Mawaru Penguindrum, Episode 21: Sacrifice > Integrity

So, it finally happened.  Shouma and Kanba, with fate tearing apart the bonds of their brotherhood, come to physical blows, as their relationship breaks apart.  In the most exciting episode of the Mawaru Penguindrum so far, Kanba’s activities come to light, and the personalities and values of the brothers collide.

Kanba, Himari, and Shouma
Art by oh-no@準備中

Shouma is a character with a high degree of integrity.  For instance, he doesn’t like the sneaky things he does around Ringo in the early episodes – Shouma doesn’t feel it to be right.  This sense of integrity applies to bigger ideas as well, as the audience sees how much hatred he has for the ideas and actions of his parents.  So when he finds that Kanba is participating with the Kiba group, Shouma stands up to his stronger-willed (and just plain stronger) brother.  I kept getting the feeling that he didn’t want his family smudged with this black stain – that he not only was he trying to protect his brother, but Himari, too, out of a great love for her.

Which is not to say that Shouma is perfect – through Kanba, we see the sacrifice that one can give if he or she loves another.  Shouma does things that are uncomfortable to him, but throughout the course of the series, he never goes to dire lengths to save Himari.  Kanba, on the other hand, does, giving his body and soul for her.  His love is sacrificial – a deep love of action and not simply words.

Or it it?  What is Kanba sacrificing?  He is forced into the group’s activities in exchange for money, but Kanba never seems too bothered by it.  Kanba doesn’t seem to care much about anything, but Himari.  And ironically, that emphasizes his selfish desires – is he really sacrificing for Himari or is he doing what it takes to fulfill his wants?

As the show comes to a close, it isn’t Shouma’s integrity or Kanba’s sacrificing that demonstrates the greatest level of love in the episode.   It is Himari, the one constantly being protected, who daringly sacrifices everything to do what is right.  She combines the best of her brothers – denying her own feelings to let Shouma have his space, loving Kanba so much that she won’t let him continue to compromise his integrity, and possibly eventually sacrificing her own life to infiltrate the Kiba Organization.

Physically, Kanba’s sacrificial love defeats Shouma’s integrity.  But the wheels of motion are moving – and in the end, I think Himari’s love will triumph over all.

6 thoughts on “Mawaru Penguindrum, Episode 21: Sacrifice > Integrity

  1. Fascinating take. This, and Draggle’s view of Himari as the second coming of Momoka (what a loaded term!), makes watching PenguinDrum so much more interesting. I look forward to more posts from you exploring PenguinDrum.

    1. Thanks! Mawaru Penguindrum is so full of great opportunities for analysis and predictions – I’m glad for sites like Draggle’s, though, which do a lot of the thinking for me. -_-‘

  2. Love your analysis. I don’t think Kanba hasn’t been much bothered by working for Kiga though. It put so much stress on him to the point that he has to be delusional; seeing ghosts of his adoptive parents and lying to himself that what he is doing is right. Otherwise, he might not be able to continue what he’s doing to save Himari.

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