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Anime, Mawaru Penguindrum

Mawaru Penguindrum 20 – TL Notes, Observations

Very well-thought-out, tightly written script, directed nicely in this week’s episode.

As some of you may have noticed, some Brazilian group got access to our half-edited script and leaked it this week… Well, it’s all good because I stole their timing and pasted the updated script over lol. Thx Morningspeed. Our timer was enjoying his thanksgiving so everything worked out 🙂

It’s hard to believe someone would bother hacking into Titanpad just to leak the script though…

The episode starts with a flashback, presumably not too long before March 20, 1995. I find the final sentence of the description to be very interesting.

Similar doors, “hard to tell which one’s real”. Kenzan later says a wtf line about making Earth a habitable place where the mankind would only need to rely on “true” things. Maybe the flashback description was a foreshadowing of sorts about what’s real and what’s not in the remaining episodes…

“Which one’s righteous”. I have a feeling this is about Sanetoshi vs Momoka. Maybe “similar doors” is a metaphor for different “tracks” of fate.

Could very well be “This world is on the wrong track”, as in they’re trying to “correct” the fate’s track. Although we’re not sure yet, so the safer, smoother translation was chosen.

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「罪」 has been used as “Crime” and Punishment of late, but it seems to have shifted back to “sin” in this episode, and it was translated as such.

Kenzan’s speech was once again about duality of the world, clearly divided into two groups,

Winning and losing. (Applies to all below)
Ranking above and below. (Wealth without Work)
Profitable and unprofitable. (Commerce without Morality, Science without Humanity)
Accepted and unaccepted. (Quoted later by Natsume)
Chosen and Unchosen. (Worship without Sacrifice, Quoted later by Himari)
Taking without giving. (Politics without Principle)

Notice how every item of his criticism falls below the Seven Social Sins as seen in Ep9, or later discussed in this episode. This creates the ground for why he thinks the world is “corrupt/wronged”.

Ep9 title. In context, it can interpreted as the world without hope.

Almost certainly the reference to Prometheus’s Torch also mentioned in Ep12.

Remember, this torch was a “taboo” in the story told by Shouma and its ash saved the tree (most likely Momoka). This is very confusing because from last few episodes, it seemed like Kenzan became the leader of the organization that serves Sanetoshi. Mention of the torch here implies their goal would bring Momoka, Sanetoshi’s arch rival, back to life.

Maybe Momoka is more powerful “dead”… She became the Goddess after death?

I wonder when/if Sanetoshi would tell us about his Survival Strategy.

Nice use of silence to build up drama here 🙂

Deja vu.

Deja vu 2.0.

Okay, it wasn’t really pickles. It’s called “asazuke“, but obviously I’m not going to write anything stupid like “lightly seasoned vegetables” in the script.

They sell these asazuke liquid seasoning in stores. Just put your vegetables in a bag, pour the seasoning, and squeeze/grope. Contrary to Kanba’s claims, there’s no skill required lol

Once again, Shouma is criticizing the Takakura parents and Kanba goes along, but Kanba doesn’t seem to agree at all inside.

Maybe this is a direct reference? No idea what it is

One could say Himari was running from the truth. Then again, they’re probably talking about Himari’s love toward Shouma. This conversation reminds me of Ringo, because she’s always chasing… even now.

The word 「果実」 (“fruit”) used everywhere. I’ve done my best to make sense of it, but ultimately, it’s up to you to interpret each line. They seem to use “fruit” as a metaphor for “love (that came to fruition)” and “Kiga Apple / Fruit of fate” at first, but then it turns into something else entirely…

Himari has already received the “fruit” from Shouma?
This whole kiss thing is very confusing. Perhaps it’s the code word for what Kanba had been doing to keep her alive. He did kiss her in Ep1, but that happened in her sleep, so she probably didn’t know it.

Or maybe it’s one-sided love.

Himari did use the term 「消費」 (consume) later in the episode for “cuteness”. It sounds like “kiss” is something people innately possess.

