Mawaru Penguindrum 01: First Impression

Another solid first episode for the Summer lineup, combining some of the more dramatic elements of slice-of-life shows with over-the-top visuals and a seemingly whacky story that certainly left me wondering just what purpose all of these penguins in the show are serving. At this point, one of those purposes is certainly to sustain Himari’s life for a bit longer (and eventually have her dress like a certain other galactic fairy).

Especially being hot off the heels of Anime Expo 2011 and all of the surrounding excitement regarding the official English dub release for Durarara!!, the animation style by Brains Base for this series should be a warm, if not rather unique, welcome to the Summer lineup. So far, I’ve only gotten through three or four of the new shows this season in greater detail, and Penguindrum’s strong color palette definitely wins. Perhaps it also helps that the interesting visual styles are a bit different from your usual anime, what with background extras being filled in as grey and white signpost-esque graphics, and this:

Caring penguins that only the three main characters can see? It was hilarious seeing Himari, Kanba, and Shouma getting help from them, especially with Shouma thinking he’s just getting trolled.

The first half of the show was definitely served well to show how much Shouma and Kanba care for their sickly sister Himari. Her collapse at the aquarium was hard to watch and left me wondering for a bit just how in the world the show would carry on without her. Then the show’s surrealism kicks in just a few minutes later after Himari is awakened at the hospital by the strange penguin hat they bought her, only to find out that she’s now being kept alive longer for a greater purpose unknown to us at this point. Where the show decides to go from here is left ambiguous enough to leave any easy predictions off the table. The only thing left to wonder aside from keeping up its visual impact is if a crazily entertaining show like this will continue to be just as good from hereon. I certainly hope so.

On a side note, I’m totally looking at Good Smile Company to design these as figures. If so, please take my money. Honestly, I think they would make great vinyl figures. Do I hear custom kits?

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