Imagine! — while waiting for Penguindrum 15

by dm00

I’m afraid this photomosaic (made up of images from episode 11) really only looks good if you squint:

Click for 25MB version that lets you see the individual frames.

This series is one of the most interesting things to come along in years, yet I find myself inarticulate, unable to say anything intelligent about it, and I value those who can find so many interesting things to say about it.

This series has sent me off to read Haruki Murakami’s Underground, interviews with the victims of the 1995 Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system (and I have queued Kenji Miyazawa’s Night on the Galactic Railway right behind it, since allusions to that book are prominent in the series, too. (I should add that Nozomi’s re-release of Revolutionary Girl Utena couldn’t have happened at a better time.)

It’s good to read Murakami as the episodes of Mawaru Penguindrum come out.

First, and foremost, are the dual roles of Fate in the events that day. Murakami’s interviewees are divided between those following their regular routine (“I always get on the third car of this train”) and those who were taking a different path to work through some odd circumstance (a meeting at another office, a missed bus, returning from a vacation or illness prompting them to take an earlier train than usual.

Pair with that the workings of chance on the part of the terrorists: one had planned to leave his fatal parcel in one car, but moved to another when he thought a schoolgirl had noticed his odd behavior and parcel. Another had skimped on the practice session, and ended up failing to puncture one of his parcels.

All in all, a mixed bag for Fate.

The show has given us different views of Fate, with a major “Fate” speech given by almost every major character (has Himari told us her view of Fate, yet?). I wonder what it’s final message will be, and will it reflect the views of any of its characters?

3 Responses to “Imagine! — while waiting for Penguindrum 15”


  1. 1 ajthefourth October 21, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    Awww…I’m so glad that it has sent yet another person to read “Underground” since it is a fascinating and amazing read. ^ ^ I also wonder if Murakami’s thoughts behind gathering these interviews (which are articulated between sections and at the beginning and end of the collection) are echoed by Ikuhara as a reason for making this anime. Either way, I’m glad for both works.

    • 2 dm00 October 22, 2011 at 12:38 pm

      I’m pretty sure that without this series I wouldn’t have picked up Underground — I’ve read a fair amount of Murakami, despite not being able to see what all the fuss is about. For me, his greatest value is in the works he inspires (e.g., the way Haibane Renmei emerged from Hard boiled wonderland and the end of the world (with maybe a little Wind up bird chronicle). But I am finding Underground well worth reading, so thanks for the inspiration!

  2. 3 Michell May 13, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate
    you writing this write-up and the rest of the site is extremely good.


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