Mawaru Penguin Drum

Alt titles: Penguindrum

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Revolutionary Girl Utena

Revolutionary Girl Utena

When Utena Tenjou was very little her parents died, and a prince comforted her in her time of loss, giving her a ring with a rose seal. He so impressed her that she decided to become a prince herself one day. Now, Utena is a teenager at Ohtori Academy who's athletic and notorious for dressing in a boy's uniform. When a member of the Student Council humiliates a friend of hers Utena challenges him to a duel, and he accepts only when he sees she possesses a rose seal ring. She soon discovers that this is no normal duel - it's a bizarre and ritualistic battle that the Student Council regularly conducts. In fact when she wins, Utena finds to her considerable chagrin that she gets to have Anthy Himemiya, a rather docile student, as her 'Rose Bride'. If she wants to keep Anthy she'll have to win more duels against members of the Student Council and others. What is the ultimate purpose of these duels and Anthy's role as the Rose Bride?

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Reasons you might like Revolutionary Girl Utena...

Rariru Rariru says...

Both of these animes portray the concept of 'Destiny' in a similar way and manner and in both of them the protagonists are fated to battle or compete with each other "for the bigger picture" in order to achieve a certain goal benefitial for their personal interests.The battlefield is set/the conflicts are caused by a mysterious figure with dubious motives whose true objective isn't clear until the very end.Plotwise they are almost identical.Another common trait they share is the dynamic and symbolic randomness which is used to give depth and impact to the psychological element prevalent in the story.Kunihiko Ikuhara directed both.

KapiTezuka KapiTezuka says...

Aside from being directed by the same person, the concept of fate, its supposed inevitability and the ones who stand up against it and fight to change it, has a similar feel in it. Also it has a similar nice touch of absurdity one might remember from Utena.

AirCommodore AirCommodore says...

Both of these series concern the concept of fate, play with shoujo tropes, have excellent characters/characterization, treat very serious subjects with an impressive amount of nuance and tact, and can go from goofy to dead serious at the drop of a hat.

MaraRuizu MaraRuizu says...

Some series makes you think, they have plots that take cues from deep philosophical discussions. Some series take the philosophy and symbolisms one step further, forcing you to spend time thinking about what any of it actually meant. Mawaru Penguindrum and Revolutionary Girl Utena fits both of these categories. The nature of fate is mixed with vague backstories and large helpings of animations that obviously symbolise something. Both have interesting characters and lovely settings, if you like one of them you'll surely enjoy the other.

snivets snivets says...

I think the plot/themes of both these shows get lost in excessive and obtuse symbolism, but both explore the workings of destiny and the power of humans to overcome their own fate.

softbank47 softbank47 says...

Both feature the same director, and Penguindrum is clearly influenced by its forerunner Utena. They are full of symbolism, obtuse imagery, motifs, and strong female characters. Both also have a penchant for recycling the same transformation sequence for many, many episodes.

VivisQueen VivisQueen says...

Mawaru Penguindrum and Revolutionary Girl Utena share the same director, which explains the similarities: repeat transformation sequences, unconventional romance, absolutely beautiful character designs, pastel colours, a highly abstract world concept, and lots of confusion about What It All Means. If you enjoyed wrapping your brain around either of these beautifully crafted surrealist shows, then the other will offer plenty more delight.

TheHabbadasher TheHabbadasher says...

Utena and Penguindrum were both directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara in what appears to be his trademark style. There're similarities aplenty both as far as plot and visuals are concerned.Both shows have a theatrical feeling to them. Their stories are told through visual metaphors. The viewer is left to derive their own meaning from the images shown on-screen. If you enjoy one you'll definitely like the other.

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica

One night, Madoka has a terrible nightmare – against the backdrop of a desolate landscape, she watches a magical girl battle a terrifying creature, and lose. The next day, the teen's dream becomes reality when the girl – Homura – arrives at Mitakihara Middle School as a transfer student, mysteriously warning Madoka to stay just the way she is. But when she and her best friend Miki are pulled into a twisted illusion world and meet a magical creature named Kyubey, the pair discovers that magical girls are real, and what's more, they can choose to become one. All they must do is sign a contract with Kyubey and agree to fight witches that spread despair to the human world, and in return they will be granted a single wish. However, as Homura's omen suggests, there's far more to becoming a magical girl than Madoka and Miki realize...

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5 votes

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Reasons you might like Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica...

StudioGirlKoi StudioGirlKoi says...

Madoka Magica and Mawaru Penguin Drum have this dark, shrouded atmosphere that makes their worlds seem hopeless, unpredictable, and better off just letting the ''fate'' of their worlds take over. These shows have the power of taking people who seem so ordanairy and making their lifes a living hell, constantly fighting for what they want, even when they know that it may not come to light. The fate of the characters seems just about impossible to change...

The fantasy aspect, which usually makes a lot of shows more bright and loving, can make the worst darkness come out. The characters are out there for their own needs and won't stop to get what they want. While their causes seem reasonable, the boundaries that are pushed can be overwhelming, trying to change the outcomes of the people they care about. Also, the animation styles are both unique and bright.

Casandra Casandra says...

Both shows have a similar theme: fate and what you would give up for the power to change it. They also both have interesting visual styles that set them appart from other series. 

Sasukefanx12 Sasukefanx12 says...

