Have you ever remembered those days when witches were “so not”, but then now they’re “so hot”? Pretty much this is the same trend that I’m noticing on Mawaru Penguindrum. Who would’ve thought that Ringo and Masako would redefine the art of stalking? Indeed, stalkers used to be “pervy-ugly-dirty-guys” but now they evolved into “sexy-hot-kicking-gals.” Because of them, instead of being excited for the next “romantic” love scene, viewers now craved for the subsequent “delusional” love vista.
Personally, I believe that love is a wonderful thing because it’s a feeling that makes us human, and for me it’s inspiring and not destructing. However in most stories, it’s usually being commodified as something problematic and the core conflict of the story. So what exactly love is? Of course, there are so many ways to interpret this, but since I’m all caught up with Mawaru Penguindrum’s love-stalking setting, I’d like to explore the chaotic-harmonic side of it.
According to Erich Fromm, love is not a spontaneous feeling that you fall into but an art that requires knowledge, effort, discipline, concentration, patience, faith and the overcoming of narcissism. Hence, it’s not something natural. Sometimes it can overwhelm a person and apparently can turn this into an obsession. As two of today’s hottest 2D stalkers—Ringo and Masako—exemplified, love triggers intense euphoria and compels them to do anything even this would lead to their self-destruction.
So, if love can lead us to self destruction, then does it mean that love is evil? No. Logically, we value what we love and what we hate we discern as evil. Yet, paradoxically, we can say that love causes evil because what we hate resulted from the absence of what we value—simply, we can see evil as misdirected love or truth in reverse. In addition, the paradox of evil is that it is death, chaos, defiance, fear, and dreadfulness but yet its very existence is what brings forth love that would otherwise never be generated—cycled? destined?
Having said all of these, Nietzsche’s concept of love for self-destruction doesn’t really make one extinct, but rather reactivates oneself. That’s why come to think about it, Ringo’s obsession towards Tabuki and her apprehension in fulfilling Momoka’s diary actually brought her to Shouma. So, is this fated love or it’s because of her Amor fati?
And, speaking of misdirected love, I noticed that Yuri, plays such an essential role impeding whatever crazy and disastrous decision Ringo’s going to do. As for Masako, again love is the connection that she has with Kanba. Just like Ringo, she’s stalking not just for her delusions, but also, she has her own other reasons. Moreover, although she caused harm to Kanba’s ex-girlfriends I can’t fully conclude that she’s evil because she’s protecting her brother, making her another “victim” of fate.