Monday, 17 October 2011

Mawaru Penguindrum - Episode 14

We haven't really seen much of Yuri during the course of this series so far beyond her place as the "arch-enemy" of Ringo in her pursuit of Tabuki.  However, it appears that we're going to be seeing a lot more of her during the second half of this series.

Indeed, this episode even begins with quite the revelation, as we see Yuri in bed with another woman; another lover and her co-star in the play she is currently enrolled in.  Although this is also the moment where we see Yuri put an end to this relationship, it sets the tone of the truth about her partnership with Tabuki, while also suggesting that there is far more to Yuri than meets the eye, an ugly side to her that we've not yet seen.

Meanwhile, Yuri isn't the only one troubled by her lot it seems - Shouma refuses to do anything but ignore Ringo after learning that her sister was killed as part of his parent's terrorist attack, asserting that even his existence is only hurting her without realising Ringo's true feelings towards him.  Kanba, on the other hand, continues to do whatever it is he does to finance the medicine required for Himari's continued existence - work which puts him into direct conflict with Natsume as she tries to prevent him going about his business, even offering to pay for Himari's treatment herself.

Ultimately though, it's to Yuri that we return, as she picks up a distraught Ringo from the city and takes her away for a "girl's night out" to help her forget her sorrows.  At least, that's what she claims as her modus operandi - in truth, her desires are far more nefarious, as Yuri reveals her own friendship to Ringo's sister Momoka while admitting that her marriage to Tabuki is simply a requirement of the hands of fate in her mind.  Come the end of the episode, it seems that it's no longer Ringo who desires to be Momoka as much as it is Yuri who desires her to become so, no matter the lengths she must go to as she chases that cause.

After some arguably frustrating episodes of Mawaru Penguindrum of late, this feels like something of a return to form for the series - yes, it's still piling up answered questions by the minute, but Yuri's emergence on the scene as a major part of what's been going on is a tantalising and fascinating one.  On the other hand, we are at least moving closer to an understanding of Kanba and Natusme and what both bonds and separates them, with a suggestion that they are effectively from rival families with some shared underground interests - quite the Romeo and Juliet couple, if only in Natsume's eyes.  So, with things seemingly becoming altogether more threatening as we move through this latter half of the series, my interest has been well and truly restored by this week's events.

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