Penguin Darling: The Great Show (Kana: ペンギンダーリング THE GREAT SHOW) is a 1993 OVA produced by Studio XYZ, it served as the definite conclusion to the Penguin Darling series, which was cancelled in 1991 after the airing of its 15th episode.
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
It's been 3 years since the events of the series. Takako Matsuura is now a 20 year old mass idol in the prefecture. To extend her fame to the entire country, Shira-P plans to put on a great show at none other than the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, but will Takako manage to pull it off in time?
Plot[edit | edit source]
The OVA starts at the gym of the school Takako used to study in, with the director of which announcing the performance of a former student. He announces that he had met with a polar bear (Shira-P) who would like to present something in front of the student body.
A now 20 year old Takako Matsuura comes through the curtain in a golden outfit. Various students are shocked to see her in such radiant apparel. Takako introduces herself to the dumbfounded audience as a former student of the school who was expelled for her dream of becoming the idol she is now, summarizing the events of the series's first episode. As Shira-P proceeds to prepare the music, Takako gives him a sign to start playing. She performs Kimi no koto ga suki, the opening song to the series.
After the performance, Shira-P congratulates Takako for the performance, and she is relieved that it turned out to be such a lasting impression on her former schoolmates. The scene later fades to the Kumagai residence, where Shira-P, in a way to amplify her popularity as an idol even further, plans to put on a show at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre. Takako is surprised that her own producer would make her perform at such a prestigious place, knowing she is just a local idol and doubting such an artist would be accepted into a place like the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre. Shira-P convinces Takako to "just let them have it all", as he has a friend who works there.
The two head to the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, where Shira-P introduces Takeru Tanaka (who he kindly refers to as "Takken") and Takako to each other. Takken's face turns red almost as immediately as he lays eyes on the beauty that is Takako, giving signs of having fallen in love with her. The three go into the theatre, and he introduces Takako to the rest of the theatre staff and explains why he brought her to the theatre. The staff agrees, and a sequence plays showing Takako help Shira-P writing songs for the show, rehearsing her numbers, and picking out which dress she would wear on the show. After leaving the theatre, Shira-P starts to feel ill. Takako asks him if he's okay, but Shira-P insists that he's fine, and he's just having a stomach ache. But this pain, that at first didn't seem that big of a deal, slowly turns into something far worse.
Takako, Takken, and everyone else in the theatre knew something was wrong with Shira-P. He looked pale and weak, despite insisting that he was fine and just a little cold. As he was practicing the songs' arrangement, however, Shira-P suddenly fainted. This was something no one would ignore, so Shira-P was soon hospitalized, leaving everyone in the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre worried that if Shira-P didn't survive, they might have to cancel the show altogether, but everyone knows that, having spent most of her career with him as her producer at that point, Takako wouldn't allow this.
The next day, Takako heads to the hospital where Shira-P is, just to make sure what Shira-P had was nothing serious. That's when she learns what's wrong: Shira-P has cancer. She encounters Shira-P, who was taken into chemotherapy quickly after being hospitalized, as a last attempt to save his life. Shira-P is saddened that the chemotherapy didn't work, but despite the pain he's feeling, he is happy nonetheless to see Takako, and knowing he won't live to see the result of his years of producing for her, tells Takako one last thing before falling asleep: Shira-P had a crush on Takako. From the moment he met her, his heart was beating for her, and always kept his feelings for her a secret, knowing that idols weren't allowed to go on dates with men. Takako, in tears after Shira-P falls asleep, tells him that she loves him too, before walking out of the hospital.
The next day, Takako rehearses the choreography and is applauded by her choreographer, but halfway through the rehearsal, they are interrupted by an assistant, who attempts to convince them that the show must be called off. Takako doesn't understand anything, but Takken is the one to give her the heartbreaking reason why: Shira-P has passed away. Takako is torn apart by the news, but she tearfully admits that even though her producer can't work with them anymore, she is willing to continue the show regardless of the situation, making the show a tribute of sorts to the late Shira-P. Accepting Takako's decision, Takken puts on a teaser show at the Toshima ward, where she tearily performs the series's ending theme, Na-i-sho, only to break into tears halfway through, leaving her dumbfounded fans to ask what's going on with Takako.
Motivated by the memories of Takako and Shira-P working together, Takako proceeds to write a song by herself, which she decides to name Shirokuma Romance, a tribute to Shira-P. Takken, realizing what Takako's doing, proceeds to pen composition and arrangement for her new song, not wanting his friend to go unnoticed. As they finish the song, the theatre staff begins to resume production on the concert, which was almost cancelled as a result of Shira-P's death, before being convinced to continue working on the Great Show by Takako, who wants people to know who Shira-P was, so they would be able to know and remember him in a more positive light.
Finally, the day of the great show arrives: Takako performs Shirokuma Romance live at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre. The song is about Shira-P and all the moments she shared with him, such as the way they met, his past relationship with Naruko as covered in episode 10 of the series, and other moments that weren't covered in the original series.
A two year timeskip is shown after the performance, where it's shown that Takako retired from the idol industry, married Takken and had a daughter. She takes his daughter to see Shira-P's grave. When asked who he was, Takako answers that if it hadn't been for him, Takako wouldn't have been the idol she was. Takako then walks away, not before taking one final glance at her late producer's grave and leaving there a bouquet of flowers out of two she was given by her now-husband Takken. The OVA ends with Takako saying the final words ever spoken in all of Penguin Darling: "Thank you for everything, Shira-P."
Cast[edit | edit source]
Main Cast[edit | edit source]
- Yūko Mizutani as Takako Matsuura, a young penguin girl with a beautiful singing voice.
- Maho Sōma provides Takako's singing voice.
- Bin Shimada as Shirayuki "Shira-P" Kumagai, Takako's polar bear producer.
- Kappei Yamaguchi as Shira-P's penguin friend Takeru "Takken" Tanaka.
Secondary Cast[edit | edit source]
- Masaharu Satō as the principal of Takako's former school.
- Kotono Mitsuishi as the nurse who takes care of Shira-P at the hospital.
- Mami Koyama as Takako's choreographer.
- Masashi Ebara as an assistant.
- Omi Minami as Takako's daughter, who is seen at the end of the OVA.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The unseen moments covered in Shirokuma Romance were confirmed to originate from some the 11 unaired episodes.
- The picture of Takako and Shira-P shown at the end was taken in the unaired episode 26, which was meant to be the finale of the original series.