It doesn’t sound like she’s kissing anyone or providing cuteness/love etc for anyone at the moment. It’s the other way around…

The author of the books in the background is “Matsumoto Jokuharu” or “Matsumoto Dakuharu” (it’s a made-up name, so it’s impossible to tell which one is the correct way to read… the producers probably didn’t really care). This is a parody for Matsumoto Seichou, a prolific mystery/detective novel writer. The parody name replaces the character 「清」 (“clear”)  with 「濁」 (“clouded/dirty”).
It seems a good deal of her novels dealt with criminal psychology, so one of the novels may hold the answer to what Kenzan and co. are trying to do.

This line is almost certainly going to make a lot of sense in the next few episodes.

The faceless Yamashita dude’s lines in this scene describes exactly the situation now for the Takakura family. Some are flammable, some are not. I will talk more about this later.

The Takakura family is getting punished.

The parents did it, but the children are supposedly the ones paying the price.

“We just happened to be the children of the terrorists who bombed the station. Why are we held responsible too?” is probably what Shouma is thinking.

Also notice the colors of the trash bin. Remember the first time penguins made their appearance? The text was located in such way that made it really hard to typeset, but
#1 was in “Recyclable”
#2 was in “Flammable”
#3 was in “Non-Flammable”.

In this scene, the garbage cans are arranged in that exact same order.
Plastic = Recyclable
Paper = Flammable
Cans = Non-Flammable.
Not only that, the color of trash bins match the hair of respective penguin owners in Ep1!

Now that I think of it, the labeling for trash cans in Ep1 wasn’t a coincidence. It was a really obscure foreshadowing.
Kanba is working with environmental extremists = Recyclable
My guess: Shouma will end up using the diary or Penguindrum and burn = Flammable
Himari was saved by Shouma in Child Broiler = Non-Flammable

The Japanese term for these lines are “tangerine” instead of “apple”, but the usage is exactly same as seen here in English. The expression in Japanese supposedly came from 3-B Kinpachi Sensei… I’m sure dorama fans know what I’m talking about :p

Anyway, continuing with the pattern, the parents are the rotten apples and spoils the entire family.

Literally, “There are gods throwing away, and there are gods picking up”. The dots beside characters are used to emphasize words in Japanese. These emphasized characters don’t seem to mean anything, however.

The slogan means exactly what the translation means, but it’s often used for employment, so dictionary translation is usually “When one door shuts, another opens”.

In this case, however, we’re obviously talking about Himari being abandoned by her parents (like trash, and gets sent to Child Broiler like trash) but chosen (picked up) by Shouma to be a member of the family. I think trash/treasure works very well here, but unfortunately, it was impossible to include “god” in here, which may refer to working for Sanetoshi or Momoka.

Foreshadowing of Shouma being the only true child of Takakuras.

Posted notes are locations of their bases. “B-53” and the number of “B-##” notes imply Penguin Force / Kiga Group being quite a large international organization.

So, now we know that Penguin Force and Kiga Group are one and the same.

Natsume calls Kanba “Onii-sama”. Of course, that alone doesn’t mean for sure he is her brother, but then Natsume continues with “our father”, which I think is a pretty clear message. Kanba and Natsume are related by blood and they were separated… or he’s at least a half-brother.
Kanba talks about Shouma as if he’s a stranger.

Also the memory-erasing “penguin balls”…

Rita: In episode 10, when Kanba was walking downstairs to the basement, a song called “Going Home” was playing in a music box and on the speakers. It makes sense now, because Masako is his sister, a member of his “real” home. Or so she feels, anyway.

モル: {Translated} I think the giraffe drawing on the wall where Himari and Shouma met was Kishimojin (Hariti). […]
{Taking an excerpt from Wikipedia instead} Hariti to the Iranic Gandharans was originally a cannibalistic daeva or demon. Bactrian mythology describes Hariti as having hundreds of children whom she loved and doted upon but to feed them, she abducted and killed the children of others. With the arrival of Buddhism to Gandhara from across the Indus River, this mythology takes a new twist. That is, the bereaved mothers of Hariti’s victims begin to plead to Śākyamuni Buddha to save them.

