Official Japanese series logo and main characters: (from left to right) Himari, Kanba, and Shōma.
(Mawaru Pingudoramu)
Anime television series
Directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara
Produced by Hiro Haruyama
Shinichi Ikeda
Written by Kunihiko Ikuhara
Takayo Ikami
Music by Yukari Hashimoto
Studio Brain's Base
Licensed by
Network MBS, TBS, TVA, AT-X, BS11
Original run July 8, 2011 December 23, 2011
Episodes 24[1]
Written by Kunihiko Ikuhara
Illustrated by Lily Hoshino, Isuzu Shibata
Published by Gentosha
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Comic Birz
Original run September 24, 2014 – present
Volumes 3

Penguindrum, known in Japan as Mawaru Penguindrum (輪るピングドラム Mawaru Pingudoramu, lit. Spinning Penguindrum), is a 2011 Japanese anime series produced by Brain's Base. The series is directed and co-written by Kunihiko Ikuhara and was broadcast in Japan from July 8, 2011 through December 23, 2011.[2] Sentai Filmworks has licensed the series for North America, while Kazé UK has licensed the series in the United Kingdom and Siren Visual has licensed the series in Australia and New Zealand, Dynit licensed the series in Italy. A manga adaptation of the anime by Isuzu Shibata began serialization in Comic Birz in 2013.


A terminally ill girl named Himari Takakura is miraculously saved from death by a strange spirit who resides in a penguin-shaped hat. However, in exchange for extending her life, the spirit tasks Himari's brothers, Kanba and Shōma, to seek out an elusive item known as the Penguin Drum with assistance from a trio of strange penguins.


