Mawaru Penguindrum 23 and 24 Liveblog Chat Thingy Actually For Real This Time I Mean It!

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 Enter a nickname, then for the Channels field enter ##rabbitcube, and finally fill in the Captcha and hit Connect! We’ll be watching Penguindrum and commenting there starting at 1:00 p.m. EST. That’s one hour earlier than normal!
I’ll update this post with the chatlog after it’s done.
ETA: Chatlog below the cut!

Penguindrum 23
[12:00] <Arrlaari> A Sanetoshi flashback!
[12:00] <@Sylocat> Yeah, we haven’t seen one from his POV
[12:01] <@Sylocat> So, we get the eggshell speech here
[12:01] <@Sylocat> Whoa
[12:02] <@Sylocat> Ah, so the penguin hat is Momoka after all?
01[12:02] <Froborr> Penguin HATS.
[12:02] <@Sylocat> Both of them!
[12:02] <Arrlaari> So Momoka was split into two hats, and Sanetoshi into the two rabbits
[12:02] <@Sylocat> And the rabbits are the two halves of Sanetoshi? Only he’s managed to gather both of his in one place so he can take a physical form… or something
[12:03] <Arrlaari> The “Penguindrum” the hat wanted must be the other hat
[12:03] <Arrlaari> Also: The Diary has, in the course of the story, also been split in half
[12:04] <@Sylocat> Ad
[12:04] <Arrlaari> ad
01[12:04] <Froborr> What the hell, ad?
01[12:04] <Froborr> But I did the thing!
01[12:04] <Froborr> Grr.
[12:04] <@Sylocat> Oh dear
01[12:04] <Froborr> You did not keep our devil’s bargain, Hulu!
[12:05] <@Sylocat> Was it the trivia game option?
01[12:05] <Froborr> Yeah.
01[12:05] <Froborr> Paused after ad, bt.
01[12:05] <Froborr> *btw
[12:05] <@Sylocat> Paused after ad
[12:06] <Arrlaari> paused after ad
[12:06] <@Sylocat> All right then..
[12:06] <@Sylocat> Click
[12:07] <@Sylocat> Ah, tension mounts
[12:08] <@Sylocat> Did he katakana-ize “metaphor?”
[12:09] <@Sylocat> Whoa
[12:09] <@Sylocat> Ah, he’s offering a Devil’s Bargain
[12:09] <@Sylocat> Oh, I thought he was going to offer to trade Masako’s life for Himari’s
01[12:09] <Froborr> Yeah, I did too.
01[12:10] <Froborr> But no, he’s just ddemonstrating that he can fulfill his side of the bargain.
[12:10] <@Sylocat> “Houdini?” Interesting choice of allegory
01[12:10] <Froborr> Escaping seemingly certain death, it fits.
[12:11] <@Sylocat> The snowflakes change shape as they go through the screen
[12:12] <@Sylocat> Awwww
[12:12] <@Sylocat> Ahahah
[12:13] <@Sylocat> “Next time.” That’s ominous
[12:14] <@Sylocat> What an entrance!
[12:14] <@Sylocat> Ad
[12:14] <Arrlaari> ad
01[12:14] <Froborr> Okay, THAT time I didn’t get an ad. WTF
01[12:14] <Froborr> Anyway, yeah, that was a hell of an entrance.
[12:15] <@Sylocat> Paused after ad
[12:15] <Arrlaari> paused after ad
[12:15] <@Sylocat> Click
[12:16] <@Sylocat> Shoma’s hair looked different in that shot. Was he supposed to look like someone else?
[12:17] <@Sylocat> Whoa
01[12:17] <Froborr> WTF WTF WTF
[12:18] <@Sylocat> I wondered what had happened to her
[12:19] <@Sylocat> That was Kanba’s voice? I thought it was Sanetoshi’s
01[12:19] <Froborr> Of course we’re back here.
[12:19] <@Sylocat> Where it all began
[12:20] <@Sylocat> Uh oh, that’s Masako’s penguin, isn’t it
[12:20] <@Sylocat> Or one of the rabbits
01[12:20] <Froborr> No, it’s a bear-bomb.
[12:20] <@Sylocat> OH SHIT
[12:21] <@Sylocat> It’s the exploding teddy bear!
[12:21] <@Sylocat> Whoa
[12:22] <@Sylocat> …What saved her?
[12:22] <@Sylocat> Ad
[12:22] <Arrlaari> ad
01[12:22] <Froborr> She is remarkably intact in that last shot for someone who just got bombed.
[12:22] <@Sylocat> Did someone, or something, intervene?
[12:23] <@Sylocat> Paused after ad
[12:23] <Arrlaari> paused after ad
[12:24] <@Sylocat> Click
[12:24] <@Sylocat> Oh shit
01[12:24] <Froborr> Oh, the diary is burning.
