My thought of episode 1 of Mawaru Penguindrum is not too dissmiliar to my thoughts after my first run-in with FLCL: very entertained, intrigued, very intrigued, rather. It’s got your Ikuhara-style sexuality (both visually and baked in the story) laced with hints of confusion. I think sexy-confusion is pretty sexy. It’s like a drug. And for that to work, it’s gotta haul butts on the technical; Penguindrum is quite the visually engrossed work. Arguably, it’s one of the best looking anime this year thus far. The sexuality piece is exactly how it plays in Utena. The fairy tale angle, too, except I don’t think that is being the focus this time. It’s too early to say too much about themes, although there’s a lot of food for thought already.
I’m also curious as to what others have to say about it. Below is a link list to other blogs that talked about the first episode. If I missed someone, it’s because I missed someone when I combed animenano’s feed. I’m sure plenty of people are talking about Penguindrum, so that’s going to happen.
And here they are, in no particular order:
- Bateszi – It’s good time to be a fan.
- Bokutachi – Elements to impress.
- Caraniel – Signature Ikuhara, colors.
- dere-moe – Pathos with ISO standards.
- Metanorn – they love everything. I think. Including incest.
- THAT – fear the Q-penguins? [See later comments about SHAFT-ism]
- Anime-Diet – LaMoe-san weights in Penguin facts…and Imouto fictions.
- Listless Ink – After reality tea time, Ali[ce] is the Queen, red pills.
- Clanrain – Blown mind, blown expectations.
- Daydream Sanctuary – Night on the Galatic railroads, again. Characterization check, theme threading, too fab.
- Chocolate Syrupy Waffles – PENGUINS moe moe moe moe utena.
- Hanner’s – Shafted, but will not judge by cover (unless it’s adorned by penguins)
- Nyan Nyan – Character development => Blu-ray wut
- GAR GAR – All on the Railroad stuff.
- Hatchimitsu – Points out the obvious, tries to judge by cover and fails.
- Kurogane – embeds the obvious, but takes a cautious approach.
- Seikjitsu – leave the aged sex pot out of this, fab.
- Cart Driver – more SHAFT, more Utena, more fab.
- Randomc – Hype MATCH!
- Emory Anime Club – Fab, questions, it’s all over the place.
- Shameful Otaku Secret – Recalibrating what to expect, brilliant promise, big gamble.
- JPHinano – Hinano thinks it is the most epic title, but maybe most epic show too? Better than wwww Yumekui Merry.
Note on SHAFT: I think it’s very good that people are picking up that piece. Some of the directorial tricks are indeed seen in recent SHAFT works, extensively, and people picked them up. I already have made an argument about SHAFT-isms and its timing. I think Penguindrum would, too, be even more awesome if it aired in, say, 2009. Just so it can get more mileage out of the tricks nobody was using (so much) back then. Out of this sample of 22 posts only one person talked in depth about the typography and the communication design aspect. I thought that whole thing was a big part component of its visual presentation, and it’s also a thing Shinbo x SHAFT employed extensively. It is not without purpose, but for us avid viewers, especially the newer types, it’s going to be what we’re used to. I mean, I thought it was kind of interesting how it keeps on showing us train stuff. I guess we gotta wait until a train otaku blogs Penguindrum.
On that note, the Galactic Railroad thing is pretty neat. Good to see it in detail already.