After being delayed for a bit, Good Smile Company’s Princess of the Crystal figure was finally released in June 2013. The Princess of the Crystal comes from the anime Mawaru Penguindrum, probably best known for leaving a lot of people scratching their heads. The figure is 1/8 scale, making it stand at about 19cm tall. It was sculpted by Iwanaga Sakurako and retails for 9800 yen.
A while back, I was compiling a list of the most powerful books in anime. I didn’t get very far because quite frankly, there aren’t many popular examples. Instead, I had another fun idea: who in the world would be most suited or likely to possess the most powerful books in anime? A few days later, a huge news story swept the Korean peninsula: Kim Jong-il dead from a heart attack. For one of the most popular (not in a good way) villans of our time to die of a simple heart attack sounded suspicious to me… like something out of Death Note, wouldn’t you say?
If you haven’t heard of a Death Note before, see the below image for a run-down of how it works:
Since the end of Mawaru Penguindrum, I’ve seen a lot of people say things along the lines of, “this anime sucked, there was no real story and no explanation whatsoever.” OK, comments may not have been that extreme, but you get the idea. I actually thought that the story was great, and no great story holds your hand through the end. With that said, it’s understandable that there would be some confusion with regards to Mawaru Penguindrum. To try to dispel some of that confusion, I have outlined some of my observations and conclusions here. It is by no means complete and I can’t guarantee it’s what the writer had intended, but it’s how I viewed the series and why I enjoyed it.
I have structured this post so that observations and explanations of small details are listed first. In the conclusion I explain how I viewed the series, and you can just skip to that part if you aren’t interested in the details.
Warning: Do not read further if you have not completed Mawaru Penguindrum (or Revolutionary Girl Utena). The topics that I cover below will spoil the entire series and assumes that you have seen every episode at least once.
Few anime are as weird or wonderful as Mawaru Penguindrum, just think of the number of series you’ve seen with rockets, teddy bears, a pink stairway, penguins, and a girl in a cool costume all packed into a minute and a half with moe-fied rock music playing in the background.
If that video didn’t give you an idea of what Penguindrum is about, here is the plot summary from MAL:
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 day, when the siblings are out on a trip to the aquarium, Himari collapses. The doctors state that nothing can be done for her anymore, but then, a miracle occurs…
The series was written and directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara (creator of Utena), produced by Brains Base, and consists of 24 episodes. Mawaru Penguindrum is one of the most complex anime that I have ever seen. It deals with various themes such as family, revenge, incest, yuri, and most importantly, fate and destiny. Coupled with extensive use of symbolism and metaphor, Penguindrum proves to be a highly abstruse anime for those not familiar with classical literature.
The cover for the December 2011 issue of Megami Magazine (volume 13) is one of the nicer looking ones with Sena and Yozora from Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai against a fall background. Considering the level of quality seen in some episodes of the anime, I’m glad that illustrations don’t suffer from the same problem.
For the most part, the posters in this volume were average and mainly contained series from this season with a few from the upcoming season. Any images not shown directly on this page, but are linked are ecchi and NSFW.