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Penguindrum Collection 1 [Blu-ray]

25 customer reviews

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  • Penguindrum Collection 1 [Blu-ray]
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  • Revolutionary Girl Utena, Set 2: The Black Rose Saga L.E.
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Once you make a decision, does the universe conspire to make it happen? Is destiny a matter of chance, a matter of choice or the complex outcome of thousands of warring strands of fate? All twins Kanba and Shouma know is that when their terminally ill sister Himari collapses at the aquarium, her death is somehow temporarily reversed by the penguin hat that she had asked for. It's a provisional resurrection, however, and it comes at a price: to keep Himari alive they need to find the mysterious Penguin Drum. In order to do that, they must first find the links to a complex interlocking chain of riddles that has wrapped around their entire existence, and unravel the knots that tie them to mystifying diary and a baffling string of strangers and semi-acquaintances who all have their own secrets, agendas and "survival strategies." And in order for Himari to live, someone else's chosen destiny will have to change. From the creator of REVOLUTIONARY GIRL UTENA comes a story of love, fate, life, death … and Penguins: PENGUINDRUM - THE FIRST COLLECTION.

Orphaned brothers Shoma and Kanba Takakura, the heroes of the fantasy melodrama Penguindrum (2011), are utterly devoted to their younger sister, Himari. When she mysteriously collapses and dies during a visit to the aquarium, a souvenir penguin hat revives her by summoning a supernatural being who uses Himari's body as a vessel. The being orders the brothers to find the sacred Penguindrum if they want to save their sister. The search brings Shoma and Kanba into contact with Ringo, a fussy girl from their school who's stalking the homeroom teacher, Mr. Tabuki. Ringo believes she's the reincarnation of her older sister Momoka: if she reenacts everything in Momoka's diary--and conceives a child with Mr. Tabuki--she'll somehow fulfill her destiny. The plot is further complicated by the sinister Masako, who uses a laser slingshot to shoot balls that cause amnesia. The filmmakers often seem as lost in the tangled story as the viewer. At one point, an uncle announces he's going to sell the Takakura's house and separate the siblings. Kanba insists he'll get the money to keep them together, and someone on the subway hands him an envelope full of bills. But who? And why? The scenes of Ringo attempting to seduce a man twice her age--serving him drugged pastry and dressing up as his fiancée--simply don't play in America, where child molestation isn't considered entertaining. Director-cowriter Kunihiko Ikuhara was one of the principle creators of Revolutionary Girl Utena, and Penguindrum includes many similar elements: vaguely art nouveau framing devices on the screen, portentous dialogue about Fate, endless flashbacks and fantasy sequences, disturbing sexual elements, and an utter lack of coherent storytelling. Like Utena, Penguindrum will appeal primarily to high school girls, as it panders to the urge to inflate a gritty crush into a crisis of cosmic dimensions. Older and/or male viewers will dismiss the series as overwrought piffle. (Rated TV 14 D: violence, risqué humor, brief nudity, sexual situations, alcohol and tobacco use) --Charles Solomon

(1. The Bell of Fate Rings, 2. Risky Survival Strategy, 3. Then Devour Me Courageously, 4. Descension of a Princess, 5. That's Why I Do That, 6. You and I Are Connected by M, 7. Tamahomare Girl, 8. Even If Your Love Is a Lie… 9. The World of Ice, 10. Because I Love Him, 11. You Have Finally Realized It, 12. The Wheel That Spins Us 'Round)

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Andrew Love, Emily Neves
  • Directors: Steven Foster, Scott Gensch
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Blu-ray, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Section23 Films
  • DVD Release Date: December 31, 2012
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,213 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 54 people found the following review helpful By jerbearmy on October 20, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
Mawaru Penguindrum is a difficult anime to define... As another reviewer said it is art in the truest sense of the word. If you want mindless entertainment, look elsewhere. If you want something playing on the TV in the background while you are doing something else, look elsewhere. It is a series that requires and deserves your full attention. It is highly psychological and highly philosophical. If you don't care for analyzing literature or peering into the darkness of the human heart, then you probably won't enjoy Penguindrum.

