you're reading...
Anime, Mawaru Penguindrum

Mawaru Penguindrum Ep19 – TL Notes, Observations

This episode is heavily themed around “Family” and “Truth”.

They got me good. I was totally fooled by Kanba’s reaction in the last episode if the beginning of this episode can be trusted. Apparently, he really was bluffing. This secret was big enough to risk Himari’s life.
I can’t say we can discount the possibility that Kanba was hallucinating, but it seems like Tabuki was right in that Kanba is still in touch with his parents, and that they’re running the “secret organization”.

Remember, Ogikubo is the first station on Marunouchi Line, and it’s also where the Takakuras live. The parents have been in Tokyo and they were able to return home all along.
I will talk more about their home later.

ひじ: {Translated} “Rina-chan” seen in this episode is a ramen shop that actually exists in Ogikubo. The real place is called “San-chan”, and it’s located in Ogikubo 4-choume, which is about 3-minute walk from Takakura home’s Ogikubo 4-choume.
The parents may have kept their distance from their children to avoid causing unnecessary risk of danger, but the fact that they came this close seems like they still have lingering affection towards their children.

Cash is ordered here like whiskey lol

I seriously doubt this is the end of Tabuki. He’s a loose cannon now.

Just like that slap in the face last episode, it seems Yuri really wanted their marriage to work. It’s still a mystery how them being together and becoming a family would bring Momoka back…

This week’s slogan is “Truths born from lies”. Both lines are read the same way, with 「真」 being the common kanji mistake while 「実」 being the correct kanji. The two kanji combine to form the word “Truth” in Japanese.

This phrase’s true meaning in Japanese is identical to that of “Many a true word spoken in jest”, but the literal translation was chosen to reflect the episode’s theme (these slogans are meant to be taken literally even in Japanese).

There are three obvious references to the slogan in this episode. The first one is Yuri’s proposal of marriage to Tabuki, the “fake marriage” as mentioned in previous episodes.

Second, Shoma’s words to Himari that was a lie to begin with, and they may not be related by blood, but they really do become a true family later.

These two lines began as blatant lies, but later became (or was hoped to become) truths, just as the literal interpretation of the slogan.

Lastly, Natsume’s denial that truths can be born from lies, using extremely similar phrasing as the slogan.

Rain’s shadows almost seem like evil aura coming out of the diary. Probably intentional.

It has been revealed that the diary’s content really is a “spell”, as Momoka suggested in her childhood. This really conflicts with how Ringo was following the events written in first half of the show, as if it had Death Note-like powers. I guess we still have to wait and see what this diary really is about.

I am not impressed with this development.

Almost same as the first episode, the image of an ideal “happy family. Only with Ringo in the picture now.

Probably the highest grade (A5) Matsusaka, Yonezawa, or Kobe beef.

As much as 30 cents per gram (or $135/lb) at ordinary exchange rate, about 30% more at current exchange rate.

You should know what hosts are already. But in case you didn’t

Rosanjin was an artist and connoisseur. He supposedly came up with this style of alternating rounds of meat and vegetable in the pan.

It’s strange that #2 is the one in bandages instead of #1 since Kanba was the one who had taken the “punishment” and injured his hand. Perhaps the emotional pain of his failure to protect Himari?

Shoma, you dense bastard! I feel sorry for Ringo.

As the Japanese saying goes: If you go to sleep after you eat, you turn into a cow. This act is supposed bad for the stomach, and this phrase was originally used to warn children.

NewtypeUSA: When Kanba did the Nanami-san “Mooooo” from Utena, I nearly lost it.

Kamion: The cow thing was also a reference to Utena.

Both of these books are parodies of real books since actual author’s names are extremely similar as well. Of course Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves as well.

I’m starting to think that maybe Sanetoshi is the one who’s making all these “history repeating itself”.
They are obviously talking about Kanba, but we still don’t know just exactly what their parents were trying to achieve.

That game must be against Momoka, probably to change fate to his liking. He would obviously win if the other side’s fate transfer device was destroyed, but it’s strange he claims he can’t do it himself.

Natsume says 「あの家」 is to blame for everything. In context, the Japanese use that phrase to mean “that family”, but it’s also a word for “that house”. Her comment later about the actual Takakura home raises the possibility of it being an intentional wordplay. Maybe there’s something about the house itself that’s keeping Kanba away from Natsume.

They are blaming their parents for Himari’s illness. Perhaps it’s something simple like the stress of being abandoned parents made her sick. On the other hand, maybe they knew about fate transfers, and knew that someone had the power to hand down “punishments” that they always speak of.
Another possibility that I can think of, is that they both knew Himari was adopted, and she was a direct victim of the subway attack.

Shouma is once again out of the loop. In fact, it seems like Kanba is consciously keeping him from their parents.
Judging from Kanba’s reaction in this scene and the opening scene with his parents, I would guess that Shouma was the one favored by parents during childhood, and now Kanba is trying to hog all his parents’ love all for himself. Parents issue again.
Now that I think of it, the disappearance of Takakura parents only traumatized Shouma since Kanba knew their whereabouts all along. In addition, scenes like Mary had a Little Lamb was narrated by Shouma. Maybe Kanba’s parents issue has yet to be revealed, and it will in 5 episodes remaining.

Woto: #1 is Kanba’s representation as always and is being the strong one making himself stronger and making sure that #2 didn’t fall […] it was harder to pull it meant he was getting more of a work out making him strong, this is what I see the relationship between the brothers as Kanba is keeping Sho afloat and making himself stronger while doing so, he holds onto him and protects him to make himself stronger.
The only way for #2 to be strong is for him to climb up to the bar itself and be next to #1 but if he did do that #1 wouldn’t be able to become as strong […] For Sho to become stronger he must stand by himself and act independently which is what he was shown doing when he rescued Himari. 

