Mawaru Penguindrum 17-18 ~ A Grand Sorrowful Spectacle…

Mawaru Penguindrum artWell, the past weekend and week ended up being extremely busy for me and I didn’t manage to come up with a single post. So here, I shall try to catch up on episode 17 & 18 of Mawaru Penguindrum. It was certainly a grand, varied build-up with a sorrowful end that has the Takakura family and Ringo bonding.

Penguin #3 is the strongest!

Tentacle play?

The octopus is a fascinating creature of the ocean, and having a strong fascination with marine animals and the oceans (I wanted to major in marine biology), I shall naturally talk about this mysterious animal. The octopus is full of symbolism, and there really are so much to be derived from this clever, simple animal. For instance, the octopus’ physicality offers so much interpretation. Octopi are invertebrates, meaning that they have no structured spine. Thus, they can slip out or into the tightest spaces, and be as fluid as water itself. This is symbolic of grace, ability, and flexibility. The octopus can also detach a limb at will to distract predators, and from a totem perspective, we can interpret this that we have the ability to cut loose excess baggage that we carry in life. Here, this begs a question: what exactly can we cut from our lives? More specifically with regard to the characters of Mawaru Penguindrum, what can they cut from their lives? For Kanba and Shoma, they can cut out Himari since she is fated to die, but they refuse to do so because they love her. As for Yuri and Tabuki, they can cut out Momoka since it is unknown what happened to her, but they refuse to do so because she was the savior of them.

Not telling.

Survival Strategy world

Do what...?

Gorgeous composition!

The sins of the parents aren't shared by the children.

Charming glasses...

Episode 17 had some really nice artistic scenes, such as the Survival Strategy and Tabuki & Yuri drinking champagne. The Survival Strategy, this time, takes a somber mood with a muted, pale atmosphere change after Shoma is yet again dropped. This atmosphere felt really powerful to me and I feel like it indicated a different change within Himari and Kanba. As for Tabuki and Yuri, by gods, the composition of the scenes were really amazing. The whole dark, night mood does make it feel like a prelude to something sinister, and Tabuki did plan something as seen later on in episode 18.

Monet reference.

In keeping up with the artistic themes of the recent episodes, we now have a direct reference to Claude Monet’s Woman with a Parasol – Madame Monet and Her Son in episode 18. A brief background on this art: It was intended to look like a casual family outing, and Monet painted his wife, Camille Monet, and son, Jean Monet, for this artwork. However, Claude and Camille apparently had a stormy relationship, as Camille was Claude’s mistress. Claude’s parents were against their love, and even threatened to disown him. This reference may have been similar to Tabuki’s case with his parents, but it’s really hard to say so.

Glass shards opening

From the opening.

Shattered glass.

Shattered glass from the child broiler scene.

In the midst of watching episode 18, I noted a rather interesting scene, the scene with the glass shards falling down. This brought one particular scene of the opening to mind, which is shown above. Glass is fragile and can easily be quick to break, disintegrating into sharp shards. These shards of glass could represent negative feelings; they are seemingly falling out of the sky and causing harm. This scene, with relation to the OP scene, could very well imply that Himari could be an “unneeded child.”

Kanba hanging on.

I really love the fluttering penguin petals...

Kanba is suffering so much for Himari...

Himari is such a self-less good girl...

No, Himari!

This scene invokes so much emotions from me, and it looks so strangely familiar to me somehow. To be honest, what I envisioned was the image of star-crossed love, one of familial love, threatened by the actions of the parents. Sounds very much like Romeo and Juliet, no? The looks on Kanba’s and Himari’s faces really showed the intensity and urgency of the situation at hand, and you could really feel their love. But what kind of love is it? Is it familial love or is it something else as implied by their interaction in Survival Strategy? We may not know now, but this particular scene plus the group hug at the end really impacted my heart. Ikuhara, why are you so good?

Ringo and the Takakura family...

Tabuki and Momoka.

The Takakura family bond.



Filed under Anime, Episodics, Mawaru Penguindrum

3 responses to “Mawaru Penguindrum 17-18 ~ A Grand Sorrowful Spectacle…

  1. Pingback: Mawaru Penguindrum Episode 18 and a Painful Response «

  2. I really liked the champagne scene too. While it was dark, it was also beautiful. One of the things that I’m confused about though, is what exactly the child broiler is. The closest analogy I can think of is an orphanage, but that doesn’t explain what happened to Momoka’s hand when she saved Tabuki from there.

    • I also think that the analogy of an orphanage does fit the child broiler somewhat. It would make sense as Tabuki was rejected by his own mother, and if no one else were willing to care for him. But, then what about Momoka’s presence? Her presence changes the meaning of the child broiler scene, and from this, I think that this becomes a figurative representation of something that I just can’t quite put a tongue on. I’ve heard that Murakami’s novels have a relation to this, but I haven’t read them so I can’t say for sure. :/

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