Penguin Highway Review: Well, This is a Weird One.

3 and a half stars
Imagine your walking in a suburban area to school, not a care in the world, except for having to go to school of course, when, suddenly, you think you see something in a field.
It’s black and white and looks like some kind of bird, but not one you have seen in the area.
So, you walk a little closer until you see, much to your surprise that it is a penguin.
Surely, it must be a toy, right?
But, no, it’s moving around and chirping happily along.
Before you can gather your wits, there is movement from the bush and out comes another penguin, then two, then three, then five, then ten, then twenty.
Your town has a penguin invasion and no one has the slightly idea what is going on.
This is the situation Aoyama (no, not the character from My Hero Academia) finds himself in, in the profoundly weird anime film Penguin Highway, directed by Hiroyasu Ishida, and based on the book by Tomihiko Morimi.

penguins
Penguin Highway creates a great mystery about the origins of these oddly displaced penguins.

Not only that, but Ayoama (Kana Kita) learns that the penguins also have a connection with the dentist lady (Yu Aoi) who he has a crush on.
Could things get any weirder?
Well, yes, they certainly can because it seems like Penguin Highway is constantly trying to up the weirdness every minute the film passes.
The benefit of this weirdness is that it does keep the viewer intrigued for the majority of the film, as they want to know exactly what is causing these penguins to show up, and how they are connected to the dentist lady.
Another thing that keeps the film going is the humor, which is top notch.
Aoyama may basically be a genius, but he seems to have not the slightest idea about the concept of puberty, leading to many hilarious discussions, both with the dentist lady and his friend Hamamoto (Megumi Han) who has a crush on him, not that Aoyama notices.
These humorous interactions between the characters make most of them interesting.

characters of penguin highway
The characters are interesting throughout, especially the dentist lady who the mystery centers around.

Even the bully character Suzuki (Miki Fuki) has an arc, although a fairly predictable one.
Sadly, despite the humor, the intrigue takes center stage, which is not exactly a good thing because the film leaves a lot of questions that it does not exactly answer effectively.
It gives some answers but if you’re looking for a completely satisfying explanation then you probably won’t get it.
Still, this does not kill the story because the humor and characters do keep it going, along with the animation, which is great throughout.
Overall, Penguin Highway is a fun film to watch.
It may not have a completely satisfying explanation for what is happening but it is worth watching for its general weirdness.

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