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YMMV: Mawaru-Penguindrum
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Plenty, specially in regards to the following characters:
    • Shouma: Normal Bishonen nice guy who is trying to save his possibly doomed sister and help another girl at the same time, or Cute Psycho Stepford Smiler? If it's the latter, why? Has he been that way since the beginning and just needs an excuse, or is it out of sheer force of trauma and guilt after the parents had to run away and the siblings were left on their own?
    • Kanba: Just how far will he go for Himari's sake? And is he in love either with Himari or with the Princess, specially after episode 12?
    • Himari: Is she truly that oblivious to what happens around her, or does she know more than she lets on (and may be in denial due to her grief)? Also, when she gets possessed by the Princess, how much of her conscience is left: does the "real Himari" fully retreat, or can she influence the Princess's thoughts and behavior (and/or viceversa)?
    • Tabuki: Is he really that much of a Cloud Cuckoo Lander? And it he's not, then just how much is he aware of, and what secrets he keeps in his own mind?
    • Yuri: A simple Bitch in Sheep's Clothing? Someone trying to deal with the craziness around her and not really finding a way to do it? A Broken Bird who desperately misses the one person who loved her? Does she have influence in what Tabuki says, thinks, etc.?
    • Masako: Like Kanba, how far will she go for Mario? And what did Kanba exactly do to her, anyway?
    • Sanetoshi: What are his true plans, and what risks will he be willing to take to meet his fated one again?
  • Base Breaker: Depending on where you go, you either think that Ringo is an adorable and funny Plucky Girl who knows what she wants and will do her best to get her "Destiny" fulfilled and deserves a lot of sympathy for her genuinely sad backstory, or that she's a stupid, delusional, psychotic, stalker who's also an attempted rapist who totally deserved to have Himari's possessor insulting her all over as well as being locked up in a ward.
  • Complete Monster: Yuri's father, as revealed in Episode 15. He carves her body with a chisel to make her "look beautiful" and be worthy of his love, while repeatedly telling her that she's ugly and he can't love ugly things. And this is not counting all of the hints that he sexually abused Yuri as well.
  • Ear Worm: Both the opening, "Nornir", and the ending, "Dear Future".
      • Every song by Triple H (the seiyuus for Himari, Hikari and Hibari) is this. Some, like "Gray Wednesday" and the aforementioned "ROCK OVER JAPAN", go straight into Crowning Music of Awesome.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Ever since his first appearance, Sanetoshi has had an enormous amount of fanart despite his relative lack of screentime. Doubles as Evil Is Cool, Evil Is Sexy and Draco in Leather Pants later on.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: Sanetoshi warns Kanba that he and Shouma will be erased from existence and leave not so much as a grain of dust behind. This is (mostly) true, but unlike Sanetoshi, the brothers look upon this as a good thing.
  • Freud Was Right: During the Seizon Senryaku sequence, something long and pink shoots from the base of the Princess of the Crystal's bear into Shouma and Kanba's.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The ED becomes a lot harder to watch after Episode 9 reveals that the Double H girls used to be Himari's friends and that the ED is a wistful reminder of something that can't happen for her.
    • Also, seeing the beautiful Yuri in a princess-like pose and garb in the first OP is harsher when you learn how her father wanted "to make her beautiful"...
    • When the Princess of the Crystal refers to Shouma and Kanba as "lowlifes that never will accomplish to anything", it's really freaking funny. When little Himari refers to herself as "someone who never accomplished to anything" as she's in the Child Broiler, it's really freaking sad.
    • Seeing Kanba blush when he's being complimented by his parents in episode 19 is cute, but when you find out he's actually talking to his parents rotting corpses and the living parents are just a delusion he constructed to not feel horrible about what he's doing it's just heartbreaking.
  • Hell Is That Noise: "Ribbit... ribbit..."
    • After episode 15, any chiseling sound may make you want to curl up in a ball and die. Poor, poor Yuri.
    • On the musical side of things, the eight-note theme that plays whenever things are about to get creepy is remarkably effective at getting a Pavlovian fear response out of viewers.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The whole Brother-Sister Incest between Himari and Kanba becomes totally hilarious by episode 21. Why? Because not only they turn out to be Not Blood Siblings (though Himari had amnesia in regards to that), but then we learn that Kanba's Clingy Jealous Girl Masako is Kanba's real sister (and his twin), and they knew it all the time. Meaning, the pairing that many people shunned due to incest, it wasn't incestuous in the end. And the "alternate" pairing that some people shipped to not fall into BSI? Surprise incest!
  • Internet Backdraft: Go to /a/. Hop into a MP thread. Mention the "Is Shouma a potential Cute and Psycho?" theory. Watch the thread dissolve in a Flame War between those who support it and those who don't.
    • When you bring up a certain scene in episode 14, be careful. If someone leans in favor of either Shouma or Ringo in there, a Flame War will likely erupt there.
    • Episode 18 (more specifically, how Kanba managed to not lose his arms and Tabuki saving Himari from falling to her death) shall not be mentioned on /a/ unless you DO want a flamewar.
    • Episode 19 may become a new point of contention, what with the somewhat always present animosity between Shouma fans and Kanba fans being take Up to Eleven.
  • Jerk Ass Woobie:
    • For some, episode 15 makes Yuri Tokikago this. She is crazy and all, but one cannot deny that her past was fucked up as Hell.
      • Also, Tabuki after episode 18.
  • Magnificent Bastard: As of episode 11, Masako Natsume is heading towards this.
