Kanba and Shouma's sick younger sister, Himari, suddenly dies while visiting an aquarium. Miraculously, a penguin hat souvenir she bought allows her to live a bit longer. When the hat is placed on her head, Himari becomes possessed, and demands compensation for the girl's life: find the Penguin Drum. Searching for the mysterious item, her brothers will do anything to keep her alive.
Penguindrum is just weird, and in a bad way. Watching the show, I couldn't help but feel that it's a convoluted mess. It's hard to get a grasp on the characters and odd story. The story is told in an abstract way, and the show dilly dallies around and doesn't really go anywhere for quite awhile. It often builds up to a situational climax, but never commits to following through, leaving the story at the same point it was before. The show is just too bizarre and I was bored with it. Horrible pacing means the show moves too slow, both as a whole and in its presentation with drawn out scenes that caused my mind to wander. It also has some sexuality that feels unnecessary, but then again I could say that about a lot of anime.
The animation is uninspired and sucks. Characters are often drawn without eyes or other facial features, and it is distracting how often this happens. I understand there are situations in anime where artists don't show the characters eyes and have their hair covering that area to convey emotions, but that's not what's happening here. I can only assume it's an issue of a constrained budget. There are also several repetitive scenes and recycled animation outside of the transformation sequence. Miscellaneous characters are represented as icons, which somewhat fits with the other odd aspects of the show, but the animation being as poor as it is I wonder if style is really the reason. On the positive side, the opening is great, I love the song, and would watch it every time. A few good endings themes, too.
To make things worse, I didn't care for the characters and their stories aren't very interesting. It spends a lot of time focusing on Ringo and her love obsession with her teacher, which drags on far too long in the first half of the show, so much so that it starts feeling like the show is more about Ringo than Himari and her brothers at one point. And everyone trying to get possession of Ringo's special diary is just not good storytelling. As for the penguins, they can be funny, but are often quite distracting. There are many scenes of penguins killing cockroaches, among other silly things, like eating raw fish, looking at perverted magazines, and sliding around the floor.
Penguins, apples, Survival Tactic, the number 95...what does it all mean? I don't care. The poor animation quality, lackluster characters with their uninteresting side stories, and the confusing storytelling did not work for me. Outside of the transformation and theme songs, there wasn't anything here that I found entertaining. Avoid this poorly designed mess.
Written by Marc Frost on
Some violence. Nothing super graphic but it does have some intense scenes.
Sexual themes and situations. Undetailed nudity. Implied oral sex.