Mawaru Penguindrum is an intricate explanation of the word "Fate". Its story is as perplexing and ludicrous as it could get up until where you simply don't have a clue about what's going on anymore. The first word that articulated out of my mouth when I began this anime was "What?". I thought that this anime would simply be an anime full of cliches. I was right. This anime IS cliche. However, behind the draperies of cliches lies incalculable amounts of symbolism in which are the hidden gems of this show which are unfortunately overlooked by fewer or most of the individuals who have watched this anime. Thus, leading to this anime not getting the better rating it deserve.
[ Story ] ( 10 / 10 ) : The complex story of Mawaru Penguindrum revolves around a family ( The Takakura Family ). Without father and mother, the family consists of two brothers (Shouma and Kanba ) and one little sister ( Himari ) who has a bad health condition. One day, the brothers took the little sister to an aquarium. The little sister dies there, but then a penguin hat that they bought at the aquarium souvenir's shop revived her. Though the little sister was revived and her life was extended, it came with a cost : The two brothers must find something so-called "Penguin Drum" in order to keep the little sister alive.
( Spoiler Start ) The paths in which the two brothers took in order to find The "Penguin Drum" are full of obstacles of their fate. They met several other individuals whom were also looking for The "Penguin Drum" in order to fulfill their own purpose - to get someone back alive. The Penguin Drum turns out to be Oginome, Ringo's diary in which was her sister ( Oginome, Momoka )'s diary before she passed away. With that fact known by the two brothers, they began to try and obtain the diary from Ringo. However, she refuses to give them her sister's diary up until the point where her diary was torn in half by an unknown person riding a motorcycle who turns out to be Tokikago, Yuri. One of the people who were hunting for the diary in order to use it to revive
Oginome, Ringo's sister. Oginome, Momoka. As well as the "fake" wife of Tabuki, Keiju. A sensei at the two brother's school who Oginome, Ringo had a crush on and stalked him with the intentions to follow her sister's diary and call it her "destiny". Things happened as the brothers continue to try and obtain the diary. They met another person who's also seeking for the dairy, Natsume, Masako who at first seemed to just be some tryhard stalker of Takakura, Kanba but is later on revealed to actually be his "biological" sister. More things happened. Oginome, Ringo only has half of the diary left whilst the other half is stolen. Some flashbacks were shown in order to tell what actually happened in the past. Turns out that all the people trying to get the diary is actually related together and connected by "Fate".
- Takakura, Himari is actually not biologically the brother's little sister. She was saved by Takakura, Shouma and brought into the Takakura family at the children broiler - A place in which chidren who have been abandoned by society goes to in order to "vanish".
- Oginome, Ringo is Oginome, Momoka's little sister. She used her sister's diary in order to become her sister. Claiming that the diary is her destiny - also the reason why she stalked Tabuki, Keiju.
- Natsume, Masako is biologically Takakura, Kanba's little sister. However, in order for her to live a normal life. Takakura, Kanba had to convince his parents to not bring Masako with him and says that he'll go instead ( this happened when they were very young - they later on met whilst the diary hunting was still active ).
- Watase, Sanetoshi. Some random guy that I still don't really understand his intention except from him just wanting to take revenge for what happened after Momoka casts a spell in order to save the world. He was the person who put the penguin hat on Ringo and later on also appears as a doctor who has a medicine to cure Ringo's health condition.
- Tabuki, Keiju. The brother's sensei at their school and a person who had no life up until Momoka saved him. Because Momoka died. He got tilted and has the same goal as Tokikago, Yuri but slightly different. To take revenge for Momoka.
The story becomes more and more complex compacted with an ocean of information up until the point where I can no longer explain the whole story development so I will just go to the plot.
