A Selfless Love: Mawaru Penguindrum 08

Mawaru Penguindrum‘s Ringo started off seeming like a ridiculous, over-the-top comic stalker (fabulous max!). Then she started to become a bit too creepy. In this episode, Ringo cements her place as a truly disturbed young woman, and proves her ironclad determination more than ever.

(I can’t post the screenshot I really want to without massive spoilers, so it’s after the break. You know the scene.)

Yeah...that one.

Ringo is determined to become pregnant by Tabuki-sensei. Ideally she wanted this to happen because he would fall in love with and marry her, but even Ringo has to admit at this point that Tabuki and Yuri are not going to be easily broken up. Drastic measures are in order. In a bizzare comedy we might expect all kinds of desperate antics, but Ringo? She drugs Tabuki, drags him to the bedroom, and attempts to rape him – while disguising herself as his fiancee, so that any confused memories don’t tip him off to what she has done. This is not longer a funny stalker character, ladies and gentlemen. It is time to start really worrying about Ringo.

Luckily for everyone involved, Shouma manages to stop her. What interests me (apart from the sheer desperation this who scene shows) is that Ringo isn’t doing all this for her own romantic delusions, nor even for her sister Momoka. She’s convinced that fulfilling Momoka’s dreams as recorded in the diary will keep her family together and happy as she remembers them before Momoka’s death. This is unlikely – her parents seem to have moved on. Her father is taking on the role of step-father to another woman’s child, and I didn’t notice any particular bitterness on Ringo’s mother’s part. Only Ringo herself seems mired in the past, living only to recapture it at the expense of her own happiness.

Ringo's father has forsaken the penguin and adopted the eel! Vicious interloper!

Selfless might be too strong; certainly Ringo’s main reason to keep the family together is because she wants it. Nonetheless Ringo is not a love-crazed stalker. It’s hard to tell is she even feels anything sincere for Tabuki, or if she’s just convincing herself she does to fill the role she has forseen for herself. She needs, I think we can agree, to move on and develop more of a sense of herself (as Ringo, not Momoka) – luckily for her, she has Shouma. As ineffectual a pushover as he has proven to be, Shouma Takakura is a kind, compassionate young man who just can’t stand to do wrong, or to let anyone wrong or harm themselves. He also seems to be the only person to really know or care about what Ringo is going through, and he just might be the support she needs.

Alternatively, she might regress to her undying devotion to ‘becoming Momoka’ and Project M, despite the considerable obstacles in her way. Just as Ringo seemed to be coming to a realisation, her diary was torn and half of it stolen; now we must wait and see what she chooses to focus on, the diary or the wounded Shouma. The two of them are suited to each other, really – both living their lives for other people.

There was mention of a theory at The Untold Story of Altair and Vega, that Masako (the woman with the slingshot) might be a reincarnation or secretly still living identity of Momoka herself. That would explain her apparent knowledge of the mysterious Project M and the events described in the diary. I also had a disturbing thought while writing this post: what if Project M does refer to a pregnancy, but not between Tabuki and anyone? What if the pregnancy in question was a… survival strategy?

And what does Kanba do, exactly, with the Penguin Queen when they’re alone?

I might be on the wrong track here, who knows? At any rate, Masako has a penguin, though whether it’s from the same source as the Takakura brothers’, or opposed to them, remains to be seen. There are a number of unanswered questions, regarding Masako, Kanba, the brothers’ parents, the group or corporation with the penguin logo…suffice to say, this show has my attention.

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2 Responses to A Selfless Love: Mawaru Penguindrum 08

  1. Catherine Meyers says:

    Hello Curuniel,

    I’ve been reading Psychopomp and I like your writing style and the great anime and J- culture articles you feature (I’ve yet to check this one out, will watch it). I’m also impressed by the quality your blog has, nice cool presentation. You have an fun world portrayed here.

    That is why I would love to add your blog in the blog directory that I admin. It’s a high web traffic, Page Rank 5 blog directory named Blogdire, http://www.blogdire.com, it’s visit count grows exponentially every day and has high quality gained by listing great blogs like yours, because it does not have advertisement nor pop-ups.

    Having your blog listed in Blogdire, will definitely improve it’s page rank in search engines, (like Google), and you will have many visits to leave nice comments and feedback, and of course, enjoy your blog and share your interests.

    In exchange of becoming part of the directory, all I ask is a simple link to my other site, I can assure you, the operation is extremely simple and there is no money involved.

    The idea is that you send me the title with a little description of your blog and I’ll add it to the category you choose at Blogdire, it will appear with a preview picture and new posts shown on the main page. On your side, I only ask for a link to http://www.Games21.com with a tiny button of your choice: http://www.games21.com/buttons/new/ or any of this text anchors: Online Games, Free Online Games, Games or Play Games, in your blogroll, links or at the bottom of your sidebar.

    Let me know if you are interested and what you think.

    Kind regards,


    • Curuniel says:

      Hi Cathy,
      Thanks! I appreciate the thought, and it’s always nice to hear back from someone for whatever reasons on this site 🙂

      I started up this blog because I had time on my hands, and I had been enjoying reading some of the other anime blogs out there with an academic bent and some fantastic discussions. Mostly, Psychopomp exists for my own amusement. While I do appreciate the offer, I think I will turn you down at this point, since if I want to promote my blog more it will be within the anime blogosphere (or the GW2 community) rather than in a broad directory like yours.

      So no thanks on this occasion, but thank you for the offer, and I will keep you in mind!

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