Mawaru Penguindrum – Episode 9
September 13, 2011
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Last time on Mawaru Penguindrum, the protagonist’s ally failed in her last-ditch desperate attempt to complete her mission, the artifact that was the object of the protagonist’s quest was destroyed beyond repair by a mysterious motorcyclist, and the protagonist himself was hit by a car. Hopefully now that everything that could possibly go wrong has, we will finally get some answers about what is going on out of the penguin queen in episode 9 of Mawaru Penguindrum.
…thirty minutes pass…
Now they're adding a pink-haired prettyboy to the cast just to screw with my head.
Yeah, I should have known better than to expect answers from this show. I’m not sure what even happened there, kind of reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland the way Himari followed an animal down a hole through some weirdly shaped doors to meet a crazy person and none of it made much sense. I guess we have unearthed some of the traumas buried in Himari’s past now. She didn’t always used to be such a nice girl, she changed into a nice girl when her lack of niceness put her mom in the hospital. That’s a second character with some backstory trauma explaining their quirks (after Ringo), and the older brother has had his trauma hinted at. We still don’t know what happened to their parents, or what the younger brother’s trauma is (he’s boring enough that maybe he doesn’t have any trauma). We also don’t know what exactly it was that put Himari in the hospital – the pink-haired dude hinted there was some deeper story behind it, and in this show that’s a pretty safe bet. There turned out to be a deeper story even behind those silly signs on the train, for crying out loud.
So I dunno how much we can trust anything that Himari sees in a dream. The information about her backstory is probably pretty legit, but the stuff about destiny and brides and the apple could just be your ordinary dreamworld nonsense. I think it would be hilarious if the penguin hat was entirely non-magical, and the penguin queen was just a repressed personality of Himari’s that she uses to contain all the shouting at people she wants to do but can’t on account of her childhood trauma. She’s a good person who doesn’t hate her friends for surpassing her, but the penguin queen can push people around and steal their important diaries and what have you. That doesn’t explain how she was pronounced dead at the hospital and then came back to life, but hey, psychosomatic effects can be powerful. She saw death as the only way to deal with her bottled up anger, so her brain was killing her body, but then she got a penguin hat and she saw another way. That doesn’t explain the penguin servants, and the weird transformation sequence she does when she gives her brothers orders, but that could be a shared hallucination? I guess shared hallucinations don’t infiltrate lingerie shops with cameras tied to them. Plus there’s that chick with the crossbow who wipes memories, that’s not something you can do with an ordinary wad of paper. Still, I think the hypothesis that the penguin queen is Himari is worth bearing in mind, even if the explanation isn’t entirely mundane.