Mawaru Penguindrum–Anime First Impressions

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Mawaru Penguindrum (“Turn Around Penguindrum”) was probably the most eagerly-anticipated anime of the summer season. At least it had the most mysterious marketing. As it turns out I am not sure what to think of it. There are some impressive animation sequences but it is truly weird.

Twin brothers Kanba and Shouma Takakura (Subaru Kimura and Ryohei Kimura) live with their beloved little sister Himari (Miho Arakawa). Unfortunately Himari is suffering from a Anime Disease and is not expected to live long.

Sure enough one day after visiting an aquarium, admiring the cute penguins and buying a penguin hat, Himari drops dead. The boys are devestated, but then Himari mysteriously revives, her disease apparently cured.

But there is a catch. Sweet little Himari is now possessed by an imperious penguin goddess who regularly takes over Himari’s body, shouts “Survival Strategy!” and starts giving orders to the boys. They have no choice to comply for she threatens that Himari will die if they refuse.

She orders them to obtain something called the “Penguin Drum.” She won’t say what it is or what it looks like, but apparently it is in the possession of a high school girl named Ringo Oginome (Marie Miyake). They will be assisted by the goddess’s cute and comical penguin minions, which are invisible to anyone but them.

Ringo seems like a nice normal girl, but nooooo… she’s actually a demented stalker pursuing a teacher (Akira Ishida) with whom she is obsessed.

This looks interesting but it’s the sort of thing could turn out to be really great or really lame, depending on whether they are going to give us a coherent fantasy story that ties this all together. Sometimes a show starts out with an intriguing premise but ends up giving us nothing but some random arbitrary crap. We will have to wait and see.