Śākyamuni steals Aiji, youngest of Hariti’s sons, and hides him under his rice bowl. Hariti desperately searches for her missing son throughout the universe. Finally, she pleads with Shakyamuni for help. The Shakyamuni Buddha then points out that she is suffering because she has lost one of hundreds of her own children, and asks her if she could imagine the suffering of those parents whose only child she has devoured. Hariti replies contritely that their suffering must be many times greater than hers, and vows to protect all children. She repents, converts to Buddhism and from then on, only feeds upon pomegranates as a substitute for children’s flesh. So after the arrival of Buddhism in Gandhara, Hariti is transformed from an Iranic demon to the Buddhist figure of easy birthing as well as that of protection and parenting of children. […]
Kishimojin is often depicted with pomegranates.
One of the animators even tweeted it on the color designer’s twitter, so it’s almost certain.
Although I don’t know what it means, or why they’re giraffes.

The pomegranate is beside Himari’s head.

I think it’s possible that Buddha was the Goddess (remember, sexes were opposite in that Ep12 story), and she abducted Himari, which is why Himari’s mother never returned. On the other hand, perhaps it simply was a symbolic representation of her longing for family and love of her mother.

Pomegranate may be the “fruit” in Himari and Sanetoshi’s conversation. Child Broiler turns children into shards… whatever made from that shard, whether it be the invisible penguins, Kiga Apple, or the Penguindrum, could be the “fruit”. It would certainly explain why she would need it to keep her heart from “freezing” since she needs life force to stay alive.

The scarf Himari was wearing in earlier episode belonged to Shouma. Adam and Eve’s forbidden fruit was the “fruit” mentioned by Sanetoshi?

The box says “Tangerine”. Remember Yamashita’s comment about rotten tangerines? Abandoned child.

“Cuteness was consumed”, just like Himari’s conversation with Sanetoshi that kisses are being consumed.


Thank you Ikuhara, for screwing us up in the most unexpected ways.
We didn’t prepare nicknames for #1 and #2, and just when we thought we got away with it, he decides to troll us with #3.

Obviously, this cat was also named “San-chan”, which we localized earlier as “Threetie”.

Chosen and Unchosen are those who have family and without? Abandoned children are left to die in the Child Broiler in their world.

The same teddy bear as the one in Himari’s room.

Way to throw in all those key words/phrases, Kenzan. Well done.

This line is really disturbing. “…will never amount to anything” is the signature phrase by penguin hat Himari. By that same logic, she either knows that the brother are going to die soon, or are they already dead?

I really can’t wait for the OST. The BGM in this scene was masterpiece-tier.

Reference to Hans Christian Andersen’s The Steadfast Tin Soldier. Is this a foreshadowing that implies the shards actually form something, like the invisible penguins? This is kind of a supporting evidence for “invisible penguins are made of invisible children theory”.

Also notice the story’s plot. Going in a circle (recycling), girl burning, melting into a shape…

This place is literally the Child Broiler. It’s almost like burning trash.

Absolutely beautiful scene. This may be as much explanation as we’ll get about the focus on crime and punishment as we’ll ever get…

It seems like Himari dreamed (or symbolic) handing over of the apple. Notice Shouma is not even holding it with him. The “fruit” may be  something intangible after all.
This is why I still don’t think this Child Broiler is a real, physical place that burns children… though it may be the nickname for a really poorly maintained orphanage of sorts with high mortality rate etc. I would guess this place with conveyor belt is yet another symbolic representation.

As you can probably guess from the length of this week’s post and the amount of text, I really liked this episode. This show just never cease to make us think about what will happen next, and what’s already happened.

