How to participate in the liveblog chat: Option 1: Whenever you watch the episode, comment on this post as you watch with whatever responses you feel like posting! Option 2: Go to http://webchat.freenode.net/. Enter a nickname, then for the Channels field enter ##rabbitcube, and finally fill in the Captcha and hit Connect! We’ll be watching Yurikuma and commenting there starting at 2:00 p.m. EST. We will then be watching Mawaru Penguindrum at 2:30.
After the chat I’ll update this post with the chat log.
ETA: Chat log below the cut!
01[14:16] <Froborr> Wow, and we are jumping straight into the Yuri part of the title.
[14:16] <Arrlaari> I ask because I was watching the Kadokawa logo for a bit and a different video might cut that out
01[14:16] <Froborr> Oh, crud.
[14:16] <Arrlaari> We can work that out later
01[14:16] <Froborr> Yeah.
01[14:17] <Froborr> So… I guess this town has a bear problem.
01[14:17] <Froborr> Was that an Attack on Titans reference?
01[14:17] <Froborr> Okay, I’m at the OP.
01[14:17] <Froborr> I’m assuming you have ads at the end of it?
[14:17] <Arrlaari> that’s substantially ahead
[14:18] <Arrlaari> Probably
01[14:18] <Froborr> Sorry.
01[14:18] <Froborr> I’ll pause at the end of the OP.
[14:18] <Arrlaari> op starting
01[14:19] <Froborr> Paused at end of OP.
01[14:19] <Froborr> Let me know when you get there.
01[14:19] <Froborr> This show really did not waste time getting to the yuri, and we’ve got a bear. Where are the storms?
[14:20] <Arrlaari> post OP ads starting
01[14:20] <Froborr> OK.
01[14:20] <Froborr> Pause at the end of them I guess.
[14:20] <Arrlaari> ads over, paused
01[14:20] <Froborr> Okay. Click.
01[14:22] <Froborr> O… kay.
01[14:22] <Froborr> I’d say this is a completely absurd premise, but… you know, anime.
01[14:26] <Froborr> Those are the most ridiculous looking killer bears I’ve ever seen.
01[14:26] <Froborr> Symmmmbollliisssmmm!
01[14:27] <Froborr> Pretty sure those are lilies.
[14:27] <Arrlaari> oh, an ad
01[14:27] <Froborr> Okay, so… that’s the storm? I guess?
[14:27] <Arrlaari> Sorry, I frogot to call it
01[14:27] <Froborr> What was the last thing you saw?
[14:27] <Arrlaari> The ad just ended, I’m paused at the bit where we just see the lillies on the ground
01[14:28] <Froborr> Click.
01[14:28] <Froborr> So the storm is… homophobia? Or..?
01[14:30] <Froborr> I guess it’s a person? An unknown prankster?
[14:32] <Arrlaari> ad
[14:32] <Arrlaari> started after the logo
01[14:32] <Froborr> So far this is somehow even weirder than Penguindrum.
[14:32] <Arrlaari> Which I think is an intended ad segue
[14:32] <Arrlaari> ad over
01[14:32] <Froborr> I’ma get some water, stay paused until I get back?
01[14:32] <Froborr> Sorry.
[14:33] <Arrlaari> ok
[14:33] <Arrlaari> I’m paused on the shot of the Wall, panning down. I believe it’s a short shot.
01[14:34] <Froborr> Click
01[14:34] <Froborr> Nooo don’t kill the cute lesbian!
01[14:35] <Froborr> Dammit, this show has almost as many characters as fricking Baccano, and I’ll probably have just as much trouble keeping them straight.
01[14:37] <Froborr> Well, this is Ikuhara all right.
01[14:40] <Froborr> So… the approval of their yuri gives them a magical girl transformation? That’s definitely Ikuhara.
01[14:40] <Froborr> Um.
[14:41] <Arrlaari> Sounds like theramin
01[14:42] <Froborr> So it does.
01[14:42] <Froborr> So that episode happened.
01[14:43] <Froborr> I’ve been trying to suppress this response because Ikuhara, but…
01[14:43] <Froborr> What. the. FUCK. did I just watch?
01[14:44] <Froborr> Did they kill and eat the girlfriend in just the first episode? That’s messed up.
[14:46] <Arrlaari> So, for this work Ikuhara collaborated with Akiko Morishima, a yuri manga author who is a lesbian woman in a market that’s mostly authored by straight men. She’s distinguished herself by avoiding the Common Yuri tropes – in particular, she often authors stories about adults when manga in general is almost always in middle or high school
01[14:46] <Froborr> So… any thoughts before we continue to penguindrum?
