Daydreamer1's Mawaru Penguindrum Tv Review

Mawaru Penguindrum Mawaru Penguindrum Screenshot Himari's first Transformation Mawaru Penguindrum Screenshot The siblings together at breakfast Mawaru Penguindrum Screenshot Kanba in hospital, trying to retrieve kidnapped Shouma

Mawaru Penguindrum tv Review

Three siblings, twins Kanba and Shouma, and the in-and-out-of-the-hospital Himari who's in poor health, live together at the Takakura home. One simple day, while the siblings were out on a trip to the aquarium, Himari collapses and suddenly dies. When all hope seems lost, she's miraculously saved by a strange spirit. However, the extended life is limited and in order to fully resurrect their sister, the Takakura brothers must find the Penguindrum with the help of a trio of penguins.

Credit: Weskalia

Story & Characters

Now why won’t anyone want to experience the very SERIOUS TV series, in which the people are obsessed with CURRY so as to make cakes out of it? O.O and in which penguins are the spy-bots, chefs, bug exterminators, grannies, hentai and the centre of every job and yet not the very centre of attention? (No, I am not talking about certain penguins from a certain Hollywood movie) And the whole series is full of such scenes, that you can’t hold your chuckle for.

“And you still think that it is A SERIOUS TV series? You didn’t hit your head somewhere, did you?”

The truth is, it can happen (that someone don’t want to experience);

“Why is that?” You ask?

Because that is all the outer chocolate coat of a CARROT ice-cream (blakh! ...I really mean it). The real story can be very terrifying then what one initially comes to anticipate. Reading to all the above detail, you might think that this is more of a comedy and lively series. Rather than that, it is actually a very dark one and sometimes presents its criminal aspect.

The story starts with three siblings of the Katakura family (afterwards other characters join), who are not far from adulthood; the realistic and apparently just a playboy Kanba, the mother like loving and simple Shouma and the always ill and the only sister, Himari. The trio are living together after the disappearance of their parents in the small Katakura house. One may understand this poor family‘s circumstances who is barely surviving in the very cruel society. Even so, when they sit together to eat, they are the happiest family; all this changes with the sudden death of Himari (foretold by the doctors) while at a trip to aquarium with her brothers. When all hopes are lost, Himari is resurrected by the spirit of a cute, big, penguin hat (bought as a souvenir from there).Taking over Himari’s body; it orders the brothers to bring her the Penguindrum, if they want their sister to continue living. Without knowing what a Penguin drum is, they set to follow a young girl Ringo, for according to the spirit, she holds the penguindrum. They are granted with three funny penguins, which are afterwards named 1, 2 and 3, for their aid. But there is a catch to these penguins, they represent each member of the family and are only visible to the three. Throughout the series, these penguins had played important roles, but are certainly not the centre of attention.

“But hei, it doesn’t sound so bad; I mean the series sounds to have a pretty fine story, not a single hint of darkness or criminal or whatever you said?”

Quite true, but that is where the first session ends and the first impression of the story with it. The adventures start with cute little playing stalker, going through the torture of recalling the terrible past, which greatly affects their (brothers’) upcoming nature and can gravely challenge their family bonds. I must admit, such determined brothers, who are always looking keen to do anything to save their beloved sister (who after words is recalled to be not the blood sister), very touching. Especially Kamba, apparently he can even jump into hell for his sister (I used the word APPARENTLY). As a matter of fact, the brothers often recite the slogan: “Himari no thameni” (For the sake of Himari) for their motivation.

The story can be very jumpy, as it has a lot many twists (for its own good) and what’s more, it offers far too much VERIETY in these jumps than any super store can ever offer. There are magical dimensions, fate controlling diary, memory erasing balls, library as big as a leviathan’s stomach, human discarding machines, extremist stalkers, weirdest methods of winning a lover, medicine of fate, picture stories (in animation indeed), terrorist organizations and after all that, it can also be termed as slice of life.

After watching about 15 to 16 episodes, one might exclaim: “What the hell is going on???”

Yup; pretty mind blowing.

