Sunday, July 17, 2011

First Impressions: Mawaru Penguindrum

Plot Synopsis:Three siblings, twins Kanba and Shouma, and the in-and-out-of-the-hospital Himari who's in poor health, live together at the Takakura home. One day, when the siblings are out on a trip to the aquarium, Himari collapses. The doctors state that nothing can be done for her anymore, but then, a miracle occurs...

Before Viewing: Revolutionary Girl Utena is one of the more highly acclaimed series out there. As a result, I have some pretty high expectations for this series, as it's by the same people behind Utena. Admittingly, I don't know much about this series, other than that it's a slice of life series and that it has a really weird title. What's a penguindrum anyways? I'm hoping this will be a great series.

After Viewing: What. The. Fuck. Did I just watch? How is this remotely a slice of life series? Posession, Revival from death, magical penguins all over the fucking place! The hat is magical, what? Robot bear, ripped out heart, WHAT'S A PENGUN DRUM, aleajwoifjalrihtaowirtjaoijnsaofiuwaer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As you can probably guess, this is not your ordinary show. It's rather...strange if you will. I mean, I know that Utena is a bizarre show, and I probably should have seen it coming, but the beginning trolls you hard. For the first half, it's gentle, peaceful even, with a tragedy just around the corner. I assumed it was about the last days of a dying girl and her brothers. But from the moment her corpse sat up and screamed "Survival Strategy!" any form of sense slowly begins to fade, culminating in a complete explosion of insanity in the last five minutes, with absolutely no explanation, just the order to find the Penguin Drum and insane visuals being thrown at you constantly. Nobody has any clue what it going on. It's awesome!

I really don't know what to say about this episode. The ending is so incoherent that I can barely pull my thoughts together. I'm sure that later episodes will explain things in time, or maybe it'll just keeping throwing weird shit at us and expect us to understand what just happened. I do enjoy the surreality of it, and the confusion makes me want to see more so I can comprehend what I just saw.

I want to punch the person who labeled this as a slice of life and confused the ever living hell out of me. It's like they stopped watching the episode at the ten minute mark and decided that was good enough, but they were dead wrong.

By far the weirdest thing I've seen this season, and after Twin Angel, I never thought I'd say that.

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