Mawaru Penguindrum – Episode 1
July 31, 2011
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Now that I’ve dropped Kami-sama no Memo-chou, I have a free slot in my anime-watching schedule. And with Denpa Onna de facto dropped, I’m dangerously close to being able to catch up to the current airings of the remaining shows! To counteract this, let’s watch episode 1 of Mawaru Penguindrum, which has been recommended to me by multiple sources.
…thirty minutes pass…
Not bad, as vegetable chopping scenes go, but I think I prefer Hanasaku Iroha's.
So apparently this show wasn’t made by Shaft? I was surprised to see it credited to Brains Base. Maybe that means their unique style is spreading, which can only be a good thing.
Shaft-style direction wasn’t the only weird thing about the show, though. There were four sharp shifts in genre during the episode. It started off as a slow tragic drama in the style of Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, then spent a brief period as a show about wacky sea creatures interacting with umbrellas in the style of Shinryaku Ika Musume, then moved into an absurdist supernatural type show in the style of Excel Saga, and ended up as a sister-kissing show in the style of True Tears. Which makes it a little hard to evaluate whether or not to keep watching! I mean, I liked KimiNozo, and Ika Musume, and True Tears, and I liked the Excel Saga manga, but it’s easier for me to think of examples from shows I liked than from shows I didn’t like. I was kinda bored during the slow tragic drama parts. The wacky sea creatures parts could be fun, everybody loves a cute penguin who works hard chopping cucumbers. The absurdist supernatural stuff I haven’t seen enough of to really evaluate. Ditto the sister-kissing parts, although I will note that I find incest between non-twins a little unsettling, and so it’s not really a good sign.
If the supernatural stuff comes to dominate, and this becomes a magical girl deconstruction show like Madoka, I’m definitely interested. If it’s going to become a drama, with or without incestual focus, I just hope they pick up the pace a little. If it’s going to be about wacky penguins, then let’s hope they can come up with some good penguin jokes once the novelty wears off. In any case, I’ll give it another episode.