Episode 17 -
Wow, this episode almost felt… tame, at least in comparison to previous episodes. There was nothing particularly outrageously out there in this episode, but some very important stuff is obviously starting to unfold. There have been a ton of tensions brewing for the past several episodes, and this buildup was obviously going to explode sooner or later. But now it looks like we’re on the very cusp of those tensions exploding, with Himari unknowingly in a very dangerous situation. Of course, Masako and Yuri dueling it off with crossbows and machine guns already increases the stakes when you consider how they are the current holders of the diary.
One thing that’s rather interesting to note is how it has not been completely confirmed that the diary is actually the penguindrum. The diary has been noted as an extremely powerful tool that might be the penguindrum, but it’s never been explicitly mentioned that it is actually the penguindrum itself. The Princess of the Crystal’s refusal to acknowledge the diary as the Penguindrum does make the entire situation rather suspicious; the possibility that the Penguindrum is something more complex seems to very much exist.
When you try to look at the bigger picture, everything is still rather fragmented for the most part. One thing that becomes extremely obvious when you examine this fragmented bigger picture, though, is just how uncannily similar the situation is between Yuri, Tabuki, and Momoka, with Shouma, Kanba, and Himari. The situation where Yuri and Tabuki have already lost Momoka looks eerily like what would happen to Shouma, Kanba, and Himari if Himari actually died. I don’t know how this parallel is supposed to play into how the story here is trying to “set fate on the correct path”, but the inclusion of Masako and the pink-haired due complicates everything even more.
All of this makes me wonder just how significant all the symbolism in previous episodes are. There have been a ton of little stories (such as the three sheep story), subtle little details in the background, and lots of exposition and development about everybody’s connection to Momoka. The plot so far has been strongly hinting at everything intrinsically being interconnected in some shape or form, with this episode showing the convergence of all the factors that have been playing a role in this series. This buildup episode is definitely heading towards some sort of major conflict, with high levels of uncertainty to exactly what the results will be. Quite frankly, I’m excited. I’m expecting the next few episodes to be the start of the climax to this series.
Overall Enjoyment: 3.9/5
Screenshots are later in the post.