Mike is a sensitive soul that has seen too much. His story begins with him in the midst of The Vietnam War, when this poetry-loving individual sees the horrors of war first-hand. While he survives and gets discharged after injury, several friends don't make it. Shell-shocked, he tries to find his place in the world, becoming a drifter, participating in underground fighting rings, and acting generally numb to the world until he settles down in a nice, quiet town to take care of their library. There, he falls in love, contends with a love rival, and discovers that running away from his problems only results in them exploding in his face.
It's very poignant. Very serious. And every single character is a cute penguin.
Conceived as an Anime vehicle to promote popular 80's-era Suntory Beer, Mike The Penguin (later renamed Pentarou) this movie is one of the most jarring things to watch, as you see penguins that appear like they belong in a children's show with a script that is on par, in both content and tone, with The Deer Hunter. It also features the song "Sweet Memories," by Seiko Matsuda, one of the all-time most successful idol singers in Japan.
- The Anime of the Game: Of Antarctic Adventure. Suntory's beer commercials also fall under this as well.
- Bloodless Carnage
- Captain Ersatz: Inverted; Mike is and was later renamed Pentarou (Penta for short) of Penguin Adventure (sometimes, after you beat a stage, Pentarou will think about beer as a in joke to this and the commercials) and Parodius fame; At first the penguin did not have a name (as was the case with Antarctic Adventure) but he did get the Mike name for a short time before renaming him Pentarou; Suntory stop using him in their commercials not because of what happened later with the infamous Joe Camel, but because Suntory did not want to pay any more character's royalties to Konami.
- Everything's Better with Penguins
- Gratuitous English: All the penguin names. In particular, "TOOOOOMUUUUUU!"
- Mature Animal Story
- Mood Whiplash: The art style versus the subject. Also, when the random singalong with the penguin chicks happens.
- The Musical: Given the romantic interest was voiced by an Idol Singer, pretty much a given.
- Recycled INSPACE: The Deer Hunter with penguins. Also, Penguin First Blood.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Mike spends much of the movie like this.
- War Is Hell: Vietnam War is a horrifying ordeal that traumatized Mike. First, he had to see a group of escaping refugees gunned down by helicopter squadron. Then, Tom was killed by enemy gunfire as he attempts to save Mike when he was injured trying to stop the massacre. Finally, Al fell from the helicopter when it tried to dodge rockets fired upon from below.