[12:24] <@Sylocat> The diary is flammable? Since when?
01[12:24] <Froborr> And Himari is somehow not dead
01[12:24] <Froborr> fuck
[12:25] <@Sylocat> Can you punch out a ghost? Asking for a friend
01[12:25] <Froborr> Yeah, I was thinking something similar
[12:25] <@Sylocat> I assumed he’d faked Kanba’s voice
[12:26] <Arrlaari> He doesn’t need to, Kanba is wrapped around his finger
[12:26] <@Sylocat> Oh, he shot Shoma with an amnesia marshmallow?
[12:26] <@Sylocat> Or just a stun round
[12:27] <Arrlaari> New ED
[12:27] <Arrlaari> I think more stuff in the ED
[12:29] <Sylocat_> Whoa, it’s not even a preview, it’s a genuine post-ED scene
[12:29] <Sylocat_> (or was that even the ED?)
[12:29] <Arrlaari> Ah, the box teased in the preview last time
[12:29] <Sylocat_> Is this another child-broiler flashback?
[12:30] <Sylocat_> Okay, preloading the final episode
[12:30] <Arrlaari> I expect the lyrics in the new ED song are significant enough to rewatch to read them
[12:30] <Sylocat_> Okay, now I got the trivia-game option
01[12:31] <Froborr> Likewise, so ad-free.
03[12:31] * Sylocat_ is now known as Sylocat
[12:31] <Sylocat> Allegedly
Penguindrum 24
01[12:35] <Froborr> I like this juxtaposition, it’s placing the blame for things like Aum Shinrikyo squarely on systemic issues.
[12:35] <Sylocat> Trippy floral background
[12:36] <Sylocat> Aum Shinrikyo? Is that the Sarin attacks?
01[12:36] <Froborr> Yeah.
[12:36] <Sylocat> Yay, no ad
[12:37] <Arrlaari> no ad
01[12:37] <Froborr> Basically, “Maybe people wouldn’t crave apocalypse/revolution if the world were less shitty.”
01[12:38] <Froborr> “Smash the world’s shell,” eh?
[12:38] <Sylocat> Yeah, that has to be a deliberate callback
[12:39] <Sylocat> Oh… wow
[12:40] <Sylocat> So that’s why Momoka!Himari dresses in the Double-H outfit
[12:41] <Arrlaari> Transphormation sequence theme
[12:42] <Arrlaari> no ad
01[12:44] <Froborr> Um. Tissues used for what, exactly?
[12:45] <Sylocat> Whoa
[12:45] <Sylocat> The heck does this represent?
[12:46] <Arrlaari> Who here can guess what the magic words are?
[12:46] <Sylocat> I got nuthin’
[12:47] <Sylocat> So he just ripped out his own heart, or Soul Orb or something
[12:47] <Sylocat> What.
01[12:48] <Froborr> He shared the apple back when.
[12:48] <Sylocat> Oh
[12:48] <Arrlaari> I didn’t guess the words right
[12:48] <Sylocat> So THAT’S the charm?
[12:48] <Sylocat> What did you think the words were going to be?
[12:49] <Arrlaari> “I Love You”
01[12:49] <Froborr> Same thing, really.
[12:51] <Sylocat> So, he took the fire into himself, and…
[12:52] <Sylocat> …?
[12:53] <Sylocat> Is this tabuki talking?
[12:53] <Sylocat> Yep
01[12:53] <Froborr> Yeah.
[12:54] <Sylocat> …Uh… did they, like, vanish from reality or something?
[12:56] <Sylocat> Ah… I see
01[12:56] <Froborr> Almost.
[12:57] <Sylocat> Huh
01[12:57] <Froborr> …huh.
[12:57] <Sylocat> Is there a post-Ed scene?
[12:57] <Sylocat> Wait, what? Not even an ED?
01[12:57] <Froborr> Doesn’t look like it.
[12:57] <Sylocat> Uh… okay…
[12:58] <Sylocat> Hmm.
[12:58] <Sylocat> Well, that was far better than I was expecting…
01[13:01] <Froborr> What were you expecting?
[13:01] <Sylocat> I’m not sure what I was expecting
01[13:02] <Froborr> I see why my friend had to watch this a couple of times to figure out where all the plot threads ended up.
[13:03] <Sylocat> I still feel like, overall, this was the weakest of Ikuhara’s directorial works, but it was interesting
[13:03] <Arrlaari> I’m surprised the two hats didn’t come together
[13:04] <Arrlaari> In the penultimate episode they reveal why Mario also has a hat and then it’s not important
01[13:04] <Froborr> Yeah, that was a little odd.
