On the Essence of Recovery: The Necessity of Arc V’s Unsatisfactory Ending
So, lately, I’ve been rewatching Penguindrum. I’ve also been reading a lot of analyses of Penguindrum, and in turn I’ve been looking up analyses of some of my other favorite surrealist anime, mostly Ikuhara’s work. And remembering how Penguindrum ended, I found myself thinking about how almost all of Ikuhara’s main works end sort of…bittersweet. Progress has been made, but something huge has been lost as well, leaving the end feeling almost unsatisfactory.
And that’s gotten me to thinking about analyzing shows that have similar endings, that aren’t necessarily made to be…well, as dense as that particular brand of anime. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about Arc V, and again about the ending that left a lot of people upset. I was and still am to a point one of those people who was disappointed with how it ended, but looking back at it in hindsight, and especially through the lens of the previously mentioned anime, I wondered if maybe there was something more to the decision than first appeared.
Now before I start the actual meat of this post, let me disclaim that I would be among the first to admit that it’s probably “not that deep.” But there’s the distinct possibility that it is, and regardless of whether my conclusions were intended conclusions, the act of analyzing fiction against one’s own individual interpretation is an important final step in the process of any creative endeavor.