Kamba and Shouma Takakura have taken care of their sickly younger sister Himari since their parents disappeared years ago - that is, until the day she died. But as the boys grieve by her hospital bed, Himari sits up, adorned with a strange penguin hat. Suddenly, the three of them are transported to a vibrant world where the hat, using Himari's body as a puppet, charges these brothers with a task: find the Penguin Drum and their sister's life will be saved! Now aided by some odd penguins they received in the mail, the duo must find this mysterious item or risk losing the sister they care for so much. However, they aren't the only ones with their sights on the Penguin Drum, for new enemies await them around every turn, all connected in ways they would have never imagined...
Yuki is a disaffected middle school boy who has no dreams or goals in life; in fact, the only thing he has is his diary. Writing down everything he observes and documenting every thought, the young boy uses it as an outlet for his imagination. One morning, however, Yuki wakes up to find his cell phone filled with diary entries for the next ninety days. Thinking nothing of it, he continues his morning until he begins to realize that everything on his phone is rapidly coming to pass, and it isn't just mere coincidence. Now, Yuki suddenly finds himself thrust into a survival game against other future diary owners to become the new Lord of Time.
What extent would someone go to in order to change their future? Is the future possible to change or is it a matter of fate? If someone believes in destiny then to change it would be to play god. Mirai Nikki and Mawaru Penguin Drum explore these matters in their own way and both become a rollercoaster full of unforseeable twists and turns. Both are highly recommended.
Giovanni is a young cat with a troubled childhood -- he is bullied in school, and waits patiently day after day for his father to return from his journey. One festive evening, Giovanni and his friend Camponella find themselves aboard a great train which takes them to the edge of the universe and back. However, in the midst of the sights and wonders, Giovanni soon begins to discover that the train's purpose might be much different than it appears.
Mawaru Penguindrum was heavily influenced by, and frequently references Night on the Galactic Railroad. If you want to understand all the symbolism, you should read/watch this classic children's story.
Similarly, if you enjoyed NotGR and are interested in a more modern spin on some of the same themes, you should watch Penguindrum.
Once there lived an eccentric author called Drosselmeyer who wrote grand tragedies - one of them was the tale of a prince who sealed away an evil raven by breaking his own heart into tiny pieces. However, before the story could be completed, the author died and the tale took on a life of its own. Now, in a town where fiction and reality meet, the story continues on its tragic course with Ahiru, a duck who transforms into the beautiful Princess Tutu in order to restore the prince's heart. But will Ahiru's act of love be enough to defy the story's terrible destiny and lead to a happy ending?
Both Princess Tutu and Mawaru Penguin Drum are beautiful works of fantasy in which your own imagination plays a part. It's not just about the objective plot of the story, but how you interpret it and the emotional experience you gain from the process. While Penguin Drum takes plenty of short cuts with the animation, I found both shows had equally lovely character designs, stunning atmosphere (owing a lot to the direction), and a quirky approach that charms over and over again. Furthemore, in both, the characters rarely turn out to be as straightforward as they first appeared. If you liked the approach in one show, you'll love the other.
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.
"I have only abandoned my body, I still live here" - are the words emailed to friends of Chisa, several days after her death by suicide. As Lain delves deeper into the world of the "Wired" (also known as the internet), the line between it and reality becomes more and more unclear. Close the world, open the nExt.
These share a similar theme where the main characters experience situations that may be real, imagined or halucinated.
Lain used this to great effect but I feel that in Penguin it becomes obscurity for the sake of being obscure.