Mawaru Penguindrum 06: Notes

I enjoyed this episode about 3,000 times more than the last one.  What’s 3,000 x 0?  Oops, OK, better make it an addition: 0 + 3,000 = 3,000.  Good.

For one thing, the show is finally steering itself toward an insect-friendly environment.  Here:

The absence of an antapocalypse in this scene is cause for joy.

I didn’t particularly like Ringo’s crazed/lustful moaning at the beginning of the episode.  I get what she’s trying to do, but I wish Ringo had studied Panty & Stocking first, especially episode 12.  Scanty and Kneesock know how to do it properly:

My favorite scene, visually speaking, was Kanba’s meeting with his two exes.  The locale is ideal for a first-person shooting game, and Masako’s the one doing all the playing.  The green in the background is very, very striking.  So fittingly Masako strikes a pose and does her thing.

The darkness seems to obscure a potential exposure.  But two scenes later things clear up and:

We realize there was never risk of exposure, and yet the hint of its possibility along with its subsequent denial is to me some sort of twisted fanservice in it of itself.

The rest of the episode was not so hot.  The plot seems to revolve around rehabilitating Ringo’s image from super stalker to victim of circumstance.  What’s next?  Are we going to learn that Ringo bumped her head when she was a baby, but her Mom refused to pay for the required brain surgery because she didn’t want to touch the special bank account saved up for Momoko’s annual memorial rites, and now Ringo is mentally unhinged as a result?  Please.  Also, there’s a point at which the “let’s link everything to everything else” impulse in fiction writing does more harm than good.  You need some space, and you need some loose ends for a good story…

About the diary, well, speculation is pretty much useless.  I’ll hold out for more information.  However, I do not believe that was a Death Note on her desk.  I’m assuming people think the notebook says “Deth Note” (which indeed would be a reference, as the misspelling is common and one wants to prevent lawsuits, plus I’m aware the font does look like the Death Note font).  But look closely:

You can see very clearly a dot on the letter before the (presumed) E, that can in no way form part of a D.  Thus, the word is not Deth.  And if it’s not Deth then there’s a distinct possibility what we think is an E is actually an F (since both of these letters’ upper halves look the same) and that the word is somewhat longer to begin with.  So what could this be?

Meth Note – a record of Ringo’s activities/thoughts while under the influence of methamphetamines.

Seth Note – instructions for the gnostic elect [here] which Ringo believes she belongs to.

Fifth Note – The fifth in a set of six notebooks for regular school classes.

Twelfth Note – The last in a set of six notebooks for cram school classes (to match with the regular set).

I favor the first option, among other reasons because it would explain Ringo’s collapse on top of Shouma as a meth crash.

~ by Haloed Bane on August 19, 2011.

24 Responses to “Mawaru Penguindrum 06: Notes”

  1. Somebody on the Penguindrum livejournal said something that I think is really important regarding Ringo–that this episode has totally switched the viewer’s perception of her motivations from a girl obsessed with fulfilling fate to a girl who is trying to mimic a fate that isn’t her own. She’s fighting her own fate, in a way, along with the brothers and possibly Masako. Survival strategy?

    I do agree that Penguindrum’s spent an inordinate amount of time developing Ringo–I really wish that they’d spend more time focusing on Himari as well as her brothers. Then again, considering the crazy amount of foreshadowing in this show, I’m pretty convinced that things will be wrapped up pretty well by the end. I mean, the fact that the name of Ringo’s sister means “peach?” The peach on the door of her apartment building? The peach on Ringo’s destiny stamp? That’s kind of genius, admittedly.

    • Yup, the show has definitely brought the Takakura brothers and Ringo together quite well. I’m guessing the lack of Himari development is totally on purpose, they’re teasing us. I’m sure she’ll get her own arc soon and we’ll get tons of Himari and her own survival strategies.

      The connections are well-established, very very well. It gets to the point where everything seems deliberate, absolutely every little thing.

  2. My vote is for Seth note, this is how the apples and snakes fit in too. Ringo has eaten from the tree of knowledge (apple curry), has given some to Adam (Shouma) too, and now they are rebelling against the false god of fate (Ringo’s sister’s / Himari’s death). They have been banished from the garden of Eden (the trap door). The snakes… well, they probably fit in somehow too, and we could play this game forever.

    That’s a good point about how striking the green background was in the sniping scene. I didn’t notice the censorship at the time. They also had a similar contrast when the slingstones ruptured and the background turned red.

    • The game goes on forever. And that’s why the “Notebook”‘s left side is covered, so that we can keep playing on these variations.

      I liked the red background business, although it was more standard vs other anime I have seen. It reminded me of Soul Eater for some reason. And of course of Evangelion and the Room of Gaf scene. But the green scene reminded me of nothing else.

