Notes on Hunting the Penguindrum

I’ve always been fascinated by the amount of  (Hand Drawn MAD) videos out there, especially high quality ones like this or this. The effort put into these videos always impress me.

In the past few months I’ve been involved with a little side project: My own  (Hand Drawn MAD) of the first Mawaru Penguindrum OP  featuring Hunter x Hunter characters. What initially started out as a simple project consisting of crudely drawn, black and white frames on Photoshop soon spun out of control and evolved into something that required more time and effort to put together.

I took this side project as an opportunity to figure out how to use Toon Boom and brush up on my Adobe After Effects skills.

Compared to plenty of anime OPs, Mawaru Penguindrum’s is one of the easier ones to do a parody of. This is mainly thanks to its minimalism and clever use of simple transitions (something you have to commend the staff for) that’s why I chose to use it as my erm, ‘template’. Another reason is because, like most fandoms I think it’s important for some characters have similarities whether it’s in their physical features or character growth.

There’s no ‘profit’ to be gained from making a hand drawn MAD other than showing one’s dedication to one’s favorite anime/manga. The feeling of having accomplished something you’ve poured your time into is very rewarding in itself. There’s also the happiness you get from sharing it with other fans as well.

I can’t into symbolism.

The actual work itself has lead me to question my own sanity. I’ve taken a lot of shortcuts in order to minimize the workload but not necessarily the quality. Out of all the scenes I did, my favorites are probably the Princess of the Crystal / Alluka and Tabuki / Kuroro ones. These scenes didn’t require a lot of work, but I find that the end products were my personal favorites.

Now you may ask, has this experience influenced the way I criticize anime? Making parody videos and actual anime are vastly different but doing this has given me a better understanding of the animation staff’s efforts. That doesn’t– however, mean that good animation should trump storytelling. These things go hand in hand, as long as the visuals can aid to convey what the story aims to tell then I’d consider that a job well done.

Penguindrum fans, you must be wondering if I picked up on some SURPRISE symbolism in the OP.  Well, I’ve good news for you guys. I found none. I know right? I’m just as puzzled as you are.

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8 Comments

  1. I saw a preview for this on Twitter a few months ago, and wow–the final result is amazing. :D I can only imagine how many hours this took to make. My favorite part is at about the 7 second mark. The faces are a really nice touch, and a great nod to the original opening.

    • Yeah, I’ve been sharing my progress for a while on twitter…it took a long time but on the overall, it was a fulfilling experience. Oh you noticed the faces part! Thank you!

  2. Wow… that’s amazing.

  3. Heard about the vid from inushinde.
    This is awesome. Love the part at 0:21-23, spinning Alluka ^^

  4. That looks incredible! I cannot even imagine the effort involved in drawing all the frames. I think Illumi and Hisoka look especially cool. Man, I can’t wait for the Chimera ant arc and recent arc to be animated (if they do)…

    • Yeah, drawing all those frames was kind of insane on my part. Illumi and Hisoka’s scenes were more difficult than I expected…

      I really want the anime to catch up to the manga soon. It’ll be glorious!

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