August 8, 2013

Anime Review: Mawaru Penguindrum - A Hidden Gem

Hello World, a new face appears. Let’s start off with a brief introduction.

My name is Henna Salim, and I am Canadian, a female and a lover of anime. I will be posting reviews on various animes. I will try my best, so look forward to it!

Note: I am Canadian, so the spelling of some words may be different. Example: colour, favourite, etc.

Takakura Himari has an illness, one that gives her just months to live with her older twin brothers, Kanba and Shouma. In order to create lasting memories with Himari, the siblings go on a trip to a penguin aquarium. Shouma decides to buy a penguin hat as a souvenir for Himari, but she disappears, and is found on the ground, dead. In the midst of the twins’ despair, she is miraculously revived by a spirit possessing the penguin hat. In exchange for extending Himari’s life, the spirit demands for an item: a Penguindrum. Unaware its significance, the twins desperately begin their search, while unraveling hidden secrets and broken pasts.

A heart-warming and thought-provoking story:
Mawaru Penguindrum starts off simple: find the Penguindrum or else your sister will die. However, the viewer quickly learns that is not the case. There are several elements that are crucial to developing and advancing the story. Fate is the first and it is constantly referred to. Does everything happen by fate? Is there even such a thing as fate? Some question its purpose while others embrace it wholeheartedly. Symbolism is the second important element in this anime. Every detail, picture, or object has a purpose. Nothing shown in the anime is unnecessary, which is a bonus for viewers, like myself, who hate meaningless scenes.

From there, the story unfolds rather slowly at first, focusing on character relationships, often using consistent and natural comedic relief that really draws you into the anime. This slow pace is essential, because once the true motives are discovered, the plot escalates towards a dark and violent end. Several plot twists occur, leaving you edge with questions and longing for answers. Hurdling towards the end, this anime drills one question into your mind: how far would you go for someone you love?

Unlike Angel Beats, which concluded with its sad scene, Mawaru Penguindrum’s perfect execution continues until the very end, leaving the viewer in tears and their hearts shattered. Though the painful ending is hard to accept, it completes the masterpiece that Mawaru Penguindrum is.  

Highlights of tonight's Suwabe radio show

Picture not entirely related
 to tonight's show.
I just randomly selected a pic
from my Suwabe folder.
Suwabe Junichi hosts a radio show on the first Wednesday of every month (at 10pm JPN). Tonight his guest was Satou Rina, who voices Ema, the main female in Brothers Conflict. 
Of course the topic of BroConf was brought up in their conversation, but only after Suwabe blabbered about whether they like bananas or not (and why).
The following is a list of nicknames that Suwabe gave the Asahina bro's + Juli:
Masaomi - Lolicon Doctor
Ukyo - Mama Lawyer
Kaname - Perverted Monk
Hikaru - Business(wo)man-crossdresser
Tsubaki - "Fantastic" Seiyuu (I guess 'fantastic' in the sense that he's self-centered?)
Azusa - Glasses-Seiyuu
Natsume - Gamer
Louis - Beautician
Subaru - Basketball
Iori - Murderer
Yuusuke - Delinquent
Fuuto - Idol
Wataru - Child
Juli - Rat

They then held their usual discussion of the guest's wikipedia page (at which point I started zoning out), including Satou's thoughts of having Suwabe-san as senpai, since they both belong to the same voice acting managing company; about her pets and hobbies; and then about cars.

The main theme/questionnaire for tonight was "What kind of siblings do you want the most?", where the audience mails in their answers. The results were:
1) Older sis - 21%
2) Older bro - 58%
3) Younger sis - 10%
4) Younger bro - 7%
5) None-only child is the best! - 4%
(I'm not surprised at the results, pretty sure most of the audience are females lol)

At this point in time, I'm pretty much close to dozing off, but I think I heard Suwabe say that Eguchi will be guest at his next Battle Spirits radio show, and that Hirakawa Daisuke (Ukyo) will be guest on his next Suwabe radio show. (I'll correct myself on this once the official guest list is announced)