After its deviation into the weird and wonderful world inside Himari's dreams last week, we now return to our scheduled programming to catch up on Sho's fate after his little "incident" a couple of episodes back.
The good news for all concerned is that, somehow, Sho has survived being hit by a car with nary a scratch on him, much to the relief of both his siblings and Ringo, the latter of whom of course feels rather guilty about the whole affair given the events leading up to the accident. Although Sho is alive and well however, he isn't quite out of the woods yet, as malicious forces are at work deep in the hospital's basement...
The force in question is, of course, Natsume - having gotten her hands on part of Ringo's mysterious diary by force, she now swings into action with a plan to retrieve the rest of this all-important tome, drugging and kidnapping Sho and using him as a hostage in return for the diary. While Ringo is all set to give up her precious chronicle of fate immediately, Kanba has other plans as he considers the importance of the diary to Himari. However, Kanba's plan to bluff Sho's captor out into the open backfires immediately, leading him on a far from merry wild goose chase which seems intent on delving into some long-buried memories of him, while Ringo is successfully targeted and forced to hand over the diary. But what is Natsume's relationship to Kanba, what's her take on Project M, and exactly how many penguin hat-wearing "survival strategy" co-ordinators are there?
Although Ringo's part in this story and her own version of "Project M" are clearly still far from over, it now at least feels that the series is moving deeper as it shifts towards its next level. More specifically, our eyes now seem to be turning squarely upon Kanba - after his intriguing actions throughout the series ever since the "takeover" of Himari's body, it now seems as though a particular element of his past as it pertains to Natsume is about to trouble him. But are Natsume's goals her own? From the end of this episode is seems as if she, much like Kanba and Shouma, is working to protect and assist someone else as she works towards her own "Project M". The questions about what's going on within Mawaru Penguindrum certainly continue to pile up, but as long as they continue to do so in this well-paced, slick and stylish manner, I certainly have no complaints, especially now the series feels ready to kick on and move away from the danger of repetition inherent in its previous tight focus on Ringo.