How to participate in the liveblog chat: Option 1: Whenever you watch the episode, comment on this post as you watch with whatever responses you feel like posting! Option 2: Go to http://webchat.freenode.net/. Enter a nickname, then for the Channels field enter ##rabbitcube, and finally fill in the Captcha and hit Connect! We’ll be watching Yurikuma and commenting there starting at 2:00 p.m. EST. We will then be watching Mawaru Penguindrum at 2:30.
After the chat I’ll update this post with the chat log.
ETA: Chatlog below the cut!
01[14:00] <Froborr> Wonder if the opening backstory will always be the same.
01[14:00] <Froborr> I’m guessing no.
[14:00] <@Sylocat> Probably for, like, the first few episodes, then we have a plot reveal as to what caused Kumalia to explode or something
[14:01] <Arrlaari> I’m pretty sure this is Theramin
01[14:01] <Froborr> Oh, definitely.
01[14:01] <Froborr> So, my picture’s glitching and I have no idea what’s going on.
01[14:01] <Froborr> I mean, even less idea what’s going on.
[14:01] <Arrlaari> Compression errors
[14:02] <Arrlaari> I think it happened to me last week, reloading should clear it up
[14:02] <Arrlaari> I have an ad mark that looks like it’ll be after OP
[14:02] <@Sylocat> Huh… my screen froze during the opening credits
01[14:02] <Froborr> It happened to me during the credits of the first ep of Penguindrum, and cleared up on its own.
[14:02] <@Sylocat> The audio is still playing though
01[14:02] <Froborr> I don’t want to reload because then I’ll have to watch another month of ads.
01[14:03] <Froborr> Anyway, it cleared up when the post credits ads started.
01[14:03] <Froborr> Speaking of, ads after credits.
01[14:03] <Froborr> 110 seconds of ads remaining.
[14:04] <Arrlaari> I’ll pause after they end
[14:04] <@Sylocat> Might be a bit of a wait for me… my crappy connection means the ads keep skipping
01[14:04] <Froborr> Wait, it failed to load the next ad, so 110 remaining again.
01[14:04] <Froborr> Dear Hulu: I hate you forever.
[14:04] <@Sylocat> Yeesh
01[14:06] <Froborr> OMFG it’s an ad for a fucking psychic.
[14:06] <@Sylocat> What?
01[14:06] <Froborr> Back.
[14:06] <@Sylocat> You’re kidding
[14:06] <@Sylocat> Okay…
[14:06] <@Sylocat> Click
[14:06] <Arrlaari> I got an ad for a diabetes medication and half the runtime was warnings about how it can kill you
01[14:06] <Froborr> And still glitched, fuck, I’m going to have to reload.
[14:06] <Arrlaari> paused again
01[14:07] <Froborr> More ads.
01[14:07] <Froborr> *burns the world*
[14:08] <@Sylocat> Still paused after the OP… lemme know when you’re back
01[14:08] <Froborr> I am now paused after the OP.
[14:08] <Arrlaari> I ran only a few seconds after the OP before repausing
[14:09] <Arrlaari> I can like, count to two
01[14:09] <Froborr> So… we restarting?
[14:09] <@Sylocat> Click
01[14:10] <Froborr> Seriously, cute lesbian is dead ALREADY. THat’s like a record or something.
[14:10] <@Sylocat> So, the two character classifications here are “Lesbian humans” and “Lesbian bears?”
01[14:10] <Froborr> Wait, does dark-haired girl know about the bears? I mean she must based on her reaction, but how?
[14:11] <Arrlaari> She saw them at th eend of last episode
01[14:11] <Froborr> Oh, okay.
[14:11] <Arrlaari> They repreated that specific scene before the OP
01[14:11] <Froborr> Yeah, but that’s when everything was glitching for me.
[14:11] <@Sylocat> Aww
[14:12] <@Sylocat> Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but we haven’t actually seen a corpse yet?
