Penguindrum is a 2011 Japanese anime series produced by Brain’s Base. The anime is known as “Mawaru Penguindrum” in Japan, or “Mawaru Pingudoramu”, which literally means “Spinning Penguindrum”. Kunihiko Ikuhara and Takayo Ikami co-authored the series. Shouko Nakamura co-directed the series with the help of Ikuhara. The series aired in Japan from July 8, 2011 to December 23, 2011.
In North America the anime series is licensed by Sentai Filmworks, in the UK the series is licensed by Kaze UK, in Australia and New Zealand the series is licensed by Siren Visual and in Italy Dynit is licensed to the series.
On April 29, 2022, in celebration of Penguindrum’s 10e Anniversary, the first part of a two-part movie compilation titled Re: Cycle of the Penguindrum premiered. The second part will premiere on July 22, 2022.
A new poster visual for the second part has just been released:
A magical girls adventure with penguins
The story revolves around a girl named Himari Takakura who suffers from a terminal illness that cannot be cured with modern medicine. She makes sure to always smile and stay cheerful around her brothers, Shoma and Kanba, so that they worry less about her health. When it seems that her health has improved, she is released from the hospital. Himari decides to go to the aquarium with her brothers, but unfortunately pushes herself too hard, loses consciousness and eventually dies in the hospital.
In a strange twist of fate, a penguin hat her brother bought her at the souvenir shop is possessed by a ghost, and the ghost decides to bring her back to life. When Himari puts on the hat, she undergoes a “magic girl transformation” turning into the “Princess of the Crystal”.
Princess Crystal wears a tight outfit and has a dominant personality. As her alter ego, she orders her two brothers to find an elusive magical item known as the Penguindrum to prolong Himari’s life. A strange trio of magical penguins also help the brothers in their quest to save their sister. The penguins can only be seen by Himari and her brothers.
Many obstacles stand in the way of the brothers to find the Penguindrum
Princess Crystal orders the brothers to obtain a diary that may in fact be the Penguindrum of a girl named Ringo Oginome. When Shoma is told to get his hands on the Penguindrum by any means necessary, he feels alarmed because he has a strong moral compass. On the other hand, his brother Kanba is unfazed by the request. The two brothers begin to stalk Ringo, who is stalking their teacher, Keiju Tabuki, whom she is secretly in love with. Shoma eventually develops feelings for Ringo.
Unlike his straightforward brother Shoma, Kanba is a playboy. Though notorious for breaking girls’ hearts, he genuinely cares about his sister Himari and is ready to do whatever it takes to find the Penguindrum and make sure his sister is happy. As the eldest brother, Kanba feels that protecting their family is his responsibility. After Himari is brought back to life, he begins to have feelings for Himari, as she is not actually his biological sister.
Ringo Oginome is the girl the brothers have to keep an eye on. Ringo was born the same day her sister Momoka died and believes she is her sister’s reincarnation. Momoka’s death stressed her parents’ marriage and they eventually got divorced. Ringo wants to replace her sister so that her family can be whole again. To that end, Ringo studies her sister Momoka’s diary and tries to do everything Momoka would have done for the sake of “fate.” It is because of her sister’s diary that she haunts Keiju Tabuki.
On May 30, 2013, a manga adaptation of the series by Isuzu Shibata was serialized in the monthly magazine Comic Birz. Serialization ended on January 30, 2017. On September 24, 2014, the first manga volume was released and the fifth and final volume was released on April 24, 2017. Seven Seas Entertainment licensed the manga to be translated into English and between 2019 and 2021 was published.
A new trailer for the second film has also been released: