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#1 | Back to Top12-23-2011 11:52:16 PM

OnlyInThisLight
KING OF ALL DUCKS
Registered: 01-15-2008
Posts: 4405

Why, specifically, Penguins?

Why penguins?  What symbolic purpose do they serve and what role do they play in the story?  Where did they come from, why was Masako's black, why did they leave with Kanba and Shouma and how do they as symbols relate to other animals featured in the show? Why the flippingflip was Mamoka's soul split into the form of penguin hats, and why did everyone refer to the fruit of fate as the Penguindrum?

Post your penguin analysis here!

Last edited by OnlyInThisLight (12-24-2011 12:57:49 AM)

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#2 | Back to Top12-24-2011 03:19:15 AM

YamPuff
Eternal Eschatologist
Registered: 02-13-2007
Posts: 897

Re: Why, specifically, Penguins?

I think the most compelling argument I've heard so far that has made the most sense is the idea of penguins as flightless birds. They're birds but because they were born as penguins their fate is to be flightless, etc. etc.

What I find interesting about the penguins is that during the first few episodes the penguins cause some trouble and the boys wonder about them and also use them for errands. Then afterwards only Himari seems conscious of the penguins' existence, at least her own penguin, even giving it a name. Then none of the three seem aware of their penguins. Also Masako has a name for her penguin and regularly notices her existence. Inconsistency or deep dark hidden meaning? school-sherlock

Last edited by YamPuff (12-24-2011 03:20:00 AM)


http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i232/YamPuff/im%20holllowz_zpsx9ddh2gp.png~original

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#3 | Back to Top12-24-2011 04:40:57 AM

Notebook Darling
Black Rosarian
From: The Netherlands
Registered: 12-21-2008
Posts: 372
Website

Re: Why, specifically, Penguins?

Jup. I think it's because penguins can't fly.

And didn't pingcorp go on that expidition to the atlantic ?

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#4 | Back to Top12-24-2011 09:22:09 AM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10327
Website

Re: Why, specifically, Penguins?

Because penguins can only live in a Frozen World?

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#5 | Back to Top12-24-2011 09:37:46 AM

Hiraku
Easter Elf #40
From: Singapore
Registered: 02-21-2007
Posts: 6337
Website

Re: Why, specifically, Penguins?

It is also possible that Penguins are used because they are also one of the known species who are endangered.

First time hearing the lines, "Survival Strategy" I immediately thought of the fact that penguins are endangered, and in a world that seems to be dictated by natural selection, those who are weak are meant to die off. Much like the useless children who are sent to the child broiler.

Last edited by Hiraku (12-24-2011 09:38:30 AM)

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#6 | Back to Top12-24-2011 04:20:29 PM

HonorableShadow
Cow Bellhop
From: Ohio
Registered: 11-03-2006
Posts: 458
Website

Re: Why, specifically, Penguins?

What I find interesting about the penguins is that during the first few episodes the penguins cause some trouble and the boys wonder about them and also use them for errands. Then afterwards only Himari seems conscious of the penguins' existence, at least her own penguin, even giving it a name. Then none of the three seem aware of their penguins. Also Masako has a name for her penguin and regularly notices her existence. Inconsistency or deep dark hidden meaning? school-sherlock

Though Kanba never directly addresses #1 except in the first episodes, I feel that he does acknowledge #1's existence. Kanba and #1 are probably the best penguin/human pair when it comes to teamwork. They both worked together to save the hat from the truck, and Kanba carried #1 home under his arm afterwards. During the pulley incident, #1 tossed himself at the pulley to stop it and Kanba grabbed hold of his wing to save him from falling. Even after Kanba got shot, he was still holding onto 1 while he was unconscious. 1 saves Kanba when he's in trouble, and Kanba for the most part takes care of 1 too (except when he's tossing him through windows and using him as a makeshift pillow!) The only person who really almost completely ignores his penguin is Shouma. #2 is also the most out of synch of all the penguins, he was usually doing something different from Shouma until the last few episodes.

A reason penguins might have been picked is because of one of their "survival strategies" that Masako brought up a few times. They all wait on the side of a cliff for one penguin to fall into the water below to see if there are predators in the water. Kanba was penguin 1, and he was the first one to fall into the dangerous water.

Maybe soon we'll get a sequel, Mawaru Monkeydrum. emot-tongue (If you look at the picture of Himari as an only child, they're standing in front of monkeys and not penguins.)

Last edited by HonorableShadow (12-24-2011 04:27:17 PM)


Rose tint my world...
Keep me safe from my trouble and pain.