[13:04] <Sylocat> I reiterate my complaint that there were far too many status quo shifts in the latter half of the series
[13:05] <Sylocat> Like, I felt like it was hard to get invested in characters when, 14 episodes into a 24-episode series, I found out that I’d had no idea what their goals or motives were
[13:08] <Sylocat> I liked the finale because, well, Ringo was finally relevant again, after she’d barely even been in the last third of the show…
01[13:08] <Froborr> Yeah, that was nice.
[13:09] <Sylocat> …and it finally became clear why Shoma was needed in the show (I’d been feeling like he could have been replaced with a houseplant without requiring major story changes)
01[13:11] <Froborr> lol
01[13:11] <Froborr> No, he was always the glue that held the other characters together…
[13:11] <Sylocat> Yeah, I know, but in the last episodes it seemed to be revealed like he’d been doing a pretty terrible job of that
01[13:12] <Froborr> True.
[13:12] <Sylocat> (by “last episodes” I mean the last few before the finale, not the finale)
[13:12] <Sylocat> And again, I felt like it was a bit late in the game to establish that
[13:14] <Arrlaari> He seemed to have a clear role as the brother with integrity who contrasts with the brother who will Do Anything
[13:16] <Sylocat> I’m looking forward to reading Digdri’s take on this
01[13:17] <Froborr> Likewise.
01[13:18] <Froborr> I’m honestly just not ready to comment on it. I need at least one rewatch, minimum.
[13:18] <Sylocat> Yeah…
[13:18] <Sylocat> Here’s one idea…
[13:19] <Sylocat> How about, at some point this coming week, we each re-watch the show if we get a chance, and then have a sort of round-table discussion in a comment thread next Saturday?
01[13:19] <Froborr> Yeah, there’s no way I can actually do a rewatch this month, I have too much stuff to prep for Anime Boston.
[13:19] <Sylocat> Ah. Good point
[13:22] <Sylocat> Hmm… first weekend in April, maybe?
01[13:22] <Froborr> Maybe. No guarantees, watching a whole series in a week is a bit fast.
[13:22] <Sylocat> (oh, and I’m hoping to re-recruit my dad to join us for the Psycho-Pass liveblogs)
01[13:22] <Froborr> Cool.
[13:22] <Sylocat> Well, at some point we can probably set that up
[13:23] <Sylocat> And wow I finally have to change the room topic
01[13:23] <Froborr> Yep. So, two Psycho-Pass eps next week?
[13:23] <Sylocat> I think so
03[13:24] * ChanServ sets mode: +o Sylocat
03[13:24] * Sylocat changes topic to ‘Welcome to Rabbit Cube! Current weekly liveblog(s): Psycho-Pass vol. 1’
[13:27] <@Sylocat> Well then…
01[13:28] <Froborr> Yep. Sorry, still mulling it over, I’ve basically got nothing.
[13:28] <@Sylocat> Mulling what over? The show?
01[13:29] <Froborr> Yeah.
[13:29] <@Sylocat> Yeah… this one’s gonna be a tricky one
[13:29] <Arrlaari> Explicit references to Night On the Galactic Railroad bookend Mawaru Penguindrum
[13:29] <Arrlaari> Maybe we should watch that
[13:30] <@Sylocat> Yeah, shall we add that to the candidates list for post- Psycho-Pass?
01[13:30] <Froborr> I mean, it’s a movie, isn’t it?
[13:31] <@Sylocat> It is?
[13:31] <@Sylocat> I honestly didn’t know that
01[13:31] <Froborr> A novel and a movie adaptation, I believe.
[13:31] <@Sylocat> Well, no rule against a movie day
01[13:32] <Froborr> Yeah, we could do that.
[13:33] <@Sylocat> So, tentatively schedule the second week in April for a Penguindrum revisit?
01[13:34] <Froborr> Very tentatively.
[13:34] <@Sylocat> All right then…

12 thoughts on “Mawaru Penguindrum 23 and 24 Liveblog Chat Thingy Actually For Real This Time I Mean It!

  1. Or tomorrow (maybe at noon EST/11:00 CST)?
    Or I could watch them this evening on my own and post my own thoughts in the comments… I have a feeling I’m gonna have quite a bit to say about these eps.

