Mawaru Penguindrum 9: Ends

I watched it up to the improbable kicked-mirror-crashing-down-on-Mom disaster.  This after barely surviving the librarian’s character design + gestures + voice = inevitable catastrophe.

Draggle had this to say of the episode: “The extent to which this show manages to tie everything together is amazing.”

I totally agree with that assessment.  I actually warned Ikuhara three episodes ago:

“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…”

I don’t think there will be loose ends here.  But there will be a loser, ME,  if I sit through all 26 episodes.


~ by Haloed Bane on September 9, 2011.

42 Responses to “Mawaru Penguindrum 9: Ends”

  1. That mirror falling on mom disaster was stupid. The household is a dangerous place. Didn’t we already see this same scene with their father too?

    The tying of loose ends is over the top, but I actually kind of like that. Although a lot of it, like making the sign girls actual characters, seems pointless. The whole show gives off a Gravity’s Rainbow-like feel.

    It might not make for the best or most compact storytelling, but for me half the fun of this show is coming up with crackpot theories about how things are connected. Kind of like Steins; Gate but with more mindfuckery. The other half of the fun is Ringo shipping.

    I can certainly understand why you wouldn’t like it though.

  2. I just watched ep 7, and I’m going to go ahead and drop it there. 6 and 7 did nothing for me, and I really just… don’t care anymore.

  3. Didn’t anybody notice though that the mirror falling on Himari’s mother paralleled the mirror falling on Kanba’s father? What could it mean?

    Since Penguindrum’s a mystery show (or, to be more specific, a penguin mystery show) about the nature of fate (and how everything is connected?) then I find it a little strange to complain about how everything is connected. I guess I can’t fault you, though–Penguindrum is an absolutely bewildering show, prone to weird pacing and overemphasis on certain characters and all kinds of other things.

    I’m sticking with it till the end, though. It may be incredibly frustrating, mysterious to the point of being obtuse and occasionally horrifying (I take it that you quit before getting to the point where Himari took a bat to a koi fish), but when Penguindrum is good it’s positively electric. The fact that Ikuhara obviously has a plan for this thing, however strange the tapestry might seem, makes me think that the next couple of episodes could be something special. Or a disturbing and occasionally dull failure–but that’s the weekly risk with Penguindrum, I guess!

    • You make an excellent point: the show is intrinsically about fate and how everything is connected, so it’s kinda silly to complain about that aspect.

      Actually, the reason I’m dropping it is because it really gets me in a complaining mood and I don’t like complaining, so if I don’t watch it then I won’t complain. This is fate too 😉

  4. By the way, Ikuhara this, Ikuhara that, we are all aware that this is based on a novel, right?

    • (although I’m confused about this info myself because other than myssarei having read it, I know nothing that even verifies this.)

      • I read that the novel just came out in July, and it was written by two people. This suggests to me that the anime project by Ikuhara came first, and these are just two writers hired to produce a novelization of it. I could be wrong though.

    • lol it’s not, the novel and the anime are being produced in parallel. that, and ikuhara said that the novels are going to diverge from the anime anyway.

      • Exactly what he did with Utena then. Coming up with the story, then having someone produce manga in parallel, then having manga diverge from anime. Ikuhara must be a creature of habit.

  5. I finally think I’ve started watching a show I like.

  6. I’ve got the feeling Ghostlightning will have to eat his words when we finally learn how Ringo’s story connects with Himari’s. Because it’ll happen, that’s for sure.

    • The way things are going I bet Himari and Ringo are actually two halves of one being (=Himaringo) who was tragically split into half when a mirror freakishly fell down on her head as a baby.

    • I was prepared to be disappointed, I said as much as when I posted on the first episode. But I wasn’t prepared enough.

      I will probably remain unprepared for further disappointment.

      Yet, this show will have my benefit of the doubt.

  7. Wow, and I remember the time when – at episode 1 – I used to say that it could become greater than Madoka O.o I want to watch episode 9 to see how bad it really is. Chances are I’ll drop the show though, since classes started this week.

