Friday, 2 December 2011

Mawaru Penguindrum - Episode 21

When there are surprising revelations aplenty around, you can always rely on tabloid journalists to start sniffing out every last morsel of a story.  So it goes that this twenty-first episode of Mawaru Penguindrum sees just such a journalist sticking his nose into the Takakura family's business, starting with Ringo and then moving on to the siblings themselves.

Of course, we call them siblings but in a biological sense they are anything but - we already knew that Shouma and Himari aren't related by blood, and this week's instalment confirms our suspicions from last time around that Kanba isn't directly related to either his brother or sister either, proving to be another adopted child after the death of his true father.

It's Kanba's actions that really prove to be the centrepiece around which this episode revolves however, as we delve deeper into where his money to treat Himari is coming from, finally revealing the truth about his father's whereabouts into the bargain.  Thanks to that aforementioned journalist, by the end of the instalment Shouma cuts off ties with his "brother" entirely, before doing likewise with Himari - does anyone now have the power to stop the single-minded monster which seems to have been created in the image of Kenzan Takakura?  And what of Sanetoshi and the emerging truth about his own past?

If nothing else, I have to hand it to this week's Mawaru Penguindrum for dishing out a few surprises to keep the series spinning on its axis on almost a weekly basis at present as it takes great delight in shaking things up as frequently as possible.  The trouble is, the sheer number of twists and revelations almost makes it feel as though the show is making things up as it goes along in the hope of reaching a satisfactory climax - it certainly seems to have lost interest in everything that made the early episodes of the series so engrossing, and when a story loses interest in its own plot that can never be a good thing.  There are still plenty of positive things to be said about the series, and I continue to hold out hope for a fitting (if surely slightly rushed now) ending, but I can't help but couple that with a touch of negativity about this show to some degree compared to what it perhaps could have been, had it been shorn of some of its heavy-handed over-reliance on certain concepts and socio-political mutterings.

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