A thoughtful response to current anime.

Mawaru Penguindrum – Episode 18

Last episode on Mawaru Penguindrum, the various factions were squaring off against one another.  Tabuki was confronting Ringo and Himari at the top of a skyscraper, Yuri was confronting Masako in a parking garage, and Shouma and Kanba were confronting their own powerlessness to protect their sister.  That’s pretty much all the players accounted for, unless the pink-haired doctor wants to confront Mario, or Ringo’s divorced dad wants to confront Masako’s maid.  I wouldn’t put it past this show.  In fact, I’m guessing we’ll see something even more implausible in episode 18 of Mawaru Penguindrum.

…thirty minutes pass…

Yeah, well, you shouldn't kidnap and torture young girls, so I guess that makes us even.

Powerful stuff.  The characters really started being honest with their emotions in this episode, and when the dust settles and the wounds heal, I think their relationships will be healthier for it.  It’s just a shame it took a lunatic kidnapper performing mock executions to lead to this breakthrough.  I wonder if Tabuki is done in the story now, if he’ll just fade to the background now that Ringo doesn’t want him, Yuri doesn’t want him, and he realized that his quest for revenge isn’t something Momoka would want if she were still alive.  I’d like to see him get paid back for what he did to Himari, but Momoka wouldn’t want that, either.  Momoka was a hero, she unconditionally loved everybody.  That’s why she’s dead.

So Kanba’s secret is out in the open, now; he’s been working with the remnants of the cult that did the bombing all those years ago.  Well, it’s not necessarily out.  Ringo and Himari know, but they seem like the sort of people that can keep a secret.  Himari’s got a sharp edge to her, lurking under the surface.  She’s not going to let anything bad happen to her beloved older brother, she’ll keep his shady dealings secret no matter what they are. She understands that everything he did, he did to protect her, and she’s not an ungrateful person.  Ringo is a bit more of a wild card.  I know she says she doesn’t want revenge on the family for the sins of their parents, but it sure sounds like Kanba has some sins he can call his own.  The one possible saving grace is, Ringo is sort of crazy and stalkerish, and she’s fixated on Shouma now.  Plus, she’s good friends with Himari, too.  Hating Kanba just because he works for a terrorist cult would seriously strain her relationship with two of the most important people in her life, so she can probably come up with some excuse for his behavior in her mind.

I have to give Mawaru Penguindrum credit for becoming a lot more comprehensible than it used to be, but there was one thing in this episode that really didn’t make sense.  The “Child Broiler”?  I take a pretty straightforward perspective on art, I take it literally and engage with it on the level that it presents itself on, as a rule.  But there’s no way that the Child Broiler is an actual thing, even in a show this crazy.  It has to be some sort of metaphor or something, I can’t believe Mawaru Penguindrum Japan has an actual factory for grinding unwanted children into little bits.  I guess Momoka had the power to reshape reality.  And she was a good person, so she used the power to make the world a better place.  Thus, we should expect all previous worlds to have been even worse than this one.  So, if you trace the timeline back a few jumps, maybe you do wind up in a Japan where crippled kids are ground up into pieces.  But that would mean that the diary can make large positive changes, without even killing the operator.  If the Child Broiler is an actual thing, and not, like, a metaphor for the pressure society places on adults to conform, then that means it’s imperative that they get the complete diary in the hands of someone trustworthy and start fixing the world’s problems, already.


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