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#7 | Back to Top12-25-2011 07:18:40 AM

dirufacade
Ballgoer
From: Baltimore & DC
Registered: 08-03-2011
Posts: 147
Website

Re: Why, specifically, Penguins?

Cynically, I want to say the main utility of the penguins might have been marketing. It's an easy enough mascot design to throw on merchandise that will very specifically point back to "the penguin show." It's also a great little trick for Ikuhara to disguise his darker themes with the initial episode of WACKY PENGUIN HIJINKS.

On the other end, I think penguins are symbolically very strongly attached to the "Frozen World" idea the show touches on a few times. There's a host of small symbols scenes pertaining to the never-clarified Antarctica voyage -- Himari's frozen world converation with Sanetoshi, the frequent photographs, and to some extent, I think Himari's scarves and sweaters point over in that direction.
What the Frozen World is, though... I'm not totally sure. I'm convinced either something's getting lost in translation or it's pointing to a reference I don't quite know, but I think that once that piece's deciphered,  exactly why it matters that the penguins are from that sort of place would be more clear.


~ diru

Don't talk shit. One does not hear about Abraxas by accident.

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#8 | Back to Top01-12-2012 06:33:31 PM

innermuse
Anthy Assailer
From: In my own little world
Registered: 11-16-2010
Posts: 77
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Re: Why, specifically, Penguins?

cause, lets pretend... you see a penguin on the side of the road. What would you do. Most people would stop...right

but what we don't know is that penguin has an ak47. Why, cause no one suspects the penguins...

in all seriousness, i agree with the whole frozen world thing.

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#9 | Back to Top01-22-2012 04:17:32 PM

Giovanna
Ends of the Forum
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8602
Website

Re: Why, specifically, Penguins?

YamPuff wrote:

I think the most compelling argument I've heard so far that has made the most sense is the idea of penguins as flightless birds. They're birds but because they were born as penguins their fate is to be flightless, etc.

This, plus that man, if you want to pick an animal and single them out as the most horribly and sadistically punished by fate, it's penguins.

Can't fly, life sucks, climb up ice cliff to huddle in piles of their own feces to protect themselves from cold so absolute that virtually no predators would bother to go after them on land. Then they have to like, eat, but only after getting past a fucking blockade of hungry seals. They're separated from their mates almost perpetually, though they're one of the few monogamous animals. Their babies will die within seconds if exposed to the air and their lives are constant miserable pain and suffering.

Being a penguin is horrible. emot-frown


Also, do thou wear thine suits and cuffs, be thee male or no, for such attire doth please my girl parts. - Gios 3:15
Chiefest of Calamities

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#10 | Back to Top01-27-2012 05:39:07 PM

SeizonSenryaku
Architectonitechnician
From: Italy
Registered: 11-17-2011
Posts: 64

Re: Why, specifically, Penguins?

Giovanna wrote:

YamPuff wrote:

I think the most compelling argument I've heard so far that has made the most sense is the idea of penguins as flightless birds. They're birds but because they were born as penguins their fate is to be flightless, etc.

This, plus that man, if you want to pick an animal and single them out as the most horribly and sadistically punished by fate, it's penguins.

Can't fly, life sucks, climb up ice cliff to huddle in piles of their own feces to protect themselves from cold so absolute that virtually no predators would bother to go after them on land. Then they have to like, eat, but only after getting past a fucking blockade of hungry seals. They're separated from their mates almost perpetually, though they're one of the few monogamous animals. Their babies will die within seconds if exposed to the air and their lives are constant miserable pain and suffering.

Being a penguin is horrible. emot-frown

Good point, but...you made me sad emot-frown emot-tongue

P.S. oh, now I'm a duellist, it was hilarious when I found the grade "Akyo's little helper" emot-biggrin
I'm looking forward to be promoted as "shadow play actor" emot-rofl

Last edited by SeizonSenryaku (01-27-2012 05:42:34 PM)

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#11 | Back to Top01-31-2012 10:20:49 AM

HonorableShadow
Cow Bellhop
From: Ohio
Registered: 11-03-2006
Posts: 458
Website

Re: Why, specifically, Penguins?

Cynically, I want to say the main utility of the penguins might have been marketing. It's an easy enough mascot design to throw on merchandise that will very specifically point back to "the penguin show."

...It worked. emot-gonk  I loved #1 so much that I couldn't resist buying a plushie version of him.

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lxye4hFBMR1r4mp8ko1_500.jpg

He's such a chubster. emot-rofl

For some reason, ever since he's showed up, I've been getting mysterious charges on my cable bill saying that I ordered adult movies. >_>

Last edited by HonorableShadow (01-31-2012 10:24:26 AM)


Rose tint my world...
Keep me safe from my trouble and pain.

