Sunday, 23 October 2011

Mawaru Penguindrum - Episode 15

With Yuri suddenly thrust into the limelight as a major player in the increasingly crazy world of Mawaru Penguindrum, where next for this series?  Indeed, what else could possibly happen to poor Ringo over the course of the show?

Having been drugged by Yuri as she seeks to take advantage of her as a replacement for her love of Momoka, Ringo still has her wits about her enough to phone Shouma, even if it is only to babble nonsense at him.  However, it's this which allows Sho to realise that he is, in fact, in the same inn and right next door to Ringo and Yuri's room - a hugely contrived occurrence even by this series standard, but it does allow him to break up this pair's "coupling" in a decidedly clumsy way.

With this all over (for now at least), it's time to take a flashback into Yuri's childhood - a youth ruled over by her artist father who insists that both his former wife and daughter are simply too ugly for his creative genius to put up with, leading to a violent and abusive childhood that leaves Yuri both physically and emotionally scarred.  Believing her father's words that she's an "ugly ducking" who can only be made beautiful by his artistic proclivities, it's a chance meeting with Momoka that shakes (if only slightly) these ideas of who and what she is.  Not only does Momoka ultimately claim that she can "shift" or otherwise change people's fates thanks to the diary that she owns, she even goes as far as to do so to save Yuri from death at the hands (or rather, chisel) of her father despite it causing her injury in the process.  It seems that Yuri's fate wasn't the only one changed by Momoka either, which lends a different angle to her disappearance compared to what we already know of her fate.

Ignoring the horrible clumsy and downright stupid introduction of Sho as the saviour of Ringo (how badly plotted was that?!), the introduction of Yuri's past backs up her emergence as a major character nicely, and perhaps more importantly it really brings the importance of Momoka's diary back into focus - not only with regard to its power, but also in terms of what that power has been used for by Momoka to date.  Just who else did she save or otherwise change the fates of, and is that really tied into her death/disappearance during the terrorist attack carried out by the Takakura sibling's parents?  Again, we're only left with more questions come the end of this episode even as other quandaries are answered - if nothing else, this is an anime series that takes great enjoyment in keeping us guessing, but I can live with that as long as keeps up with these more interesting elements to its story.

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