Shōma Takakura (高倉 晶馬 Takakura Shōma)
Voiced by: Ryōhei Kimura (Japanese); Blake Shepard (English)
More innocent than his adopted brother(Kanba), he is the only real child of Takakura family , he is uneasy at the thought of performing any morally ambiguous deeds. He is assigned to obtain Ringo Oginome's diary, assuming that it is the Penguindrum, and hesitates after being told to obtain it by any means necessary. As he accompanies Ringo in her stalking activities, the two of them develop a strange, romantic closeness, ultimately declaring to her he loves her as he "dies".
In the novel adaptation, Shōma is the narrator.
Kanba Takakura (高倉 冠葉 Takakura Kanba)
Voiced by: Subaru Kimura (Japanese); Illich Guardiola (English)
The more serious and experienced of the brothers. Unlike his brother Shōma, he has a history as a playboy, dating girls only to dump them soon after. He has several angry girls that pursue him, with Masako Natsume being the most aggressive. He cares a lot for his precious little sister, Himari, and will go to great lengths for her happiness. As the eldest brother, it is shown that he is responsible for maintaining his family's finances and livelihood. Even if it's not really shown until the end, his love for his brother Shōma is also very strong. He takes his duty to obtain the Penguindrum and Himari's medicine very seriously, willing to resort to any method to obtain them. Kanba does not consider legality or self-preservation when it comes to saving his family. He was adopted by Takakura family to become the big brother for both Himari and Shōma. His biological sister is Masako.
Himari Takakura (高倉 陽毬 Takakura Himari)
Voiced by: Miho Arakawa (Japanese); Monica Rial (English)
The brothers’ younger, ever-cheerful sister. Himari loves her brothers very much, and is constantly smiling so that they will worry less about her illness. After being discharged from the hospital, she loses consciousness and dies at a trip to the aquarium. She is revived by a penguin hat bought at the aquarium's souvenir shop. When she wears the penguin hat, her appearance and personality changes to that of the Princess of the Crystal (プリンセス·オブ·ザ·クリスタル Purinsesu Obu Za Kurisutaru), a dominatrix, donning a skintight costume and ordering the brothers to obtain the Penguindrum in order to extend her life. When she was a child, she was part of the aspiring idol group "Triple H" with her friends Hibari and Hikari, but stopped speaking to them when she left school. She states that she is glad for their success. In the past she met Shōma who she considered him as her soulmate also she was adopted by Takakura family by Shōma.
Ringo Oginome (荻野目 苹果 Oginome Ringo)
Voiced by: Marie Miyake (Japanese); Emily Neves (English)
The target the brothers are ordered to watch. She was born on the same day that her sister, Momoka, died and believes that she is Momoka reincarnated. The death of her sister caused her family to fall apart, she now lives only with her often busy mother. She possesses Momoka's diary, the entries of which she follows religiously for the purpose of "destiny". It is because of these entries that she stalks Keiju Tabuki , who was very close to Momoka. She believes that by replacing her sister, she will be able to bring her family back together. However later in the series, she develops feelings for Shōma and stops the stalking activities.
Keiju Tabuki (多蕗 桂樹 Tabuki Keiju)
Voiced by: Akira Ishida (Japanese); Mike Yager (Ep. 1–13), Andrew Love (Ep. 14–24) (English)
The teacher that Ringo stalks. He is the science teacher of Shōma and Kanba and the advisor of a birdwatching club. He was Momoka Oginome's close friend and narrowly missed being with her at the incident that took her life. As a child, he was abandoned by his mother after she remarried and gave birth to a child that surpassed Tabuki's skill at playing the piano.
Yuri Tokikago (時籠 ゆり Tokikago Yuri)
Voiced by: Mamiko Noto (Japanese); Shelley Calene-Black (English)
A famous actress belonging to the Sunshiny Theatre Takarazuka troupe. She is introduced as Tabuki's girlfriend and becomes engaged to him. Although she is regarded as beautiful and elegant by others, she considers herself and her body to be ugly. She was a close friend of Keiju Tabuki and Momoka Oginome in elementary school. She became attracted to Momoka because Momoka was the only person to ever call her beautiful, and is willing to do anything to bring Momoka back to life, even attempting to rape her sister Ringo as part of a plan to make her into Momoka. She often describes things as "fabulous" or "fabulous max".
Masako Natsume (夏芽 真砂子 Natsume Masako)
Voiced by: Yui Horie (Japanese); Maggie Flecknoe (English)
A wealthy young woman with an obsession for Kanba. Masako is the current heir to the Natsume corporation. She possesses a laser slingshot that is capable of selectively erasing memory with red projectiles shot at the forehead, blue projectiles allow memory to be restored. Like each of the Takakura siblings, she has a penguin accomplice, though she has named hers Esmeralda. Her primary goals are to possess Kanba and gain the Penguindrum in order to ensure her brother Mario's survival, paralleling the Takakura family's efforts to save Himari's life. She is later revealed to be Kanba's blood-related twin sister. Her catchphrase is "Not good. This must be crushed at once."
Sanetoshi Watase (渡瀬 眞悧 Watase Sanetoshi)
Voiced by: Yutaka Koizumi (Japanese); Adam Gibbs (English)
A cloying man that harbors an interest in Himari for reasons yet unknown. He first appears as an all-knowing librarian working at the Central Library's "Hole in the Sky" branch, assisting Himari with books filled with memories of her past. He is the one to place the penguin hat on her. When Himari dies for a second time, he appears as a doctor that demands large sums of money for the dark pink medication keeping her alive. Himari often goes to him for advice, though she is usually troubled by what she hears and is cold towards him. He claims to be from "the destination of Fate," and is accompanied by two black rabbit underlings, Shirase (シラセ) and Sōya (ソウヤ). His catchphrase is "Isn't it electrifying?".
Momoka Oginome (荻野目 桃果 Oginome Momoka)
Voiced by: Aki Toyosaki (Japanese); Brittney Karbowski (English)
Ringo's older sister who died in a subway explosion on the day of Ringo's birth. She is the original owner of the diary. She was close friends with both Tabuki and Yuri, whose lives were both saved by her. As explained by Momoka to Yuri, the diary is allegedly one that can transfer the fate of individuals at a cost; it can even prevent someone from dying.
Hibari Isora (伊空 ヒバリ Isora Hibari) and Hikari Utada (歌田 光莉 Utada Hikari)
Voiced by: Yui Watanabe and Marie Miyake (Japanese); Brittney Karbowski and Cynthia Martinez (English)
Himari's best friends in elementary school. The three of them wished to be idols, so they formed their own idol group called Triple H. However, for unknown reasons, Himari had to leave school, and Hibari and Hikari went on to become famous idols under the name Double H. They are overjoyed after receiving the scarves that Himari knit for them. They are featured on advertisements found on Tokyo Sky Metro trains that show that day's slogan. In the show's production, there is a real group called Triple H made up of the voice actresses of Hibari, Hikari and Himari. This group sings many of the insert songs and ending themes. Their names are thinly-veiled references to Hibari Misora and Hikaru Utada, respectively.
Takakuras' Penguins #1, #2, & #3 (高倉家のペンギン 1号、2号、3号 Takakura-ke no Pengin Ichigō, Nigō, Sangō)
Voiced by: Subaru Kimura, Ryōhei Kimura and Miho Arakawa
A mysterious trio of blue Penguins that arrived at the Takakura's doorstep after Himari's resurrection. Only the Takakura family can see them. For the sake of convenience, Kanba named his penguin #1, Shōma's #2, and Himari's #3 respectively. These numbers are written on the back of the penguin. Each has their own traits based on their masters. #1 has pronounced eyebrows and likes looking up ladies' skirts, #2 is often seen spraying bugs or eating voraciously, and #3, who sports a ribbon on her head, usually keeps Himari company.
Esmeralda (エスメラルダ Esumeraruda)
Voiced by: Yui Horie
Masako's penguin, unlike the Takakura siblings', is black with a heart-shaped face, apparently based off a Rockhopper penguin. It has a more menacing appearance than the others. Esmeralda holds an infatuation with Penguin #1 that mirrors Masako's interest in Kanba.

Theme songs

Opening theme songs
Insert songs
Ending theme songs

Triple H is Marie Miyake as Hikari, Yui Watanabe as Hibari, and Miho Arakawa as Himari.


Almost two years after the premiere of the anime,[3] a manga adaptation by Isuzu Shibata began serialization in the monthly magazine Comic Birz in 2013.[4]

The first volume was released on September 24, 2014,[5] the second on December 24, 2014,[6] and the third on October 24, 2015.[7]


  1. "Mawaru Penguindrum Official Website". Retrieved 13 July 2011.
  2. "Mawaru PenguinDrum by Utena's Ikuhara to Air in July". Anime News Network. May 18, 2011. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
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