Mawaru Penguindrum – Let’s Light the Eternal Night

Whenever a series ends, I ask myself: What did I get from this series? This is a question I ask regardless of a series’ literary or artistic value. It’s a  personal question and one that I find to be the most difficult and important question of all. After dedicating an estimated eight hours on the tumultuous Mawaru Penguindrum, the answer was (unexpectedly) clear.

Shouma, Himari and Kanba were children who chose to care for each other and love one another as family. This makeshift family is cursed, haunted by the sins of their parents and their own personal ghosts. The ending leads to Kanba and Shouma’s self sacrifice, allowing their loved ones (Himari and Ringo) to exist in new lives whether neither of the brothers existed.

Living in itself is a punishment, however only the truly brave venture to make the best of it. As the Scorpion burst into flames, he gave the night eternal light. As such, we as people must continue living, making the most of that sacrifice.

To speak as if I were a survivor might strike you as me being pretentious. I have not ‘survived’ anything, in fact, my dull existence is possibly an insult to all those who struggled and fought for their lives.

But everyday– people die, and we stay in order to make sense of what it is they’ve left.  Eerily, Bettenou’s words are apt : “Live.Fall.” Let’s live, be punished and maybe someday we too can burst into flames and eternally light the dark night.

As an anime viewer, I had plenty of issues regarding Mawaru Penguindrum’s execution and I never grew too fond of any of the characters or their emotional turmoil. However, these faults are debatable for any viewer or blogger.

That’s why I decided to approach Mawaru Penguindrum personally. It’s the only way I feel I can give it any justice, which in one way or another– it deserves. I’m certain this show gives out a different message for people who have seen it, and while it’s never been perfect, I think that’s great.

In closing, if you’re feeling Mawaru Penguindrum withdrawal I highly recommend Haruki Murakami’s works. It’d be amazing if Ikuhara adapted one of his novels.

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  1. If Kunihiko Ikuhara chose to adapt Kafka on the Shore I would probably die happy. Wind-Up Bird would be pretty cool too, but I haven’t read the entirety of that so I can’t say.

    My darkest wish would actually be for him to turn Sekien no Inganock into a twelve-episode series. But that’s probably even more unlikely than a Murakami adaptation, so I’m not holding my breath.

    (Just so you know, Inganock is a visual novel which is pretty much Perdido Street Station crossed with Ikuhara with a side helping of steampunk. So fairy tales and horrendous monstrosities and cryptic repeated words, and even an ending in which the main characters ascend to a higher plane of reality. It would be amazing!!!)

    • I think out of all of Murakami’s works, Kafka on the Shore is closest to Mawaru Penguindrum when it comes to the themes it’s chosen to cover. Souls, curses, libraries, alternate worlds, metaphysical manifestations of a concept…yes, I feel it would suit him perfectly. Although I do feel that Kafka on the Shore is far less whimsical, I think it’d suit Ikuhara’s style better than Wind-Up Bird. Anyway, good luck with finishing Wind-Up Bird! I find it to be one of Murakami’s best works.

      I don’t have a vast knowledge of Inganock but I decided to check it out a bit and it does look very interesting! I also think it’d suit SHAFT (erm, Shinbou’s) style a lot. It’d be nice to see more anime in a similar vein as Mawaru Penguindrum and Un-Go, challenging and experimental.

  2. It’d be amazing if Ikuhara adapted one of his novels.

    Yes! Wind-up Bird Chronicle anime adaptation please! The book is basically a harem, it is like it is made for anime! It would probably need 52 episodes though.

    • LOL Wind Up Bird Chronicle. If you think about it, it was kind of a harem. But more in a Steins;Gate kind of way. I hope the Japanese government funds it hahaha!

  3. Hi there!!

    Which one of Haruki Murakami’s novels would you recommend for a first time reader?


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