If you're looking for anime similar to Mawaru Penguin Drum, you might like these titles. All recommendations are made by Anime-Planet users like you!
This is a bit of a gut-feeling rec, but Shima's backstory (Kono Danshi) reminded me of the Child Broiler scenes from Penguindrum, and Kanba's story to a lesser extent. Both stories are about normal teenagers who, after a great personal tragedy, find themselves enmeshed in a supernatural drama.
Sasami is a lazy hikikomori who'd rather be playing video games and sleeping than being a productive member of society, especially with a doting brother who waits on her hand and foot. But there's more than Sasami and her family than meet the eye – in reality, they are connected to the goddess Amaterasu and mysterious 'alterations' that occasionally change and threaten the world. With the help of three sisters, Sasami slowly tackles day to day challenges and puts a stop to alterations – and monsters – when they appear.
These shows have a lot in common: unusual animation styles, a host of excentric characters including brother(s) and sister(s) who are perhaps a little too close and a modern setting with world-altering fantasic powers.
Sasami-san tends towards the over the top comedy while Penguin Drum tends to be serious and dramatic but both shows are a blend of serious and funny moments.
As a runaway middle school student with nowhere to go, Asuta Jimon is starving! But things change when he runs across a girl named Kate who gives him an offer he can’t refuse: join Zvezda, her secret society hell-bent on conquering the world, and he’ll be fed for life! But as Asuta soon learns, Zvezda’s plans for world domination won’t be easy, as the gang tends to get sidetracked with missions like ridding the world of smokers, or becomes waylaid by Yasube’s bumbling efforts, or deals with getting sick from Itsuka’s foul concoctions from the kitchen! On their fearless leader’s whims, Asuta and the rest of Zvezda aim to take over the world one day at a time, no matter how insignificant the attempt.
Insane world domination plots, lolis in outrageous outfits giving out speeches on how to take over, zany hand gestures to match a highly zany anime: I could either be describing Mawaru or World Conquest. What is surprising is that both titles manage to pull off the most unlikely of premises by carrying on with gusto and throwing everything at the viewer. That they very colorful and sleek producions also helps.
Raku Ichijo is an average high school student. He also happens to be the sole heir to the head of a Yakuza Family called the Shuei-gumi. 10 years ago, Raku made a promise… a secret promise with a girl he met. They promised one another that they will “get married when they reunite.” Since then, Raku never let go of the pendant the girl gave him.
In the future, a devastating event known as Second Impact has destroyed Tokyo as we know it, giving rise to Tokyo III - a city under siege by mysterious lifeforms known only as Angels. Mankind's only line of defense are the Evangelions, a set man-made machines piloted by a trio of fourteen year-old teenagers, Rei, Shinji, and Asuka. The fate of Japan and the entire world now lie with these three children, though they might not have the power to save the most important thing of all: each other.
If you enjoyed Neon Genesis Evangelion, you might also enjoy Mawaru Penguin Drum.
Both of these titles contain abstract themes, the use of symbolic visual cues, and dialogue which often requires active interpretation of meaning and context.
A common theme in these anime is that of the 'lost' innocent, and strong elements of introspection, interpretive dream sequencing and a sense of occasional disjointed consciousness / psyche.
Both contain sinister figures masquerading as altruistic influences, and some characters who display a shocking lack of humanity. The two storylines also feature evidence of mental illness, inappropriate behaviour, obvious tendencies borne of previous trauma, and a deep sense of confusion and foreboding.
They are engaging both visually, intelectually and narratively - and one of the pinnacles common to both is that they do not operate under the guise of a linear 'storytime neatness'; you have to do a satisfying amount of thinking yourself, which is quite a refreshing aspect!