Spinning Penguindrum #15 — Status Quo! Status Quo! Status Quo!

October 20th, 2011


God forbid anything actually happens.


Let me get this straight. Shouma was in the room next door to Ringo the entire time? Then walks in, slips on a bottle, knocks himself out and Yuri just suddenly stops caring and wanders off? And Masako was there too? In fact, I think there were more members of the cast AT the hot springs than not. I’m not sure why I expected any otherwise considering that every other cliffhanger in this show has been resolved by the overwhelming power of plot contrivance. This was made worse by being another flashback-dominated episode putting the actual plot on hold to make up new past motivations that have apparently been ignored for years but are now totally completely relevant. Yuri’s sculpture crap wasn’t even the stupidest flashback though. No, that reward goes to the one a few seconds into the episode where the flashback sign took longer to display than the flashback itself, which was made up of 100% recycled footage in case you had forgotten the entire first third of last week.

And then we get into Yuri’s flashback, about eeeeevil daddy who was an artist desiring perfection, and because there was something wrong with her, he abused her. But then there’s the glorious Lady Madonna, bringer of all that is  good in the world, destroyer of towers, who will totally not turn out to be an over-idealized figure that betrays the entire cast’s obsessions with her Momoka, who can see her true inner beauty and blah blah blah, "she said I was pretty, so I will now proceed to devote my entire life." And then the status quo was completely restored having done nothing but spew out a flashback of yet another character having daddy issues. Mix it up, why don’t you? How about a character with mother issues? Oh wait, that would ruin glorious Lady Madonna, bringer of all that is  good in the world, destroyer of towers, who will totally not turn out to be an over-idealized figure that betrays the entire cast’s obsessions with her deep and intricate symbolism of Momoka as mooooommy. It’s a Jesus allegory, it must be deep.

I think that’s the final straw. The bottom line is that I still don’t care a whit about a single character, the themes that interested me at the start have been completely abandoned for an endless string of flashbacks about how nobody’s dad loves them enough, and after resorting to convenient plot machination to restore the status quo again and again and again, I see absolutely no reason that the show won’t be continuing to rely on that right up to whatever the overly-pretentious finale about destiny will be. It’s the journey that matters, not the destination, and all this show has are its gimmicks. They’ve worn beyond thin and I do not feel like suffering through another two months of resets until the show finally runs out of episodes and can’t reset whatever its final cliffhanger will be.


Posted in Penguindrum | 18 Comments »

18 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • firecow says:

    what is wrong with this show anyway? Too bad you can’t stick around with this show any longer can you Aroduc? What was it that made you blog this show in the first place?

    • Aroduc says:

      To answer both questions, it was intriguing at the start, but the plot has gone nowhere and the central characters are not actively doing anything. Whenever something does happen, it gets immediately reset. Instead of moving forward, the show continues to backload and retcon in things at random instead of properly framing them as part of the story in progress, and relies on flashbacks to introduce new aspects of the story instead of explain existing ones. Look up anything on good writing relating to flashbacks and these are listed as the cardinal sins of using them because it wrecks the narrative completely.

  • Penguin-san says:

    please upload new op,thank you

  • Nan says:

    I never understood how the parental connection is such a big aspect of characters in anime. So you didn’t [know][feel love from] your [mother][father]. Is that worth a lifetime’s worth of fuckups and dramatic angst? Get over it and develop your own personality.

    Must be a cultural thing. I mean, I don’t think I’m *that* jaded.

    • South says:

      I agree anime tend to make it a really HARD thing for the character, say Clannad, but…I think what Yuri lived was pretty fucked up for her to be a normal person. Give her a rest…

  • JTFish says:

    What’s the matter aroduc? Too DEEP for you?!

  • Kaisos says:

    “It’s the journey that matters, not the destination”

    I have always disagreed with this sentiment. It justifies horrible endings.

    Also, retcons aren’t retcons if they don’t contradict established events. You’re not really familiar with the structure of mystery stories, are you, Aroduc?

    • Aroduc says:

      It’s obviously not an absolute, nothing is. But you cannot rely on some twist or gimmick at the very end that explain everything. Even mysteries aren’t structured like that. A story and its characters have to stand on their own, and whatever the ending is should ADD to them. That holds even for shows/movies that have twist endings. They weren’t bad or mediocre the entire way through and then suddenly became good in the final seconds.
      Also, making the claim that Yuri spent the last decade ignoring the diary (and/or Ringo), but now suddenly HAS to have it and has known it was magic the entire time is a pretty goddamned big retcon.

      • Kaisos says:

        I dunno, certain endings can justify previously dull scenes by casting them in new lights.

        I agree that this show isn’t really going anywhere though, but I’m not really watching it with that expectation.

  • takebou says:

    Well, might as well relegate this to blood-c status and make fun of it every week..or not and drop it.

  • ark noir says:

    so…….the…….penguindrum????what is it?

  • :) says:

    “Status quo” I doubt you know what this word means. Like seriously open a dictionnary.

    • Snorlax says:

      I gotta agree. You said it about last week in a case where it didn’t apply at all. I wasn’t going to complain, but hey since someone else brought it up:

      You claimed that the Shouma/Ringo scene where he told her to fuck off and leave him alone was resetting the status quo… But it didn’t. At all. He got rid of her. Their status quo was Ringo screams at him for bothering her and forces him to do crazy shit. He told her to go away after she finally opened up to him. This week he felt bad about what he said, and if Ringo still feels the same way she did last episode they’ll enter a new dynamic. Because she’s no longer trying to be Momoka she has no reason to be mean to him, or use him in a crazy scheme, or anything like that. Ringo is trying to be herself now, and her feelings for him are out in the open. Its not the status quo set up in the first half of the show.

      The fake diary however was most certainly resetting the status quo. It made the entire sequence with Natsume completely pointless. Was quite irritating to be quite honest as the scene itself was quite nice.

  • Hall says:

    I’m surprised you stuck with this turd for so long.

  • Justin says:

    Sounds like you’ve about had it with the unanswered questions…unfortunate, but understandable.

    • Aroduc says:

      Not really. I don’t care about the answers to those questions because I don’t care about the characters and since every single present-time development gets reset within 10 minutes of it happening and the past getting retconned almost every other episode, I see no reason to believe that the ‘big’ developments won’t be the same hamhanded nonsense.

  • cutemi2 says:

    no episode 16, too bad Tenka Seiha discontinued this.

    • Athos says:

      He probably would’ve been far too disoriented to even consider dropping the show.

      I think this was for the best.