Reviewed by: Jason Stillion
Review Date: February 6th, 2014
Updated Date: Dec 10th, 2016
Animation Studio: Brain’s Base
Director: Kunihiko Ikuhara
Japanese Release: 2011
Official Website: Sentai Filmworks
Version Reviewed: Sentai Filmworks Blu-ray Penguindrum Collection 1 & 2
Language Reviewed: Japanese w/ English Subtitles
Length: 24 episodes
Plot: Himari is terminally ill. After a collapse when visiting an aquarium, her brother’s Kanba and Shomam are approached by an entity controlling Himari. In exchange for finding the Penguindrum, she will save their sister.
Review: Penguindrum features an small ensemble cast and focus’s on different characters at different times in the story. The plot starts out light and comedic but becomes darker and far more complex as past events in the story are slowly revealed over time. The further along the series, the more the abstract, surreal, and metaphorically the plot become.
Comparison to Revolutionary Girl Utena: Kunihiko Ikuhara created both Utena and Penguindrum. There are several elements that appear in Penguindrum that also appeared in Utena. Plot elements, use of surreal scenes and heavy with metaphor’s in the plot. I wanted to comment in greater detail on the similarity, however, that would major spoilers in both Penguindrum and Utena. Penguindrum does maintain it’s own originality plot, and characters.
My Grade: 4 out of 5 = “Loved it”
Watch online @
Anime Network – Japanese w/ English Subtitles