Episode rating: 10/10

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43 thoughts on “Mawaru Penguindrum 20 – TL Notes, Observations

  1. I think this was my favorite episode so far. I only hope the remaining ones can at least match it.

    Posted by Coal | November 26, 2011, 12:07 am
  2. Regarding where the shards come from; you can see them coming out of the bottom of the shredder thing at 19:17.

    Posted by Demo | November 26, 2011, 12:26 am
  3. I thought the Broiler was just the societal system that neglected the children in abandoned/broken/abused households so that in the end they would amount to nothing. I guess it could be a negligent social services.

    Posted by Anon1 | November 26, 2011, 12:29 am
    • Tabaki also ended up there, so it doesn’t seem to have to do with social services. Tabaki’s family must have been affluent to afford all those piano lessons, he was abandoned emotionally, as opposed to Himari who’s mother left her.

      I’m really waiting for an explanation of what the place actually is. The Broiler does not appear to be a physical location, but there are many hints the penguins came from that place.

      Posted by hurin | November 26, 2011, 5:07 am
      • I think Tabuki may have been physically abandoned by his mother, because she was obsessed with talent.
        But yes, the place being an orphanage is just my guess, and the place with conveyor belt definite seems like an imaginary place.

        Posted by 8thSin | November 26, 2011, 3:49 pm
    • I think that’s the way we’re supposed to interpret, but I think they’ve been presenting it as a location, whether it’s a real physical place or exist in dreams, another universe etc.

      Posted by 8thSin | November 26, 2011, 3:39 pm
  4. >>Kanba talks about Shouma as if he’s a stranger.

    That wording (“あの子”) in that scene really surprised me. Kanba and Shouma did seem like two people who have their conflicts at all, but it seems they didn’t get allong at all as children.
    On the other hand it seems that Shouma probably had a good connection to their parents or else they wouldn’t have taken Himari into their family because Shouma asked… or would they?

    Posted by Umin | November 26, 2011, 1:12 am
    • All three “Takakuras” were there in that flashback scene where the “parents” didn’t come home and the police came, so it’s safe to assume the parents actually agreed to take Himari in.

      Posted by 8thSin | November 26, 2011, 3:42 pm
  5. In episode 10, when Kanba was walking downstairs to the basement, a song called “Going Home” was playing in a music box and on the speakers. It makes sense now, because Masako is his sister, a member of his “real” home. Or so she feels, anyway.

    Posted by Rita | November 26, 2011, 1:21 am
  6. >>I really can’t wait for the OST. The BGM in this scene was masterpiece-tier.

    I agree. The wait for the soundtracks is especially painful since they’re only putting 8 track OSTs out with every BD volume.

    Although last week I’d already speculated that Masako and Kanba were related (her “I can’t leave you with that family anymore” line was just too suspicious), I still choked on my coffee when she said “oniisama.” On that train of thought, Masako looks fairly similar to Chiemi. I know this is anime and that looking similar usually means nothing (e.g. Kanba and Kenzan), but their traits are so close that I’ll be shocked if Chiemi isn’t the runaway Natsume mother. see: http://i.minus.com/ibkqdk883fH341.jpg

    ^@Rita: Playing “Going Home” is really interesting now in retrospect. I can’t wait to rewatch the series once it’s all over to catch the foreshadowing.

    Posted by R | November 26, 2011, 2:14 am
    • If Kanba, Masako and Mario really are biological siblings/half-siblings, there’s an interesting parallel there with the Takakuras. The same two older (protector/stronger) siblings + one younger (sick/weaker) one, except that the biologically-related Natsume trio were separated somehow, and the non-related Takakura trio were put together (by Shouma?).

      Posted by kaz | November 26, 2011, 3:28 am
    • I’m glad we didn’t go with the literal translation “…leave you in that house anymore” 🙂

      And thanks for the pic. There’s a distinct similarity there.

