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.
• 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.
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