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#12 | Back to Top01-31-2012 08:18:17 PM

BlackBeforeRed
Acknowledged Smart Person
From: The Nightosphere
Registered: 07-09-2010
Posts: 178

Re: Why, specifically, Penguins?

Well, forget my hydro bill, I'm gonna buy myself one of those awesome penguins (seriously, my life is at least 20% better now that I know those plushies exist etc-love )

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#13 | Back to Top02-06-2012 07:19:35 PM

Ayu Ohseki
Wakaba Wrangler
Registered: 12-13-2011
Posts: 12

Re: Why, specifically, Penguins?

There's also something I only learned just yesterday or the day before.

You guys all know the Kiga Group, right?

Chu... : Various meanings for the word "kiga." Note in particular the first and second-to-last/last.

Also, that plushie is adorable.

Last edited by Ayu Ohseki (02-06-2012 07:23:09 PM)


"My brother's partner would have to be ‬attractive in face and figure,‭ ‬good at all sports,‭ ‬excellent in her studies,‭ ‬quick-witted, pretty‬ and pure of heart... luxurious and gorgeous, smooth sailing, auspicious for all occasions, born of the Pure Land, a beauty fated to die young, scandalous max, and vexatiously mysterious, at the very least!" --Kiryuu Nanami

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#14 | Back to Top06-26-2012 11:53:32 PM

eri401
Wakaba Wrangler
Registered: 06-23-2012
Posts: 13

Re: Why, specifically, Penguins?

Sorry - huge bump.

Penguins are the mascot for the Tokyo metro.  Try googling "Suica penguin" for a glance. 

Since the show is so heavily involved in theories of connectivity and the metaphor of the train/subway, well, I thought they used the penguin and went from there. 

I know this isn't a particularly sexy analysis but, it is the most basic specific explanation.

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#15 | Back to Top06-27-2012 07:56:18 PM

Rose Rust
Juri Jeerer
Registered: 11-17-2008
Posts: 49
Website

Re: Why, specifically, Penguins?

innermuse wrote:

cause, lets pretend... you see a penguin on the side of the road. What would you do. Most people would stop...right

but what we don't know is that penguin has an ak47. Why, cause no one suspects the penguins...

in all seriousness, i agree with the whole frozen world thing.

No you're right, nobody suspects the penguins. Devious little bastards. >.>; We could go on to say that no one suspects the kids either. They're all victims at least until they start blowing shit up with a bowling app. Tee-Hee. etc-love


http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n231/jazzknh/thAnthyHimemiya.gif

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#16 | Back to Top11-19-2012 09:24:00 PM

meimichi
New Student
Registered: 11-19-2012
Posts: 2

Re: Why, specifically, Penguins?

The manual guidebook explains that like with Utena, the planning stage for the series was drastically different from the end product. At an early incarnation, the project was going to be set in a zoo(? I don't have the book on me right now so I can't check) and all the main characters were going to be the animals that lived there.

Ikuhara had Hoshino Lily do some designs of the animals for this concept. When Ikuhara showed the ideas around, nobody cared much for the concept, but Hoshino's designs of some penguins were a huge hit. Everyone he showed the designs to exclaimed over how cute the penguins were.

At that stage, he scrapped everything he'd been working on for the concept, but held onto the penguin designs. Then he called up the person who would become co-scriptwriter. He told her, "I don't know what this show is going to be about yet. All I know is that penguins are going to be in it."

So, there is really no deeper meaning to the penguins at all - they came first and the rest of the show was built around that early design sheet, because they were cute.

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#17 | Back to Top11-19-2012 11:10:53 PM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10327
Website

Re: Why, specifically, Penguins?

That sounds exactly like Ikuhara. emot-biggrin

Normally, this would be the part where I'd go "okay, but even if he had marketing motives for using penguins, there must be a reason for it in the show too," but I don't believe it in my heart.

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#18 | Back to Top11-28-2012 11:00:03 AM

Brett
New Student
Registered: 12-09-2009
Posts: 5

Re: Why, specifically, Penguins?

I'll have to agree with eri401.
The Suica Penguin is a Mascot you constantly come across in Tokyo's public transportation network. (though I think Suica is primarily JR, not Metro) Like the "95" that pops up again and again, the constant referrence to the subway (especially the "entering the 'other' world through the ticket gates"-part) is one huge refrrence to the '95 Aum Shinriky˘ Sarin gas terrorist attack. It's actually pretty explicit.
One of the main themes (we also find this one in utena-specifically the black rose-chapter) is how the following generation deals with the diffuse "karmic" baggage left for them to sort out.

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