Penguindrum 08, Dantalian 08
This will be brief.
1. I think I figured out what’s going on with Penguindrum. Ikuhara had great sucess with Utena, and he’s decided the only way to top it is to increase the pageantry and amp up the comedy. Exhibit A: shadow girl plays (once per episode, 20 seconds, simple choreography and costumes) → Ringo’s mind plays (multiple scenes per episode, minutes long, elaborate choreography and costumes); Exhibit B: a single Chuchu’s occasional silly antics → three Penguins’ constant silly antics. How this will feed into evaluations of the new show will only be known in the coming years. Next week looks like more penguins.
2. There’s a fundamental flaw with Dantalian, and this episode slaps us in the face with it as if it were proud of it: phantom book inflation. Everyone’s seen them, touched them, received them in the mail (possibly by subscription), bought, sold and traded them. If this is the case, then how come the 1920s Britain of Dantalian is pretty much exactly like our own? How come WWI happened just like in our world? You either make the books really rare and secret (so that their influence, if widespread, is at least mysterious and unknown) or you radically exoticize the environment of the show’s world to suit the proliferation of these books. The show does neither. Next week looks potentially plot heavy.
3. For the Matsumoto fans out there: Leiji Matsumoto was in a traffic accident two days ago. The taxi he was in crashed but the mangaka’s injuries were minor and he’s doing fine. This happened in Nerima where he lives.