Penguindrum is a 2011 Japanese anime series produced by Brain’s Base. The anime is known as “Mawaru Penguindrum” or “Mawaru Pingudoramu” in Japan, which literally means “Spinning Penguindrum”. Kunihiko Ikuhara and Takayo Ikami co-wrote the series. Shouko Nakamura directed the series along with Ikuhara’s assistance. The series aired in Japan from July 8, 2011 to December 23, 2011.
In North America, Sentai Filmworks licensed the anime series, in the United Kingdom, Kaze UK licensed the series, in Australia and New Zealand, Siren Visual licensed the series, and in Italy, Dynit licensed the series.
On April 29, 2022, in celebration of Penguindrum’s 10thth Anniversary premiered the first part of a two-part film compilation entitled Re: Cycle of the Penguindrum. 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 an incurable disease that modern medicine cannot cure. She makes sure to always smile and stay cheerful around her brothers Shoma and Kanba so they worry less about their health. When her health seems to be improving, she is discharged from the hospital. Himari decides to visit the aquarium with her brothers, but unfortunately she tries too hard, loses consciousness and eventually dies in the hospital.
In a strange twist of fate, a penguin hat that her brother bought for her at the gift shop becomes possessed by a ghost, and that ghost decides to bring her back to life. When Himari puts on the hat, she undergoes a “magical girl transformation” and becomes the “Princess of Crystal”.
Princess Crystal wears a skintight outfit and has a bossy personality. As her alter ego, she orders her two brothers to find an elusive magical item called the Penguin Drum to prolong Himari’s life. A strange trio of magical penguins join 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 finding the penguin drum
Princess Crystal orders the brothers to get a journal from a girl named Ringo Oginome, which could actually be the Penguin Drum. When challenged to obtain the Penguin Drum by any means necessary, Shoma feels unsettled by it as he has a strong moral compass. His brother Kanba, on the other hand, is unimpressed by the request. The two brothers begin pursuing Ringo, who is pursuing their teacher, Keiju Tabuki, with whom she happens to be secretly in love. Shoma eventually develops feelings for Ringo.
Distinct from its straight forward brother Shoma, Kanba is a playboy. Despite being notorious for breaking girls hearts, he genuinely cares for his sister Himari and is willing to do anything to find the penguin and make sure his sister is happy. As the eldest brother, Kanba feels responsible for protecting her family. After Himari is brought back to life, he begins to develop feelings for Himari since she is not actually his biological sister.
Ringo Oginome is the girl the brothers are supposed to keep an eye on. Ringo was born on the same day her sister Momoka died and is believed to be her sister’s reincarnation. Momoka’s death strained her parents’ marriage and they eventually divorced. Ringo wants to replace her sister so her family can be whole again. To this end, Ringo studies her sister Momoka’s diary and tries to do whatever Momoka would have done for the sake of “destiny”. Because of her sister’s diary, she pursues Keiju Tabuki.
On May 30, 2013, a manga adaptation of the series by Isuzu Shibata was published in Comic Birz monthly magazine. The serialization ended on January 30, 2017. On September 24, 2014, the first manga volume was released, and the fifth and last was released on April 24, 2017. Seven Seas Entertainment licensed the manga for English translation and it was published between 2019 and 2021.
A new trailer for the second film has also been released: