The second ‘short and crappy’ review needed to get me back on track.
Nankyoku Sakura, aka ‘Penguin’, is a super-rich cosplay-obsessed otaku- and with a combination like that, it’s no surprise that her life is often eventful. From equally rich rivals to time travel, Penguin is always at the heart of one crazy adventure on another, with her long suffering allies Kujira (a martial artist who only recently realised she was female), Cha Chi (Kujira’s misguided fiancée) and the eternally unflappable shrine maiden Nene always dragged along for the ride.
A perfect example of ‘only in anime’ craziness, Penguin Musume Heart is one of those series that offers madcap light entertainment without ever trying to achieve anything more. A blend of parody, humour and school comedy, the series never takes itself too seriously, and is unafraid to mix all kinds of craziness, from a main character who can take on the powers of anyone she cosplays as to a togh maid that shows a surprisingly sensitive side via text messages. It’s all complete silliness, but if you give it a chance then you’ll find it much more enjoyable than many series with lofty aspirations who ultimately fail to deliver.
At the heart of the series is Penguin herself, a crazy yet good-hearted otaku whose boundless love of cosplay and anime provide much of the humour of the series, but the other character prove just as memorable and outlandish. All of Penguin’s friends and rivals come with their own quirks, ensuring an eclectic and hilarious mix of characters that you’d be hard pressed to put together in any other series.
Visually, Penguin Musume Heart isn’t overburdened with a massive animation budget, but nonetheless the character designs are cute and there is no end of cosplay and explosions to look forward to. Music is typical upbeat fare.
It may not be complex or grandiose, but Penguin Musume Heart is unashamed good fun, and in that regard, it stands apart from series who tried to achieve much more and ended up delivering far less. If you’re in the mood for some old-fashioned crazy anime fun, you won’t go far wrong with this one.