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Anime, Mawaru Penguindrum

Mawaru Penguindrum Ep02 – Observations, TL Notes

The second episode is a huge drop in production value in terms composition and presentation. However, the attention to detail persists. 「演出」 (director in charge of presentation) is different for every episode, but the overall artwork quality from Ep1 to Ep2 has not suffered nearly as much as most anime series I’ve seen.

Abstract seabed in the background, filled with sea anemones and corals. Ringo’s past may also be connected to the aquarium.
In the left-side screenshot, we also see stars flying by, just like the beginning of Ep1 at the Takakura House. Stars often symbolize “fate” in Japan, as everyone is believed to be born under a certain star (this is probably somehow connected to horoscopes).

Penguin #1 is a serious perv. It tries to get into a girl’s pants at every opportunity. It appears the penguins are manifestations of their “owner’s” personality.

On the other hand, Penguin #2 seems to be obsessed with spraying things with a bug spray. This probably shows Shouma’s desire to stay pure at heart, as seen from his constant argument with his brother on moral consequences of their actions.

Sounds different from Ep1, apparently they don’t recycle the seiyuu voicing.

The Penguin Hat isn’t omnipotent? Although she got it right.

Poking fun at shoujo anime/manga.

This is not an encoding error. It’s another way of redistributing budget within the episode, in addition to Survival Strategy scene recycling and stick men extras. It actually doesn’t look that bad in video.

The cash and manpower saved in those things must have been spent on scenes like this. The amount of detail is absolutely incredible. This particular scene is exactly same as the OP, but most of them had to be redrawn or at least colored to accommodate for the sunlight entering.
There are a lot of unusual objects in this picture, but none of them seem out of place. Somehow everything meshed together to create a mystical, fairytale-like atmosphere as a whole.

Tokikago Yuri seen in left, makes appearance at Ep3. Double-H at center, makes appearance at Ep? It’s a small world, or a twist of fate?

A kokeshi (yellow figurine beside the black “horned penguin”) is seen in Himari’s room. Kokeshi are wooden dolls mainly made for kids, but also decorated to pray for safe birth and continued health of children. Just like the maneki-neko displayed in front of their house, this is another charm that has failed to perform, which might explain why the brothers hate the word “fate”.

Kanba says Penguin Drum must be something tangible. Since this is such a troll show, this must mean it’s something intangible. But then again, maybe that’s exactly what they want us to think, so it must be tangible. Wait… I’m getting really confused 😦
I’m fine with whatever it is, as long as it doesn’t turn out to be something gay like “love”.

The horse at the lingerie shop appears to be one of the symbols from the ED. Perhaps this place was more important than it appears.

Mi~tsuketa!

How can you not love this scene? Really good balance in composition with a cute line to go with it.

“Ping” spelling again. There was a “Pingroup” sign by the bird’s nest too. Are they just going to go through with the Engrish spelling, or is “ping”, not “penguin” for a purpose?

Is this the famed “Triple lace”?

The cover of the diary. Two dragons and a castle. The dragons are entwined like the caduceus symbol commonly misused for a medical symbol. Judging from its castle-like shape, the dragons, the bubbles rising, and the Ringo’s association with the sea, the castle in the middle must be 「竜宮城」 (Ryuuguu Castle), the mythical undersea palace visited by Urashima Tarou in the Japanese fairytale. Long story short, Urashima Tarou saves a turtle, gets invited into the palace as a reward, spends 3 days there before heading back. When he got back, 300 years have passed. He was also given a box with a warning never to open it. The box contained his age, and Urashima turned into an old man when he opened it.
I have no idea how this story relates to the diary at this point though.

A bunch of insignificant diary entries were written inside the diary. It should be noted that the sentence structure and the writing seems like it’s written by an elementary school girl, not a high school student. Judging from the kanji usage, it’s the work of someone in grade 3 or 4.

Episode 2 – ‘Risky Survival Strategy’ takes this series to a sudden turn into comedy. Judging from the dark tone in the first episode, it seems like the director has opted to start with a few light episode before it gets really dark and depressing. Seems like a good sign for me.

Episode rating: 8.5/10

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Discussion

5 thoughts on “Mawaru Penguindrum Ep02 – Observations, TL Notes

  1. You bring up two very important points.

    First, about the fairy tale. I don’t think that time travel of some sort should be excluded from the realm of the possible, if Ikuhara thought that it was necessary to reference that. Either that, or the “box” of age directly parallels the penguins (because I think they house the souls of their characters and are The Fates).

    Secondly, about the diary. You’ve raised a speculation for me, at this point. Who wrote the diary? If you combine her fathers’ reaction to her remembering the aquarium (episode 5) with the childish writing of the diary, is it safe to assume that she wrote the diary around that time? Or did someone else? Oh man, ONE MORE WEEK D:

    Posted by catchercatch | August 11, 2011, 1:21 pm
    • Other than the “red shoes” in next episode, there isn’t really any evidence of the diary’s supernatural power yet. It just looks like Ringo’s the one trying really hard to make the entries happen tbh. At least we know whatever the diary does, it doesn’t take effect immediately like ‘Death Note’.

      And you’re right, anything can happen. I guess that’s why I find this series to be so interesting. We can guess all we want, but they’ll probably surprise us in the end. The wait for next ep is half way over 🙂

      Posted by 8thsinfansubs | August 11, 2011, 5:14 pm
  2. Some possibilities:

    – diary representing the place where Ringo is stuck in time, correlates with the palace in the fairy tale
    – Kanba’s forbidden love anyone? 😉 “I hate the word ‘fate’.”
    – Shouma’s overprotectiveness as a result of inability to protect family members during a past event?

    Posted by ACrazyOldMan | August 13, 2011, 10:18 pm
    • I like that interpretation of the diary’s symbol. If we don’t see it directly mess up Ringo like the “Pandora’s Box” in the fairy tale and there’s no time travel in following episodes, then that’s probably the most likely meaning of the cover.

      Being born as the brother of someone you love would certainly make one hate the word “fate”. I didn’t think of that 😀

      I think Shouma was “reading the atmosphere” though. I’m expecting to see something really traumatic that caused their parents to leave.

      Thanks for posting these insights~!

      Posted by 8thsinfansubs | August 13, 2011, 11:50 pm

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