Guess who’s back, back again? Pingu’s back, tell a friend…
I guess we should start by addressing the elephant in the room. There’s a lot less hype and discussion around this second season then there was the first. This is by no fault of Pingu, but rather the fact that he’s seen as a “dead meme” among the majority. The “Pingu is 10/10” trend was misunderstood as a ‘meme’ by many who didn’t actually bother to watch the show. Once it ran through the traditional lifecycle of a meme, Pingu faded from public interest, despite the show itself not dropping in quality at all.
True Pingu fans
are watching and enjoying this second season, and I would highly encourage anyone who isn’t to jump in with us. While watching the first season is recommended, this second season is a rare thing for second seasons of anime—you can start here too! Pingu and his family and friends are very simple characters who often engage in episodic adventures—as such, the Pingu franchise is a hell of a lot easier to jump into rather than something like, say, the Fate franchise. (It’s also a lot more fun.)
A lot of children’s shows try new directions in later seasons. Some of them don’t go too well, such as when The Fairly OddParents introduced a useless baby, a useless dog, and a useless neighbor girl. Pingu in the City knows better than to try to fix what isn’t broken. Pingu is still exploring the world around him, taking the viewer on his daily adventures and exposing younger viewers to potential career options once they grow up. (That’s more than my school ever did for me.) Adult viewers are likely to smile and feel a sense of nostalgia, considering how well Pingu captures that familiar childhood exploration of an unfamiliar world where everything is new and exciting.
In conclusion, while some unaware anime fans may be bewildered by the second season’s spot in the top airing anime this season, I would be willing to argue that this is, in fact, an underrating. Pingu in the City has maintained its comedy and whimsical world, keeping it open for all ages to enjoy. I highly encourage any potential viewer to give Pingu the true recognition that it deserves. Don’t assume it’s a “dead meme” just because /r/animemes moved on.
I like memes. In fact, one could say I am some sort of meme connoisseur, shitposter with endless stamina, collector of rare pepes, and in generally aware of all sorts of obscure coaxed snafu/moviescirclejerk epic. However, when I see one of the goofiest cartoons from my childhood rebooted and then turned into some sort of beyond childish and completely dull version of the original, I am not calling it the best thing evertz for the sake of lulz. Especially when it not-so-obviously is not it. --- I asked 3 natives if this if grammatically correct way
to present what I want to express here, and all of them said a different thing, but basically: it sucks.
The story types are limited and highly similar to each others. Pingu is doing some newly discovered thingies that vary from painting to helping firefighters, and being very useful while doing so, but then he either a) fucks it up and tries his best to fix it, or b) alternatively some asshole appears and rekts his hard work in some way. Sometimes he himself is the asshole when he gets to boss around kids younger than him. It's pretty fun. Especially when watched once a week and the word "fun" being the opposite of what it really means.
Some of the episodes feel like the first cognitive psychology test made to a few months old toddler where he/she is supposed to make a triangle, ball and square go in the right holes. The story writing can feel braindamaging-ly cringe. Some other stuff is far more reasonable and occasionally even entertaining. Typically it is just overly childish nonsense that has no appeal or charm.
Pingu is just being a real nerd here, getting interested over nothing or mad because someone teases him, only to become happy and go "noot noot" 2 minutes later. Real mood swinger this guy. The original cartoon Pingu was totally different and much more reasonable than this kid.
Great many side characters are either teasing him "ho ho ho Pingu you nerd" laughing at him (not with him) when he does something stupid or alternatively laugh at him when he does an ordinary thing but doesn't fuck it up, unlike usually. Occasionally other characters get mad at him because he fucks something up, or just tease him until they change their mind and actually help him instead because friendship or something. Part of the cast exists for the purpose of cheap provoking just to eventually show that they are "good guys" after all. Nice lesson I guess, good thing it's repeated till nausea and has nothing new to say.
Some scenes are neato. I especially appreciate those scenes where our characters waddle away, waddle waddle. It's cute. The original cartoon was actually entertaining to watch and serves an adult audience as well with its animation trickies, but this one is just overly childish nonsense. It's real basic stuff, not fluid at all, really just a try hard attempt to stay inside a small budget and follow the safety route. Inferior version of the original in every way and offer practically no reasons to appreciate it.
Noot Noots, inaudiable dialogue. Outside the waddling, the sounds are pretty much filler, Noot noots are practically the only thing keeping the series on surface at this point despite getting old decades ago and being the most annoying thing already in the original cartoon.
I was team Pingu during the Shingeki no Kyojin opening wars in 2013 solely because this version of the cartoon didn't exist back then. Now I would have to choose something else. The original Pingu is still entertaining to watch and doesn't have nearly as shitty characterization. I am not going against that one, but this blows.