Mawaru Penguindrum 05 — Lovers’ Quarrels

This just keeps getting better. I really love the interactions between Shouma and Ringo. I’m not sure if I can quite put my finger on what makes it so much fun to watch though. Part of it is the fact that they both have their own social idiosyncracies: Shouma goes ahead and ask a girl if he can “borrow” a girl’s diary without realizing the implications, and Ringo is, well, a crazy stalker. Another part is that their personalities are so distinctive and different from one another. Shouma is soft spoken and mellow, while Ringo certainly isn’t. The other thing I like about them is how they just don’t get along, even though in many ways they’re so similar. The way they don’t get along is obvious, but their similarities come through in a bunch of smaller ways: their love of curry, their identical reactions on Himari’s revival, and Ringo’s near perfect usurpation of Shouma’s usual spot during this week’s Survival Strategy. They’re also both kind of idiots.

I’m becoming even more impressed with Ringo on her own as well. If anything, her luck turned out even worse in this episode. Her dad doesn’t use their family cellphone strap anymore, and her plan to win the heart through the stomach is soundly defeated by a preemptive strike. Then her newfound best friend’s brother tries to peek at her diary, and her friend then dies. Not exactly the best day. But she still manages to keep spirited throughout. She gives Shouma a great talking to as well. If everyone in Mawaru Penguindrum ends up as well developed as Ringo and Shouma, this is going to be a memorable show.

The survival strategy this episode was even better than usual. This is why rituals like the survival strategy scene are so powerful: it becomes all the more memorable when you break a well-established precedent. All seemed normal at first, except for Ringo taking Shouma’s usual place. The survival scene arrival and confrontation continued along the usual path, up through Ringo falling through the trap door and Shouma complaining to the penguin hat. He even mentions that he can’t get the purse from Ringo because she fell through the door. And then it turns out she grabbed onto the edge. She jumps out of the door, runs up the stairs and throws the penguin hat onto a passing truck. Ringo is a badass. And the reason this scene had so much of an impact is because the entire scene had been repeated so many times and become a ritual, with the viewer developing strong expectations.

The other half of the episode was flashbacks and Kanba’s side of the story. So did Kanba get that money by pushing the girl down the stairs? The girl said that she saw “him”, and since she’s in the league of Kanba’s ex-girlfriends, Kanba is the most likely culprit. Also, Kanba’s money packet had the same penguin seal as the red-haired girl’s bullets. Kanba always seemed willing to go quite far for Himari’s sake, so I can’t say I’d be entirely surprised. I wonder who the red-haired girl who seems to

  • The penguins continue to be fun times.
  • That doctor was hilarious.

6 thoughts on “Mawaru Penguindrum 05 — Lovers’ Quarrels

  1. Ahh there’s so much to comment on. I don’t want to leave an essay though, so I’ll see if I can be as succinct as possible.

    The Ringo/Shouma bug hasn’t bit me yet. I think it’s because they are seen as acquaintances in the story and there are no hints of romance or even tolerance between the two. I can understand why that’d be a popular pair for all the reasons you mentioned. Maybe if they were given their own series and weren’t siscons/stalkers…then I can dig it.

    If you had to point to one character as the main character, who would it be? Tough huh? For me, that question is a perfect example of why this series works so well. There is balance between the characters in terms of screen time and development. It’s a great way of telling a story.

    …BUT one thing that I don’t particularly care for is the story structure. We could do without the random hospital flashbacks and the constant flash forward/flash backward moments in the show. I think they do that A LOT and to me that detracts from the anime.

    Point taken about the survival strategy. I’ve come around and it’s actually grown on me since the first episode. I completely agree with your analysis here!

    Is it me or are there several well-animated anime out right now? This seems like it is a direct result of the anime industry becoming more popular over the years. Stylistically, Penguindrum works. So does Usagi Drop, Iroha, Kamichou, and many others this season. Baka to test *significantly* changed for the better from season 1 and now looks awesome. I guess my point is the animation in Penguindrum really looks nice (the bike chase scene and the screenshots you posted in particular).

    Finally plot stuff. Kanba had this familiar refrain to Shouma which he used in the past few episodes. He used it to convince Shouma to do semi-unethical things like sneaking into Ringo’s room. I can’t recall the exact words but THAT phrase supports your theory on Kanba as the culprit. The shady guy delivering the envelop of money with the penguin emblem pretty much seals it for me.

    1. I don’t think that Shouma is actually a stalker. It was only Kanba who was kissing Himari at night, right? Can’t argue with Ringo being a stalker though.

      They spent a bit too much time in flashbacks in this episode for my taste as well. I do think that the flashback of Kanba running to the hospital with his dad was worthwhile, however. I think it said a lot about why Kanba is the way he is.

      The show does look really nice. I’m curious to see whether a rift will develop between Shouma and Kanba over his questionable activities.

  2. Shouma and Ringo have an interesting chemistry ^^ But I still find it creepy to think of them as a pairing unless Ringo gives up on Tabuki. I find her a cool character… as long as she’s not in Tabuki-mode, haha!

    It would be too cruel of Kanba if he’s really the one who pushed the girl… I’m hoping that he got the money through something else.

    1. Yes, I have my doubts about whether the pairing will come to fruition as well, but I still like watching them together. Honestly, if they actually became a pairing I feel like they might lose some of their inertia.

  3. Ringo needs to step into reality. Her deluded fantasies will get her know where, but now that she knows the “truth” with Himiari wonder how this will change things. On the latter half of the epsiode, I believe Kanba might have did the deed in the last epsiode (otherwise what is the payment for), but to earlier to say. Kanba and Shoma have different idealism when come to tackling a problem. Masako Natsume (the girl with the gun) hopefully she will be introduced properly later in the series if not next ep.

    1. I’m very curious to see the fallout of Ringo learning about the penguin hat as well. I doubt this sequence of events was written in her diary. 🙂

      I’m sure that the girl with the gun will get a proper introduction too.

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