I always feel a bit like the fish swimming against the current when I criticize this series, but there were some worrying elements for me in episode 7 of Mawaru Penguin Drum. On balance I found it the most self-indulgent and least enjoyable episode so far.
Of course, Tabuki’s in a pretty bad place – caught between a yandere stalker with a daddy complex and what appears to be some kind of seductress control freak. I don’t like either Ringo or Yuri much, which makes an episode of them fighting over Tabuki rather a chore. We also had to suffer through the gag of Yuri’s bad singing again, although mercifully it wasn’t as drawn out as it was in episode 4. The new twist on all this is that Ringo has officially made Shouma her slave, holding out the prospect of her diary as the Penguin Drum to get him to perform increasingly degrading and bizarre acts. Really, that kind of humor seems beneath someone like Ikuhara at this stage of his career.
Of Kanba, we again see very little as he appears to be more a side character than the lead he appeared to be at first. He’s familiar with the grayscale penguin balls that were used to zap the memories of his two old girlfriends, a point made clear as he asks the trenchcoat-wearing gent on the Metro about it while he accepts a fat packet of money. That Kanba has sold himself to dark forces to try and keep his siblings in their home is clear, though to just whom and just how deep is still a matter of conjecture. With Tabuki now engaged to Yuri and Ringo’s potential surrender of the diary hanging by a thread, Penguin-hat Himari takes up Kanba’s suggestion that they need to get Tabuki into Ringo’s pants as quickly as possible, reasoning that once he’s tasted a 16 year-old, he won’t go back to icky old Yuri.
taking a bite out of all the sandwiches was a great sight gag) but smiles were few and far between for me.
On a side note – could that possibly have been Maya Suzukaze as “The Count”, Yuri’s co-star who later showed up at the party? It sure sounded like her.