Friday, 19 August 2011

Mawaru Penguindrum - Episode 6

We might have had a week's break from Mawaru Penguindrum, but that intervening period has suddenly done nothing to temper Ringo's fate-based delusions as we reach episode six of the series.

First and foremost though, Kanba finds himself the object of unwanted attention from the mysterious Natsume - as we saw last episode, the "girl in the red heels" Asami was the subject of an assault from her supposed friend, and here we soon realise that this attack has wiped Asami of any memories she might have of Kanba.  As he digs a little deeper into who sent him the message claiming that they know what he's looking for, so a further couple of members of his "fan club" (or rather, former fan club) are given the same treatment, with a blow to the head courtesy of Natsume's rather unique brand of weaponry putting paid to their memories of Kanba.

Elsewhere however, our focus leans heavily upon Ringo as she sets out on her latest crackpot plan to ensnare Tabuki, or "Project M" as she likes to call it.  It's left to the hapless Shou to help Ringo in this task with the promise of a look at her diary as a reward, although it appears that this particular brand of assistance requires little more than a ludicrous amount of heavy lifting as Ringo prepares herself to spend her first night with Tabuki in her own inimitable fashion.  Unfortunately for Ringo, her usual delusions are supplemented and aggravated by the fact that she's coming down with a fever, although rather importantly this does allow us a rather significant window into her past - it's thanks to this we learn that Ringo has (or rather had) an older sister named Momoka, and due to the trauma of her death upon the family and said older sister's own relationship with Tabuki before her passing we seem to have found ourselves the root cause of Ringo's desire to be with Tabuki.  Put simply, she wants to become her sister in the hope of reunited her family and ensuring that fate as she sees it for those around her comes to pass.

While we're getting fewer and fewer snatches of penguin-led comedy as Mawaru Penguindrum goes on, it's certainly weaving an intriguing web in its stead.  Ignoring the entirely pointless "survival strategy" segment this week (it felt like an excuse to fill some time), we now have a complete handle on Ringo's mindset, which itself raises an interesting question - is Ringo anything to do with the Penguindrum at all, or just a damaged girl following her own decisions about what the right thing to do for her family is?  The climax to the episode (namely the mention of Project M by Natsume) suggests not, but the flashbacks we see posit Ringo as creating her diary of fate by herself - is she simply being helped along somehow in the same way that Himari's life is prolonged by the weird entity within her hat?  Beyond that, we know even less about Natsume and her mission, although it seems fair to assume that she may well be in competition for the Penguindrum.... so many questions, and so much time left to answer them, but it's fair to say that I'm still hooked by this series and more than a little curious about what it's trying to achieve.

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