  2. So finally found the time… and as I promised I’ll give you a few more references that are interesting to note if you plan to rewatch this anyways. Second time around the whole structure will make much more sense when you know where this is going an what the individual symbols are and how they interact but first of about the ending itself:
    That may be surprising you to hear but at first I didn’t like the ending very much. The show had dealt with so many characters and most of them didn’t even matter to the very abstract conclusion and I felt the show was zeroing in on just one of all those stories to the exclusion of all the others or something like that … but at that time I also didn’t have much to compare this style to (hadn’t seen Utena yet) so I didn’t know that Ikuhara always goes for this very abstract endgame allegories. But after rewatching the episode & finding all those discussion about the show online I realized that I was actually a pretty fitting ending and just a string of very visually busy scenes (didn’t get the concrete meaning of a lot of what was going on with the symbols in the final subway fantasy world scene with the apples / boxes / shards on direct impressions) but just like the Madoka ending it felt far more structured and meaningful the second time around. Also didn’t like Tabuki/Yuris sentiment because it felt so flat and cliche with this whole statement that love is the answer or whatever they say in there last scene because that just every anime ever I thought. Nowadays I’m also less cynical about that and that concept in context of everything else in the show carries much more weight and nuance. Or in short I was very hasty to draw conclusion that this was just a head trip and was as grandiose all the setup before was suggesting. I was and still am very dissatisfied with the way they handled Masako/Mario was I said before. That 2nd hat is more plot device than anything.
    But I still like the unique style of the show and realized that show was onto something with its very daring topics – every blogger with personal experiences at that that time commented that the addressing of the 95 incident was basically just as much a sensitive topic as the nuclear weapons has been for a long time (Japanese version Fallout games gets censored for the bombs to this day; also the cruel treatment of Hibakusha etc. ) and this basically had to be done in symbolism to not come of as completely offensive to those directly effected. Also that was when I read up on the Murakami references (more on that later)
    So I believed the hype and finally watched Utena where I realized that MPD is actually a repeat in a very interesting way. I still think Utena is the more elegant show and completely deserving of its reputation but IMO Penguindrum feels more interesting in themes and relevance nowadays. Hard to explain.
    Also compare to “Terror in Resonance” which tried the same same thing with children & terrorism but completely failed because it never build real personalities for its characters and did this whole puzzle box plot thing and ultimately got so real in its presentation that it thematically had to chicken out completely which a shock ending that mean almost nothing. Pretty sad because it was actually about a completely different historical problem then MPD. Biggest disappointment of that year.
    So how does this tie in with Utena?
    First of Sanetoshi is to Momoka what Akio was to Dios except they are not really one person. But they are obviously more abstract metaphors then people had we have this big emphasis on duality.
    Normal people get swept up in the conflict (the siblings are just as much outsiders to this problem as Utena was to the schools system).
    The ending is well … Froborr likes to frame it as narrative collapse / apocalypse for postmodern anime … others call it this vaguely defined “sekai kei” genre (Saikono always gets a mention as the most in your face example of this sort of conflict&metaphor).
    I just like to call it the high concept shoujo endings because besides EVA its mostly in shoujo or shoujo inspired works. Don’t know if EVA started this or if this idea is much older but since then had this in Lain and Madoka and as with everything else Haruhi and Monogatari make fun of this stuff and Ikuahra definitively loooves this sort of conclusions and has put this in all 3 of his shows. There is always this idea of transcendence, introspection and pseudo-religious imagery etc.
    And a lot of the stuff in MPD final episode become much clearer when you compare it to Utenas final ep.
    The whole scene with Kanba and Himari in that metro signs world makes much more sense when you take that apart this way. So Himari wears her penguin dress but goes up instead of down this time (interesting in itself but not going to talk about that here) but then this stuff about the shards. That only registered the 2nd time round because that actually a visually less clean version of that “timefreeze” with the swords in Utena. Thats actually the shard that have always fallen down on her symbolically. She was always destined to “die”. Its the mirror/the window glass the things that shaped her life / problems. But there is also no simple out. The swords didn’t go away and the shard don’t either…. they are just no falling anymore. She still has to walk though them and her dress gets torn… while reminicing about there life together even if it wasn’t always easy the wore still happy. Thats interesting….
    So how does that continue? When Kanbas sakura (blood) explosion happens afterwards the shards get pushed away and there are only apples. Also afterwards back in the train when Kanba carries her the double arrow circle thingy breaks…. But Kanba is also disintegrating in the same kind of sparkling shards as in the child broiler imagery.
    Easy to miss but when Himari wakes up there is just one shard left on her head brushed aside by Ringo.
    All very interesting visual choices.
