I would be able to write a pretty decent size list.
- The Penguindrum is not the Diary
And so we have it folks, all the Diary contains is a spell that activates the transfer of fate.
Honestly, if that were the case then wouldn’t that mean that either half of the diary would have held the spell that could have led to changing fate? So then why would any of the characters need both halves? Is the diary actually meant to be part of the spell or was the important part the words that were written in the book?
- Mario Who?
I am glad that Masako had remembered Mario the moment she had woken up, at least Mario hadn’t ended up as a forgotten character. As for Kanba, Masako had continuously asked Kanba not to go but she was the one who had allowed those black men to seize him in order to save his life. What was she hoping for? A happy family reunion? At this point, the best thing that could happen for Kanba would be him getting arrested or being treated as a runaway convict. As for Mario, what was the point in him being the second half of Momoka? Is there any significance to his role apart from being a tool used as a driving force behind Masako’s actions in the first half of the series?
- The Rabbits?
I am going to assume that since the 2 hats are Mario and Himari, the 2 rabbits are meant to be Kanba and Shouma. The whole caged thing and what Momoka had said seem to fit. Kanba’s character in this episode had also taken on the look of the rabbits with their black overalls coupled with him constantly following Sanetoshi around. However, Shouma’s relation to being a rabbit hasn’t really been explained yet, I guess we will have to see how everything ties together in the next episode.
- Sanetoshi is a Ghost
One thing’s for sure, the world of Mawaru is filled with supernatural elements. We have curses, ghosts, magical spells, etc. Surprisingly, despite all of these supernatural material in the show, the way in which these elements were used to tie the show into being a reflection/observation of life had came across as being believable instead of it being a joke. Although I usually dislike it when shows decide to write things off as not being part of reality, I am able to appreciate this “revelation” simply because whatever had happened (ghost or not) had an obvious impact on reality and the characters in the show.
Although this was another solid episode of Mawaru, things hadn’t turned out to be as “brilliant” as I had imagined it to be. All I am hoping for right now is for the series to end with all the loose ends having been tied up. With the next episode being the last, I’d probably tear up and weep over the end of such a fun-to-review series.
Episode Rating: 8/10