    • Another candidate is Sanetoshi Watase. Specially after episode 13. And after episode 23, if you don't think he irrevocably crossed the MEH
    • For some, Kenzan Takakura may have had some inklings of this as well.
  • Memetic Badass: Kanba is already badass enough in-story, but his 4chan fans take his badassery even further. Because this guy will punch gods and goddesses and kick whatever/whoever is on his way FOR HIMARI'S SAKE!
  • Memetic Molester - Memetic Sex God: Sanetoshi flips flops between these two tropes. On one hand it's rather creepy to see him looming close to a 13-year-old girl like Himari in rather suspicious attitudes (and getting Kanba NTR'd); on the other the guy is simply gorgeous, very smooth and smart, and has a rather nice voice.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Mind Game Ship: Sanetoshi with anyone. Examples are Himari, the Princess of the Crystal and specially Kanba.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Sanetoshi had done plenty of shit before episode 23, but he seriously crossed the MEH not just by being the one who "killed" Momoka via transforming her in the two Penguin Hats when she tried to stop him, but by using Masako's "death" and his revival of her to push Kanba further into his plans, the setting up Ringo to be seriously injured and mocking her as she was burning to almost death. All to destroy the Destiny Diary.
    • Some people believe that the Face Heel Turned Kanba also crossed the line by becoming the KIGA leader and orchestrating the Teddydrum bombings and by participating in Sanetoshi's almost murder of Ringo to destroy the Diary.
  • Narm: Now with its own page!
  • Narm Charm: The fight between Masako and Yuri in Episode 15 is so ridiculously over-the-top (it involves Yuri swinging ping-pong paddles to swat Masako's slingshot balls, for crying out loud!) that it warps back to ridiculously awesome.
    • Also the buttloads of Engrish in episode 16.
    • The whole scene where Ringo remembers her parents eventually deciding to split up is reenacted via stuffed animals. It's ridiculous, but considering she was a young child at the time it actually works and conveys how traumatic it was for her.
      • By the same token, most of Ringo's Imagine Spots are so over the top ridiculous that you can't help but laugh, but they also managed to convey just how screwed up the girl is.
    • When Masako pulls her "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner in episode 22, we see Esmeralda next to her opening a paper fan. It would've made the whole scene hilarious in normal circumstances... but come on, Esmeralda is THAT loyal to her partner and to #1, and she's ready to die with Masako! How can that not be really touching?
  • Nightmare Fuel: Now with its own page!
  • Pacing Problems: While it did flesh out her character, as well as introduce other characters crucial to the story, one may wonder if it was really necessary to spend seven consecutive episodes on Ringo and her arc.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: As of EP 19, there has been serious ship wars between Kanba/Himari, Shouma/Ringo and Shouma/Himari.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Some complains have been raised in regards to the relative lack of development between Momoka and Tabuki's bond, specially when compared with how Yuri and Momoka got almost whole episode to explain their friendship while Momoka and Tabuki's own took less than 1/3 of another.
    • However, this seems for the moment justified — Tabuki says he doesn't understand Momoka's actions either, and he is an Unreliable Narrator as well.
  • Unfortunate Implications: The entire handling of Yuri's attempted rape of Ringo in episodes 14 and 15 is rife with these. For one thing, the narrative goes out of its way to encourage sympathy for the rapist, complete with an elaborate Freudian Excuse that's revealed immediately afterwards, while the underage victim is reduced to a sex object by way of excessive Male Gaze. For another, Yuri gets away with her crime while facing absolutely no repercussions for it... and considering who the director is, it's not completely farfetched to think that Yuri gets a free pass for her actions just because she's a lesbian.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: Shouma gets potshots (ranging from mere affectionate jokes to straight-up bashing) for not being as action-geared as Kanba. Even more so after episode 19.
  • The Woobie:
    • Ringo, once her Freudian Excuse is revealed. Even more so after episode 14, in which the closest to a best friend/love interest she has pushes her away due to his issues, and then she's practically kidnapped and nearly raped by Yuri.
    • And after episode 9, Himari. Then episodes 19 and 20 kick in and turns this Up to Eleven.
    • Let's face it, between this trope and Jerkass Woobie, almost everyone in this show could qualify.
  • Woolseyism: Discussed by the (fan) translator himself here. In particular, the "Lol wut? U mad?" line is a translation of some outdated slang that Sanetoshi uses. Since Sanetoshi is also quite a troll, it also makes sense for him to use it. Most prominent in the opening and closing songs:
    • The GG subs use "Everybody went nutso!" instead of the more literal "Everyone's gone crazy."
    • "Now remember the spectacular past" vs "Now remember the time when we shone."
    • "From the other side of the binary world line," vs "From the end boundary of a world made of 0's and 1's."
  • Yoko Oh No: Three girls who were dumped by Kanba (Asami, Yui and Chizuru) form a club named "Heart-Broken Victims of Takakura Kanba Assocation". As such, Yui and Chizuru corner Kanba at some point, asking him if he has a new girlfriend or a girl has taken their places in his heart. Then, local Action Girl Masako then shows up and wipes their memories away... just like she did to an hospitalized Asami right beforehand.
    • Averted in the case of the in-story famous Takarazuka actress Yuri Tokikago, who is dating Kanba and Shoma's teacher Keiju Tabuki and hasn't had problems coming from fans as far as the story shows. This doesn't change when they get engaged, Yuri announces that she will retire soon from acting and Tabuki moves into her Big Fancy House. The only one really objecting is Ringo... and well, this is Ringo we're talking about.

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