    • Oh, episode 9 is not particular bad!! I mean, if you’ve been enjoying the show so far you’ll enjoy this one too. Do watch it…

      Actually, classes for me started this week too, and this definitely raises the bar in terms of what shows i watch, because if i’m not enjoying them i simply can’t afford to spend time on them.

  8. I was about to drop because of Ringo. But this episode was alright. But if more fanatic Ringo, I swear…

  9. You ‘warned’ Ikuhara?

    The best creators of art create for themselves. You saying in your holier than thou corner of the internet, that you ‘warned’ Ikuhara of what ‘you’ don’t like comes across as completely pretentious and reeks of spoiled brat.

    Anyway, good luck to you.

    • The best artists are who you decide they are. Pretending like something is better just because the creator is masturbating into it more is what’s pretentious. Sure, if that’s your thing, then it’s better for you. But not better as a matter of necessity. It’s just as true that the best artists are the ones who work to appeal to an audience if that’s what I say is true.

      • Definitely, we all have to make our own decisions of what’s good and what’s not. And the worst mistake ever would be to force oneself to watch something if one doesn’t like it.

    • Thanks. I need all the luck I can get 😀

      It’s very much a holier than thou thing to say, but I guess if we want to bring it down to earth what I meant to say is “I warned Ikuhara he would lose one viewer of this show if he…”

  10. I’m 6 minutes in and THIS IS SHAFT


    The books. The stairway porn. The use of typography as an unifying element. The Ozu-esque full-frontal shots. The damn head tilts.

    What the hell?

  11. Episode: Completed.

    This is still Shaft.

    Somehow, I didn’t mind it after all. I’ve always thought Shinbou’s stylistic techniques created an ominous, stream-of-consciousness effect (especially in Moon Phase and Bakemonogatari) and you can certainly see it reflected in MPD. It lends well to this surreal library setting and evokes Lynch.

    I see no issue with this episode. There were some things that didn’t go over well with me, especially towards the end, but overall it was perfectly fine. The designs, especially that of the library, were unique and creative, the art is alluring as always, and the flashback gimmick hasn’t gotten old… yet.

    I dunno, I was a lot more bored this far in during Utena, and dropping that would’ve been the worst decision of my life.

    • As I told Sasa in one of the comments above, this episode wasn’t particularly bad. It’s not like I was liking the show and then suddenly this episode irked me and I quit.

      If somehow the series does a 180 degree turn and becomes something that I would absolutely love, then I’m sure I’ll find out about it through the grapevine eventually and I’ll go for a second attempt when I have time…

      Re: Utena, I loved it from episode 1 but I can remember how the first 7-8 episodes of Evangelion didn’t really get my attention, so I know what you’re saying.

      • Yup, the grapevine is why I can confidently drop it myself. I was already struggling to be caught up with it, so if it’s not entertaining me, I might as well stop watching it and pick it up later if ghosty starts jizzing all over the place about it.

  12. Aww…I’m sad that you’re dropping the series; however I understand your reasons for doing so. I’m still thoroughly enjoying the series myself, although I’ll fully admit that it’s not as good as Utena (a fact which my blogging partner may or may not dispute ^ ^) .

    I’ll miss your insights, and enjoyed reading them when you did watch the series.

    • Thank you very much. I’m interested in a couple of series coming in the new season so hopefully I’ll be posting on them and you can enjoy those posts too 🙂

  13. That’s sad but I understand if you want to drop it. I don’t see the point of self-torture.

    It’s an odd reason to drop for this kind of series though. It’s a story about fate so everything being as connected as possible, no matter how early or late they get revealed, is err.. what it’s supposed to be.

    And though I agree that forcing things to link together in fiction could make the story bad…. but I don’t think that’s applicable to all stories xD Hehe.

    • I was trying to remember any series similar to this so that I could compare them and figure out just what I don’t like about it, but I’m pretty tired and I can’t think of anything like it right now!

      I actually debated whether to do this post or not. Often, when I drop a series that I’m blogging I simply stop blogging about it. Posting about dropping something is a bit mean in a way. At the same time, if I’m getting a lot of comments on a series it’s a bit impolite to simply stop without explanations. I don’t know which method is the best :/

  14. Just thought I’d point out that Ikuhara’s storytelling is anti-climactic. You can’t really have loose-ends that way.

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