Thursday, December 29, 2011

[Ended] Mawaru Penguindrum: Beyond Imagination

Once a while, an anime series will appear out of nowhere and shocks everybody who watches it. It's actually quite a rarely occurring event, but this year, we are so fortunate that there are three such series: Madoka Magica, Steins;Gate, and lastly, Mawaru Penguindrum. Each of these would leave an impression in everybody that could forever change how people look at all animes in the future--they will become the new standards for all animes of similar type to try to match and beat.

Back to the anime itself, the core of the story revolves around the concept of "fate" and how everybody in the story tries to change it. It may sound like a simple idea, but the story writer manage to use it create an epic story filled with twists and turns that keeps the audiences guessing what's to come up till the very last minute of final resolution, literally.

At first, the story itself didn't really make much of an impression for me, but what did get me interested was the randomness and the whackiness of the series of events that no one could understand at the moment. Then, a small twist came out, then another one, and another one, and another one. Before I knew it, it has become a game of guessing what new twist is to come in the next episode. But I have to say that my success rate of that game was more or less zero.

In the past, even the most unpredictable series has a critical point that is usually 2 or 3 episodes away from the ending where all the fogs get blown away and everything becomes crystal clear. Then from that point on, it was just cruising towards the inevitable goal. In Penguindrum however, this critical point is about the half way through the final episode. Yes, it is that unpredictable.

Another thing about this series that I personally really like about is the fact even there are plenty chance to, the story itself never actually use the "miracle token" to try to save anybody. In fact, the story is so intricately written, there is no need for a miracle anywhere in the story to bail anything out of a plot hole. That, is some amazing story writing.

That brings up the topic of the series' ending. There has been many great series fell short in terms of ending the story properly. That is not the case here. The ending is so very fitting and drenched with strong emotions that I can say this is one of the best ending amongst all the animes I've ever seen. 

I can go on and on about what is so great about this series, but you still won't know the greatness of this series until you actually watch it. At this point, even though there still are unfinished series from October season, I already tell you Mawaru Penguindrum is the

2011 Anime of the Year

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 100 (Great twists and turns)
Comedy: 98 (Very very funny)
Action: 99 (Very well presented)
Art/Animation: 99 (Great effects)
Sound/Music: 100 (Amazing songs and BGMs)
Character: 100 (Intriguing)
Plot: 100 (Thoughts provoking)
Ending: 100 (Perfectly written)

Re-watch value: 90 (Still would be amazing)

Overall: 100 - Simply Amazing

Recommendation: There was a 4 years drought for an anime that earned my perfect score before Ano Hana finally did it in this spring. What I wasn't expecting, is that the next one came so quickly. If you only going to watch one anime from 2011, this is it. The anime of the year.

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