Mawaru Penguindrum 07 — Bewitched

Good lord. This episode was crazy, to say the least. After this, Ringo’s previous actions seem relatively benign.

So right up front, things are not looking up for our friend Shouma:

But even I wasn’t expecting Ringo to infiltrate the school, force Shouma to strip in the middle of a magical circle beneath the light of the full moon, and attempt to spawn frog eggs on his back.

Repressed sexual desire much? Shouma’s dedication to his sister may even surpass Kanba’s.

Ringo as a Witch

I was surprised by this turn of events, but it brought me to an interesting idea: Ringo is a witch. This episode makes her identity as a witch explicit, with the use of magic circles, love potions and frogs. Another item of note is Ringo’s dress: it’s all black. The only parts missing from her costume are the hat and broomstick.

Ringo displays two other components commonly associated with witchcraft, both sexual in nature. First, she is filled with lust, as demonstrated by the fits she goes into when imagining her first night with Tabuki. Second, she is a seductress, albeit not the most skilled one. Both of these attributes are often associated with witches.

And finally, there’s Ringo’s project M, which is itself an elaborate magical spell. Ringo is carefully following the instructions incanting the spell written in the diary spellbook, satisfying all the conditions to achieve her destiny cast the spell to restore her broken family. The spell also serves as a convoluted fertility ritual (more on this later).

This association with witchcraft brought to mind a few further thoughts:

  • Tabuki’s girlfriend is also a witch, but a much more powerful one. And I’m guessing that the woman with the slingshot will turn out the same way.
  • Thinking along the lines of witchcraft, have Kanba and Shouma made a pact with the devil to save their sister?
  • We’ve already tried the throw her in the pond test to determine that Ringo is not made of wood. We should try weighing her against a duck now (a penguin should also work).

Project M

This episode’s big reveal is that the “M” in Project M does not stand for masochist or marriage, but for maternity. A “magnificent and creative plan” indeed, Ringo. Modern girls don’t beat around the bush. Penguin Himari’s reaction to this discovery was priceless:

If we assume that the the slingshot girl has the same goal in mind, Kanba seems to have a stalker as well. Of course, this is by no means a correct assumption, given Mawaru Penguindrum’s propensity for red herrings.

Once again, this fits with the theme of witchcraft, as witches were accused of making pacts with the devil to cause stillbirths, and their carnal lust led them to have sex with the devil and bear his children.

Ringo’s Love Rival

Ringo has pretty much lost at this point to her rival with the announcement of their engagement (not that she had a chance in the first place). I think that Yuri just enjoys playing with Ringo— as I said, she’s an even more powerful witch.

The play was interesting, but unlike other works which skillfully fit a play within a story into the larger context of the whole (see Hourou Musuko, Star Driver, Gunparade March, Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, etc.) the play here seemed to be largely intended for comic relief, along the lines of Ringo’s delusions. This and a chance for the animators to go wild. The disco ball, the silhouettes in the audience, the roses and glitter falling from the sky and the sparkles combine for quite the visual feast. The play is called “The Tragedy of M: Paris Falls”, but with the M referring to Marie this seems like just a tease. Although I’m sure we could come up with an esoteric interpretation if we tried.

Further Thoughts

  • This show does a great job at putting in amusing details. Tabuki’s bird chirp ringtone, the half eaten sandwiches and the rows of dead cocktails were hilarious.
  • The episode used the phrase “sharing a roof” in two complementary scenes. Ringo’s goal is to share one with Tabuki, and Kanba’s goal is to share one with Shouma and Himari.
  • I am shipping Shouma and Ringo heavily and am quite satisfied with the direction this episode took in that regard. They are quickly becoming more and more comfortable with each other, as evidenced by how they sleep together under the house, and Ringo’s weakening protests about Shouma tagging along with her (to the party for example).

Site Updates

As you have probably noticed, I redesigned the site to feature Shouma and Ringo. Let me know what you think of the design, especially if you find anything difficult to read with the new color scheme. I’m quite pleased with how the banner turned out, my GIMP skills are improving by leaps and bounds.

I now have a public MyAnimeList account. If you also have an account, feel free to add me as a friend. If you don’t, MyAnimeList is a nice site for keeping track of what you’ve watched and look up details about shows (you don’t think I remember all these characters’ names, do you?).

Finally, I’m experimenting with a new post format, of using headings to delineate sections. I feel like my thoughts are much more organized this way. I’m leaning towards continuing to use this format, so let me know if you disagree. I also started taking notes while I watch an episode, which probably helps.

 

11 thoughts on “Mawaru Penguindrum 07 — Bewitched

    1. Good to know, I will stick with it! The extra content may be more of a temporary thing though, unfortunately, since I have more free time this week. :(

  1. I think you’re onto something by comparing Ringo to a witch, but I don’t completely agree with your interpretation. To me, she’s more like a wannabe witch. She sees what other women can do, especially Yuri, and she’s trying to copy them. All of her attempts are just so juvenile, that’s she strikes me as a poser, so to speak. Her spellbook is nothing more than a copy of someone else’s (her sister) words and actions. Her frog spell came off as more silly than anything else. And while she does want to seduce Tabuki, it’s still an open question of whether or not she can pull it off.

    1. I completely agree with you on the fact that she is a fake, but from a slightly different perspective- I would say that all witches are fake (at least on the magic side of things). Their spells are always silly things involving tossing eyes of newts and toes of frogs in a bubbling cauldron. On the seductive side of things though, yeah, she is a fake, and is no match for a true witch like Yuri.

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. Great analysis like always, Draggle. And nice site improvements as well. I like the new scheme ^^

    This whole epsiode was nothing but a bunch of sexual and witchcraft references. However, above the symbols and hidden transcended meanings, my biggest question is: What is Kanba doing to obtain all that cash? Think he is one the wrong end of things. Add onto that, Masako mentioned Plan M herself. Hmm, interesting.

    So many lines connecting at once @_@

    1. Glad to hear you like it! I have no idea what Kanba is doing to get that cash, but I would imagine it must be something that makes Ringo look like an innocent angel. Definitely looking forward to seeing where they take this.

  3. I’m wondering what the other girl’s Project M will be as well. Nice new layout! Although I didn’t see what it was like before…^_^” Their sister needs more screen time.

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