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Penguin Highway (2018, Studio Colorido)

Anime Reviews

Penguin Highway (2018, Studio Colorido)


Worth A Watch

Aoyama is a young elementary school prodigy who has a habit of studying and explaining everything in great detail. Once he grows up, he hopes to marry one of the local, not-so-serious, busty dental assistants that he has a crush on. One day, he comes across a group of penguins at a vacant lot while heading to school. As such, he decides his latest project is to study and investigate the origin of the mysterious penguins who doesn't seem to have escaped the local zoo or transportation. He dubs the project, "Penguin Highway", the name given to the route that all penguins follow when migrating. As Aoyama investigates further spurred his scientific curiosity, he and his friends are lead from one mystery to another. At the same time, strange events start to happen around their town.

The cute name and vibrant poster art might make it look like another kid's movie with talking animals but it's quite misleading. It's very misleading just like Madoka Magica and Made in Abyss' promotional images look.

Backgrounds are beautifully done with lots of detail and rendering. Quite a few studios fail at blending in the 3D models but they do it quite well in this movie. The art's clean filled with bright vivid colours which goes with the silly plot. Hell, the characters don't even have proper names; just first names or something generic like "Onee-san".

Based on a sci-fi novel of the same name by Tomihiko Morimi, I wasn't expecting the boob jokes as the title sounded like something fun aimed at kids but, I guess that's what Anime/Manga aimed at the male audience always have. It's not done in the usual fan service way with accidental groping etc, just camera shots focused on breasts.

There's basically a hint of shotacon which it's the male version of lolicon, older women attracted to little boys. As young Aoyama strives to become a good man and takes every chance to impress Onee-san, she reproaches with flirty lines. You'll notice she addresses him as "shounen (young man)" instead of the usual "-kun" suffix. The romance element would work well with the distracted boyfriend meme... It's an odd relationship between Aoyama and Onee-san.

Even though the rating is "G" suitable for all it's demography is more for teenagers really as it's described as a "youth fantasy". Probably why it got a 12 in the UK. I think this one of those titles that could have been great such as Yu-no only to be ruined by silly jokes at the wrong moments.

That said, it does start to get serious despite our cast of aspiring young scientists. A fun fantasy adventure movie.

Penguin Highway

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