    But thats also where that scene loses me. Kanba talks about finding true light and I guess that just part of the whole Buddist subtext (has to be when you consider NotGR references everywhere) but I don’t know what that means for him and also his way of “redemption” in the ends seems completely unlike a western story would frame his acts and how punishment for that would look like. So maybe that makes more sense to you. IDK
    Also very suble chances in the post fate transfer world…. the house Himari lives in doesn’t look fairytale like anymore (finally normal life?). Also no brothers anymore but she still remember vaguely (reminded me a lot of Madokas mother and Homura meeting while the baby brother is scribling etc.) and the kids from ep1 are back to once again explain the NotGR moral expect now they look like Kanba/Shoma and then have there journey through night sky with all the pinguins. 😀
    But the most interesting comparison to Utena is Sanetoshi himself… because just like Akio he is actually that kind of tragic villain. He just as much has all his power because its actually just a metaphors but he is also just as much defined by his own flaws. And you can really track this down in the show … what was his big mistake that broght his downfall. So that my challenge to you for a rewatch. 😀 Should give another interesting perspective on the bigger thesis of this show. As for references I get back to it in a moment ^^
    As for your logs itself:
    ““Houdini?” Interesting choice of allegory”
    Instantly though about TVTropes Karma Houdini… and laught… TVTropes ruins your vocabulary indeed. ^^
    “The diary is flammable”?
    Sanetoshi had intented to get rid of it for a long time… he already said episodes ago that he can’t himself so he tricks Kanba into doing it for him….. also symbolism 🙂
    “I expect the lyrics in the new ED song are significant enough to rewatch to read them”
    Fun esoteric fact …. all Triple H song with lyrics are IIRC actually covers of J-Rock song from the 70/80 from “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” aka ARB… (e.g. ) not hard to find the lyrics for that. Also not directly referencing anything in the show for the same reason…. but the mood is definitively meant to fit the episode in its J-Pop Version… also *mind blown* #1 ^^
    If you want to compare the different endings here is an easier way: (finally a way to watch this stuff without ContentID BS etc.)
    ” I like this juxtaposition, it’s placing the blame for things like Aum Shinrikyo squarely on systemic issues.”
    “Smash the world’s shell,” eh?
    Bullseye (and the Utena stuff I already mentioned above) and thats actually pretty significant in itself because thats were the Murakami stuff comes in.
    So here the short version how this connects now that I can’t spoil anything anymore:
    Or to be more precise there are two important Murakamis referenced here. There is an artist and a writer with this name. Both are actually culturally important in there own way. I guess lots of people got that confused when looking that up 😀
    Thats the guy who wrote Underground and a lot of other stories all in this magic realism style. Always descripted as very un-Japanese in his novels and very internationally recognized for that.
    But there is also
    The is the Andy Warhol style guy with the big eye balls / smiling flowers and creepy mascots. That guy has coined the Superflat movement for art that constantly influences animes. Anno / Kon / Ikuhara have all been labeled as part of that movement due to there postmodern deconstuctionist approaches of story telling (EVA and Paranoia Agent are often cited for that).
    Both are known for postmodern art and very there concerned with social commentary in there own way and have weird styles to express themselfs…. wonder why Ikuhara would be interested in that ;P
    So the first guy is actually more important for because of his books. I once read Nisio Isins Monogatari LNs is basically Murakami style books – shitty teenager editon. So that the vague idea. There is always stuff about isolated people in Japanese society. “It is frequently surrealistic and melancholic or fatalistic, marked by a Kafkaesque rendition of the “recurrent themes of alienation and loneliness”
    But all of his books are stories and Underground was different…. that a book of interviews. With people who were directly effect by the terror attack. How I understand it he thought how the media presented that issue didn’t cut it and wanted a more personal perspective. Afterwards he even did an addendum trying to interview families of the perpetrators. He just was that dissatisfed with how the media was just interested in the simples narrative about an evil cult etc.
    “Murakami himself mentions that he changed his position from one of “detachment” to one of “commitment” after staying in the USA in 1991. “His early books, he said, originated in an individual darkness, while his later works tap into the darkness found in society and history.”
    I mean there is always those overreactions and fingerpointing what went wrong in the face of tragedy. There is always and opportunism for some political action etc. that what this book tries to address.
    “[he] hoped that through these interviews, he could capture a side of the attacks which the sensationalist Japanese media had ignored—the way it had affected average citizens.”
    “The interviews highlight many intriguing aspects of the Japanese psyche. Work was a high, if not central, priority for most of the interviewees. Isolation, individualism, and lack of communication were also strong themes which were common throughout many accounts of the attacks. Many of the interviewees expressed disillusionment with the materialism in Japanese society and the sensationalistic media, as well as the inefficiency of the emergency response system in dealing with the attack.”
    [all quotes from Wikipedia articles]
    There are scenes in MPD that directly reference stuff that expressed in the book like Shouma “storytime” where he laments how they lost there family over night. Like real people that never know that their loved ones where involved with that cult (shame is a powerful force especially in Japan) etc.
    Here is another book quote I found on a blog: “Maybe they think about things a little too seriously. Perhaps there’s some pain they’re carrying around inside. They’re not good at making their feelings known to others and are somewhat troubled. They can’t find a suitable means to express themselves and bounce back and forth between feelings of pride and inadequacy. That might very well be me. It might be you.”