Jumping from a cute and usual house life; to the extremes, like blood thirsty shady organisations and death of many innocents. Sometimes one turns back to review the story from the start and came to know that the things he/she remembered are at a very far distance. Even so, the show is surprisingly successful in leaving you stick to it.

When it comes to characters, there are a very scarce number of them in this series. But I must say; the work has a very impressive detail assigned for each one. Each character is very well defined in terms of their past, their nature, their experiences, their thinking, their talking accents and even their getups. The show itself hops between the past and present more than quite often and while at it, it defines each character (sometimes individually). Though this can be very risky for losing one’s interest (as sometimes one may want to know ahead rather than the past), but it seems that the series is taking this risk willingly. All the main characters have a perfect reason of doing what they are up to, even if they are joining the lines of some shady organization at an age as low as 17 years and even if they are sacrificing themselves for the other.

“This makes this series very predictable” one may think. But if one thinks so, he/she is gravely mistaken. You can never judge the series’ complete story line by a few episodes. (10 to 16... wow I mean over half of the episodes from the word “few”…:)) Since from the start, it seems obsessed with its own mysteriousness and focuses on imposing it on its audience throughout. The good part is that its not annoying. One last thing, the end of the series, is terrific.

Rating: 8


First and a very unique thing that one would immediately come to note, is that the series’ art focuses only on the discrete main characters that have some influence on the story; i.e. most of the things of the world are black and white. You may often see crowded streets and public places in the environmental presentation which can make one feel very lonely…

“That’s just absurd, how can an audience feel lonely in a crowd? It seems okay for the character but… You sure you didn’t strike your head somewhere?”

Aham! Aham!

Because almost everyone, who is not a special character, is presented by the LIMBO character we see as signs on the public toilet doors or pedestrian traffic signals, i.e. you will see the crowd as many of these black and white, limbo characters floating here and there. That implies that if you see this the other way around, it means that in the whole series, if you came across any colourful character, there is a big probability that they have some influence on the story line or character defining.

The main character art, however, is very well worked upon. Each one is given a set of appearance that perfectly suites his/her character. The clothes, hair style and even accessories can give out a lot of idea about the nature and status of each one to the audience.

The drawing used is fine, and there is a lot of effort put on none living environment. Overall the show loves its shady and gothic aura. The sudden introduction of a magical dimension and then again, back in the real world (which is not always very differently presented, especially further down the series); one might get confused if he/she is in a real world or in a magical dimension, or may be in between. The lighting and colours used are fitting, yup, just fitting.

Rating: 6


Brilliant starting and ending songs, with quite cool presentation and style. The songs might not be very appealing in the start, but when you go through them, the fact will reveal that the songs, art and the presentation can be taken as a THREE PIECE SUIT. Each is made for the other and from the same linen. The three give out the same feelings and aura, and when they resonate, it gives out the true feelings of the series. The BGMs are also very…… fitting, not well but very fitting indeed, in terms of progress, presentation and mood. They would be the major cause of lowering the overall rating.

One thing that must be mentioned here is that there is one song (mini-song actually) which is a lot different from every theme in this series, the song which is used during the Himaris Transformation with the Penguin Hat (I love that part). It feels quite obvious that it is out of place, but it runs so abundantly (and since from the start of the series) that one might not notice it. The song itself is quite lively and energetic, which will urge you to dance on it and is very good indeed, but is very different from its mysterious and enigmatic buddies.

The voice acting, however, cannot be rated same as BGMs. If we see by the character descriptions, the voices and accents; used for each character are as well suited as none other can ever do. One can judge each character’s nature very easily by just looking at its detail and hearing him/her speaks. The voice actors seem to have tried their best too.

As for the abstract sounds, there are almost none. No bird ever chirped, no wind ever blown, no river ever flowed and no tree ever dropped its leaves.

“Is this bad?”

Absolutely not, I must say if they had brought in the abstract sounds, they could never bring it to go hand in hand with the presentation. The only abstract sound used is that of a train’s incoming and departure from a station.

