There’s a lot of elements playing in this series. The front layer would tell you, “Hey this is a fluffy shoujo animu about love”. But again, nothing is what it seems. The hidden meaning, the other layers in this series, is surprisingly dark. There are other elements too that prevents this anime from being shoujo like incest, stalkers, reverse stalkers and if you ask someone what genre would you put this series into, they wouldn’t be able to answer.
I think an integral element used in this series is beliefs. One can say the series presents different ideas from different people. In one episode, it would seem that it revolves around the idea of not believing in fate. In another episode, things would turn around and tell you to believe in fate. They tackle different ideas subtly, making the series edgier without it being too philosophical.
The symbolism in this series is chokeful. The main one would be trains. In the first three episodes at least, trains have always been an integral part of the plot. Even the transformation sequence showcase the entrance to a subway, a symbol of going in with no escape. . . somewhere along those lines. In the third episode, curry was used evidently though you should watch it yourself to see.
All in all Mawaru Penguindrum has proven to be a beast this season. The fact that it’s 24 episodes makes it even more exciting.
Also those penguins are damn cute.