      Actually, Kenzan might just be the son (Natsume’s father) who grandpa hated so much. In fact, the world divided into winner and losers (“winning and losing” by Kenzan in start of the episode) was almost a direct reference of grandpa’s line in that “Natsume episode”. Maybe Kenzan got sick of grandpa’s ways and joined this group with the exact opposite belief.

      Posted by 8thSin | November 26, 2011, 3:43 pm
      • “Actually, Kenzan might just be the son (Natsume’s father) who grandpa hated so much”

        I thought of this as a possibility as well, from the Natsume episode of her father and Kanba getting on that train. But if this is true, does that mean Shouma is also Masako’s brother/half brother (and thus Kanba’s at least half brother)? Yet Masako and Kanba are talking about Shouma as if they don’t know him (or maybe they don’t know Shou’s a possible half-brother?)

        Also, does the timeline match up? Kenzan being part of the organization already would mean he was kicked out by Natsume grandpa already, then why is Masako and Mario with them during the organization meeting?

        Posted by MapleRose | November 27, 2011, 2:55 am
    • LOL@ the idea of bundling “8-tracks” with Blu-rays.

      Posted by CBongo | November 27, 2011, 12:39 am
  7. Well I had it backwards about which brother was actually the Takakura, though in retrospect (Aside from him being in contact with them) it seems like it’d be really clear that it wouldn’t be Kanba. Pieces falling into place and all that.

    Over all this episode was really sad. Agree about the OST, looking forward to it!
    Next week we find out how Kanba got involved/fell for Himari? 🙂

    Posted by AngelMercury (@AngelMercury) | November 26, 2011, 3:44 am
  8. Could it be possible that the terms they’re using are akin to cult terms? Things like “brother” and “father” might be the organisation’s way of making it like a family. Like how in church you call a priest “father” and everyone is “brother” though obviously not of your family.

    Posted by Shadow | November 26, 2011, 4:20 am
    • This is a possibility, but I’m not sure if kids will actually follow that.

      Posted by 8thSin | November 26, 2011, 3:46 pm
      • Well, if they don’t *know* anything else, they probably will. I thought about that as well. I also thought stuff like “Oh my god don’t tell me everybody had sex with everybody else in this cult.” But that might be too drastic I guess.

        Posted by Umin | November 26, 2011, 6:34 pm
      • Surprisingly, everyone having sex would actually explain why Natsume and Kanba are siblings AND Kanba being Shouma’s brother.

        Although Kanba and Shouma not being biological brothers is the obvious conclusion from what we see in this episode, no one explicitly said Kanba was adopted. All we heard was Shouma going “I should be the only one punished” because he was the one who had chosen, not because he is the only true child of the Takakuras.

        Posted by 8thSin | November 26, 2011, 8:29 pm
  9. Moorningspeed? Raijenki attacks again? Oh my boy…

    I feel accomplished watching this series. But times are tough … places like this are like temples to discuss the series, because every day grows more hatred against it, about being “pseudo” and give no answers. Why not? 85% has already been answered without a doubt, but as the series is not expository people create tantrum that they did not understand is why did not respond. It sucks.

    I did not expect that underneath all the madness that content could be more serious. The issue of abandoned children does exist, idem extremist groups, and is even more interesting to see this on the director’s vision.

    Now I just wish that the end is not in that style “orange juice” or “lemonade.”
    That is at least 50% clear and straightforward as this episode.

    Posted by Panino Manino | November 26, 2011, 6:08 am
  10. 今回も面白かったですね。BGM最高でした!

    Posted by モル | November 26, 2011, 10:19 am
    • 陽毬と女神といえば第12話の「メリーに罰を与えた女神様」が印象的です。末っ子といえば罰の対象の選択と同じです。


      Posted by 8thSin | November 26, 2011, 4:30 pm
      • すみません、ツイッター元を間違えてました!

