Mawaru Penguindrum 15 – The Relevance of Yosuke Yamashita (?)

Oh Yamashita.*

Yamashita may be a cleverly integrated plot device but he has character. He’s probably not as cute as the penguins but his inclusion in Mawaru Penguindrum always intrigues me. Sure they could’ve included him just to screw with us but nevertheless, he speaks with this AkiraIshidaFuckIt’sNotAkiraIshida voice that seems from somewhere else. It’s like he’s residing in some other universe, a universe much different from Mawaru Penguindrum’s. I’m not quite sure what to make of it but every time he’s on screen you just have to wonder because he’s capable of moving things forward in a somewhat dramatic way and altering the course of things. Every character in this show has that potential but Yamashita is directly connected to Shouma and Shouma alone. I don’t think he’s interacted with anyone in this series, but Ringo seems to have him included in her delusions too.

I’m not really sure why I’ve started to talk about Yosuke Yamashita, he’s just a faceless side character. But then, if my life were turned into a movie or an anime most of the people around me would be turned into faceless side characters too. Maybe he’s just too normal to be given a face, maybe he’s Himari’s fated one. Whatever it is, I’m kind of a fan of this faceless dweeb.

While Penguindrum is frustrating (I almost wrote that as “Penguindrum is frustration.”), I don’t see it as a show that hides things for the sake of hiding it. There’s a significance to these things I believe and while Yamashita may be a red herring. I don’t think the mysterious guy we see in the OP is any of the Takakura twins. I just feel that there’s one more important character yet to be introduced.

And if there isn’t I’m gonna cut a bitch.

Random Observations:

• Yuri’s past seems like a fusion of two works and Ikuhara’s own. The two other works are Kafka on the Shore (Haruki Murakami) and Audition (Murakami Ryu). Kafka Tamura’s father is a famous sculptor who curses him while Asami is a ballet dancer who is sexually abused and was mutilated by her own father, because of this she couldn’t dance ballet anymore. It’s also notable that Asami is an aspiring actress. Both author’s were referenced by Ikuhara in episode 9 and coincidentally both authors share the same last name.

In film Audition, we see a sequence quite similar to Yuri’s and Ringo’s where Asami drugs Shigeharu after realizing that the man will never completely devote himself to her, for he has a son. Although it is simple platonic love between father and son Asami unable to come in terms with this. So she drugs Shigeharu and cuts off his feet. As she does this, she tells him that he’ll now experience what it truly means to need someone. Sound familiar?

Of course in Yuri’s case, it’s more believable if it’s about giving Ringo pleasure as opposed to pain. It’s not like this show is Mirai Nikki with mangling corpses etc.

• Here’s another speculation: I was somewhat right with the diary being the Penguindrum but can only be used by Momoka. I was wrong with nearly everything else but hey, being right about something feels kind of good. Anyway, hear me out here–The timeline, or rather– the fate we’re at in Penguindrum is where the terrorist bombings have occurred. These terrorist bombings were done by the Takakura parents. This is an alternate world in which the Sarin Gas Attacks never happened. If- and if– Kanba or Shouma succeed in returning it, or if Ringo somewhat learns how to use it. I think this show will somehow end with a character asking Momoka (or even Momoka herself) to alter their fate and replace the terrorist bombings into– you guessed it– the Sarin Gas Attacks. THIS IS THE BEST ENDING THAT IS FULL OF IRONY. MAKE IT HAPPEN.

• Finally, the new OP is quite disappointing. I expected more from the guys behind this show. There’s a few interesting additions but overall, quite underwhelming. I’m also wondering why Mario isn’t in the OP though. I suppose this means he isn’t quite a significant character as we thought? But I can’t seem to accept that because he clearly is possessed by some penguin spirit we have yet to see.

*Image Source: [1]

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14 Comments

  1. I didn’t really think about him (I basically went “lol plot device” and dismissed him), but now that you’ve brought this up I’ve been considering it more. He’s faceless, but he’s not like the masses of people in the show that have been reduced down to basic white subway symbols. He has a human form and a name, but doesn’t get a face like the main characters or even the idols. It could be that yet another wrench is going to be thrown into the works by revealing his true significance other than just a plot device. Or we’re being trolled again and we’re over-analyzing it. Either way.

    • Or we’re being trolled again and we’re over-analyzing it. Either way.

      I think the real fun in Penguindrum is the speculating part so it doesn’t really matter if we’re right or wrong, at least that’s what I think. Another thing that bothers me is that Yamashita and Tabuki share the same voice actor, just like Ringo and Momoka. It’s pretty curious and interesting.

  2. “Finally, the new OP is quite disappointing. I expected more from the guys behind this show.”

    Lies! It is great <3 The more I listen to it, the more I like it.

