How well do you know your Anime? Specifically, how well do you know your Anime of old? If you have answered to yourself “I know my Anime pretty well” then do you know the Anime Mawaru Penguindrum?
AHA! If you answered “No” then you don’t know your Anime all that well if you answered “Yes” then you sir or ma’am are amazing.
Today you and I are going to discuss the Anime question, that Anime being Mawaru Penguindrum. Let’s get to it shall we? I think so!
Penguindrum’s story is one wrapped in what seems to be endless layers of symbolism. One can easily be overwhelmed by the sheer vastness of it. Everything from a single line of dialogue to an unusual camera angle is there for a reason. It will probably take many years for this show to be fully deciphered, it goes to show us that A LOT of effort was put into this story. I must admit, I almost gave up on the show in the first few episodes because I had no idea what was going on. Undoubtedly, most of you reading this review probably did the same thing (If you watched that is). But, if you are willing to stay for the ride, I guarantee that you will be thankful for doing so.
I cannot simply talk about the story, without talking about the themes Penguindrum covers. It ranges from Rape, Nihilism, Existential Longing, and isolation. But the biggest theme here would have to be, “Fate.” What is fate? Does fate truly exist? The show starts off with the narrator saying he hates fate. These themes are tackled in an unconventional manner, using slap-stick comedy and symbolism. The mood generally sways between both drama and comedy. Ultimately, the ending itself, I found it to be cathartic yet bittersweet. A saddening, yet fitting end to such an audacious show.
The art in this show is great to say the least. The presentation is bombastic and erratic. All scenes in this show are breathtakingly beautiful and will capture your attention. There is a meticulous level of detail in every scene. This is something that should be appreciated.
The soundtrack is music to my ears, no pun intended. It is bold, unique and different. It varies from pop tracks to melancholic soundscapes. You would be hard-pressed to find a soundtrack better than this.
Penguindrum’s cast is unique to say the least. You won’t be able to easily understand characters until later in the show. Still, the cast and antagonists are very well written. Their intentions aren’t so cut and dry that you can understand them immediately. You will sometimes have to re-watch certain scenes, in order to fully grasp certain characters
Mawaru Penguindrum is probably one of the most mentally straining anime I have ever had the pleasure to watch. This is not a show for everyone as I mentioned earlier. It is a must-see for those anime watchers who love having their minds stimulated. After watching this show, other shows that have been released seem mediocre compared to it.
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