Mawaru Penguindrum progresses from a path of abstract incoherence, to a flashback of family love so magnificent, it feels as if one has just witnessed a multi-million big name film – yet with a story far more unique.
Penguindrum had never hit before with such impact – unlike a few episodes in the past which did manage to secure our attention, such as Shouma being run over, the distinctive difference here is the interest is not derived from anyone getting hurt physically. The emotional aspect of the anecdote being portrayed is simply so immense, anyone will be able to understand it, and everyone will feel the 2-D tears themselves. The show has been abstract for a grand while – however now it actually all makes sense.
20 episodes in, a mere 6 left, and the plot proves to simply have been ever more elaborate than one did originally imagine.
Resonating through a bleak “Frozen World” is a voice unforgiving, full of determination, and one of revolution. Drab grey condos litter the scene in repetitive pattern as the camera then jumps over to the face of the Takakura father – a man who appears to be commanding some sort of legion of his own. In real-time, this is a story being retold by Shouma who finds himself unwilling to forgive, and unable to forget the actions of his parents – a pair who are responsible for the death of a good few, including the sister of the former stalker Ringo.
However further into this narrative is something much more of interest, the tale of how an abandoned little girl named “Himari” came to be part of the Takakura family.
As that man is giving his speech, standing outside without a care is his son – Shouma. This child, as one could see from his playful actions, is one rather adventurous – thus as he spots another around his age of the female type running around a corner out of sight, he couldn’t help but venture off in her direction. This girl is none other than Himari – and a surprisingly sorrowful being she seems to be indeed. Not explicitly stated at all, yet her tone of voice and demeanor says it all, she’s been discarded like nothing more than rubbish.
Obviously this leaves her rather unfriendly, yet Shouma is ignorant to the fact of her suffering, nor even would he allow that to affect his perception of her if he wasn’t. In his eyes, she’s merely another kid his age. And so, he continues interacting with her like a friend – all until they find a cat, one which was left to die in a manner no different than that which occurred with Himari.
As the neko comes into play, the two of Himari and Shouma become ever closer – to the point even, we think Himari might have developed a crush on Shouma. And in fact, she truly might have – in real-time are we shown Himari as she speaks of fruit and kisses with her odd doctor, although we assure you they’re not speaking of edible substances. Recollect only to the start of this episode, Himari blatantly states Shouma to be her soul mate. In other words, the two are not blood related.
Many of the ongoing conversations in this episode are metaphoric, meaning far more than that being literally said.
Now returning to the neko filled memory, the cat finds itself surrounded with affection and care – yet unfortunately a day comes when a third party simply not too fond of pets disposes of the neko in the most vile of manner one could think, death.
Then do the two of Himari and Shouma depart, and a day goes by till Shouma returns to the dark nook where he first met Himari, only now instead to find a letter of good-bye. She’s been taken to a place entitled the “Kodomo Broiler” – which as the name effectively does imply, is a grisly point of termination for certain children who simply never found a home of love. Shouma however refuses to sit still and accept this fate – he runs as fast as he can, crying, no matter how futile it may seem, rushing off to the center of the city in an attempt to rescue his friend Himari.
The Kodomo Broiler is a sight unnerving indeed, silhouettes of children slowly roll on a conveyor belt to their doom – yet Shouma carries on with courage in hopes of finding his friend, and wondrously he does. Reuniting with Himari – having her be from that point on, a member of his own family.
Beautiful indeed is this recollection of a family member in need, yet we’re left in question as to what will come of Ringo’s romantic interests in Shouma. Not only that, Himari seems to be taking a more active stance than she previously has been in the anime, excluding the actions of her alter personality of course. Himari seems to want to capitalize on her times from past – having just now remembered all of what Shouma has done for her.
Finally are we left to contemplate on what appears to be a bubbling war – the issues of the past, those spoken of by the Takakura father, are being resurrected, as are those geared against them.
We’re shown off from this episode with Kanba and his parents scheming together a plan to overtake the ones fueling the madness of the city of Mawaru Penguindrum.