  3. ¿thet note?
    La letra teth (una cruz dentro de un círculo) simboliza la serpiente

  4. Loved the episode.

    I really enjoy how the show is challenging me with Ringo. I don’t like her and after the back story that makes the sympathetic appeal my net affinity with her is still negative. But I appreciate very much how everything hangs together.

    Ringo and Shoma as a pairing is even worse. I dislike Shoma although not to the same degree as Ringo but together they compel me to be entertained.

    If there was anything that didn’t quite go well with me in this episode, it would have to be the amnesia effects on Kanba’s exes. I think a more appropriate reaction upon seeing him for the first time would be “who is this hot guy?” instead of [insert what plot and exposition demands here].

    • Brilliant point about the amnesia. Yes, I hadn’t thought of it but you’re 100% right. They botched it big time. They should have had the women swoon over him, as it would have been more consistent AND it would have been an even more disturbing experience for Kanba as a result.

      I figure those who don’t like Ringo will suffer a lot in this show, since the show is totally in love with her. Oh wait, you said you enjoyed what the show was doing to you. OK, there’s masochist pleasure in this too… As for shipping, I think Shoma x Kanba makes the most sense so far. Not that it’s actually going to happen.

      • Yes, masochism. But it doesn’t happen for every show for me… otherwise there’s so much crap out there I can hurt myself with. Penguindrum at the very least got me interested, invested even in whatever it’s doing for me to inflict myself with its horrors.

      • Is this a particular reason why you say that? Genuine question – I have no idea where this show is going to go romantically (though I’d prefer that there are no couples at all, if only to avoid what could be intense shipping wars!). I see hints of Tabuki/Ringo, Ringo/Shoma, Tabuki/Yuri and maybe even Kanba and Masako might have a little something…but I can’t help thinking that this is all misdirection and that no one will end up together, much less receive a happy ending.

        • Well, Kanba kissed Himari at the end of the first episode. If this show is going to go for 26 eps, how can they top that (on the shock value scale) except for Kanba and Shoma to somehow develop feelings for each other? (in our society a brother x brother couple is more shocking than a brother x sister couple, though even that is terribly shocking). Anyway, they seem to make a good couple aside from the fact that they’re brothers…but that’s exactly what would make it shocking, and the only thing we know is that whatever happens later on in this show it’s going to shock us.

  5. It would be interesting if the notebook’s a “Seth Note” (gnostic references! w00t!) or “Teth Note” (kabbalah!!!)… I think Ringo’s a fan/believer of this kind of occult stuff (kappie~) and as draggle has mentioned, the apples thing fit in.

    • This is the beauty of cutting off words in film scenes: one’s mind wanders. There’s a couple of amazing cases in classic cinema. I forget which movie it was, but there’s a French film where a sign that should read “FUMEURS” (smokers) has the first part cut off, so only “MEURS” shows up (and this can mean “I/you die”). A critic noted that the letters could also be interpreted as standing for “HUMEURS”, since you couldn’t see them.

      There are also examples of this in Gunbuster. I’ll write a post about that at some point.

    • We saw two featured plushies in Ringo’s possession: a kappa and a raccoon-like creature (Tanuki) that also reputably has supernatural powers.

  6. […] der Animationskraft: Mawaru Penguindrum 06: Notes Share this:EmailFacebookStumbleUponTwitterPrintDiggRedditLinkedInLike this:LikeBe the first to […]

  7. Life has been busy. Haven’t been able to make too much time for anime. Until today. Finished my rewatch of Utena in a 5-episode marathon, then took a shot of Penguindrum for good measure.

    If they’re gonna make Ringo into a tragic heroine, couldn’t they have done that from the start? The show hasn’t shown her yandere stalker side enough, or maintained that facade well enough for this to be a viable plot twist, IMO. As opposed to when we first found out that she was a yandere stalker.

    One of the things that was great about Madoka was that it had a nice game-changer towards the end, changing this antagonistic villain character into something more ambiguous and unnatural, therefore altering the nature of the conflict and intensifying the sense of despair. But a turn like that only works when the audience is expecting something to the contrary.

    On the other hand, it is nice to see something straightforward and lucid right after the ending of Utena that still has the same Ikuhara flair.

    • Haven’t seen Madoka so can’t comment on that, but re: Penguin I think so far the show hasn’t really tried to make us care about any of the characters in any meaningful way. It’s all play play play (this isn’t a complaint, it’s just how I see it). So I wouldn’t be surprised if they gave Ringo an axe the next episode and she started chopping people down. Either way, characterization hasn’t been deep enough for us to really have strong expectations of what the characters are going to do..except I guess Shoma, who’s been consistently Shoma throughout the whole show.

  8. Here’s a must-read post, if you haven’t already:

  9. […] Kritik der Animationskraft: Mawaru Penguindrum 06: Notes […]

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