Mawaru Penguindrum is at its halfway point with the end of episode 12. The thing about series that last for 20-26 episodes is at its halfway points, that’s where the show starts messing up in a way. The moment wherein you have to say good-bye to an interesting and worthwhile show. Before Mawaru Penguindrum might enter this phase, let’s talk about how episode 12 was dramatic without being over the top.
Well, that didn’t necessarily happen to me for this episode, but I do understand why Himari was bored (or controlled-Himari at least). Episode 12 was an all out Himari-centered episode. There wasn’t a single moment that it strayed away from her. In my opinion, I found this shift interesting. The past episodes have been Shouma, Kanba, or Ringo centered that you’d think Himari was a wallflower. Wake up call to all of us with Himari’s spectacular episode 12.
Himari was alive at the start of episode 12, but in the end, she wasn’t. What can happen in the span of one episode? While in an alternate dimension, Shouma told Ringo why he & Kanba were to blame for her sister’s death. The day they were born (or from what was hinted, one of them) was the day their parents caused havoc all over Japan. I don’t know how their parents managed to do that, but all I can say is— that’s a lot of subway explosions.
Of course, after a tense conversation that will change the course of Ringo’s life, another tense (or life-changing) moment happens. Himari dies again. That’s taking the phrase double dead too literally. This is where the drama basically piles up in that episodes. Surprisingly, with all that drama that happened in the episode, I didn’t feel any heart wrenching or whatever you called it. You can say I was unfazed by the numerous breakdowns that happened in the episode. Now, I’m not saying that they did a horrible job at presenting the drama. I just happen to be an anime fan who isn’t fazed by dramatic parts quickly. Hey, I wasn’t even affected by the death of Nagisa in Clannad After Story (I was, however, affected though by Ushio’s death). The effort in presenting the emotion of the issue at hand was clearly seen. The studio attempted their best in portraying it, but it didn’t hit me properly. What it showed me was how far Kanba was willing to go for Himari.
And now that I’ve brought Kanba up, here goes my usual Mawaru Penguindrum narration of the inner workings of Takakura Kanba. Takakura Kanba isn’t my favorite character in the series, mind you. I’d much prefer ogling the penguins as opposed to Kanba’s playboy ways. What strikes me about this episode is how far he’s willing to go just to see Himari alive again. He was willing to go through the whole life-taking process again just so Himari would be alive— even if he meant removing most of his. His driving force is Himari and it’d be worth seeing what will happen when that force is gone— the force that got him to strive. It’d be a shame if he suddenly dulls out as a character with Himari’s absence. One character shouldn’t hinder the whole plot because in that case, the plot wasn’t designed well. Back to Kanba, he’s basically misled. While he understands the imminent action needed to make sure Himari survives, he neglects her in the process (actual both brothers do, Kanba just does it worse). Where does this neglect go? Himari doing things as she wishes and finally, her death— because she wasn’t monitored properly.
As for the relationship between Kanba and Himari, it’s all gray area to me even with the blatant incest. It’s blatant that Kanba loves his sister to death, so it’s basically incest— one-sided is the sad part. That’s why their relationship is a gray area. If ever Himari returns the feelings of love, it becomes full incest and basically out of the gray area. Another key factor that makes the whole relationship gray is why Kanba loves his sister. Is it actually love or is it the intense need to make sure she’s always smiling? Is it overly sisterly or is it actual sexual love? Kanba puts up this front that he doesn’t want Himari to die, which is quite understandable. It’s the lengths he’s willing to go through that makes a person wonder— is it more than sibling love? Kanba has been characterized as a playboy for the duration of the series with a soft spot for Himari. Is it possible that his playboy ways happen because he only thinks of Himari? I believe this is so. He’s not willing to settle for just one girl and is willing to break hearts in a snap because of Himari. Himari has priority over every girl or person in his heart. That’s how deep his love is— love is blind.
Finally, the scene in the picture above actually happened. Yes, that isn’t photoshopped and the moment it appeared on my screen, I took a quick dash to my door and locked it. Those darn scene aren’t meant to be seen by my parents.