As we reach the penultimate episode of Mawaru Penguindrum, we begin with a flashback. Wait, that isn't really news is it, it would be more comment worthy if we didn't begin with a flashback, right?
Anyhow, after exploring the showdown between Momoka and Sanetoshi on that fateful day in 1995 which seemingly put paid to both of their lives, it's back to the present day to find that Himari isn't dead just yet, but she isn't far off shuffling from this mortal coil either. After last episode's drama, the same can be said for Natsume, until her death is avoided by a bit of "magic" from the ghostly Sanetoshi. How can he achieve this? It's best not to ask questions, to be honest...
Of course, Sanetoshi's trickery is more than enough to convince Kanba that the only way forward for himself and, more importantly, Himari is to wreak the destruction within his capable hands, but first he must destroy the diary which stands between this plan and success - a simple enough task, as he snatches back Himari from the hospital before luring Ringo into a position where the diary that has been oh-so important during this series is destroyed utterly. Only Shouma can stop his "brother" from treading down the path upon which he is well and truly set, but can he do it?
Given how all over the place a lot of the series, and its second half in particular, has generally been, it's no shock to see these closing episodes scrabbling to tidy things up - we're still no closer to an answer to the core questions posed early on in the show, and we now seem to be residing in a world of ghosts and the like (which isn't much more of a stretch than bodily habitation and Penguindrums I suppose), but "things" are happening, I guess. The trouble is that it's hard to care any more, such is the good will that this series has frittered away week after week with its increasingly convoluted and scatter-shot story-telling. Indeed, what or who are we even supposed to care about any more? Himari has been killed or close to it too many times now, the original point of the series is lost, and even Sanetoshi's musings on the human condition feel forced into the confines of the show's structure, like an over-sized Christmas present shoe-horned into... well, a small box. It's going to take one hell of a finale to rescue this anime, that's for sure.