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Anime, Fansubbing, Mawaru Penguindrum, Real Life

Mawaru Penguindrum 14 – TL Notes, Observations

Sorry for the slow post. I was at NYC this week and didn’t have time to make this blog post. I did translate two episodes during my little vacation, but updating this blog is like fansubbing another episode, and I simply didn’t have that kind of time.

It also seems a lot of viewers seem to be mad about last episode’s “lol wut, u mad” line. I see some absurd comments from random pages linking to my blog (obviously, I can see where the abnormal traffic spikes are coming from) like how I’m “trolling 4chan” (I only go to that website through my blog’s site stats lol) or even more absurd crap like I’m “not fulfilling my responsibilities to the viewers” and “I wish there were other groups doing it”.
Although this blog is made specifically to help viewers following this show, you’re sadly mistaken if you thought I fansub for the leechers. And yeah, even if there’s minor “trolling” going on, there’s really no point making inferior subs slower, so all other groups quit. Anyone who understands both Japanese and English will tell you all other groups’ translations were shit compared to ours. And of course, no group has yet to formally complain about their ratings in my review with evidence backing their claims, so you know I’m not pulling this out of my ass, just like any other one of my subtitle reviews.

As I have said on many occasions, I translate for myself because I enjoy it, to maintain my proficiency in Japanese, and to improve myself as a translator. I also fansub as a commitment to groups I’m in, going as far as fansubbing on vacation. That line, and many other lines were translated the way they were because I found them to be accurate enough while matching the spirit of this show. If you didn’t find them funny, then that’s just too bad. Although I do plan to change these “creative” lines back to serious translations for the batch, they will remain for regular releases as long as I’m translating this show.

Anyway, back to the episode.

Apparently, this is a reference to a 1978 song 「飛んでイスタンブール」 by Shouno Mayo. Notice how Yuri gets on a car after, and it has “Shinagawa” plates. They’re still in Tokyo. Also notice the boobs on the “actor” (male-role actress). Even before what happens in the end, Yuri’s doing yuri stuff.



This line is 「こんな気持ち女同士でだけ分かち合えない」 no matter how you listen to it. lit. “You can’t share this feeling between two (or more) women.” The original Japanese line has deliberately(?) placed grammar error for ambiguity or the seiyuu messed up.
I was really tired and somehow let this edit slip through, but it could mean any one of:
“This feeling can only be shared with another woman” – Implying Yuri is actually a man (this would explain her “body’s secret” now that I think about it, but least likely in terms of grammar).
“You can’t share this feeling with another woman (Tabuki in context)” – This would mean Tabuki is actually female.
“Just two women here, and he can’t get any action.” – This works best grammatically, and works well with “I feel sorry for your husband” in the previous line.
“We need a man to experience this feeling (feeling expressed in Fly to Istanbul song)” – Pretty much the same as previous interpretation. Tabuki could’ve gotten the action.

Actor calls Yuri “onee (big sis)”. Most likely just the way they address senpai actress in the troupe.



Duality is a major theme in this anime. Bleak view of the world by both Yuri and Sanetoshi, that the world is clearly divided between the needed and unneeded, children who can and cannot be saved.

Sure sounds like she’s got a major trauma in the past. Possibly a victim of child abuse. She literally said “no one can come near me” / “no one can touch my heart” in second and third screen, but I deemed this scene as non-literal wording even in Japanese, and went with implied meaning instead. It is possible that Yuri has a special heart just like Kanba though, and other people can grab it, but “reach” would still work in that case.



You maybe have noticed the 「棒読み」 (script reading / bad acting) by Ringo in the left scene. She was trying out a charming technique in the magazine. Her love for Shouma is no longer subconscious, and she knows she’s in love.

Shouma once again feeling overly responsible for what his parents have done. It really shows his character.


This sequence in absolutely incredible. The music, the camera, the subtle gestures. It’s probably my favorite scene so far 🙂

Hmm… more mysteries.