    So yeah Penguindrum is basically Underground but 16 years later (remember that was aired in 2011) the same 16 years that get constantly referenced with Momok/Ringo/the siblings. The ANN podcaster once concluded Utena is children making sense of adulthood but MPD is the logical extention where its reverse and adults look by on (their) childhood. Doesn’t fit perfectly but there is still stuff you can point towards…. Yuri is basically coded like Akio for the most part… Manipulative and that lady who drives the red sports cars etc. (also always something about sex in Ringos imagination) but Yuri has no power, no status, no control of anything… she is just a victim like all the other people still traumatized trying to cope. Because this is a bigger world and not about childhood idealism like Ohtori and thats also why she doesn’t matter in the bigger picture as a danger for this story… She is no villain like Sanetoshi because he represents whats wrong with this scenario.
    [So guess that my answer why this feels more relevant then ’90 deconstruction that fairy tales are BS and girls power despite the fact that Utena may as well be his magnum opus.]
    When Himari goes to the library she is returning lots of Murakami spoof title books and tries to get another one but cannot find it because joke time… that not the title of the book but a story inside a book. Super Frog saves Tokyo is part of “after the quake” and is IIRC that kind of story that Penguindrum resembles structurally.
    Its also this kind of personal journey expressed in surrealism … judge for yourself:
    As for the other Murakami. Thats this artist that does weird paintings and art instalations full of surreal satirical reinterpretations of Japanese pop culture. He doesn’t have a high opinion of what Japan is into to put it lightly… highly critical of Otaku culture and escapism in general and that hyper commercialization of everything. Always psychedelic and really alien he build this cross culture products that also make him maybe the most finantially successful troll ever. Here are a few pictures:
    His take on Mickey Mouse
    Here is what he thinks of otaku (NSFW):
    there is a female version (even more NSFW ^^):,+Hiropon
    He also like to sell those to visitors in his shops as little PVC figures… you know to otakus who would buy anything that looks sexy XD There are even different hair colors versions for the drill hairs etc.
    He’s that guy that puts Pachino machines in art installations and smiley faces on mushroom clouds. Or makes a CG movie that seems like Pokemon style adventure story but also about Fukushima etc.
    He trolls the west as well by selling his pop junk remix stuff as high art to high society weebs and people who doesn’t know any better that its satire. He also did a Hatsune Miku music video once IIRC
    This is how a commercial by this guy looks like:
    BTW thats was directed by Hosoda…. looks a lot like subway dimension right? Also looks a lot like Hosodas VR world in Summer Wars right? ^^
    For his whole Superflat theory and all this stuff his college Hiroki Azuma did his database animal theory just look up some documentary …. that is going to far.
    So whats to focus on for a rewatch…
    – First of jokes about trash cans are rare but interesting because now you know that thats much darker forshadowing.
    – I talked about apples far to much but still they are everywhere and they are obviously important in all its symbols.
    – Whats up with the penguins as in seriously why is there a 4th one…..
    – The talk about “boxes” are another repeat from his other shows except the always mean something slightly diffrent… one think to keep an eye on.
    – Food porn (there was a BR commentary that the went out of there way to make the food in the first episodes look tasty etc.) and its symbolism for relationships.
    – Penguin #1 is kind of an walking otaku joke with all those echii jokes… how does that fit in with the bigger theme? When #2 broke his eggs in the final ep #1 broke DVD cases in return…. ^^
    – Who interacts with “fate” in what ways and what does that say about those characters and whats up with Momokas magic and why is the show allowed to break its own rules at the end.
    – What up with Sanetoshi… he talk so much about so many things when he becomes doctor with the kids.
    – Whats up with the library and all that Himari stuff that it contains.
    Watching that NotGR movie would indeed by another great follow up but I heard the movie and book are very different in atmosphere at times… MPD seems much more based on that movie aesthetics (just look at the char designs)
    As for references I wanted to mention:
    As for Sanetoshi himself… there is one other element to the puzzle that I didn’t mention. Sanetoshi is just as much a amalgamation of influences as everything else. Already mentioned that picture in the arctic that a movie reference and how he is that symbolic problem in the show but he may as well be a Aum cult leader stand in as well. That cult was basically driften against the wall when the planned the attacks…. the were already to deeply involved in crime and the police already had planned some raids IIRC. So they apocalyptic new age stuff + millennial panic just went straight to Plan B went completely self destructive. At least thats the more believable version of evil cult did it etc. So when Sanetoshi talks about destroying the world thats maybe what his philosophy is meant to resemble… but there is a 3rd element… Sanetoshis philosophical monologues in the library to ghostly fleeting Momoka (similar to Utena Recap #1 with Akio in the castle) is most likely a really fucked up reference to this tragedy: *mind blown* #2
    That kind of rhetoric that Sanetoshi uses to justify his world view in the ep sounds extremely similar to the claims of responsibility that that boy left behind for the police. All this talk about being all alone but also the only one who sees how the world works. Its basically the nightmare edition of those Chunibyo stories.
