They’re just trolling us with Shouma’s car accident now. But seriously, this episode was great. They’ve opened things up into an entirely new dimension.
the World Fate
If the Utena vibes weren’t obvious enough before, they’re screaming in our faces now with the library scene. The long elevator ride, the endless rows of books, the cages and ladders, and then that librarian…
We even have the Utena kiss pose.
Himari’s aspirations to become an idol began long before her first survival strategy. Which raises the question: how much of the penguin hat personality (if any) is a being from another world, and how much is Himari herself? When Himari put her hands on her lips and said no, that seemed more like the penguin hat personality than Himari.
And I never imagined that those two girls on the train would actually be characters in the story. The extent to which this show manages to tie everything together is amazing.
Nothing is a Coincidence
This episode forces us to reconsider the original narrative of Himari’s death. Himari picked out the penguin hat at random from the store shelf, and then died outside from independent causes. The penguin hat just happened to be able to revive her from the dead. But nothing is a coincidence in Mawaru Penguindrum. It is the hand of fate. And indeed, it seems that both the purchase of the penguin hat and Himari’s death have the same root cause.
Musings on Symbolism
It’s going to take a while for me to collect all my thoughts on this. But I’ll share a few immediate ones. Many others have already drawn the connection between the apple and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. I’m a bit hesitant to make the connection though, except in the superficial sense of simply being associated with knowledge.
In this episode, it’s revealed that the apple is the “fruit of fate”, and Himari receives it as a parting gift from the library. After which she proceeds to die. So perhaps the connection isn’t quite so tenuous after all… Library ==> Knowledge, Fruit of the Tree ==> Death. Himari also shares the fruit with her “soulmate”, as Eve did in the garden.
Then we have Ringo ==> Apple ==> Knowledge of Good and Evil and Momoko ==> Peach ==> Longevity ==> Tree of Life. Momoko is dead, and Ringo seems to utterly lack any knowledge of good and evil. So perhaps the sisters are named after what they lack.
Another major revelation is that the penguin hat is the “wedding veil of the bride of fate.” What does a wedding veil do? It obscures the bride’s face. Which brings us back to the idea that the penguin form / idol act serve as a veil between Himari and her brothers.
Himari is the bride of the destination of fate. What is the destination of fate? To interpret this in a literal fashion, death. And Himari does appear to be the bride of death.
There’s much more to say, but I’ll stop rambling for now. Expect a longer post once more has been revealed and I’ve had time to collect my thoughts. I’d be delighted to hear any of your thoughts on this!
- The flashbacks were all good, but it is a bit much. The mirror falling in particular was over the top. At least Himari’s friends had a reasonable reaction.
- But then they ditched her. Did she just transfer schools, or…?
- Himari’s searching for Super Frog Saves Tokyo. We’ve already seen one frog…
- We have Himari about to bludgeon a Koi to death with a baseball bat to give some fresh blood to her mother. They aren’t stopping with the frog scene. The seventh social sin is worship without sacrifice. Just thought I’d throw that out there.
- How many animals have we seen so far? Penguins, frogs, snakes, koi, birds, cats, skunks… Something to think about as well.
- The penguin in the library packed a book into the box with him. I wonder what he took…?
My apologies for being less coherent than usual, I’m about to pass out and this episode did not help with maintaining my mental faculties. Again, I’m very interested in hearing everyone’s speculations on the symbolism!