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One of the greatest animes of the 21st century. But one of the worst releases
on 4 May 2013
Don't mistake me, penguindrum is a sheer masterpiece unlike anything probably since kunihiko ikuhara own last work: revolutionary girl utena. It's a superb, abstract- surrealist piece of art that should be watched and appreciated by every fan of anime and great television alike who are willing to pay attention and analyse the wonder that unfolds in this utterly magical show; as certainly, Kunihiko ikuhara is master auteur and his works are intricate, deep and emotionally powerful. However, kaze uk's release is sadly, horrid. The packaging is attractive and the menus slick and dynamic, true, however unless you are fluent in Japanese, the subbing problem of penguindrum is crippling.
Kaze does sub a number of on screen Japanese words, however they are far too inconsistent. A number of Japanese signs are left un-subbed in this release with even more Japanese signs being left untouched in the japanese Sub track due to kazes preference to keep to two lined subbing. The problem with this subbing issue is that 99% of what ikuhara shows on screen is deliberate and there for a reason, thus the viewer is missing out on large number of threads of thematic and symbolic undertones that permeate penguindrum. However, the subbing problem does not stop there.
Another problem is the subbing for songs. The opening and ending subbed versions are left apart from the actual episodes and kept as karaoke disc extras, however rock over japan is left unsubbed. Also if you view penguindrum in English dub track, the insert song sequences of the theatrical character singing in episode 4, which is fully integrated into the narrative, are left both un dubbed AND UN-SUBBED, making it a deal breaker for watching the show with the english dub track during that episode.
And of course for kaze uk releases you cannot switch between English dubbed and Japanese subbed tracks on the fly, causing a major annoyance for the viewer.
If you don't have a region less DVD player, then grit your teeth and buy this version, if you do however, go for the American sentai release, yes their version has a few sub typos and the packaging is fairly unflash, but it is wayy better a version than this.
The important thing to take from this review though is that you MUST watch this incredible show. Just not with this box set.