[14:12] <@Sylocat> This has to be a metaphor for something
01[14:12] <Froborr> Apparently not.
[14:12] <@Sylocat> Wow
[14:13] <@Sylocat> Mitsuko looks, and acts, eerily like Homura Akemi
[14:14] <@Sylocat> Ikuhara has a thing for spirals
01[14:14] <Froborr> Wow, that’s, um, explicit.
[14:14] <@Sylocat> The love-as-magic mechanics of this show are weird even for anime
01[14:15] <Froborr> And definitely got a theme going here: “Stay in the closet or the Invisible Storm will get you.”
[14:15] <@Sylocat> I wonder if the endgame is the humans and bears teaming up to fight the Invisible Storm, whatever that is
[14:16] <@Sylocat> Of course, that assumes that I’m capable of figuring out ahead of time what all the symbolism is supposed to be implying
[14:16] <@Sylocat> Now THERE’s a line…
[14:16] <@Sylocat> Is Mitsuko going to warn Kureha that those two girls are bears?
01[14:17] <Froborr> Given that she was just warned not to stick her neck out, I’m guessing no.
[14:17] <@Sylocat> Ah, of course… they’re being pitted against each other
[14:18] <@Sylocat> Oh! Looks like she is!
01[14:18] <Froborr> Oh, huh, I guess she is after all.
[14:19] <Arrlaari> Ads on the ad break logo
01[14:19] <Froborr> Likewise.
[14:19] <@Sylocat> Seems like Kureha should have figured that out on her own, but oh well… she’s distracted by grief
[14:19] <Arrlaari> paused after ads
[14:20] <@Sylocat> As am I, now
01[14:21] <Froborr> 44 seconds.
01[14:21] <Froborr> Paused after ads.
[14:22] <@Sylocat> Okay… Click
[14:22] <@Sylocat> So, Mitsuko sticks her neck out and rescues Kureha, and now the Invisible Storm is going to come after her?
01[14:23] <Froborr> In the time it takes to say “I don’t have time to talk” you could have said “They’re bears!”
[14:23] <@Sylocat> This again?
01[14:24] <Froborr> I have a feeling this is this series’ version of climbing to the Dueling Arena.
[14:24] <@Sylocat> So far, IIRC, Mr. Disembodied Voice is the only male character in the show
01[14:24] <Froborr> I think so.
[14:24] <@Sylocat> Uh oh… is Mitsuko’s girlfriend next?
01[14:24] <Froborr> Wait, Mitsuko’s girlfriend is a bear?
[14:25] <@Sylocat> In retrospect, it was pretty obvious she was going to die… she was just too pure and innocent
[14:26] <@Sylocat> What is it with Ikuhara and spiral staircases?
[14:26] <@Sylocat> I noticed that in episode 2 of Penguindrum too
01[14:26] <Froborr> Its spirals in general–notice the leaves, the repeated references to ammonites in Utena…
01[14:27] <Froborr> Ad.
[14:27] <@Sylocat> Same here
[14:27] <Arrlaari> same
[14:27] <@Sylocat> Yeah, Ikuhara has a thing about spirals… and he also appears to have something about stairs, so naturally the twain shall meet
01[14:27] <Froborr> Spirals are often a symbol of time, because they both repeat and progress.
[14:27] <@Sylocat> Whoa, ad over already… paused.
01[14:28] <Froborr> They also can be a path from inner to outer world or vice versa.
[14:28] <Arrlaari> ad over, paused
01[14:28] <Froborr> And of course stairs are a classic liminal space.
01[14:29] <Froborr> It occurs to me that one could make a case for ads as liminal spaces, and the “Sorry, we couldn’t load an ad so we’re punishing you with extra time” even moreso.
01[14:29] <Froborr> SUPERFOODS AREN’T A THING, AD!
01[14:29] <Froborr> Paused after ads.
