Mawaru Penguindrum 15 ~ The Sin of Ugliness

Yuri in 2nd OP

Tabuki in 2nd OP

Momoka in 2nd OP

With the latest episode, we now have a new nice opening. There have been some new changes, with Momoka being in it briefly. Of course, the OP still hides the mysteries of Mawaru Penguindrum, but we can be sure that Momoka and her diary will become even more central and integral to the series from here on. But, here in this post I shall briefly share my thoughts on a different theme: beauty.

Chiseling

Yuri, as it turns out, has had a tragic childhood with a father who only has eyes for beauty. Yuri’s father abused Yuri with the intention of chiseling out all the impurities of her body and making her more beautiful. Yuri, as a very young girl, naturally believes in her father’s words, because she has no other family to go to. Here, the theme of family plays another big role aside from the Takakura family and the Oginome family, this time with Yuri.

The sin of ugliness

To Yuri’s father, ugliness is a sin and he desires for true beauty. It is human nature to be attracted to beauty, but Yuri’s father takes this further, desiring true beauty and perfection going so far as to transform his own daughter, who is already quite beautiful in her own right. As we know, he is also an artist and there were several rather famous sculptures referenced in this episode. However, one sculpture stood out for me and is also fitting for my post’s theme: Venus de Milo. Venus de Milo is believed to be a sculpture of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. It is a timeless classic that seeks to depict divine beauty, that of Plato’s ideals, and gives an answer to the eternal quest for beauty.

Pure Beautiful Swans

The referenced fairy tale of The Ugly Duckling also exemplifies beauty as well, telling a story of a transformation in the nature of beauty. To state the main ideal of the story, all living things are beautiful in their own ways and their own forms. I wonder, why is it so terrible to be ugly in appearance? Being ugly has never harmed anyone, yet people insists on concealing or ridding ugliness. Ugliness is the culmination of all the impurities and disorder, and we are naturally drawn to beauty, the culmination of purity and order. Of course, this is what I believe, but perhaps the great philosopher, Plato, would better offer an intriguing insight on what he believes beauty to be.

Venus de Milo

Plato saw the changing physical world as a poor, decaying copy of a perfect, rational, eternal, and changeless original. The beauty of a flower, or a sunset, a piece of music or a love affair, is an imperfect copy of Beauty itself. In this world of changing appearances, while you might catch a glimpse of that ravishing perfection, it will always fade away. It is merely a pointer to the perfect beauty of the eternal. Plato believed Beauty to be an Idea, one that is unchanging and perfect in an irrational world. Beauty can never be truly achieved perfectly, and Venus de Milo is one of many attempts to capture and express divine, eternal beauty. If we go by Plato’s ideals, then Yuri’s father was merely chasing a hopeless dream of capturing eternal beauty, as everything must fade away. Such is the sad tale of several artists who have attempted to capture the ideals of beauty, realities, disorder, and order.

Transferring fate

In addition to the pursuit for beauty (one that I chose to focus on), we also have another recurring theme, fate. Fate is such a fickle thing, and it would appear that Momoka’s diary allows her to transfer the fates of another, completely changing the playing field and going against fate. Momoka is certainly turning out to become a critical core character, one in which the fates of several characters are revolved around herself. I enjoyed this episode thoroughly, and I look forward to seeing the next episode.

The pages of a diary...

Oh, by the way, this is my 50th post. ^_^

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14 Comments

Filed under Anime, Episodics, Mawaru Penguindrum

14 responses to “Mawaru Penguindrum 15 ~ The Sin of Ugliness

  1. Ok, the story is starting to make some sense after this episode…:|

  2. I genuinely felt sorry for Yuri. Her father was a nutcase and she was stuck with him (as Sanetoshi points out). The ideal of parental love is to love unconditionally. Yuri’s father completely fails. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out he tormented Yuri’s mother as well. He says she didn’t understand his art, but I wonder if he was trying to modify her body as well. At any rate, Yuri tried to do what she could to please him, which is utterly tragic.

    • Oh! And I forgot to say, congrats on the milestone. Happy 50th!

    • Yuri’s background was truly tragic, so it’s no surprise that she would have fallen in love with Momoka as well, when Momoka freed her from her fate with her father. Yuri’s father, to me, seems to an artist striving for perfection in human bodies as seen by his sculptures, but perfection can never be truly gained. I recall that Yuri’s father said that when Yuri’s mother was pregnant with Yuri, her body was vastly different. As we know, a pregnant woman’s body isn’t very flattering, one that wouldn’t be called beautiful. Yuri’s father might have thought that Yuri’s mother didn’t understand his art because her body changed in order to nurture a new life.

      Thanks for commenting! ^_^

      • Yes, but I wonder if the father wanted to modify Yuri’s post-pregnancy body, and she said no, which is why he said she didn’t understand his art. Of course that’s just guessing.

  3. Everyone in this story thus far has some sort of messed up childhood induced by their parents, but I suppose that highlights the characters own personal way of dealing with things and gives them a lot of interest depth. As for Yuri’s father, to me, his idea of beauty is flawed, since he was close to nearly dis-configuring or worse, killing her. I know that his idea was to “immortalize” her like the the works he made, but his whole pseudo Pygmalion idea is nothing more than a paradox.

    Speaking more concretely, the band-aid Momoka had over her finger was the price she payed once, but I am thinking that is somehow related to the marks Tabuki had on his during the flashback where Shoma was explaining to Ringo his parents involvement.

    • I had to look up the pseudo Pygmalion idea to find out what it is, and it really is very interesting to note the similarity! Thanks for that new knowledge and interesting insight. ^_^

      The marks on Tabuki’s hands looks to me more like they were burned, but I can’t really tell. But, if we are to look at the OPs, we note that Ringo turns into fire while holding the diary, it could be that the price would be burning punishment and that Tabuki had used the diary before. At this point, it’s all just speculation, I suppose, but I’m looking forward to what this series will have in store for us!

  4. Pingback: Notes of Mawaru Penguindrum Episode 15 « Organization Anti-Social Geniuses

  5. Pingback: Twelve Days of X’mas: Day IV ~ Fabulous Max! | Ephemeral Dreams

  6. Yuri’s story was the one that got the attention of many bloggers and viewers and I don’t think it’s coincidental. Parents abusing their parent authority can take even the most innocent forms and one way or another we’ve all gone through some childhood traumas.

    If you’re interested and have some time, may I suggest my own post that revolves around the psychological aspects of all this? http://kitsunetoneko.blogspot.com/2011/10/for-your-own-good-childhood-traumas-and.html

    • I’ve read your post, and it’s really interesting! I’m not very well-versed in psychology, so I don’t actually have much to add other than that I agree that our childhoods give form to what we are today. Everyone has gone through a childhood trauma which influences them, no matter whether it be mild or large, and I’m certainly no exception as well with my disability. Thanks for a great, intellectual read! ^^

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