        Posted by モル | November 26, 2011, 10:00 pm
      • 見つかりました。

        Posted by 8thSin | November 26, 2011, 10:05 pm
  11. After looking at this episode again, I’m still at loss on how everyone is related to one another. In addition, isn’t there an inconsistency with the timeline since one (or both) of the boys was born in 1995?

    Posted by Lena | November 26, 2011, 11:06 pm
  12. As much as I hate noticing these things, them bunnies just run a-right on through that closed door. WHERE’S YOUR SYMBOLISM NOW?

    Also, the bear is the Penguindrum, 4 to 1, any takers?

    Posted by Apocally | November 27, 2011, 6:01 am
  13. In my opinion Shouma getting struck by these countless shard could be symbolic as if he absorbed some of it… some kind of magic? Power of fate? Or simply fate of being alone, bearing the misfortune and similar things from unwanted children. He resisted these hardships to CHANGE FATE of Himari, she didn’t die she survived and lived onward as Takakura( which brings me… Did his parents knew all about this? Did they really agreed for this? It’s not like adopting animal! It’s human being we are talking about! Or did he changed their minds with some kind of spell from shards?). It must be something as he did get to the Child Broiler, so called “space between life and death” where we only seen one person to break in – Momoka. Her being some sort of goddess means that Shouma may also be special.

    And next thing… Are the rabbit-kids invisible for humans in the rabbit form? Well I would be astonished to see kids change into rabbits and reverse few times in ~5mins. And the scene where they run through closed doors….

    White/red hand – as I said few episodes ago it may be Sho and Kan-chan. And if the white hand is closer to Himari than red … then it could be really Shouma, But again – if he is the “magician”, “the special one” he is likely to use diary at the end of the series and burn( penguin and trash scene) to change the fate so Himari and Kanba could live a happy life with Takakura parents as the real family. An maybe revive Momoka for Tabuki, Yuri and Ringo?
    Red hand may be not soaked in blood of victims but burned to flesh. Red hand is withdrawn as if it never could reach her.

    Himari and Sun-chan(#3) being so similar was cute but… What if it is side-effect of taking medicine from shards? If penguins are made from shards, then does taking medicine made from it turns you into something like them?

    This show just gets more and more awesome, but this sad atmosphere and awesome music just made it like 11/10 and my favourite episode as for now.

    Posted by BananowyJE | November 27, 2011, 11:53 am
  14. I’ll just ramble on about the kiss/fruit conversation here, in the hopes that someone will comment about this and make me more/less confused. It might be about superficial love versus deep love.

    Himari wants a guaranteed payoff (a kiss that leads to a fruit), and will only give her kisses away to ensure that. She won’t sacrifice herself for something uncertain – she wants to be the object of someone’s desire, and to have something unperishable, and unchangeable. Deep love is the only way that she won’t use herself up and get dumped after that.

    Sanetoshi seems to espouse the other view – willingly giving kisses away, and not caring about what the kisses are meant to lead to – pursuing the kisses as an end in itself. Not caring about being dumped, or not obtaining the fruit, as long as he gets to express his love. The concept of “loving someone”, superficially, is enough.

    Himari in this scene is quite selfish, though – she says that the other side would keep running and refuse to give the chaser the fruit, because that is what she would do. (Giving the fruit to others might result in emptiness?) She would get tired pursuing someone, and not bother after a while, and thus has chosen to only be the running one. The one willing to pursue her, the one who is truly unselfish (unlike her) should be the one she chooses. (Kanba?)

    Posted by zenzo | November 27, 2011, 12:27 pm
    • I’m glad someone else focused on this, because I think this idea of “what is a good relationship?” is going to end up being central to the theme of this series. In Utena, a (maybe “the”) major theme was “the ties that bind” – the things people hold on to that keep them from moving forward with their lives, and how important it is to get past them and live and grow as a person. In this series, as with Utena, as we near the end it seems like the messages and themes are becoming a little more clear.

      For some reason I wrote these paragraphs in pretty much reverse order from when they happen in the show.