[14:29] <@Sylocat> Heck, Ikuhara (and Urobuchi) could probably get some major symbolism out of that
[14:30] <@Sylocat> Okay… click
[14:30] <@Sylocat> Ah, back to the Kangaroo… er, I mean, Bear Court
[14:31] <@Sylocat> So this is the equivalent of the shadow puppets from Utena
01[14:31] <Froborr> Oh right, disembodied voice isn’t the only male character, there’s also the prosecutor and judge.
01[14:31] <Froborr> Though I think the judge might be the disembodied voice.
[14:31] <@Sylocat> Right, I forgot about that
[14:31] <Arrlaari> I believe the defense is a boy as well
01[14:31] <Froborr> That is quite possible.
[14:32] <@Sylocat> Whoa, headshot
[14:32] <@Sylocat> I was not expecting that
01[14:33] <Froborr> A tight huge with rifles in the middle would be pretty uncomfortable, methinks.
01[14:33] <Froborr> *hug
[14:33] <@Sylocat> Well, this is Kureha and Mitsuko we’re talking about
[14:34] <@Sylocat> Whoa
[14:34] <@Sylocat> Mitsuko is a bear too?
[14:34] <Arrlaari> There were two bears on the roof.
01[14:34] <Froborr> Is anyone in this show NOT a bear?
01[14:34] <Froborr> Is the bear-human distinction even meaningful?
[14:35] <@Sylocat> Something tells me the answer is “no” to that question
[14:35] <Arrlaari> I think that sound effect over the ending title card is the first note of the ED
[14:35] <@Sylocat> To the second one, anyway
[14:36] <@Sylocat> So, I think I can reasonably say “This show is weird even for Ikuhara”
01[14:36] <Froborr> Yes.
[14:37] <@Sylocat> Also, which of the two bears on the roof just got killed? The redhead?
01[14:37] <Froborr> The freckly one.
01[14:37] <Froborr> The one that warned Mitsuko.
[14:37] <@Sylocat> Ah yes
01[14:37] <Froborr> Which is neither of the two people we knew were bears from the start.
[14:37] <@Sylocat> Ah… right…
[14:38] <@Sylocat> So Mitsuko has gone renegade from the bears?
01[14:38] <Froborr> Possibly?
01[14:38] <Froborr> Or it’s a Man Who Was Thursday situation.
[14:38] <Arrlaari> Man Who Was Thursday?
01[14:39] <Froborr> Novel about a police officer infiltrating an anarchist cell. Turns out every member of the cell is an infiltrating police officer, there are no anarchists.
[14:40] <@Sylocat> I gotta read that one sometime
01[14:41] <Froborr> So, other thoughts or move on to Penguindrum?
[14:41] <@Sylocat> Something tells me this is the kind of show where I should resist the temptation to speculate on what’s going to happen next… at least for a while
[14:41] <Arrlaari> So far, there’s been a lot of discussion in the show about being invisible or not – whether to become invisible is a decision important to characters presented as humand and characters presented as bears alike.
[14:41] <@Sylocat> Well yeah, it’s definitely a metaphor for the closet
[14:42] <Arrlaari> And something called “the invisible storm” is a threat to anyone who choses not to be invisible.
01[14:43] <Froborr> Indeed. And the show seems to be treating bears and lesbians as effectively interchangeable and equivalent.
[14:43] <Arrlaari> What about Sumika and Kureha?
[14:44] <@Sylocat> Sumika presumably represented youthful innocence, so she had to go
01[14:44] <Froborr> I would be a bit disappointed, but not surprised, if Kureha turned out to be a bear.
[14:44] <@Sylocat> I assume at least one or two characters is going to turn out to be a bear and not know it
[14:45] <@Sylocat> Either that, or everyone is a bear and doesn’t know it
01[14:46] <Froborr> Humans are extinct, it’s bears all the way down.
[14:46] <@Sylocat> Or maybe it’s just the girls at that school who are all bears without knowing it
[14:46] <@Sylocat> I guess we’ll see
01[14:46] <Froborr> But given this is Ikuhara, the most likely thing IMO is that bears and humans are not actually discrete categories.
