Friday, 8 July 2011

Mawaru Penguindrum - Episode 1

Is it wrong to watch an anime series just because it has the word "penguin" in the title, and because a certain 'blogger happens to think that penguins are awesome as they're his favourite animal?  Well, if that's wrong then I don't want to be right, and it just so happens that my bizarre selection criteria seems to have landed me one of the summer season's most intriguing offerings.

After an introduction which rails against the cruel hand of fate, we're introduced to three siblings - Kanba and Shouma Takakura, and their little sister Himari.  As these three go about their business of cooking breakfast and the like, it seems as though we have ourselves a happy, perfect sibling unit - however, we're clearly missing an elephant in the room; an elephant we're soon filled in on as we flashback to a diagnosis of an incurable illness for Himari while leaves her only months to live.

Despite this, our trio seem cheerful enough as they head off for a day at the aquarium to treat Himari on a day they all do whatever she asks - a day which seemingly ends in tragedy as she collapses and later dies in hospital.  Or does she?  As the brother's argue amongst themselves about their response to Himari's fate, so their sister springs back to life - not just alive, but perfectly healed, even if she does spout some decidedly odd things on her return to the land of the living.  While all this forgotten in the midst of this happy event, the bizarre arrival of three frozen objects marks the start of an odd turn in this trio's lives...

Well, that to say about this first episode of Mawaru Penguindrum?  I'm not too keen on aspects of the art style, aside from a spectacular sequence which looks... well, it looks as if SHAFT animated it to be quite honest), but aside from that this is clearly not the kind of series that is made to be discussed after a single instalment.  The introduction of the show's titular natural submarines is hilarious and adorable at the same time (the little critters deserve a series of their own), but just what kind of anime are we looking at here?  Your guess is as good as mine, but it looks as though Kanba and Shouma have work to do for their new "queen", and heaven only knows what that will involve... lots of penguins I hope.  Lots and lots of penguins.

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