01[14:46] <Froborr> Ah, there you are.
01[14:46] <Froborr> Interesting, then, that this one is in high school.
[14:47] <Arrlaari> After they worked out the character designs and a brief description of the premise, Ikuhara made the show and Morishima made a manga. They came out totally different.
01[14:47] <Froborr> Ah.
01[14:48] <Froborr> Sort of like Utena then, where Ikuhara and Saito made the show together, but Saito made the manga alone and Ikuhara made the movie alone.
01[14:48] <Froborr> Do you know anything about the manga?
[14:49] <Arrlaari> I saw links to scanlations of the first 2-3 chapters on Tumblr when they came out. Lost track of them after that.
01[14:49] <Froborr> Ah.
[14:51] <Arrlaari> I don’t remember if Sumika even appeared in those chapters of the manga, but I do remember that the school’s architecture looked like a normal anime school. I don’t remember the Wall of Severance being in it either.
01[14:52] <Froborr> Huh.
01[14:52] <Froborr> Well, yeah, freaky architecture is one of Ikuhara’s signatures, not surprising the version without him doesn’t have it.
[14:54] <Arrlaari> When Yurikuma’s prerelease publicity cycle drew attention to Morishima I got a link to her author page on dynasty scans. It’s mostly romance stories with more or less explicit sex scenes. No porn plots, arguably excepting a side couple in one of her series. There’s also a series that’s 4-koma autobiographical humor.
01[14:55] <Froborr> Yeah, I looked her up when you mentioned her. Didn’t read anything but read some descriptions.
01[14:56] <Froborr> This is definitely one that’ll take a bit of processing for me, I’m really not sure what to make of it so far.
01[14:57] <Froborr> Any more thoughts before we proceed to Penguindrum?
[14:58] <Arrlaari> I just recalled that I gave you a trigger warning for this show, and I’d like to make sure you also remember it
01[14:58] <Froborr> I do not…
01[15:00] <Froborr> What was it?
[15:01] <Arrlaari> preloading penguindrum, and I forget how specific I was at the time
01[15:01] <Froborr> Okay. Well, lemme know when you’re ready for penguindrum.
01[15:02] <Froborr> Oh cute, reversal of the first episode monologue.
[15:03] <Arrlaari> I missed the note that was on the top of the screen
01[15:03] <Froborr> I didn’t see it either.
[15:03] <Arrlaari> Also, the OP is artifacting
01[15:03] <Froborr> I had that happen on the first episode.
01[15:04] <Froborr> It eventually cleared up.
[15:04] <Arrlaari> Totall compression failure
[15:04] <Arrlaari> pause at the end of the OP, I’ll take the time to catch that note while I’m at it
01[15:05] <Froborr> Ready?
[15:05] <Arrlaari> I’m paused on the note
01[15:05] <Froborr> What did it say?
[15:05] <Arrlaari> “Note: The intimation here being, she has three-tiered lacy underwear on, and she’s going for the sexy kill.”
01[15:05] <Froborr> Um… yes? Why did that need a note?
01[15:06] <Froborr> Anywho, lemme know when youre back at end of OP.
[15:06] <Arrlaari> There’s going to be and ad at the end of my OP
01[15:06] <Froborr> Oh.
[15:06] <Arrlaari> I’ll pause at the end of the ad
01[15:06] <Froborr> Okay.
[15:08] <Arrlaari> I’m there
01[15:08] <Froborr> Click.
01[15:09] <Froborr> Well that was fast.
[15:09] <Arrlaari> The hat just appears on her head.
01[15:11] <Froborr> Recap, I guess?
[15:14] <Arrlaari> Earlier there was a mascot animation playing on the train with an anti-harassment message
01[15:14] <Froborr> Yeah, I saw it. Clearly foreshadowing. We should probably keep an eye out for those.
01[15:15] <Froborr> Wait a minute, was Ringo one of the three girls from the first episode?
01[15:15] <Froborr> The ones blue-haired guy’s friend was talking about?
[15:15] <Arrlaari> I forget
01[15:16] <Froborr> Okay, that’s actually really clever.
01[15:17] <Froborr> Unless of course it results in people seeing floating spy cameras drifting down the halls.
01[15:17] <Froborr> Ah, she has the main character seat.
[15:18] <Arrlaari> They probably can just ask?
