Spinning Penguindrum #01 — The Undead Rise

July 7th, 2011


And apparently nobody thinks much of it.


Hmm. This is going to be complicated. Let’s start with the bad. Stop zooming in on random backgrounds and reusing shots. It’s the first bloody episode. I get it, you can draw walls. Second, the brothers are… ugh. It’s like listening to a bipolar Eeyore. Even before the incest at the very end. Your sister just woke up from the dead speaking in a disembodied voice and… nothing? We’re all just going to take this in stride? Nobody cares that death just sort of… stopped? And third, they’re laying on certain themes far too thickly, particularly the nihilst stuff. I get that they’re going for a disconnect between reality and some kind of childish idealized fantasy, but lines like "her destiny was death" just make me roll my eyes and want to beat someone with a Psych101 textbook.

However, I do believe that there’s a lot going on here with both imagery and direction, and it is mostly very carefully constructed. Unlike God’s Dolls, the disconnects in tone are clearly done on purpose, particularly with the childish idealized artwork (backgrounds especially) and all the "I hate life, God, and destiny" stuff that keeps getting tossed out. I do think that it veers a little too far on the side of overblown imagery for the sake of having imagery rather than trying to exemplify some theme in the episode, particularly the transformation sequence/stripper show/heart-ripping scene complete with annoyingly loud insert song towards the end, but I suppose given its Utena heritage, that’s not terribly surprising either. Hopefully the show won’t abuse that sequence every episode like Utena did with its castle intro nonsense. And don’t for an instant think that I didn’t notice that Himari’s robot shot something out of its crotch area to link with crotch of her brothers’ one either.

So… I’m not really sure. It’s intriguing, which is something I don’t think often, and certainly more thought went into putting this together than most other shows, but I’m not sure what else to say beyond that yet. As far as this single episode goes, I think it’s more concerned with looking deep and meaningful than creating the characters and world that it’s going to need to make those themes have actual impact instead of being just intellectual masturbation. Hopefully that’s just a hook and it’ll build its characters better in the future. It did make it through the Thursday gauntlet of 7 shows in the upper echelon though, so I’ll give it another look or two over the next weeks when I haven’t been battered by two hours of other shows prior to it, but I really hope they ease off on the heavy handed philosophizing directly at the audience. Maybe replace it with more chest ripping… Mmmm… chest ripping…



Posted in Penguindrum | 17 Comments »

17 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • Anise_Punter says:

    So the genre is… what exactly? Ia there a target audience here?

  • Nanaya says:

    You been watching Melek’s AvP2 playthrough? Starting to remind me of it (“MMmm… foolish humans…“).

  • Chen says:

    Seems Shafty, only without the janky animation.

    • Arabesque says:

      Please, I like SHAFT, but this is nothing like them. They wish they were this good.

    • Jack says:

      Despite Aroduc’s shoegazing, SHAFT animators are extremely talented, albeit stuck in a design rut these days, and these clowns are no SHAFT. That said, this show is yet another that lacks a decent lighting director. No depth, no directionality…relying on nothing by color & washing … meh.

      Animators these days…you’d been fired for this twaddle back in my day.

  • Yue says:

    So, when the Brothers touch “hands” they really become emo psychics capable of powerful hallucinations??

    Then they will get whooped by an investigator who’s undergoing ice theraphy for his burn injuries and haunted by his past???

    Sounds good.

  • The Phantom says:

    It would be funny if the dead of their sister made both brothers snap, and this was a delusional world that they made where their sister lived.

    I still dont know what this was all about, I can say however that I liked it and will be following it.

  • Hinano says:

    Since the Utena director did this, all we need to complete this is dick cars

  • Aex says:

    The hell did I just watch? This requires another episode just to figure out wtf this show is even about.

  • Jelly says:

    I’m only here for the adorable penguins.

  • Anonymous says:


  • J0hn_G4lt says:

    Their sister looks like Tsubaki Yayoi from Blazblue when she puts that hat on.

    • GF202020 says:

      Next thing you know, Ragna Look-a-like #2 of the season will appear in this show, and be the big bad.