Mawaru Penguin Drum 2 – fated encounter

July 15, 2011

Ringo Oginome.

Episode 2 of Mawaru Penguin Drum was heavily anticipated. One question on people’s minds was would the show be able to maintain the sense of wacky intensity when it started to reveal the contours of a real plot. Fortunately episode two is still a delicious blend of ridiculous fun and outrageous mystery.

Super spy penguins.

Without answering any of the big questions posed by the first episode, the two brothers are sent on the hunt for Ringo Oginome, from whom they must retrieve the Penguin Drum. One interesting aspect of all of this is the difference between the two brothers, while Shou is easily embarrassed, and tries to be the voice of morality, Kanba has a can-do attitude that enables him to charm his opponents, speak knowingly about lingerie, and gather intelligence in their search for the Penguin Drum.

Dear Diary, today I crawled under his house, and listened to him eat.

Aside from the introduction of Ringo, the most significant event was the suggestion of what the Penguin Drum must be. The reveal was very cleverly handled. For a while I felt bad for Ringo, who seemed to be an ordinary school girl caught up in something much bigger than she could have guessed. In the beginning of the episode she is seen leaving a toilet stall, and fantasizing about destiny and fated encounters, with the very fairly-tale like background you can see in the first screen shot at the top of this post. We see her in normal school girl mode, riding the train, day dreaming in class, and eating lunch with her friends. As the boys continue to tail her, red herrings lead one to believe she is innocently deciding to buy fancier undies to improve her love life. Despite finding nothing, the brothers continue to stalk Ringo, ultimately to discover that she is stalking someone herself. Only in the closing moments does Ringo seem more than a normal school girl, and her belief in fate is explained, with the revelation that she has a diary (seen prominently in the OP) that already has the day’s events recorded. Instead of recording them heself, she merely has to stamp them accomplished.

So we don’t know exactly what the Penguin Drum is. Is it a book that already has the future written in it? Is it more similar to Death Note, in that one can write the future that one wishes for and it will come true? We also don’t know why “the hat” wants the Penguin Drum, nor even what “the hat” is. Further the transformation sequence is pregnant with innuendo, but what does it really mean? Are Kanba’s repeated exclamations that they must find the Penguin Drum “for Himari” more than normal brotherly love?

This episode was lighter in tone, focussing more on comedy, but without losing sight of either plot or mystery. On top of this Ringo (Japanese for “Apple”) makes an interesting addition to the cast of characters, and not just because crazy stalker women make every story better. Rather because she is a crazy stalker woman with a book that can foretell (control?) the future. If only we had a book like that, we could find out what happens in episode 3 without waiting another week.

12 Responses to “Mawaru Penguin Drum 2 – fated encounter”

  1. animekritik Says:

    Wait, I didn’t pick up on that future diary thing at all!!!! This is is like Back to the Future 2 then…

    Another mystery is how come the penguins can walk in the classroom with all those contraptions on them. I realize that they are invisible, but how come the people can’t see the little cameras and stuff?

  2. […] Check Abandoned Factory’s post for something I totally missed the first time I watched the episode: the humongous significance of […]

  3. Mad Chemist Says:

    I’m so glad that the sibling work so well as a team and comedy duo here, and that the show’s comedy is quite good in general. I get the feeling that Shouma and Kanba wouldn’t be able to carry the show on their own, but together they’re a lot of fun to watch. I also love how crazy the show’s visuals continue to be, especially the ornate lingere shop and the stars swirling around the girls’ bathroom in the beginning.

    I’m curious what part Ringo is going to have in the show. She’s certainly going to be important as is her diary, but it’s still too early to tell if she’ll be a protagonist, antagonist or even interact much with the siblings at all. I imagine that they’ll try to think of ways to get the diary away from her, but I doubt it’ll be easy to take an obsessive stalker’s favorite tool away from her.

    • Joojoobees Says:

      “I doubt it’ll be easy to take an obsessive stalker’s favorite tool away from her.”

      If it were mine, I wouldn’t let it go easily either.

      “I also love how crazy the show’s visuals continue to be,”

      Yes, there are all sorts of interesting visual choices. Not only does the show look great, but it is full with crazy background details like the train’s PSA screens.

  4. “If only we had a book like that, we could find out what happens in episode 3 without waiting another week.”
    = Oh that would be really awesome xD

  5. bonehimer Says:

    Spy penguins did the episode for me, hopefully the show will be filled with similar tomfoolery.

  6. Tsuki Says:

    It’s great how this episode is completely silly with the invisible spy penguins, yet at the same time feels totally serious with the Penguindrum and stalker twists.

    Only thing I’m wondering now is the actual purpose of the penguins, because I doubt Ms. Penguin Queen has Penguins 1, 2, and 3 around only for to become the siblings’ slaves…

    • Joojoobees Says:

      Not to mention that, whenever the hat “turns on”, the brothers find themselves shackled, and the first thing possessed Himari says is, “Worthless beings”!

  7. ayame Says:

    Well… more than Campanella and Giovanni, the siblings look like Touya and Miki, the playboy and the ‘pure’. And as far as the relationship with their sister is concerned, we have that Miki-Kozue kind of plot (seealso absense of parents)

    • Joojoobees Says:

      The playboy and the pure-boy. That does seem a fitting description, at least so far.

      Are you referring to Touga and Miki from Revolutionary Girl Utena? That’s an interesting way of putting it.

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