"Fate cannot be changed. If one has their fate then one must bear it." is the summarized plot of the story. The brothers pretty much sacrifice themselves at the end in order to accept their fate. ( A few flashbacks were shown, but the most important thing is the apple. In my perspective, I think that the apple means their faith. The two brothers were once imprisoned when they were a kid and one of them found an apple inside the cell - the person who found the apple will get "destiny". Kanba found it, however, he split the apple in half and gave the other half to Shouma. This symbolizes as them sharing each other's "fate" which is the reason why they sacrificed themselves ) Afterwards, it's just kind of just a time altering coming into play like Serial Experiments Lain. When an existence is erased. Everything else changes and forgets about the existence. The people in the anime pretty much continues their normal life and Ringo also became a single daughter who never had brothers to begin with. She found a paper stuck inside a teddy bear the brothers made and she cried. Then the two brothers were shown afterwards in their younger form walking down the road and that's about it. Everything just becomes normal at the end and that's how Mawaru Penguindrum ends. ( Spoiler End )
In my opinion. I think that I do enjoy the story. The mysteries are actually challenging and probably one of the most confusing I've ever encountered throughout my anime journey. I'm not even sure if I got everything at the end or not. Probably. Anyways, I don't think there's any cons for the story. None at all to be upright. This is what I wanted and expected when I began this anime. Although not this much. If I had to at least give one negative thing about this show's story then I'd probably say that this show deserves a better ending. Perhaps one which shows the characters growing and what they do in the future. Yeah. That sounds good.
[ ART ] ( 10/10 ) : I.. Like the art. It's pretty good for something that is made in 2011. I like the art style and it seems to fit all the scenarios perfectly like the pussy you've always wished for but never had because you're a virgin! Hahahahaha...Hehehe.. Okay. Jokes aside. The art really is already to a level of my satisfaction and I'm giving it full marks because there's nothing wrong about it and the anime overall is good. That's about it.
[ SOUND ] ( 11/10 ) : "Survival Strategy!" The first time I heard this, my nostalgic memories of watching Sailor Moon in the past completely filled my mind. It feels nice to see a girl transforming again. Haven't seen that for years. Really nostalgic. Honestly, this anime's sounds are unfair. So unfair that I can't even try to think of it as "bad". The soundtracks. Some of them are from my favorite anime. How unfair is that? One soundtrack was played in a scene. It was the ear rape version of one of Shinsekai Yori's best soundtrack in which is actually one of the best soundtrack I've ever listened to in my life. How unfair is that? Not just that. The OPs and EDs are also weirdly good. At first, I didn't really like it but then I got addicted to it. They're so damn catchy that although I want to skip it so bad in order to finish the anime fast. I can't.
The voice acting are also on-point. The voice actors are really good at delivering their lines and showing the characters' emotions by expressing through voice. There were a few voices I recognized. Arakawa, Miho. The voice actor who voiced Himari as well as Akuma no Riddle, one of the best Yuri I've seen that consists of bloodfest and Kimura, Subaru who voiced Kanba as well as Marlborough, Spencer from Violet Evergarden!!!!
[ CHARACTER ] ( 10/10 ) : The character developments are luckily not as insanely perplexed as the story development. Before I explain them, I'd like to say that the characters are likable and there are no characters in Mawaru Penguindrum that I despise.
( Spoiler Start ) The characters got the developments and screen time they need. None of the characters felt left out. They all perfectly did their role to contribute with the story :
- Takakura, Himari when first introduced was just some normal little sister. However, as the story progressed, she sooner remembered her past. And because of the fact that she died and respawned so many times. She felt so tired that she begged to finally die in peace. Lol just kidding. Well, I'm not technically wrong. Anyways. She pretty much accepts her past at the end and let the brothers follow their "fate".
- Oginome, Ringo. Before she was just some stalker who lets her sister's diary be the destiny. However. As the story progressed. She stopped being retarded and kind of helped the brothers in order to revive Himari.
- Takakura, Shouma & Takakura, Kanba tried to escape from their fate but later on accepted their fate. That's about it. ( Spoiler End )
Sorry if the explanation was vague. I'm getting bored of writing.
[ ENJOYMENT ] ( 10/10 ) : Really, really enjoyed this anime. Nostalgic. Happy. Sad. Blah blah blah. Got it all.
[ OVERALL ] ( 10/10 ) : "In choosing destiny, we refuse to allow destiny to choose us."
I recommend this to everyone who's looking for an anime that requires big brain. This is really good.