Rating: 6


A very unique property of the presentation is that it instantly jumps from a very funny scene to a very serious one, from a certain act to an entirely different one, and astonishingly, without disturbing the tempo. One may think of skipping a scene or two, but is compelled to watch since an instant you are in the current life, the other you might be watching a flash back or a day dream. So if you are getting bored, one cannot guarantee that your boredom would continue the next instant, as there is a high chance for you to experience this maelstrom any time. The frequently changing story and odd events, just adds the probability to these frenzies 

Regardless, I am compelled to say, NO ORDINARY WORK. For those who are fan to the Gothic environment and are willing to compromise, this would be a brilliant one. But those who are energetic and bouncy might not give much head to it. So it depends a lot on the audiences' nature to judge it. As for me, i have already decided ;)

One more thing I must say separately; the series screams for being a very mysterious one and you won’t be able to get out of this feeling throughout the show. It seems that the series cherishes it too much. There can be observed some cases of extreme criminality, like bomb blasts, very extreme stalkers and rape-attempts (*gulp) but they are not very abundant.

At one side the presentation defines very less living environmental details, (actually only the main characters are detailed, which is also reasoned very hurriedly) and had made some events just pushed under the rug, on the other side, it offers very well defined and abundant flash backs and day dreams which not just clarify the story as we move ahead, but also gives the series’ progress, massive twists. A second we were talking about how happy a close family is, the other second we are talking about the ever ruthless terrorists, and to the surprise, without any misleading or confusions. One more thing that will come to an obvious note; a big part of the series is spent in trains.

Psychological, fantasy, comedy, slice of life, drama, shoujo, romance and some little suspense and action are the major aspects.

“Oh my, if this is all it got then what is left?”

Err… well… It is not a mecha... XD

Hope you had enjoyed this review, but far more you will enjoy, if you watch the series:


Shall we initiate the survival strategy?

Rating: 7

Final Verdict

7.00 (above average)

Reviewed by Daydreamer1, Apr 23, 2013


  1. CyanideBlizzard Retired Moderator Apr 30, 2013

    First off, congrats on your first review! It's always wonderful to see new individuals submitting. I also hope that this won't be your last review, so I'll do my best to not drive you away.

    Secondly, I really enjoyed your review style. It's quite different than any other current style, and I like that. It's fresh and unique, and keeps you rather interested while reading the review. My only suggestion would be to remove the smiley faces, but of course that's just a personal opinion.

    Another big thing is it's always difficult to tackle a series that already has a review, and even more so when it's done with a review that has the same score essentially as the other review. Generally, it's good to avoid that. However, I really like that you accepted the challenge and made it your own. You created a unique review, minus some grammatical errors here and there, that was a fairly enjoyable read and quite different from Snickers review. Getting a second opinion on something is always nice, and you really captured that.

    With some more refinement, I could see your style of review being rather popular to read. It's quite casual while still providing a professional amount of information. For your first time, this is quite impressive, Daydreamer!

  2. Daydreamer1 Apr 30, 2013

    Yes, its true, that i took it as a challenge. The series it self is not very simple. I like complicated things, so i thought that i will take my own way of writing this review, and lets see how well i do. Indeed i wont be judging it. That would be you guys, the one who are my seniors.

    I am really grateful to your advices. And will consider them in my next review.

    Thanks a lot for commenting. :)

  3. pandemonium91 Retired Moderator May 06, 2013

    I'll make a list so it's easier to follow :) Note that I haven't watched MP.

    1. I'm not quite sure I understand why you gave MP such low grades in Art and Sound when you don't really say anything bad about it. For example, you said the art is "very well worked upon" but gave it only a 6.

    2. Addressing the reader is OK in reviews as it gets their attention, but make sure not to do it too often or else your whole review will sound more like a gimmicky podcast than a thought-out presentation. Also, use Caps Lock sparingly; it's good for showing surprise, but gets old quick.

