Last episode on Mawaru Penguindrum was kind of a downer, or a cliffhanger, or a hanging down a cliff. I guess it depends whether or not you think that Himari can still be revived. I’m optimistic for two reasons. First off, she still has another brother she can do naked kisses with – the Penguin Queen said it was a one time deal, like a first kiss, but she didn’t specify whose first kiss it was like. It might be one per customer, rather than first come first served supplies are limited. Secondly, there is a whole lot this show isn’t telling us. The pink-haired dude, the black rabbits – the secret to reviving Himari might lie with them, or in any one of a million places we haven’t seen. We simply don’t know enough to conclusively say that Himari is beyond help. At this point, I’m just sort of watching to see what happens next, I’ve disengaged from the plot that they refuse to explain to me. So, let’s see what happens next in episode 13 of Mawaru Penguindrum!
…thirty minutes pass…
So save them, jackass.
It seems like we’re finally getting into the meat of the plot. It only took 13 episodes! But we have an idea of who the important characters are, how the various backgrounds of people relate to each other… Well, we still don’t know who crossbow chick is. And pink-haired guy is just some pink-haired guy, I guess? And we don’t know why the diary is important, or if the diary is important (apparently it might not even be the Penguin Drum, maybe the first ten or so episodes were entirely pointless! wouldn’t that be great). Apparently Kanba is a Scorpion, or has the heart of one, whatever that means. And he has access to a mysterious source of funds.
Here is what we know: sixteen years ago, there was a terrorist attack, a sort of Japanese 9/11. Momoka, Ringo’s sister, bearer of the diary, was killed. Sixteen years ago, Dr. Pinkhair fell in love with a girl who saw the world as he did, but was rejected by her. It is implied she is the Penguin Queen. Three years ago, the parents were arrested in connection with the terrorist attack. The children found it difficult to believe. The children were able to keep the house because of a mysterious secret funding source Kanba has access to. In the present day, Himari died, for some reason. Kanba made a deal with the Penguin Queen, the details of which are unknown, but it seems as though he offered some portion of his life force. The Penguin Queen demanded that the children find the diary. It is implied that she also demanded that the crossbow chick find the diary, and that she was pushed into this by Dr. Pinkhair. Ringo had the diary, and was using it, with unknown efficacy, to try to get closer to Momoka’s old friend.
So, speculation! Momoka is the Penguin Queen. Dr. Pinkhair is Lord of the Dead. This is a Persephone/Hades situation going on here – if Dr. Pinkhair is Hades, that explains why he can bring people back to life, and also why he lives deep underground. Momoka is trying to escape, because she doesn’t love Dr. Pinkhair as much as he loves her. She can only interact with the world of the living through possessing the nearly-dead who are wearing penguin hats, for some reason. The diary is an artifact of her time on Earth, which would be useful to her somehow if she could reclaim it. Perhaps it’s magical after all, it might reflect the scenery she saw, which is the same scenery as the Lord of the Dead. I dunno why Dr. Pinkhair is doing things like reviving Himari, though. Unless he’s toying with Momoka? This is all a big game to him, to see if she can successfully defy the fate that pushes them together. He is fate. She is the bride of fate. The cult that did the bombing 16 years ago is a death cult, performing the will of Dr. Pinkhair, specifically to murder Momoka and bring her to him. Kanba is still involved with the remnants of the cult somehow, which is where he got the money from, and how he knows the crossbow chick. The crossbow chick is also involved with the cult somehow. The memory erasure spheres she fires contain drops from the River Lethe, which is why they have power to cause forgetfulness.
Man, is Greek myth even a thing in Japan? Some stuff like the God of the Dead stealing a woman for his bride might be universal, but the River Lethe is pretty specific. Maybe I should wait for more data before I speculate too much, but if I wait until I have enough data, the show will be over. And even then, I’ll probably still be waiting.