      When Himari talks about not giving away kisses because her “heart would freeze over”, it represents a situation where a person loves someone and freely gives away that love but never gets any love in return. Eventually, that person doesn’t have anything left – they are worn out and empty, unable to keep giving without getting anything back. I see where Himari says she wouldn’t chase, but I didn’t catch her saying that she would run and refuse to give the chaser the fruit? She asks Sanetoshi “wouldn’t the runner keep running and refuse to give the chaser the fruit?”, but it seems more like her prediction of what a person would do. Often, when someone knows they are liked by another person, if they don’t already have feelings for that person, they enjoy being chased/loved by someone without the difficulties of being in a relationship. They’ll keep “running” forever, because the longer they’re chased, the less seriously they’re going to take the person who likes them (they’ll never give the fruit), but unless they’re mature and honest about not being interested (not playing the game to begin with), the chaser will just keep chasing, becoming more empty and “frozen”. This feels like a younger-person type of relationship to me…or maybe I just avoid people with this kind of “I love them even though they treat me like crap” drama as an adult?

      Himari says she wouldn’t chase (in a relationship) because she’d get tired – again, a situation in which a person can only put in so much energy, emotionally. When Himari is told that if she and the person she likes are both running, her love won’t come to fruition, she says she’s fine with that…but then she asks Sanetoshi if she should start chasing (although she expresses doubts that it will help). Clearly, it can be harder than we want to stop loving someone, even if we know it’s not good for us.

      Himari saying that she’ll only be on “the running side” IS selfish, but in a way that most people are selfish – she wants to be loved without giving anything, or love and be loved in return, or not love at all…but she can’t handle loving without being loved back.

      Sanetoshi seems to argue the side of “give all your love away even if it makes you empty” or perhaps “until just before it makes you empty” – the kind of person who would say “I don’t care if I’m loved, the important thing is that I’m following my heart and giving my love to someone I’ve chosen, even if they don’t love me”. The kind of person I mentioned before, really. Himari calls this “pathetic”, and honestly I agree. Sanetoshi points out that although it’s pathetic, with his way you at least get something.

      At the beginning of the conversation, Sanetoshi says “Things were going so well, but things end. Just like that.” This line by itself is such a great description of relationships of all types. This whole conversation is amazing. Almost every line seemed to pinpoint the significance of relationships in the lives of these characters – how much love does each one “give away” or get in return? How many of them have experienced a mutual, warm love? (None?) No matter who “ends up together”, I think this relationship/love theme – not being “empty”, finding someone who will give/share the “fruit”, and finding a way to make at least one or two good, unbroken relationships out of all this – is going to be central.

      Let me know what you think.

      Posted by Sara F. | November 28, 2011, 12:39 am
      • Thanks for replying, it was great to read someone else’s thoughts on this conversation! Himari seems to think that love is subtractive, and that loving a person will take something out of her, instead of allowing her to grow. I was extrapolating that Himari’s prediction of what a person would do was based on what she would do, which might not actually be the case, ahaha.

        I really like your analysis of Sanetoshi’s argument, I didn’t pick up on that. You’re right about this conversation being amazing – I wish it had occured a little bit earlier in the series.

        In this show, there are two people who give their love away without expecting reciprocation – Momoka and Kanba. Both of them give themselves away, piece by piece, so that others can go on living. Which side would those people fall on, in this debate? Is there a third faction – those who would not run, and simply, unselfishly, hand the fruit to the chaser? Would this freely-given love be taken for granted by the chaser, since it isn’t hard-won?

        The show seems to draw a lot of artificial binary distinctions – in this case, it’s between the lover and the beloved, the chaser and the chased, the chosen and the unchosen. There are those who are given love, and those who receive it, and the characters don’t seem to realise that there can be another way of loving people. I hope that Penguindrum will eventually show a relationship that can escape these binaries, with both parties mutually giving and receiving love.

        Again, thanks for replying to my ramble!

