Friday, 9 December 2011

Mawaru Penguindrum - Episode 22

Remember Double-H, the band that would have been Triple-H had Himari been involved with them?  Well, they turn up to offer Himari a present as this week's Mawaru Penguindrum begins in return for the scarves they received from her.  But where is Himari?  Is this idol duo even vaguely important to the plot?

While the answer to the second question seems to be "no", the first question is rather simpler to answer, as Himari remains with Kanba primarily in the hope of convincing him to stop whatever nefarious scheme he's currently involved in.  Of course, this is easier said than done - no matter how much Himari conveys her belief that it's okay for her to die, and certainly preferable to the suffering of others and in particular Kanba, her "brother" simply won't listen.  Indeed, so swept up is he in his mission that he might not even be around to learn of her sister's eventual demise.

In many ways, this episode is the tale of two sisters, as Natsume also tries her best to dissuade Kanba from his current course of action as the police net closes in around him with alarming speed.  It seems as if Kanba is beyond saving however, as he happily destroys both life and property with abandon, with a view only to achieving his goal no matter the cost.  At least, it appears this way until Natsume's life is put in danger, leading to a split second decision which proves that her brother isn't completely a lost cause, even if it threatens to be the last action that he ever takes...

With so much still seemingly left to cover, it's amazing that Mawaru Penguindrum is still toying with new ideas (witness Shouma's post-credit appearance in captivity) alongside all of its other twists and turns - very much a case of brinkmanship with just a couple of episodes to go.  It seems that Ringo's diary, the Penguindrum and half of the show's plot are in danger of being torched and discarded so that the series can focus on some of its other key elements - a shame then that it's the less interesting elements that are getting all of the screen-time, with this week's instalment in particular feeling more like soap opera than anything else.  It remains an interesting show certainly, but every week I become more convinced that its early outings pulled the wool over my eyes while it slipped a very different, arguably braver but undoubtedly clumsier series under my radar.  There's still just about enough time for it to prove me wrong, of course...

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