    Guess that where all those stories dark stories of early 00s anime with extreme mobbing and took there ideas from cruel kids came from. I remember Narutaru and back then I thought that was just absurdly drimdark edgy nonsense well nope…..
    Also isn’t that the Kobe that got struck by that earthquake that Super Frog is based on?
    My biggest reference way back is actually gone… there was a fansubber who did extensive translation annotations on a blog called “8th sin” that where a lot of the visual and pun explainations came from… now that stuff may only be somewhere on in fragments.
    For a less detailed but still pretty detailed look at some episode there is
    (thats e.g. where them Battleship Island theory came up)
    Also more specific there was this spoof version of this painting in one of that Ringo episodes early on that got disected by those bloggers as extremely detailed forshadowing:
    And I already mentioned ANN writer Gabbomatic has those mini essays on her blog about the literature influences on MPD:
    Also even more fairytail references then listed on that blog like the (oldschol version of) Frog Prince from the princess perspective with Ringo and her Princess/Witch subtext as another Utena repeat.
    If thats to long here is a more condensed thematic breakdown of some of those themes I have mentioned before: (may as well be the most compressed article about this show that gets most of the major topics)
    The library scene not only has many Murakami books ( but also one to Barefoot Gen. Also all the Jungian implication of that place as Collective unconscious and the locked door as Himaris personal subconscious etc.
    For Yuris in universe cross references:
    Also for those theater roles I mentioned look for Otokoyaku & Musumeyaku (male and female roles play by women)
    Also the whole subway references from ep1 one onwards in all aspects were all pointing towards that terror attack… some people even know after watching the PV for that show even before ep1. That mid point eye catch insert which looks like a subway line is actually one of those line that were targeted and the siblings home as well as the aquarium are on that line. That whole show all of those things were just slightly altered to give it this sense of irreality…. even the RL subway maps look stylistically similar….
    The train company isn’t real but there logo looks almost like the real one. Even the shows one station per insert basically is once again that metaphor about fate… the kids are going towards there “destination of fate” on ep at a time so to say… *mind blown* #3 😉
    Also Kanba/Shouma isn’t only Giovanni & Campanella but also personality wise Red Oni vs. Blue Oni in most aspect of there sibling dynamic. And now you should also understand why I likened them to a father and mother role to Himaris place as a child. Hope that answers that question.
    Also those references can also go the other way round:
    Also if you still like more context for YKA… recently had this outsider perspective documentary on what it means to be gay in Japan (male or female) … was curious if/what they would bring up about anime/manga but seems pretty consistant which what all the most other essays broad up and should make it clearer where this personal / social disconnect is really found and why so much about YKA is about invisibility / social pressures…

    I hope that helped a bit even if I still have a different take on how much this show had a fundamental structural problem with personal goals etc. because besides the ending and the last quarter twists a didn’t find it that hard to keep up with the plot on a surface level but I also watch this after being really into Umineko which has just as much subjective reality mindfuckery. Nowadays that story seems pretty hacky but back then that was a great tutorial to that kind of 3 layered reality / surreal world / metaphor world construction of stories. Also another story with fairytail logic and lots of crazy stuff about witch symbolism.
    And I guess thanks for reading though all of this…. I’m curious what you takes on 2nd viewing may be and more pieces click into place than.
    (e.g. I still don’t know what the more fitting answer to that Christian references topic from few episodes back would be)

  3. Well it it might as well be spam in every other context ;P
    But I also forgot two other very funny and one very dark trivia about Penguindrum I’ll just add them here quickly
    First there is this weird fan theory that the big white teddy bear robot(?) thingy in the fantasy world that in that transformation sequence looks like it has a big belly for a brief moment – ok wait I never mentioned that this scene beside all that sexual imagery is also fill with tons of (re)birth related symbolism…. have fun unseeing those little element – may actually be some kind of obscure easter egg about a statement Ikuhara presumable made in his Utena days about how he would have liked to see Rei from EVA pregnant in universe…. obviously there is more to it then that and IIRC what he meant by that was if Anno really would have stuck to his gun (as in wanting to make otakus feel weirded about this whole obedient human doll archetype) he should have ended the show with Rei being married and having a child etc.
    But Ikuhara doesn’t even intent to bother explaining himself in a way that actually comprehensable to normal human beings. And that the anime community urban legend rumor mill so obviously the only elements that stuck was “Rei, pregnant, Ikuahra is as weird guy… gotcha” ;P
    At least he proved his point because he definitively create the more subversive and indeed creepy take on that character trope with Anthy. 😀
    Still pretty farfatched and random as when I hear white teddy bear I would never associate that with that character.
