Apple is arguably the most symbolic fruit in history. It’s no wonder why Mawaru Penguindrum heavily uses this fruit to symbolize salvation and humanity. The apple acquired symbolic significance because it is one of the oldest fruits gathered by man. For so many of years, these fruits have been linked with tales, stories and myths of love, sensuality, fertility, and temptation especially in the case of the red apple. And in most cases, this fruit appeared in many religious traditions of then being portrayed as a forbidden or mystical fruit.
As what Mawaru Penguindrum always addresses, one of the key symbolisms of apple on this series is the wheel of fate. This fruit’s spherical shape was occasionally interpreted as a symbol of eternity. As of now, we have no idea whether the Kiga apple brings perpetual salvation or everlasting misfortune; however as exemplified by Momoka’s fate, we do know that there’s always going to be a sacrificial lamb (the one below the wheel) in order to reverse one’s fate (the one above the wheel).
Further, an apple is highly regarded as a sensual fruit. The meaning perceived behind it depends on who the holder, the giver, and the receiver is. For instance, apple in the hand of a woman creates an emotive valence because of the recognition of the apple’s emblematic function. As we know, the most regarded among the myths that surrounds this fruit’s figurative representation is the Christian symbolism of temptation. This fall from grace was deeply blamed on the woman because Eve was the one who took the apple from the forbidden tree of knowledge and gave it to Adam.
If we’re going to examine Himari, she’s always being blamed for the reason that we yet to know. Further, when she refused to kiss Sanetoshi, she fell from the darkness together with an apple which was highly suggestive of she chose suffering and death because to live simply means to suffer and eventually die. Plus most of all, sharing the fruit of fate allegorically leads to the path of an anguish life.
Aside from this, it was said that cutting an apple horizontally in half would show a perfect five-pointed star, the pentagram, a key to the occult sciences which reveals the secret of the knowledge of good and evil—which goes back again to Eve’s legend. On the other hand, cutting an apple vertically in half would reveal the astonishing detail of the female genital. Hence, since this show vastly uses sex as a metaphor, we can say that as a whole, apple can be symbolic of the entirety of Himari’s persona—as Himari Takakura and the Penguinhatter.
On the contrary, if an apple is in the hands of a man, it is signified as knowledge and deliverance. Say for instance, an apple in the hand of Christ symbolized the salvation from Original Sin that came about from the fall. And, apples on a Christmas Tree signifies the return of humanity to Eden brought about by Christ.
The recent episode revealed that Shouma was the one who chose Himari to be part of the Takakura family. He saved her from being dumped into the child broiler which was symbolically initiated by handing Himari the Kiga apple.
With four episodes left, it’s so intriguing what actually these apples are for. Is it the fruit of salvation or tragedy? I really find it hard to speculate because there seemed to be an opposing balance existing between these symbolisms that envelope the Kiga apple. Also, just when we thought we already have a clear sense of direction, all of a sudden this series would give a prickly twist that will refute our thoughts. But overall, I’m truly enjoying this series.
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