    3. Pay more attention to sentence structure, punctuation and grammar. Read you review out loud to see where commas should go (usually, when you want to take a small break).
    A small example: you wrote "One last thing, the end of the series, is terrific. ". It should be "One small thing: the end of the series is terrific". The colon (:) is used when you want to announce something (like in this case). Also, you don't separate the predicate from the subject unless you have a more complex structure, like so: "The end of the series, which I eagerly anticipated, is terrific."
    I can't explain it properly because I'm way behind on my grammar terms (especially in English), so I hope you understood even a little of this ^^"

    4. Trigger warnings (rape, suicide, drug abuse, violence etc.) are presented at the beginning, not the end. They're useless if they're placed at the end.

    Kudos for using "i.e." correctly, though :) Good luck on your future reviews!

  4. Daydreamer1 May 08, 2013


    1, The NON LIVING ART and MAIN CHAR ART only. The art is worked upon for only these. Much effort was SKIPPED during the job as it looks like it, but i didn't had any thing to prove it so i didn't add this to it. Besides, colour and lighting used are JUST fitting, and concentrate on the 5th word of the 4th para of the ART heading. It says HOWEVER. And 6 is above average..so i think it is above average, won't you agree?
    2, Good idea.. will work upon it thanks :)
    3, Well.. i don't know.. i did checked for grammar as in Word 2013, i used the British ascent to write and i think i need more details for this before i can start working on this weakness. I present the sentence as i speak in real.. i mean i first speak in real then i write it down.
    When i said "One last thing, the end of the series, is terrific. " Try reading it as spoken.
    The sentence altering and use of words, i will work upon those. And i think u explained it fine.. or did i not understood it correctly ? :)
    4, Hmm.. okay will keep my eyes on it in the future.

    And thanks a lot for the advices.. I really appreciate it. Will continue to more reviews after a couple of more critics' critics

  5. SnickerdoodleNinja Retired Moderator May 14, 2013

    Here are the judge comments from the contest!

    Judge 1:
    Thoroughness: the main characters are presented well and the reviewer doesn't provide too many important spoilers, which is good. There could have been many more details added that would help the reader understand the presentation better (for example, some of the BGM is presented as "out of place", yet there's no term for comparison - out of place compared to what?).

    Style: the grammar, sentence structure and spelling are mediocre, but ultimately the words get the reviewer's point across - even though the review is difficult to follow at times because of the order the words are placed in. Addressing the reader is a good technique, though, and acts as a "breather" between the different parts of the review, but it's done too often and loses its charm after the third time.

    Objectivity: too much "shouting" (words written in all caps); not everything needs to be emphasized like that. The style itself is extremely informal to begin with and some parts in particular veer too much into literary slapstick territory ("blakh! ...I really mean it"). Not many arguments are given for the "anti" side of the review - everything is "brilliant", "fitting" or "fine", which does make the perspective seem a bit too favorable (if not completely biased).

    Balance: unfortunately, the reviewer doesn't provide reasons for the lower rating he gives, while presenting the series in a good light (akin to a 10, and only giving an 8 at best). Also, some sections (characters) are much too detailed and somewhat repetitive.


    Judge 2
    Nicely done for a first review, though there is a bit of room for improvement. While the question/answering style was interesting, the smiley faces could have stood to have been toned down because they weaken the feeling of objectivity. This show can be quite a love it or hate it one, so I was impressed that you were as fair and balanced as you were. Grammar and punctuation errors were a bit too common; perhaps having another member proofread before submission would be helpful in the future. This review has all of the right pieces, but it could use more refining. Practice makes perfect, though! Nice job.


    Judge 3:
    I found the beginning part of the Story and Characters section really hard to follow and if I didn't have to continue for judging purposes, I would have stopped reading right there.

    Overall, I felt like the style was....jumpy and superfluous. The personality of the author is evident, but the review may have benefited from a more scholarly tone. (for lack of a better word) Additionally, there is a LOT of information presented and not all of it seems relevant to the review. Daydreamer did share both positive and negative points about the series, but overall I left the review a bit more confused than when I had first started off.

    Grammatically, the review would have benefited from a proofreader.


    If you would like to see the scores broken down even more, let me know and I will send them your way.

    Thanks so much for competing! Nice work, and I hope you'll continue to try your hand at reviews. If you are interested, feel free to join our MT Review Group: http://minitokyo-review.minitokyo.net/

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