That disclaimer out of the way, Mawaru Penguindrum is a philosophical masterpiece. The main topic is free-will vs destiny. There is also quite a bit of time spent on perception vs reality, and the meaning and nature of family. But to me the topic that distinguishes the series is the role of others in self-definition and self-worth... Namely, that an individual is defined by their contrast with others, and no individual can continue to value himself unless he is also loved by another.

Let me give two examples... The first is the animation of the background characters. Background characters such as random people walking on the street are depicted as white blob-figures--like what you would see on a public restroom door. At first I thought this was evidence of a low budget, but as I began to understand the series I realized that it emphasizes the main point. A person does not become truly human in the eye of the observer until the observer knows something about them. The background characters have no individuality, no motion, they are nothing but blank scenery. Since we know nothing about these characters, they cannot become truly human in our minds, and the series emphasizes this point by depicting them with no individuality.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Rita on February 27, 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I was so excited when I heard Mawaru Penguindrum was coming out in the US. It was something I had been waiting for. The series was one of my all time favorite anime series. Actually not just one of my all time favorites, it is my all time favorite. I was looking forward to seeing it on my big screen TV and eager to support it by buying it.

Now the reason for only 3 stars - I really wish another company besides Sentai had gotten this series. One that would have done a better job. I was watching the subs and they really weren't good. At first I thought maybe it's just because I watched the fansubbed version so many times that I was used to their wording, but no. It seems like Sentai was really careless with the subs. At one point Kanba says "we gotta got hold of Uncle." Gotta got? Didn't anyone check these things? There are more instances where I found myself wondering "how careless were the people who subbed this thing?"

Aside from the errors, there were some changes to the script. The most notable change was changing the series' catch phrase from "survival strategy" to "survival tactic" in the subs. Another example I can think of off the top of my head is when Kanba (in episode 1) said his speech at the end; instead of saying "Dear God, is he really human? Just wondering," he says "could God...really be human? Yeah right." Uh, what? I won't post the whole speech, but I will say that doesn't even make sense in the context of what he's talking about. The first line does - he's talking about if someone loved another person in spite of their DNA or fate, could that person cast those things aside and still be considered human? The second line has him asking a philosophical question about the nature of God out of left field.

It's just sloppy work all the way around. I'm torn now - on the one hand I really want to buy the DVDs and support a series that gave me so much joy. On the other hand, I don't want to support Sentai's shoddy work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kris on January 26, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Penguins, apples, little sisters, musicals, aquariums, terrorists, magical girl transformation scenes, teddy bears, frogs, destiny, a mysterious diary, numerous flashbacks, train rides, rabbit twins, talking eels and sea otters, amnesia bullets, stalkers, attempted rape, reincarnation, weird penguin hats, and numerous other random terms could be used to describe this show. This is an extremely random and weird show, but is definitely one of the few psychological and philosophical anime of the twenty first century, which is a positive thing.

The anime starts out with a loving family of brothers, Shōma Takakura (blue hair) and Kanba Takakura (red hair) and a cute little sister, Himari Takakura. They go to the aquarium, but then Himari collapses and is pronounced dead. She immediately comes back to life due to the strange penguin hat she was wearing. She claims that the two brothers must find something called the Penguindrum so she will remain alive. The three of them are assisted by three cute little penguins that only they can see. On their mission, the brothers meet a girl named Ringo Oginome, who exhibits some strange behavior like stalking their homeroom teacher and wanting her sister's desires to come to fruition by any means necessary.

The first half of the series is somewhat lighthearted and comical in appearance, but the second half is a lot darker and starts answering the viewer's many questions throughout the series. Trying to explain any more of the series is just ludicrous because of the many plot devices and strange occurrences in the show. To summarize, the show is about penguins and apples at its core. It is also the latest anime from Kunihiko Ikuhara, the director of Revolutionary Girl Utena, which is also a very good anime; maybe even better than this show.
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