        Posted by zenzo | November 28, 2011, 2:50 am
  15. Hello 8thSin,
    thanks a lot for you work again!

    Could you please also comment about the translation of those “board messages” about those “rules” as in here: http://img842.imageshack.us/img842/9253/qttemphp5040.png
    I’m specifically asking about the “have a _fun_ life” part. I can see the “live your _social_ life”. But this is a direct translation. I have almost null experience in RL Japanese, so I believe I could miss something from the casual speech and understanding. But I also believe that those messages are very important, so since I didn’t find any comments about it above, I decided to ask about it directly.


    Posted by elle | November 27, 2011, 3:21 pm
    • Doh, I was going to go back to that line but forgot 😦

      The common usage of「社会生活」is to “function as a member of society”.
      “Social life” would’ve been appropriate if it was like “he’s having a fun social life” etc, but this poster is kind of like a Big Brother thing that serves as the kind of the world Kiga Group is fighting against.

      “…and have a fun life as a member of society!” is closest to the meaning, but it sounds silly as a poster in English, even as a surreal one, and have poor continuity with the previous lines.

      I’m kind of leaning toward “and have a fun and responsible life!” because it works well with “obey the rules” in previous line, even if it takes out “society” entirely. We’ll try to come up with something and make the change in v2 batch.

      Thanks for pointing this one out.

      Posted by 8thSin | November 27, 2011, 4:34 pm
      • thanks for you reply!

        The reason why I asked is precisely because it’s unclear who’s posting those messages – the society of the “Frozen world” or the KIGA group themselves. The content of the message kinda hints at the former, but the actions and the behaviour of the KIGA group don’t rule out the possibility for the latter either… So I hoped those words could help me to understand it better… meh, it didn’t 🙂

        But thanks anyway!

        BTW, I posted it on MAL before, but in case you missed it, here’s what I believe should also be considered for the batch: in my mind “clean/transparent” as the opposite of dirt/trash should’ve been a better TL for the 透明. I know it’s quite a trouble to find a word that works good in English for that term, but I believe “invisible” was too misleading. It’s similar to Sanetoshi’s 痺れる in a way – lots of similar words in English but neither of them work as good as the Japanese term itself…

        Posted by elle | November 27, 2011, 5:00 pm
      • 「透明」in Penguindrum does not mean “clean/transparent”. I don’t think Child Broiler is a purification device either… more like a recycling device.

        It clearly means “invisible”, in the eyes of the society. A Japanese poster also pointed out that the usage is a reference of a serial murder incident. Ep18 post was modified a while ago to explain this.

        If I were to localize it in any other anime (with no repetitive usages in different context), it would be “neglected”, but that’s going to open a whole new can of worms in this show, not to mention terms intentionally kept ambiguous in source language should be translated ambiguously as well so that the viewers can interpret things themselves.

        Posted by 8thSin | November 27, 2011, 7:45 pm
  16. I think the Kenzan’s word “しふくのとき” is “雌伏の時”, which means to hide for next chance.
    So they changed their group’s name and kept low profile for the time being.

    Posted by へけもこ | November 27, 2011, 9:43 pm
  17. Is there any significance to the shoes in the Penguin Force/KIGA group hideout? I noticed that the first time we see them they’re all neatly lined up but after Kenzan mentions the group’s name change to KIGA group, they’re all jumbled around.

    Posted by MooCloud | November 27, 2011, 11:42 pm
  18. Great episode. One thing I noticed is that scarves are used a bunch of times. Like with Himari making them for her old friends. and now Shouma is sharing one with Himari. I wonder if this is symbolic or some kind of cultural thing.

    Posted by Darkfireblade25 | November 29, 2011, 8:38 pm
  19. lol at Morningspeed, I would be happy too that I didn’t have to time during thanksgiving.
    This is the first time I looked at your blog, I just like to say thanks for translating this awesome series so far – keep it up!^^

    Posted by yuurisan | November 29, 2011, 9:14 pm
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