Mawaru Penguindrum 02 — Survival Strategy!

Mawaru Penguindrum is going to be the third show I pick up this season. It has the best artwork of the season, with a great eye for detail, is ridiculously trippy (that penguin hat transformation sequence… wow, just wow), a great sense of humor, and also a plot that looks like it should have some depth. This means, unfortunately, that I’m blogging three shows on Thursday again, but they all look too promising to pass up. Don’t be surprised if (like today) some get pushed back to Friday.

In this episode, the emeperor penguin hat orders the two brothers to stalk a high school girl and recover the “penguin drum”. It turns out that the girl they’re stalking is also stalking their homeroom teacher. I was getting Onii-chan no Koto vibes of infinite chains of stalkers all over again, but here it remained entertaining. Those penguins are so cute! With the addition of taping walkie talkies and webcams to them, and getting squished between legs, stepped on and caught in bags… it’s just too adorable.

Once again, the animators have a great eye for detail, and the sense of humor is spot-on. They do an excellent job of interleaving the jokes with the story, so that the whole stalking routine doesn’t become monotonous, but also so that the plot and characters progress. Take as an example the part where Shouma is accused of groping, and Kanba covers for him by making the girl fall in love with him. This scene was hilarious, but we also get to see more facets of both brothers through their reactions, and we discover the target they are stalking through an offhand comment. Later, this is used for more of a comedic effect and development of their target as the one girl relates the story. Through this one scene, the creators managed to communicate so much.

I’m also hopeful that this show’s beauty isn’t just skin deep, and we’re in for a treat story-wise as well. The show has already dealt with some pretty heavy themes such as death, and now that the penguin drum appears to be a diary which predicts the future, I see a ton of interesting directions they could bring this in.

3 thoughts on “Mawaru Penguindrum 02 — Survival Strategy!

  1. I decided to pick this one up too (based on your season preview) and so far I’m happy with the decision. I like how you picked up on how the story and humor flow well together. I agree – the story seems smooth and there is little wasted animation. I know an anime is good when that 22 minute episode feels like you’ve been watching for 24 hours! I have that feeling with this one.

    You mentioned many of the good points, so here are my only two complaints:

    1. The magical girl-ish transformation sequence. Why do we need it? That whole part of the story, actually, seems out of place.
    2. The brother/sister/brother relationship. It’s one thing to care for your sister, but these two guys take it to the next level. Can we please have an anime about siblings that *don’t* want to jump each other?!

    1. The transformation sequence is actually one of my favorite parts. 🙂 It reminds me a lot of Utena, and gives a ritualistic feel to the whole thing.

      I couldn’t agree more on the incest thing though. The only hint of incest so far has been that kiss, so we can still hope they won’t head too far into that territory… It also seems like it may only be one of the brothers who is heading there (the red haired one). One is still one too many though. As someone with a sibling this incest fetish is completely beyond my comprehension.

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