    Never thought about Yamashita before. I don't even remember him appearing before, haha. I even remember the two girls Ringo was with in the beginning of the show (one of them even re-appeared in ep 2 and maybe some other ep). You said they share the same VA… as I said over at Draggle's, it seems something happens to Momoka's fingers every time she uses the diary. Remember Tabuki's fingers? Maybe it's connected somehow… no idea how though.

    Sad about Mario, feels like the show is bad at focusing at some characters. The episodes about Ringo could've been put to a better use.

    • Lies! It is great <3 The more I listen to it, the more I like it.

      I agree that the song is great, but the animation…

    • Lies! It is great <3 The more I listen to it, the more I like it.

      Oh, I really like the song. But the visuals in this OP is pretty much recycled footage and the new one’s they added in aren’t exactly as good as the first. It also feels less cohesive to me. Oh well. Maybe I’m nitpicking.

      I like how this show keeps on delivering more questions hahaha. Yamashita was the guy who pointed out Ringo to Shouma in the first episode I think? And he was back in the second episode too. He stood out because we never get to see his face. I wonder what Tabuki has to do with the diary, I assume he tried using it? I’m not sure. This show is still a mystery.

      The episodes about Ringo could’ve been put to a better use.

      I have to agree. We only have nine episodes left and I have no idea what Mawaru Penguindrum wants to do with those.

  3. According to MAL, they Tabuki and Yamashita doesn’t share the same VA.
    Tabuki – Akira Ishida – http://myanimelist.net/people/17/Akira_Ishida
    Yamashita – Ryosuke Sakamaki – http://myanimelist.net/people/8941/Ryosuke_Sakamaki

    Neither do Ringo and Momoka, upon closer inspection (well, I was pretty sure I heard Yui when Momoka spoke anyway)
    Ringo – Marie Miyake – http://myanimelist.net/people/12588/Marie_Miyake
    Momoka – Aki Toyosaki – http://myanimelist.net/people/599/Aki_Toyosaki

  4. Aaah, my post wasn’t published. Anyway, I’ll cut to the chase: Yamashit and Tabuki doesn’t share the same VA, neither to Ringo and Momoka upon closer inspection (well, I heard a certain Yui in Momoka, heh).

    • Yamashit and Tabuki

      THIS BETTER NOT BE ON PURPOSE. Hahaha!

      Oh, my bad! They sounded so alike though! Especially Yamashita and Tabuki! :O

  5. I do wonder if Yamashita will become a key character or something, but who knows, Penguindrum will just flip our expectations and toss it somewhere else. We still have some characters who are more involved in the “fate” game who have yet to catch up to the others, like Mario and Tabuki. Also, I’m beginning to miss “Seizon Senryaku!”

    I really liked the OP this time around ^^
    I heard the song from the “nornir” single not too long ago and I was really hoping that they use it for the second OP, and alas, Destiny~

    • Yeah. At this point I wouldn’t really be surprised anymore this show just keeps on throwing crazy stuff at us.

      Also, I’m beginning to miss “Seizon Senryaku!”

      You as much as the scene just took up time, kind of like a throwaway in some episodes– it broke the atmosphere every once in a while.

      I did like the song but I’m not sold on the visuals itself, but the song especially the full version– is very good.

  6. I would click a like button for your post but I don’t see one anywhere. =P

    I love the little insights to the novels that I never knew about. Always a joy to read. =)

    “Finally, the new OP is quite disappointing. I expected more from the guys behind this show. There’s a few interesting additions but overall, quite underwhelming. I’m also wondering why Mario isn’t in the OP though. I suppose this means he isn’t quite a significant character as we thought? But I can’t seem to accept that because he clearly is possessed by some penguin spirit we have yet to see.”

    I am wondering if that really is the new OP. I mean, they did change the ED song for that one episode then changed it back and now there was no ED in this episode. =/ It could all be a big lie! A big lie I’m telling ya! =P I was pretty underwhelmed by the animation too, it was too similar to the first one and was missing the quirkiness that the first OP had.

    • Hahaha yeah. My blog is weird like that. I guess this is because it’s not hosted on wordpress.com?

      I love the little insights to the novels that I never knew about. Always a joy to read. =)

      Aww thanks! I was starting to think people didn’t really care about these things hahaha!

      I think the 2nd OP is a prime example of: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The song is beautiful though, I’m just not a fan of the visuals in this op. Rofl, yeah there wasn’t an ED for this episode huh? But when there isn’t an ED it just means that episode is supah speshul!

  7. You know, if Mario isn’t that important character (because you know, we still don’t really know what he does), then maybe you should cut someone. Actually no, don’t cut anyone. Too vicious. Maybe stab–

    Anyways, this could be around the time for a new character to make a debut–though personally, I’m satisfied with who’s here at the moment…

  8. I’m very late, and I’m positive you’ve all moved on and figured this all out by now, but Yamashita was never proven an important character. That being said… it has been revealed that he was in love with Shouma. http://penguindrum.livejournal.com/60627.html

    (Oh, the awesomeness.)

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