September 17, 2011

Welcome to Rock ‘n Roll Fight.

Happy Pony Day!
Let me talk about Penguins.

I’ve been watching Mawaru Penguindrum, as I said yesterday. But now I’m caught up. (Up through Episode 10. I think that’s caught up.)
I am loving this show.

If there’s one thing I really like about it, though, I suppose it’s how grounded it feels. The show can border on extremely silly, and there are many completely surreal and unrealistic elements to the show, like the silly transformation sequence I showed last time, and this lady who seems to be assassinating people’s memories with some sort of slingshot with a laser sight. But it never feels unreal. All the characters feel like actual people who could exist, reacting to things appropriately, even when they’re a little crazy. It feels stupid to me that I feel the need to point this out every time I notice it in an anime, but it’s honestly just rare. Anime tends to use so many stock characters and stereotypes. It’s so very nice when a show doesn’t. It shows that anime with good writing is just damn good television.

The show has also just flat-out shocked me several times so far. Ringo’s character has just overwhelmed me with how far she is willing to go. To the point of me yelling “OH FUCK!” at the screen. I’m proud of the show for going there. I’m proud of the show for letting a character with some believable and understandable motivations also be so batshit insane and uncaring. I like her, despite of how horrible she is. I’m interesting what latest plot twist will mean to her character going forward.

One more thing I appreciate: the show seems to be leaving nothing on the table. When recent reveal about a background element of many episodes being important to Himari’s past came about, I was all like “Ooooh. Good job.” It really completely spun her character about: She can’t go ANYWHERE without being reminded of her life’s failures. All intense. Little elements or things that seem throwaway keep coming back in bigger and more important ways. It’s nice, because it makes the show feel very planned, which makes me confident that the narrative will continue and end as good as it’s going.

There is one thing I don’t like, though: the Penguins themselves. I just don’t find them working as comic relief, which the show seems to want to use them as, and they’re just kind of stupid. They don’t seem to be doing too much, plot-wise, now. Maybe that will change. Probably will. But for once, the random dose of cute doesn’t seem to be doing the show any favors at all. If I had to pick a weakness, that’s it.

Anyway, I am going to keep following this. Because it’s awesome. So I wrote some thoughts about it. The end.

[…] still really like Penguindrum. The new theme song is pretty […]

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