So, yeah… what’s with the forehead battle?
Himari’s forehead had been emphasized by sparkling glares since the second episode iirc.

It’s possible all those forehead glares were building up for this moment, but I feel there’s something more to it…

The way Himari’s line was phrased in Japanese suggested that the gift may be pawned for cash, which was then used to buy meat. Natsume was not even trying to listen to what Himari’s saying.

As some commenters in this blog speculated, Himari wasn’t related to the brothers by blood. This brings a lot of new questions like whether the brothers knew about it. Who are her true family? Is Mario her brother? Why does Kanba care about her so much when he’s not even the one who brought her here? More importantly… was Kanba pretending to care about her or maybe only wanted to protect her to be liked by his father who said “protect the family”?


This pause was priceless.

Shouma, why are you always so useless?

This sequence is so surreal. Those metal balls’ movements were totally unnatural and breaks Newton’s Laws of Motion once again (with regards to friction). Those balls belonged to Natsume Group as well…
It seemed like they’re influenced by a greater powers, like “fate” or Sanetoshi. Or maybe they’re not in the real world.

ひじ: {Translated summary} The object broken by the truck in front of their home is the “Maneki-Neko”. It’s odd the production staff deliberately decided to destroy it here.

It sure seems like the propellers from Child Broiler, but if you pay closer attention, the propellers have clearly different shapes, and have holes near center unlike the ones in Child Broiler.
As it stands, Child Broiler is still an abstract place.

Natsume’s signature phrase had been a mystery for quite some time. Perhaps she was talking about Himari most of the time. It may have been phrased as “grind” as the Child Broiler’s method of crushing.

Apparent reference to the Princess of the Crystal’s line. Shouma was there (or at least had access to Child Broiler). Maybe Kanba was as well.

Someone mentioned in the comments last episode that the conveyor belts were identical to the one seen in Ep9 where the penguins were packed. This is seen again this episode, and it’s much clearer.

Joe: I’ll bet the penguins are invisible to most people because the penguins are made of invisible children.

Same as Sanetoshi. In fact, the Kiga Apple he took out was the ones Sanetoshi used to revive/keep Himari alive. This is very confusing since Shouma doesn’t seem to know who Sanetoshi is even in the “present day”.
This also supports my speculation that Child Broiler is a place that exists between life and death… that’s why the life-giving apple would take her out of this place.

Their conversation before this scene was identical to the one in Ep9. If her memory is accurate, Shouma is the “soulmate (destined person)”. It would’ve made more sense if Himari shared it with Mario because that would explain their illness (only have half of their life force).

I find it really strange that Shouma, who always gets left behind, is taking a initiative and actually getting something done. The same episode title transition technique was used in this episode, which kind of reduced its impact, but the new ED kind of still keep it fresh. They need to come up with something new starting next episode.

The importance of family is really stressed in this episode. I would think it’s because Himari’s truth was that she wasn’t part of the family. Also, with all the parents issues in this show, Mawaru Penguindrum may have been a show about the importance of family all along.

Episode rating: 8.5/10

About 8thSin

Addicted to fansubbing!


46 thoughts on “Mawaru Penguindrum Ep19 – TL Notes, Observations

  1. This episode made me think: if Shouma is the one who chose Himari, why did the Princess chose Kanba as her protector? Is there a reason she did that, some hidden meaning?

    Posted by Junta | November 21, 2011, 9:50 pm
  2. Just noting this, but the picture of Shoma giving the apple to Himari is actually slightly different with the clothes and even the hair in both episode 9 and this episode.

    Well, then again, the one from episode 9 may have been made like that to throw the audience off or something like that.

    Posted by Loe | November 22, 2011, 8:55 pm
    • Yeah, that looks like an abstract representation of what may or may not have happened. (I still think this place is imaginary)

      Posted by 8thSin | November 24, 2011, 8:20 pm
    • Is it me or does the girl’s silhouette looks mildly like Ringo’s step-sister Aoi? Hgn………… I don’t even know anymore D:

      Posted by Melon | November 26, 2011, 3:36 pm
  3. “It’s still a mystery how them being together and becoming a family would bring Momoka back…”

    I think Yuri and Tabuki just being a family would “bring Momoka back” in a sense. They could reroute their love for her to each other and eventually make it a “truth born from a lie.” In a sense, that would keep her alive and I think that’s what Yuri wanted to do, but Tabuki is crazy and Yuri went along with him, trying to support the lie. It’s the normal love story route that absolutely cannot exist in MP.

    Posted by Statscowski | November 23, 2011, 2:12 am
  4. “It’s strange that #2 is the one in bandages instead of #1 since Kanba was the one who had taken the “punishment” and injured his hand. Perhaps the emotional pain of his failure to protect Himari?”

    I don’t really think it means anything; if you look at your screencap above that, #2 was just hit with the fried butter or whatever from the pan.

    Interesting about the conveyer belt and that the penguins were delivered on it…
    I bet Kanba was in there too, so the penguins really are linked to their lives. Hmm.

    Posted by Corby | November 24, 2011, 9:37 pm
  5. shouma – sou ma – soul mate

    yeah it is a pun

    Posted by anon | November 25, 2011, 1:20 am
  6. I was right

    Natsume and kan chan was sister and brother

    Posted by numt | November 25, 2011, 1:59 pm
  7. Just wondering if anyone still remember the dialogue between the two grade-school children in ep1:

    (Unrelated: The maneki neko that was destroyed in the rolling-ball scene was also shown during this dialogue. You can see it in the first image.)

    So is this fruit of fate related to the apple that was mentioned way back in ep1?

    Posted by oldpier | November 25, 2011, 3:11 pm
%d bloggers like this: