Devilishly Entertaining: Mawaru Penguindrum, Episode 14
Each week, Mawaru Penguindrum ups the ante, revealing more about its characters while unfolding additional mysteries. Episode 14 was no different as it primarily focused on a character we knew little of until now: Yuri. Until this point (and still now), she was an enigma, but I would say she mostly radiated positive characteristics. So, it came as a surprise when this episode depicted her as a devil, clearly evoked in the episode title, “Princess of Lies.”
Draggle drew connections between Yuri and Satan, using Milton’s Paradise Lost (unfortunately, I haven’t read it – I chose to read Moby Dick in high school instead, and I don’t regret it!). I’ll make some further connections from this episode – most or all probably unintentional, but still illustrating the devilish nature of Yuri:
- Most notable are the lies surrounding Yuri. Besides the title given her, the lies flow throughout the episode – both to herself and to others. The connection to the Father of Lies is obvious.
- Yuri is meant to appear flawlessly beautiful. While thoughts of Satan might conjure up mental images of an ugly being, but the book of Ezekiel indicates that he was prideful in his beauty. However…
- …a beautiful outside hides a hideous interior. Just as the devil is also pictured in the Bible as a great dragon, as well as having an evil heart, Yuri is hiding secrets that “taint” her physically and personally.
- Satan is depicted as cunning, and Yuri certainly is that – she has so many people fooled and quite easily draws Ringo into her web of deceit.
- Finally, as Satan rebels against God (note again Draggle’s comparison), Yuri rebels against fate, which is a word that is easily interchangeable with “God” in this series.
On another note, I also wonder what Momoka’s connection is to all of this. Is there some reason she was selected to die? Could there be a further parallel between Momoka (Eve), Tabuki (Adam), and Yuri (the serpent)?
Regardless, the allusion is clear enough in this episode, as religious imagery continues to simmer in the background of Mawaru Penguindrum episodes. I can’t wait to see where the series goes next.