With the latest episode, we now have a new nice opening. There have been some new changes, with Momoka being in it briefly. Of course, the OP still hides the mysteries of Mawaru Penguindrum, but we can be sure that Momoka and her diary will become even more central and integral to the series from here on. But, here in this post I shall briefly share my thoughts on a different theme: beauty.
Yuri, as it turns out, has had a tragic childhood with a father who only has eyes for beauty. Yuri’s father abused Yuri with the intention of chiseling out all the impurities of her body and making her more beautiful. Yuri, as a very young girl, naturally believes in her father’s words, because she has no other family to go to. Here, the theme of family plays another big role aside from the Takakura family and the Oginome family, this time with Yuri.
To Yuri’s father, ugliness is a sin and he desires for true beauty. It is human nature to be attracted to beauty, but Yuri’s father takes this further, desiring true beauty and perfection going so far as to transform his own daughter, who is already quite beautiful in her own right. As we know, he is also an artist and there were several rather famous sculptures referenced in this episode. However, one sculpture stood out for me and is also fitting for my post’s theme: Venus de Milo. Venus de Milo is believed to be a sculpture of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. It is a timeless classic that seeks to depict divine beauty, that of Plato’s ideals, and gives an answer to the eternal quest for beauty.
The referenced fairy tale of The Ugly Duckling also exemplifies beauty as well, telling a story of a transformation in the nature of beauty. To state the main ideal of the story, all living things are beautiful in their own ways and their own forms. I wonder, why is it so terrible to be ugly in appearance? Being ugly has never harmed anyone, yet people insists on concealing or ridding ugliness. Ugliness is the culmination of all the impurities and disorder, and we are naturally drawn to beauty, the culmination of purity and order. Of course, this is what I believe, but perhaps the great philosopher, Plato, would better offer an intriguing insight on what he believes beauty to be.
Plato saw the changing physical world as a poor, decaying copy of a perfect, rational, eternal, and changeless original. The beauty of a flower, or a sunset, a piece of music or a love affair, is an imperfect copy of Beauty itself. In this world of changing appearances, while you might catch a glimpse of that ravishing perfection, it will always fade away. It is merely a pointer to the perfect beauty of the eternal. Plato believed Beauty to be an Idea, one that is unchanging and perfect in an irrational world. Beauty can never be truly achieved perfectly, and Venus de Milo is one of many attempts to capture and express divine, eternal beauty. If we go by Plato’s ideals, then Yuri’s father was merely chasing a hopeless dream of capturing eternal beauty, as everything must fade away. Such is the sad tale of several artists who have attempted to capture the ideals of beauty, realities, disorder, and order.
In addition to the pursuit for beauty (one that I chose to focus on), we also have another recurring theme, fate. Fate is such a fickle thing, and it would appear that Momoka’s diary allows her to transfer the fates of another, completely changing the playing field and going against fate. Momoka is certainly turning out to become a critical core character, one in which the fates of several characters are revolved around herself. I enjoyed this episode thoroughly, and I look forward to seeing the next episode.
Oh, by the way, this is my 50th post. ^_^