An elemental workshop.


The series with a strategy of sex appeal returns just as incoherent as anime can be – going out of its way to show a regular easy day, then transition in a single swift minute to a fight about to erupt.

This episode is just your average everyday penguin stalling episode – whilst certainly the plot will keep one interested to an extent, and the antics of the penguins will undeniably offer amusement to the viewing party, on a grander scale, the series merely becomes more confusing for little purpose. No significant events take place, rather the series noticed an opening where it can complicate the plot for no comprehensible reason, and thus, decided to do so.

Starting off as randomly as ever, we’re within the room inside the hospital appointed to Himari. A grand section of this episode is dedicated to typical interactions between Himari and her brothers. Of Mawaru Penguindrum’s diverse episode format mix of character centric episodes, past recollections, adventures, and stalling, this spectacle seems to be of the latter.

It’s not stalling in the same sense as one would find in most series as Penguindrum does ever so slightly keep the plot progressing, yet it is stalling in that after 17 episodes into a series of only 24, they remain speaking of subtle topics or outright gibberish which has yet to be explained to the viewer.

More simply said, the episode is like a producer on the food chain, and as we viewers consume it as omnivores, we receive but a meager 10% of the total story to be found – drastically different from the usual delivery of anime episodes which entitles watchers with much more per episode.

Mawaru Penguindrum however manages to pull it off somehow through its abstract shadows. A key element mentioned within the conversations the Takakura siblings share is the medicine – Himari’s medicine from Sanetoshi which has seemingly revived her and stabilized her health condition. With this in mind, a time comes where Himari is nowhere to be found – yet to agitate the matter, she’s yet to receive her share of medicine for the day, leaving Himari on the brink of danger once again.

Earlier within the day, the penguin cap had taken control of Himari – just as Shouma and Kanba had thought themselves to be free of its furry wings, it appears before them as a Himari possessed after a lengthy hiatus, insisting they still owe her the “Penguindrum”. An artifact which after 17 episodes, we’re still oblivious as to what it is – likewise, not even the Takakura siblings know either, and they’re the ones responsible for its recovery.

Returning to real-time, Himari is out seeking yarn for knitted sweaters she hopes to make for Shouma and Kanba as a sign of gratitude.

All the while, Yuri’s scheming seems to have not ended – rather expanded to include her husband, the teacher Tabuki-sensei. Unlike the person we’ve come to know quite some time earlier, this Tabuki appears to be awfully morbid as we find out. He calls forth Ringo and the imouto of the Takakura clan, Himari with some implied revengeful action in mind. A character completely cheery and clueless to that around him all of a sudden becomes more forcibly involved in the plot than ever anticipated.

And further to rupture our minds with ecstatically impulsive story, Yuri has a showdown with the equally diary determined Masako – both parties prepare their weapons before the episode ends. Certainly the most marvelous scene within the episode, and one still equally as sense lacking – no matter, that’s just another installment of Mawaru Penguindrum.

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