Mawaru Penguindrum 05-06: Bound By M

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We already know how ‘passionate’ Ringo is for sticking to destiny, but a huge curve ball in the story gets thrown when a mysteriously armed female with a memory-erasing slingshot happens to mention her intent at initiating the same collaboration that Ringo is ultimately after: Project M. Just how similar or dissimilar both instances of the project are is still up in the air, but at least we now have what seems like a solid antagonist and his/her pawn to make things worse for our beloved Takakura siblings.


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Well, now we can focus away from the Takakura trio, Ringo, and the penguins for a bit and finally concentrate on some anomalies. The as-yet named ‘memory assassin’ that has been seen in several scenes now is apparently serving a greater purpose or entity that could very well be after the same ‘penguin drum’ tool as Shouma and Kanba are. For what deeper reason it could be should still be beyond us at this point, but there’s room for speculation:

1. Memory-assassin gal is actually part of a time traveling/fate changing organization that prevents those being led astray by the powers of the penguin drum from destroying the world. Personal probability of happening: 10%

2. Memory-assassin gal and her organization are just plain greedy and want the penguin drum for themselves, as well as to induce their own fate-changing scenarios into reality. Probability: 90% (you know, if you don’t think too deeply into things)

3. Memory-assassin gal is linked to the entity that controls Himari from the penguin hat and either wants the penguin drum for their own purposes, or are really just do-good kinds of folks out to save the world. Probability: 20%

Let’s not let my mentally drained judgment create anymore ludicrous speculation and just choose #2. It seems the most logical with the development of all of the character relationships so far in this show, and I’m sure memory-assassin girl’s penguin dons the classic black and white coat and sinister look for a reason.

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This scene from episode five really caught my eye. Something about the way Kunihiko Ikuhara directs this series just screams “well, would you look at that; Ringo’s penguin phone strap is covering her father’s face for very important reasons I’m not going to write into the script just yet!” The development of Ringo’s character as a teenage girl in a serious identity crisis stage in her life is actually turning out well. It makes me wonder what kind of personality she would have had if she didn’t inherit her sister’s notebook and subsequent obsession to change the world to fit her perception of destiny. Is it the powers of the penguin drum responsible for this, just like how Himari’s character does a complete 180 degrees whenever the penguin hat is worn, or is Ringo really just that obsessive by nature?

In any case, Ringo’s lunch meeting with her father seemed so unnatural that it was as if he’s not really her father. Of course, I might be reading too deeply into it, especially given how we now know that Ringo’s not actually the only daughter in the family.

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The brothers’ plight to save Himari returned these past two weeks as well, with Kanba the one to show the most effort in protecting Himari by retrieving her hat from a clueless truck driver at night in the middle of the pouring rain. And that money he laundered to keep the siblings together in the same household a little longer was pretty sketchy. I wouldn’t be surprised if the person that gave him the money was in direct correlation with the same group responsible for sending that memory-erasing assassin.

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Change is always good, so it was a warm welcome to not only see Ringo during the Himari-alter sequence, but to also see her almost completely dominate Himari-alter’s badmouthing and steal her precious penguin hat. Himari-alter seems to either be getting more impatient by the episode or is just showing signs of growing control of her powers and Himari’s consciousness. Who knows, maybe Himari-alter will be the ultimate antagonist near the series finale and none the wiser would have known until closer to the conclusion.

Next week: Someone’s looking to sacrifice something for the greater good of their situation. So does the ‘M’ in Project M just mean miracle? Hmm.

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