[14:47] <@Sylocat> That’s my guess as well
[14:50] <@Sylocat> Ringo’s having a flashback?
01[14:50] <Froborr> New cold open. Underwater?
[14:51] <Arrlaari> Compression artifacting here
[14:51] <@Sylocat> Huh… I’d already guessed each one would have a different opening monologue, but I’d assumed they’d all involve fate in some way
01[14:51] <Froborr> Here too.
[14:51] <Arrlaari> There was underwater imagery over Ringo when she was lying in the crawlspace under the house of the teacher she’s stalking
01[14:52] <Froborr> It occurs to me that we haven’t even seen most of the characters in the OP.
01[14:53] <Froborr> Ad.
[14:53] <Arrlaari> artifacting continues after ads, reloading
[14:53] <@Sylocat> Now, Yurikuma is only 12 episodes, but Penguindrum is longer, right?
[14:53] <@Sylocat> Or is it the other way around?
01[14:54] <Froborr> Penguindrum is the longer one.
[14:54] <@Sylocat> Thought so
[14:54] <Arrlaari> Hulu informs me this show is 24 episodes
[14:55] <@Sylocat> (dang it… hold on a sec)
[14:55] <Arrlaari> paused after ads
[14:56] <Arrlaari> Reloading put me where I was without replaying ads, but rewinding (to see the couple seconds I missed post OP) caused the ads to run
01[14:56] <Froborr> Paused after ads.
[14:58] <@Sylocat> Okay, sorry about that
[14:58] <@Sylocat> Click
01[14:59] <Froborr> Oh, there’s the stars.
[14:59] <@Sylocat> Yeesh, no wonder Ringo’s so messed up
[14:59] <@Sylocat> I’d be desperate for affection too
[15:00] <@Sylocat> Ah, I wondered if the name “Ringo” was meaningful
[15:00] <@Sylocat> I keep mistaking these sequences for an opening song until I remember we’ve already seen it
01[15:01] <Froborr> Same here.
[15:01] <@Sylocat> Then again, maybe that’s the idea
[15:02] <@Sylocat> Are they trying some weird psychological trick on the hat? I mean, they can’t seriously not believe that this is magical
[15:02] <@Sylocat> Uh…
[15:03] <@Sylocat> They had to know the hat wouldn’t take this well
01[15:03] <Froborr> Alien hat doesn’t play around.
[15:03] <Arrlaari> Well, it plays for one round
[15:04] <@Sylocat> I’m starting to favor your theory that the hat doesn’t know what “Penguindrum” is either
[15:05] <@Sylocat> What the…
01[15:05] <Froborr> Pork!? In CURRY!?
01[15:05] <Froborr> She’s going to have a massive shrine to the teacher in there, isn’t she?
[15:06] <@Sylocat> #1 is learning why you don’t eat strange foods in that quantity
01[15:07] <Froborr> I am fairly sure that something as complex as curry wasn’t the first cooked food.
[15:08] <@Sylocat> Well, Ringo is probably speaking in metaphors here… I hope
[15:08] <@Sylocat> I wonder if Penguindrum is going to turn out to be like the Keys in MLP S4? Like, it’s powerful because of the emotions we attach to it?
[15:09] <@Sylocat> Uh oh
[15:09] <@Sylocat> Hey, I recognize that turtle
[15:09] <Arrlaari> Ad
01[15:09] <Froborr> Ad.
[15:10] <Arrlaari> And it looks like the future diary informed her that they would be there
[15:10] <Arrlaari> wow ad over
01[15:10] <Froborr> Why do I have the sudden feeling that partway through the series, we’ll hit a junction on the subway map, adn then switch to an entirely other set of characters on another “track”?
