Ashita no Anime

Anime of Tomorrow

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Mawaru Penguindrum Ep 1

Himari does a Lady Gaga impressionInitial impression – unimpressed

Himari and her two brothers Kanba and Shouma haven’t drawn the best lot in life.  They live in a run-down, tiny house and Himari’s poor health has her constantly in and out of the hospital.  One day they decide to forget their troubles by visiting the aquarium where Shouma buys her a penguin hat.  Later that day Himari’s illness accelerates and her life ends before the eyes of her shocked brothers.  But just as they begin to plan the burial rites, Himari awakens in the morgue to the brothers’ jubilation.  However, there’s a catch.  Himari’s penguin hat has possessed her body and now demands compensation from the brothers for extending her life.

Mawaru Penguindrum has a glaring lack of tone control.  One minute the anime is dealing with the serious vicissitudes of free will and fate while Himari lies on her deathbed.  Then the next scene involves Himari marching down a flight of stairs dressed like Lady Gaga; possessed by said penguin hat, talking about finding “strategies for survival.”

I have little hope for the future of this anime producing anything entertaining after that glaringly inconsistent first episode.  I’m willing to give it a little generosity because there’s a few redeeming gimmicks.  The style is at least attempting to go somewhere with a plot, which is more than can be said for other wacky anime of this caliber.  But what may just keep my attention is finding out what is to become of Himari when the penguin hat has fulfilled its goal.

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