Both these anime are pretty similar in the way that they both deal with the philosophy of fate and magical things happening to change it. They're also both completely not what you would expect. Madoka Magica is about magical girls in frilly outfits with a cute little animal thing, Mawaru Penguindrum involves a anthro-ish penguin hat, a cute little sickly sister who loves her big brothers, and adorable quirky penguins. How is that similar at all? Because they both seem really lighthearted and happy and deal with normally cutesy premises, but are actually shockingly dark, however Mawaru Penguindrum has more comic relief and is A LOT weirder than Madoka Magica.

shikikywketsuki shikikywketsuki says...

Both these animes have the same concept of "fate" and this never ending loop of dispair in which it causes unless someone makes a sacrific to change it.

MaraRuizu MaraRuizu says...

Both of these deal with the same philosophical perspective on the concept of fate and the power to change it. Both shows take very cynical view on the subject, allowing the main plot to be about wanting to change the “fate” of the bad situation the characters find themselves in and wanting to protect those dear to them.

If you like one you should really check out the other.

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai

It is the year 1983; and in the village of Hinamizawa, on the night of the cotton drifting festival and in the days following it, a series of deaths occurs. The only hope for the village and its inhabitants is the shrine maiden Furude Rika who, with the help of her invisible partner Hanyuu, is able to travel back in time and alter the events that led to disaster. Unfortunately, regardless of what changes are made, each voyage ultimately ends with the death of Rika and many of her friends. But when Rika’s friends start remembering things that happened to them in previous worlds and take steps to avoid the same outcomes, Rika realizes that their chances of survival have never been better. Can she really challenge and defeat fate itself?

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3 votes

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Reasons you might like Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai...

StudioGirlKoi StudioGirlKoi says...

Both shows have a concept around fate, if it is possible to change, and how they can change their fate. The decision to change fate is made by a repeating cycle of tradgedies in Kai, and In Mawaru Penguin Drum fate is questioned concerning Himari's life. Higurashi Kai is more of a horror series, though, but still has the psychological vibe that Mawaru Penguin Drum has. But the representation is different, be aware of that.

pukahuntus pukahuntus says...

To attempt changing fate may drive someone insane. After all- if something is fate then doesn't that mean it's inevitable? But fate is cruel; so cruel that characters in these anime risk body and mind to try and break it.

MaraRuizu MaraRuizu says...

Though the differences between these two are many, there still are some major similarities in the themes they deal with. Both series deal with everything between silliness and cruelty.Both have the plot revolve around fate and characters who try to change it. Lastly, both have a strong cast to relate to, where every single character are humanized by the problems they face and how they deal with them.

Bakemonogatari

Bakemonogatari

Koyomi Araragi is an aloof boy who holds a strange, supernatural secret which inadvertently leads him to others with similar stories. Gods, spirits and afflictions can be pesky things, taking important memories or causing unusual tendencies – a fact that Koyomi and others are unfortunately aware of. Using the help of an eccentric homeless man, Koyomi is able to help new friends he meets along the way with their own paranormal conundrums…

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Reasons you might like Bakemonogatari...

hurin hurin says...

I only recommend these due to the artwork. They both use surrealist imagery to move the story along. In Bakemonogatari it's just art, nut in Penguin it becomes part of the plot.

dinosaur dinosaur says...

Both series heavily emphasize visuals as a medium for progressing the story line as well as adding a comedic element.

If you're looking for something a little bit different, Bakemonogatari and Mawaru Penguin Drum deliver.

Usagi Drop

Usagi Drop

When Daikichi's grandfather dies he leaves behind a young daughter named Rin. However, as most of the family is embarrassed at the idea of a 79-year-old man having a six-year-old child, they can't seem to figure out what to do with her. Disgusted by this behavior, Daikichi decides to take care of her himself, but he's a bachelor, has no idea how to raise a child, and isn't even all that comfortable with kids! Now, Daikichi must do the normal things a parent does such as enroll her in school, buy her clothing and teach her about the life and world around her. But more importantly, he must also help her deal with her father's death and decide whether or not she should try to find her mother. Together, the two begin their unlikely relationship as father and daughter, navigating each of life's bumps along the way.

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2 votes

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Reasons you might like Usagi Drop...

skitxophrenic skitxophrenic says...

There are many differences that separate Penguindrum and Usagi Drop, so at first this may seem like a strange recommendation, but hear me out.

Penguindrum is full of beautiful imagery, metaphors and has a very distinct visual style that weaves its way into the telling of the story, which at times verges into dark territory. Usagi Drop, on the other hand, is a very straightforward tale of a man raising a child. Usagi Drop's visual style is softer, and it's story is so lighthearted and heartwarming, I guarantee you'll smile while you watch it. Penguindrum is a much more fantastical in its storytelling and themes, while Usagi Drop has nothing of the sort, instead opting for realism. Lastly, it's also important to note that Usagi Drop lacks the bizarre sense of humor Penguindrum has.

Despite these extreme differences between the two, there is one key reason I feel these two shows go together well -- the concept of family. The idea of what it means to be a family and the bonds that connect family members are important themes that resonate throughout both shows. I feel as if you liked the concept in one, you will probably enjoy the other.

Also, both Rin from Usagi Drop and Himari from Penguindrum are super adorable -- both characters' silly antics and cute facial expressions made me giggle and smile while watching. I highly, highly recommend both!

krukky krukky says...

I agree with the person before me. Although the apparent differences, there are things that connect both shows and if you liked the one, you may as well like the other too.