[15:11] <@Sylocat> Ad still going here… because my lousy connection makes it choppy
01[15:11] <Froborr> Also, I remain unconvinced that the diary is magic. It could just be her plans, and she believes writing them down makes them guaranteed. She is clearly not well, after all.
01[15:11] <Froborr> And I’ve still got ads because Hulu hates me.
[15:12] <@Sylocat> Okay, ads finally over…
[15:12] <Arrlaari> It’s because you’re in a region that’s more densely populated and thus more valuable to advertisers
01[15:12] <Froborr> …huh.
[15:13] <Arrlaari> That’s my inference, anyway.
01[15:13] <Froborr> Paused after ads.
[15:13] <@Sylocat> Okay… click
[15:14] <@Sylocat> No one’s ever brought food on a subway before?
01[15:14] <Froborr> Suddenly thinking of the times I’ve brought a crockpot full of chili on the subway.
[15:14] <@Sylocat> Fun fact, in Malaysia you are legally prohibited from carying durians on the subway
01[15:14] <Froborr> Haha!
[15:15] <@Sylocat> Wait, does he reciprocate her affections, or is he just an oblivious moron?
01[15:15] <Froborr> He’s her teacher, isn’t he?
[15:15] <Arrlaari> He teaches at an entirely different school\
01[15:15] <Froborr> Oh.
01[15:15] <Froborr> Then yeah, oblivious.
[15:15] <@Sylocat> Oh.
[15:15] <@Sylocat> Dream sequence
01[15:16] <Froborr> Oh.
[15:16] <Arrlaari> Or maybe he also teaches at her school?
[15:16] <@Sylocat> So, how badly is she going to take this?
01[15:16] <Froborr> Yep, he is her teacher.
01[15:16] <Froborr> There’s going to be murder, isn’t there.
[15:17] <Arrlaari> Or, she guessed wrong
[15:17] <@Sylocat> Oh yikes
01[15:18] <Froborr> “Fabulous max”?
[15:18] <@Sylocat> What the…
[15:19] <@Sylocat> Wait, so the cat can see the penguin too?
01[15:19] <Froborr> Oh, cats can always see the invisible and the otherworldly.
[15:19] <Arrlaari> Ad starting
[15:19] <@Sylocat> True
01[15:19] <Froborr> Ad.
[15:20] <Arrlaari> paused after ad
[15:21] <@Sylocat> Same
01[15:22] <Froborr> 30 seconds left, glarb
[15:22] <@Sylocat> Yeesh
01[15:23] <Froborr> paused after ads
[15:23] <@Sylocat> Okay… click
01[15:24] <Froborr> Himari’s about to bring Ringo home with her, isn’t she.
[15:24] <@Sylocat> Have they asked the hat what the Penguindrum is?
[15:24] <@Sylocat> Yep, Ringo’s right there
[15:25] <@Sylocat> She makes friends easily
01[15:26] <Froborr> Yeah, the book is just a plan.
[15:26] <@Sylocat> Could this actually be psychologically helpful for Ringo?
01[15:27] <Froborr> Or… okay, the cat part is… huh.
01[15:28] <Froborr> Maybe the book is magic. Or she has some kind of foreknowledge, anyway.
[15:28] <Arrlaari> Like most prophesies, it’s got vagueness in just the right places to trick the recipient
[15:30] <@Sylocat> Indeed
[15:32] <Arrlaari> Ringo mentioned a project that was moving forward. Perhaps our first hint as to the origins of the destiny diary.
01[15:33] <Froborr> I assumed the project was the stalking?
[15:33] <Arrlaari> I have to apply medicine to the cat’s food. I’ll be back in a bit.
[15:33] <Arrlaari> It could be. But it could also be one of Ikuhara’s Significant Words
[15:36] <@Sylocat> So…
01[15:38] <Froborr> Yep. ANy other comments before I copy up?
[15:38] <@Sylocat> I am feeling a powerful curiosity to see where this is going
[15:39] <@Sylocat> Apart from that… I got nuthin’ at the moment