Episode 21 -
Wow, I have to say, at this point I think that Himari is one of the most well developed characters out of the entire series. Considering how she was practically a plot device in the beginning of this series, the drastic change in her character has produced a notable difference. She seems to be no longer taking a passive role, and will now actively intervene in the current state of affairs. And the current state of affairs is steadily growing more chaotic and grim, all while bits and pieces of info about the actual villain and main conflict are starting to come to light.
What makes this episode extremely important is that Himari, one of the central figures to this series, is finally capable of actually making a difference. Up until now she’s always been the victim, but for the first time she’s going to be important to the plot in a different way.; trying to save Kanba. The ironic thing here is that, in trying to save Kanba, Himari is also declaring that she believes she cannot defy fate. After all, by saving Kanba she herself will no longer be able to receive medication, and will die. Her acceptance of this does add a sense of melancholy to the situation between the siblings, where it feels like there can’t be a happy ending for these three siblings. As for Masako and Ringo, they’ve become excellent side characters, where they manage to add a bit more depth to the situations at hand (as well as press some rather important questions). Masako is obviously worried about Kanba, and I’d agree with her even more after seeing how Kanba was hallucinating his foster parents as being alive. Perhaps it’s Sanetoshi that has made Kanba this way, though I can’t say for sure.
Penguindrum’s pacing in the past few episodes have been astounding in some ways, where plot twist after plot twist makes the episodes feel rather short. Yet I also felt that these past few episodes had the main plot at a standstill, so seeing the story finally move forward in a dramatic manner is great. This series has also done rather well in creating sympathetic characters, which keeps everything rather engrossing.
In the end, Sanetoshi becoming the antagonist doesn’t really come as a surprise for me. However, his motivations are something I’m still extremely curious about. What was it that he was planning that warranted extreme intervention from Momoka? I can’t imagine what it was, but it must have been something tremendous if Momoka’s involvement was necessary. Not to mention, Sanetoshi has some sort of connection with Himari’s Alter ego (aka the Princess of the Crystal), and seems to think of Momoka as an enemy. How do the Princess, Himari, Momoka, the penguindrum, “the place from which fate originates”, and Sanetoshi all relate to each other? I get the feeling the answer to this question is the key in figuring out exactly what is going on.
Overall Enjoyment: 4.2/5
Screenshots are later in the post.