    On the other hand the 3 cats in MPD are definitively a backward reference to those 3 cats in Nemurus office so its basically a 15 year long brick joke about an Schrödings Cat injoke. Nothing is to out there with this weirdo. ^^

    Second: There is this hilarious troll(?) fanart picture thing where Momoka explains how to count magical apple pieces:
    The funniest part its that this might as well be correct as in universe logic goes but is so literal that basically completely missing the point. 😀 But plus points to actual account for the NotGR reference at the very end. ^^

    And for the dark part… if you wonder why are argued so hard for the Nazi style inhumanity angle with the child broiler etc.
    Here is a little detail about the broiler industry aka “the process by which broiler chickens are reared and prepared for meat consumption”
    There is a part thats called “chick sexing” (as in determining a new born chicks sex) and well just read the 2nd paragraph above the content summary if you want another reason to become vegan etc.
    Just thing about what that actually mean to not only apply that symbolically to people but children specifically… O_O (That some Shin Sekai Yori shit right there if you’ve seen that show)

    • I don’t see anything in there that would be a reason to be vegan, but I guess I do see some vague similarities with the child broiler? The main issue I’m seeing is that I’ve never heard of anyone referring to it as the “broiler industry,” so it seems kind of a tenuous connection that it has to do with chicks specifically as opposed to just the general idea of factories and prisons as metaphors for the dehumanizing effects of oppression and abandonment.

  4. Ok I guess that where the problem with English as your 2nd language comes in… where technical terms end and just obscure nomenclature starts often becomes hard to differentiate and then terms that are just everyday words in on language become those pseudo-intellectual sounding proper nouns in another…. I can only go by the fact that is basically a encyclopedia title so its should mean that its a defined term that gets use somehow… but I guess never trust crowd sourced information.
    Also the vegan part was more of a joke because of that line of thinking about animal cruelty, “don’t want to know how the sausage gets made”, idea of boycotting those processes etc etc.
    But I do remember that historically that idea of a process of getting rid of those animal by killing them was much more questionable and should most likely be ban for animal cruelty nowadays. IDK how directly that idea of putting those animal into a shredder would really apply for IRL practice but that still the imagery that invoked in the show together with all that other dehumanizing rhetoric.
    As for the child broiler as a whole itself its difficult either way…. thats one of the most interpretative symbolism of the show and for better or worse one of the most striking(?). Some arguments even go in that direction that that place isn’t even a place at all but more of a representation of a mental state (remember people go there willingly and get taking out of there by one person) and so this becomes more of a abstract representation of something like suicidal depression. Others see it more as this worst case prison / orphanage representation… And then there was this point about this specific flaw in that now defunct part of their social system.
    There is no consensus about with angle is more value or meaningful and isn’t that the point to go for abstraction in the first place.
    And then there is the bombardment with visual elements that all reference different things in the first place. Its definitively not as over the top as Madoka Rebellion gets but still enough that lots of people can’t keep up with the details and analysis of the denser scene is often screenshot by screenshot etc. Add in that those shows were never meant to be watched with subs for the original audience to add to the distraction (and all the puns and metaphors in language on top) and show just become plain stressful / inaccessible to watch.
    Its not as hyperactive/confusing as SHAFT TV shows with rapid fire editing and split second text labels tend to get but lots of details will never get noticed either way.

  5. Ok one last thing about this whole topic… I vaguely remembered reading one other quote from “Underground” in a MPD discussion but didn’t remember where I had seen it… well I hadn’t really looked at the obvious place because it was also part of those altairvega blog posts I already quoted from before XD
    And that part may as well be the most revealing what the show was suppose to accomplish in general… so just some quick copy-paste…. judge for yourself.
    […] As Haruki Murakami says near the end of Underground, most of the people who join cults are not disadvantaged or crazy, and actually quite intelligent people who raise the same philosophical, religious, and existential questions that each and every one of us do. Murakami even laments the fact that it’s precisely the people who are introspective and have the potential to be the most critical of a stagnant society that end up resorting to such violent methods.
    “But at the same time, who would ever think, ‘I’m an unimportant little person and if I end up a cog in society’s system, gradually worn down until I die, hey- that’s okay.’? More or less, all of us want the answers to the reasons why we’re living on this earth, and why we die and disappear. We shouldn’t criticize a sincere attempt to find answers. Still, this is precisely the point where a kind of fatal mistake can be made. The layers of reality begin to be distorted. The place that was promised, you realize, has changed into something different from what you’re looking for.”
    Haruki Murakami, Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche
    (mentioned in and they compare more of MPD dialogue to passages in the book in )

Leave a Reply to Sylocat Cancel reply