An elemental workshop.

Having kept us curious for a good 12 episodes, Mawaru Penguindrum finally reveals its secretive Survival Strategy – it involves incest being performed in a pseudo necrophilia dreamlike fashion.

It is difficult to digest what exactly occurs in this episode of Mawaru Penguindrum as it is seemingly crafted to the typical abstract standards we’ve come to expect of the series – leaving much of the story obscure, and essentially, incomprehensible. We cannot deny however that it indeed does get the main aspects across and is quite entertaining nonetheless.

Continuing exactly where the previous left off, this episode has Shouma explain his earlier statement of how he, or rather his family, were responsible for the death of Ringo’s sister Momoka. A certain tragic tale took place 16 years ago on the date of Ringo’s birth – which also happens to be the day of Momoka’s death. It is also presumably the date of Shouma’s birth as well – something implied by the sight of his father receiving notification of a new son.

Although remaining unclear exactly what had taken place, Shouma recalls this devastating event of 16 years ago – his father was performing research for a certain organization, one which appears to have government ties. A short time after learning of his newly born son, this organization mobilizes in order to carry out a “Survival Strategy”. Specifics have not been shared, however next thing we know – the city is flaming up from many different locations, and an explosion has delayed the subway.

This particular explosion happened to have ended the life of Momoka – elementary schooler Tabuki was rushing after her in a late fury that day, only to find his friend had been killed, with nothing left behind but a diary. Shortly thereafter, Ringo was born.

We found this quite an interesting story – however as we return to real-time, penguin hat Himari is falling asleep from boredom. Hearing the sorrowful tale of “fate” she calls for the initiation of the “Survival Strategy” whatever that is. Though her stratagem never comes to fruition as she promptly collapses on the floor as the group returns to the area outside the complex doors – just as they were in last episode.

Whilst Shouma was sharing that depressing memory, someone had called Kanba to inform him that Himari shall die a second time – now it seems that prophecy has come to pass. Himari is rushed to the hospital by Shouma and Ringo who are now intoxicated with worry – Kanba then arrives running at full speed just as the worst came to pass, Himari has died. Shouma and Ringo simply stare in horror at the corpse of someone who was with them mere moments ago – Kanba refuses to accept this and in a futile attempt, tries to revive her with the disgustingly cute penguin cap.

As Kanba does this, Shouma has seemingly gone senile and begins singing some estranged morbid variation of Marry Had a Little Lamb.

Focusing again on Kanba, though the hat has no effect – an alternate reality is seen, an abstract aspect not all that strange when seen in Mawaru Penguindrum. Within this realm, Kanba communicates with the hat of penguin – he pleads for a second chance, even offering his own life in exchange for the safety of Himari, and though the hat appears to perform some ritual after once again mentioning a “Survival Strategy”, no favorable result is achieved.

Himari is dead, and her penguin disappears as well – thus making meaningless the conquest for Ringo’s diary up till now. We’re certain however that Mawaru Penguindrum still has more than merely kuro usagis under its penguin hats. There remains the case of the one who pronounced Himari’s death well before she was struck dead a second time – he makes his presence, yet no development is made. One can recall this bishounen with pink hair is the supposed librarian of a special sector in the library.

Even this enigmatic feminine fellow aside, we have trouble believing the series would simply kill off Himari without meaning or true purpose – it will certainly at some point have a valid reasoning, yet just as much of the series so far, it’s nothing more than random instant gibberish.


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