Literally “there will be ghosts”, as in you’ll get haunted for being wasteful. This line by one of the “Black Bunnies” does conflict a little bit with Ep1 subway slogan “garbage goes in the garbage bin”, which was seen again as a sign near a vending machine in the hot spring inn later in the show.

A line from a Japanese nursery rhyme.

Was he doing some shady jobs in exchange for the money he’s been getting?

“Special Collection Card” on the back of porn mags and photos. Not sure if it’s significant to the story.

Looks like there’s some sort of history between Kanba and Natsume’s family in the past. Pretty much anyone’s guess.

「非行の芽 はやめにつもう. みな我が子」 is the standard slogan urging parents to prevent delinquency early in their childhood. This is a parody version that I’m not certain what it means yet. It could be a foreshadowing that Natsume (夏) joining them as an ally, but that is just a speculation at this point.

What is this “Katabuki safe”? It may have something to do with Tabuki (Katabuki?).



Her tone in the end… maybe it just means she’s really in love with Momoka, but I think it’s still too early to rule out the possibility that Momoka is Yuri’s alternate personality or something. Of course, it could be a really complex triangle relationship.

This line is usually 「同じ匂いがする」 lit. “have the same smells”, a Japanese idiom for being same type of person. Her line was was deliberately changed to 「香り」 lit. “scent / fragrance” though. This may be significant.

This is the hot spring sign you would see in Japanese maps and as a generic sign for hot springs.

The Princess of Lies. Sham marriage would make a lot of sense if Tabuki or Yuri were disguising as another gender. Although, something about her tone makes these lines sound very affectionate. Perhaps “that was a lie” and “kidding” were the lies. But then again, maybe I’m just over-interpreting it.

Now, why would she be bound by fate to Tabuki? The diary belonged to Momoka, and there’s no other sign of any plot devices that suggests their fate. From the storytelling perspective, the odds of Yuri being an alternate personality of Momoka is low, but I just feel everything is pointing to that direction… that Momoka the confident half of her – another duality.

This stuff is actually written in her diary? WTF???
I guess Yuri was yuri for real. This scene reminds me of Kanba and Himari in the very first episode.

Overall, very strong episode in terms of story and plot twists. It appears we’re finally starting to build up for the climax.

Episode rating: 9.5/10

About 8thSin

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Discussion

39 thoughts on “Mawaru Penguindrum 14 – TL Notes, Observations

  1. Sorry to hear that people have been insulting. I really appreciate your translating, I also really appreciate this blog, it adds something special to the episode I watch. Your reasons for fansubbing are wonderful and I wish ungrateful leechers would not rain on your parade.

    Posted by Chypmunk | October 22, 2011, 1:52 pm
  2. Hello, my Japanese isn’t that great, but I watch each episode raw first, and that one line is bothering me. Without thinking, I understood it the same way you initially translated it, but after I read your notes, I re-listened and she does seem to be clearly saying 女同士でだけ… Here’s what I’m thinking; perhaps the subject of 分かち合えない is 君の旦那様、i.e. “Tabuki can’t share this feeling”. It seems awkward, but perhaps the rest is sort of a mixed up version of 女同士でだけの気持ち. So maybe in total it means (and again my Japanese isn’t that great) こんな女同士でだけの気持ち、君の旦那様は分かち合えない. In other words pretty much how you translated it originally. Maybe?

    I fully agree that it’s unlikely the voice actress would make such a mistake and that no one would catch it, but for some reason I find it really hard to believe it’s an ambiguous statement either. I would like to hear what a native speaker thinks about it.

    Posted by occultangle | October 23, 2011, 12:41 am
  3. So, there is going to be a batch, because for some reason gg seems to be reluctant to release batches for the shows that I like…

    Posted by noko | October 24, 2011, 6:19 am
  4. Once again I’d like to say that I honestly LOVE your work. (TL-comparisons, your blog)
    And yeah, try think positively of your accident. Fate didn’t want to lose you yet, as you have good Karma 😉
    On a serious note though: Good to hear that you are alive and well.

    Posted by ChobitsChi | October 25, 2011, 7:22 pm
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