Summer 2011: Mawaru Penguin Drum

This is an interesting show. At the least, it’s quite beautiful. I will certainly keep watching it. I still don’t know what it’s all about, but at least I get the penguin bit now. It’s certainly good looking so far, with lots of bright, pretty colours and even some flowery iconography. Maybe that’s obligatory, I dunno.

I love how the place really looks lived-in

The viewer immediately notices that, in a way very similar to Utena, there are scenes in which all of the characters other than those in the main cast are drawn as simplified, anonymous figures, apparently close relations of the man on the men’s room door:

Not that I’m complaining, but I’d once like to see an anime in which the protagonist has a really ugly imouto who the viewer is supposed to love. That’d be a challenge for the viewer. I guess Kuragehime was a bit like that, though Tsukimi wasn’t anybody’s sister. Nonetheless she was supposed to be “ugly” or at least not “pretty” in a conventional way and still succeeded to be moe. Regardless, Himari is undeniably cute as a button:

There’s a little bit of a fairy tale vibe to the show. The three main characters are siblings, but the sister, who fulfills the Ill Girl trope, is a little bit princessy in that the doctors all said long ago that there’s nothing they can do for her and she has little time left to live, as so often seems to happen on TV. Every day is precious, or something like that, so the three value every day they have together. Anyway, that’s how they end up at the aquarium to see these fucking adorable penguins:

M-M-Moar cute penguins!

But oh noes! My favourite imouto dies!

I never saw this coming!

But it’s okay ‘cuz she has a special souvenir hat that revives her, albeit possessed by some spirit that says something or other about fate and the like. We’re warned that her life is prolonged only temporarily so we should be prepared to see this again:

So the cool part here is that once she’s revived using the power of this fate thing and the penguin hat, these penguins start helping out everywhere, finding the protagonist’s train pass, umbrella, killing roaches, sewing, and so forth.

So this is all pretty cool, so much so that I’d like some penguin helpers of my own, even if it means exceeding the 78 degree voluntary limit on air conditioning suggested by Mayor Bloomberg. The only problem is that only the three of them can see the penguins, despite how industrious and adorable they may be. What follows is a henshin scene for the ages. There’s no use taking screen captures of it (and besides, this page already probably takes 9001 minutes to load). There’s some great music in this scene too.

Is Himari being controlled by the hat? What is this about obtaining the Penguin Drum? Of course, the viewer is meant to be confused, but there is also the right amount of humour in here so that I’m genuinely eager to see the next episode. It’s also good that it’s nowhere near as experimental as it could have been. I love shows like Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei as much as the next guy and cannot really criticise it, but I can at least complain that it’s a lot of work to watch. The same is true for masterpieces like Ghost in the Shell; they require some effort on the part of the viewer to appreciate. While I’m not saying by any means that this was superficial, what I think I am saying is that it’s relatively easy to become immersed in the very first episode. It’s not so challenging in the beginning so as to be off-putting to viewers who aren’t interested in something that requires intent focus.

I suppose it’s required that I confirm that I didn’t miss this visual nod (or perhaps I’m imagining it):

No matter how many times you see it, pulling a sword out of somebody’s chest is really neat. I like this show and will continue to watch it. I will also continue to watch Yuru Yuri and Ikoku Meiro Croisee. I don’t know who’s cuter: Yune or Hinata

Summer 2011: Rou Kyuu Bu!

I’m sure glad this season is over. It was boring except for AnoHana. Rou Kyuu Bu is the first new show of the summer season. Of course, I didn’t expect I would follow it on a weekly basis, but since I have a week off from school and I need a break from watching nothing but sad shows like my current favourite, Oniisama e, I figured I should watch it. It’s a lot cuter than I expected which means I now know that I’ll at least watch the next episode when it comes out and I’ll decide then if I want to drop it or not. Here are the tropes I counted in merely the first episode:

Maid café


Unexpected tensai girl

Tall girl with a complex about her height

Shower oppai grope scene


Make no mistake; this is probably a terrible show. But the cuteness of it all is so overwhelming that it makes up for how agonizingly horrible the show really ought to be. My favourite character at the moment is Hinata, the little pink-haired one:

Cute bunny rabbits and cute lolis...

...a winning combination!

The protagonist of the show is your typical high school kid. He’s strongarmed into coaching the elementary school basketball club, which he agrees to do for three days only. Of course, he’s going to get attached to them and see things through to the end, I presume. I haven’t read the manga, of course, but it looks like a typical sports anime with the pleasant twist of featuring a team of adorable lolis. That’s the only redeeming quality of this show. Of course, you could argue that, if they’re cute enough, that’s all that’s needed to make an enjoyable show. I might agree with that argument. To be sure, I’ll have to watch more episodes for research purposes.

What’s obvious though is that the show would be unwatchable without the cuteness factor. Just look at the tough members of the boy’s basketball team who plant the seeds of conflict by threatening the protagonist, telling him to quit his coaching position:

If they were the team the protagonist was sent to coach we’d have no show. I suppose that’s not much of an observation though.

Of course, the show I’m most looking forward to of the next season is Mawaru Penguin Drum, which first airs on July 7th. Hopefully some good group decides to do English subtitles. Until then I don’t know what I’m gonna do. Catch up on Hanasaku Iroha I guess?