Penguindrum 11

Mawaru Penguindrum 11 pays attention to Ringo again, which didn’t make me very happy, but this time unexpected things happen, most of them weird, which is fine with me.

But first we get some answers from LAST week’s weirdness. First, that wasn’t Himari in the penguin hat last week; I should have looked closer. The fact that she’s called Mario should have told me so, but I was overthinking it. Himari must have a codename when she deals with Natsume, right? And the close-cropped hair? Okay, I’m an idiot. We don’t learn anything about Mario, except that Natsume is trying to keep her alive the same way Shouma and Kanba are trying to keep Himari alive. That’s why she needs the diary. How that mixes in with Natsume’s declaration that she is the hunter and Kanba the prey, with a penguins on a cliff metaphor, and why she erased those girls’ memories, is anyone’s guess. She’s after more than the diary of fate. I was mulling this over when she tosses off a line about the curse from sixteen years ago. I almost didn’t notice.

After that it’s back to, sigh, Ringo. The show had spent too much time with her stalking and my heart sank a little when I saw it was coming back to that. After a subway scene (I didn’t catch the message on the sign this week, something about a guy getting flattened by two girls) where she slaps Shouma around for worrying her silly, and Shouma saying he won’t help her stalk any more, we get her latest attempt. We’ve already seen one frog ritual, do we need another, amusing as it was (a sixteen year-old frog. Hmmm)? But the show tosses a curveball at us by having her magic potion actually work, turning Keiju into an ugly version of a lover that’s a reflection of Ringo’s own obsessions. That was surprising. So was Yuri’s sudden appearance and non-reaction to events. She seems used to it, like someone’s turning Keiju into one of those every other week, or she knows something about frogs.

Yuri’s suggestion that Ringo was in love with Shouma, though hinted at before, put what Ringo does in a new light. In her second beating of Shouma we see that Yuri was correct, and that Ringo is furious about it, because Shouma thus interferes with her master plan of becoming her sister. Then we get to the rest. I had forgotten that the Super-Frog story from two episodes ago was from an anthology about the Kobe earthquake, and it took some prodding from other bloggers to remind me that that was the same year as the sarin gas attack. Now I know what the “95” in the OP is all about. It makes me worry, considering all the time the characters spend in subways. What comes after that is exposition, or maybe revelation, that expands the story possibilities farther. People born on the same tragic day, cursed in some fashion. How many people born that day are reincarnations of those that died? How are they related? And why is Ringo’s diary the key to not only Ringo’s fate, but Natsume’s or Mario’s or am I mixing up the names? And how long until the next episode?

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