First Impressions: “Mawaru Penguindrum” (Sub)

Truth be told, I don’t know what to think anymore.

One of my high school friends (the same friend who introduced me to Ouran High School Host Club, incidentally) came over last Thursday. I don’t see him very often, so this was a nice opportunity to hang out and discuss our mutual love of anime.

We spent our time showing each other exactly one episode from shows to which we chose to expose each other out of genuine interest in the work or spite for our fellow. (^_−)☆

I showed him Yuri!!! On Ice. He showed me a mythical penguin including, death defying, high contrasted, well-animated, ??one-sided incest?? wielding oddity.

Yes, my friends, sometimes shows just don’t make sense.

This was one of those titles.


I refuse to look up a real plot synopsis for this show just as much as my friend refused to give me one, so I’ll just tell you what I’ve come to understand. Seriously, if you know the plot, please don’t correct me, because if I do continue to watch this I would like to remain just as baffled as I am right now.

Two brothers, Kanba and Shouma, live alone in a small apartment with their little sister, Himari. Himari, innocent as she is, has some sort of terminal condition that could take her life at any moment, and the brothers have no recourse but to accept her (and by extension, their) fate. They spoil her as much as they can, keeping an eye on her and trying to make her remaining time as happy as possible. Whether or not Himari understands the extent of her condition is unclear.

One day, Himari collapses at the aquarium. She dies upon arriving at the hospital, and her brothers are understandably devastated…

…until suddenly Himari is revived by a magical penguin hat.

So begins new strangeness in the lives of these three siblings, including the presence of three adorable blue penguins (who are quite intelligent and skilled at housework) that only the siblings can see.

Through information revealed in what I can only assume is some sort of psudo-acid trip fashion, the brothers discover that a scantily clad ??penguin goddess?? has taken control of Himari’s body and saved her life for a price.

What is that price? Our heroes will have to find out as we go.

Oh, I mean, right after the ??eldest?? brother decides to kiss his sleeping sister on the lips with no warning or reasoning behind the action.

That very long plot synopsis turned episode summary says it all. I am truly confounded! I was on board until the scantily-clad-penguin-goddess-naked-sister-pulls-out-brother’s-heart-brother-kisses-sister bit.


In other words, it was well drawn, tragic, and then included cute penguins, so I was game. Then the drugs kicked in, and I’m still fumbling in the dark over that one.

That is literally all I can tell you because it’s truly all I know!

Will I watch any more of this title? I mean, mayyybbeeee, but not any time soon, that’s for sure. My friend said that the bother-sister kiss basically fades into obscurity, but I don’t know if I can ignore the blatant freakishness of that incident and move on with my life enough to see the series to completion.

Have any of you seen Mawaru Penguindrum? What did you think? What does that even translate as?? No spoilers, please.

Later, peeps!


10 thoughts on “First Impressions: “Mawaru Penguindrum” (Sub)

      1. I like things like Fruits Basket, Black lagoon, Darker than Black, Hellsing, Say I Love You, Vampire Knight, Ouran High School Host Club. What do you enjoy?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. There are others i like too. And lots that i want to check out that i haven’t yet had the time to do


  1. This is my favorite anime. I hope you give it a watch, there is a lot to this one. If heavy symbolism and allusion to both fictional and real life events are a turn off then this might not be for you. If you were mildly interested, I encourage giving it a go at least 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Is it really? I was truly enjoying it until the end portion. I love symbolism and allusion, and the art was unique. It was silly, but also hard to witness them losing their sister. All in all, it was the end that threw me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s a bit hard to go into the show without spoiling it but I’ll do my best. Initially, I was hesitant on this show too. There is some content present in Penguin Drum that I don’t particularly care for that you picked up on already. That being said, by the end of the show, a lot of these “objections” were clarified and taken care to the point where I felt they were necessary and justified elements.

        It sounds to me like you would likely enjoy this one. Of course, I am a bit biased since this is my favorite anime, but if your only issue was the end bit of episode 1, then you should have no issues moving forward 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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