[15:18] <Arrlaari> I mean, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect the possesor of the Penguindrum to also be involved in the Weird Thing they are
[15:19] <Arrlaari> oh, ad
01[15:19] <Froborr> When was it?
[15:19] <Arrlaari> I let it get through most of the first ad before warning, sorry
01[15:20] <Froborr> What was the last thing you saw?
[15:20] <Arrlaari> Just after the penguin was caught in the bag
01[15:20] <Froborr> Whoa, that was like 3 minutes ago!
[15:21] <Arrlaari> paused on a logo shot, the one with what looks like part of a subway map
01[15:21] <Froborr> Click
[15:21] <Arrlaari> Sorry I keep forgetting to tell yyou about these ads
01[15:22] <Froborr> Uh-oh, they’re gonna get nailed for cutting class, aren’t they?
01[15:22] <Froborr> Cutting class to spy on a girls’ school, no less.
01[15:25] <Froborr> …why is there a carousel horse in a lingerie shop?
[15:25] <Arrlaari> It’s the name of the shop
01[15:25] <Froborr> Oh.
[15:26] <Arrlaari> ad
[15:27] <Arrlaari> just after “she’s taking a photo?”
01[15:27] <Froborr> *nods*
[15:29] <Arrlaari> ad over, paused
01[15:29] <Froborr> click
01[15:30] <Froborr> Wait, their homeroom teacher?
[15:30] <Arrlaari> Yeah
01[15:31] <Froborr> It’s like a chain of stalkers.
01[15:34] <Froborr> Okay, that turned creepy.
01[15:34] <Froborr> Is she writing things in her diary and then stalking ways to make it happen, or is there something supernatural involved here?
[15:35] <Arrlaari> The ED is Himari with the two train message mascots
01[15:35] <Froborr> Yes it is. And apples and the red string of fate.
01[15:36] <Froborr> Okay.
01[15:36] <Froborr> Any thoughts?
[15:37] <Arrlaari> It reminds me of a story, which I have seen attributed to the commentary tracks on the Utena discs
01[15:37] <Froborr> Oh?
[15:37] <Arrlaari> The one where Ikuhara claims a UFO told him to stop acting like a stalker
[15:37] <Arrlaari> when he was following his crush around after she turned him down
01[15:37] <Froborr> I don’t think I’ve heard this one.
[15:38] <Arrlaari> This is just between you and me, but when I was fourteen, I saw a UFO. That UFO telepathically told me this prophecy: “When you grow up, you will direct an anime about girls revolutionizing various things.” Surely you jest. “You must not tell anyone about me. If you ever do…” Wh-What will happen to me? “People will call you a sketchy guy.”
[15:39] <Arrlaari> That’s slightly different than the version I’ve seen
01[15:40] <Froborr> Oh?
[15:41] <Arrlaari> I turned it up from tvtropes googling “Ikuhara ufo story”
01[15:42] <Froborr> I dug around a bit, it’s apparently from the text commentaries in the booklets from the box sets.
01[15:42] <Froborr> I have the first one, I can totally believe one of the later ones contains a story like that.
[15:43] <Arrlaari> I found the version of the story I remember: http://sqbr.tumblr.com/post/19941117816/biichama-angerliz
01[15:46] <Froborr> Mystery solved: the first one is from the commentary for the first recap episode, the second is from the commentary for the second recap episode.
01[15:46] <Froborr> That’s pretty funny.
[15:49] <Arrlaari> Anyway, since I haven’t seen Penguindrum, I can speculate
[15:50] <Arrlaari> I’m guessing the diary, which she is taking as prophetic and a kind of strategy guide to the dating sim of her life, is the Penguindrum.
[15:50] <Arrlaari> Or, since this is Ikuhara, everyone will think that it is the Penguindrum until something else turns out to be the Penguindrum, so for now, it’s the Penguindrum.
01[15:51] <Froborr> I’m thinking it’s Ikuhara, so we will either never get a clear answer on what the Penguindrum is, or we will get multiple contradictory answeres.
01[15:55] <Froborr> Any other thoughts before I copy up?
[15:55] <Arrlaari> Also: The Alien Hat doesn’t know exactly what the Penguindrum is, so diary is “probably” the Penguindrum. Probably there will be other weird things that Hat thinks could be the Penguindrum.
01[15:55] <Froborr> Seems plausible.
[15:55] <Arrlaari> Alien Hat makes a big show of being knowledgable and in control, and I’m guessing it is the opposite of those things