Review: Rinne no Lagrange

Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne

Rinne no Lagrange is the only anime this past season that I haven’t had the pleasure of enjoying with my close, anime-brained friends. They all gave it a pass, and those who had heard of it thought it was riddled with ecchi (thanks to the fan art floating around). I also haven’t received any comments for the episodes I blogged, so I’ve been alone in opinion with this one. It’s a shame, really, because it’s a very entertaining drama with alien bishōnen, eye candy, and pumping electronic music. Sure, it’s a little on the weird/girly side, but weird in a good way! And rest assured, the fan service isn’t that bad, and that’s coming from someone who despises it…

Now on to the specifics that I know you’re dying to hear! This series was divided into two seasons lasting 12 episodes each. The first one introduces our cheerful heroine and proud leader of Kamogawa Girls’ High School Jersey Club, Madoka. What is the Jersey Club, you ask? Well, it’s an unofficial club with a mission to help people in need, though Madoka probably never dreamed of defending the Earth against aliens. Her destiny is to pilot the Vox, alongside two alien friends, Lan and Muginami, to ensure the peace of her beloved planet. The main conflict is to keep the Vox from falling into the wrong hands, as it could unleash a great power capable of destroying the planet, which had happened twice before. They are commonly referred to as “the tragedy.”

Both Lan and Muginami have a brother who leads their own planet, called Le Garite and De Metrio, respectively. When their brothers are at odds, it puts a lot of strain on their friendship and especially on Madoka, whom they both wish to protect with their lives. When they do manage to get along, they can be childish and sweet, occasionally crossing over into yuri territory (but again, very mild stuff). What makes this series most appealing to me is their bond which must overcome years of bitter fighting between their planets. For instance, do you fight to protect your friends, or do you remain loyal to your people, even if they’re the ones threatening peace? As they show us repeatedly, it is never an easy decision.

The second season is where things start to get really crazy. Now Le Garite and De Metrio are literally headed on a crash course, so they set out to annihilate the other. Madoka finally leaves Earth for a while, which is a refreshing change of pace. When you really get to know the girl’s brothers, though, you realize that neither of them are big bad villains. Rather, they are just big children playing with dangerous toys. The solutions to their problems can be downright silly (like a punch to the stomach), so I’d advise you not to take anything too seriously. Just try to find amusement in the insanity of it all! This season also looks at the two “tragedies” in depth and how they’re connected to a few mysterious characters.

I don’t know if my review was convincing so much as informative, but I’d recommend Rinne no Lagrange to anyone looking for a mecha anime with an emphasis on friendship and girl power. Sometimes, it’s good to take a chance on something different and unpopular.

Season 1 Score: 7/10 meeps

Season 2 Score: 8/10 meeps

Rinne no Lagrange S2 Episode 12 [Final]

Another Day in Kamogawa

Annnd it’s all over! Madoka and her friends sing a happy theme song, the sky fills with flowers, and from there they take their club’s mission on the intergalactic level. To be honest, I expected an ending like this. It suits the theme of show where girl power/friendship prevails, so I have no complaints! I had to laugh when Moid escaped, though. They can’t even keep their eyes on the most wanted man in the universe? Well, at least he gets what’s coming to him. Somehow, he just disappears into pretty pink particles. Might I add that was a very freaky expression he had there?

Here’s what I didn’t expect: A chibi Dizelmine. Like Yurikano (who has also returned), he suddenly becomes younger. How adorable! =^_^=

So yeah, I simply enjoyed the ending; it’s a visual feast for the eyes. Everything gets wrapped up nicely.


Rinne no Lagrange S2 Episode 11

Beyond the Seas of Kamogawa

Moid may be a sad, pathetic excuse for a villain, but the finale is still fun!

Our three heroines find themselves separated and lost in the darkness, each attempting to fight against a version of Dizelmine. This is actually the place where Madoka met Yurikano for the first time. With Dizelmine having the upper hand, Madoka gets to the point where she almost gives up, that is until she sees a flashback of Dizelmine and Vilajulio making a pact as friends. She realizes that their friendship is much like hers with Lan and Muginami, and she promptly snaps out of depression after getting hit in the head by her lunchbox. Way to go, lunchbox! The three friends are reunited shortly to have lunch, talk about their future, and kick some Dizelmine butt. Power Puff Girls style.

Meanwhile, Moid finally reveals his intentions to Astelia. Twenty thousand years ago, he witnessed her being forced to open the Rin-ne, betrayed by everyone she trusted. She ultimately lost her mind which resulted in the destruction of the planet. Ever since then, he became obsessed with opening the Rin-ne using himself, but that power never chose him. Now instead, he is forcing Dizelmine to do the same. And for what, you might ask? Er…to hear “the voice?” Okay, whatever that is. His answer doesn’t seem to please Youko, so he receives a nice Falcon punch in the face. YEAH! Best scene in this anime. Ever.

At the end, we see Moid in handcuffs and everyone else praying for Madoka to save the planet. Oh yeah, and Vilajulio gets rescued. See? I told ya he wasn’t going to die. While nothing is surprising here, I still enjoyed the action, visuals, and storytelling. Even the soundtrack gets kicked up a notch, as a handful of songs are the best I’ve heard in this show.

Alright alright, I know a lot of people are unhappy with this episode (I stalk the anime forums from time to time), but really, what did you expect? Rinne has been an absurd show from the very beginning. We saw the most ridiculous thing happen not too long ago when Madoka punched Dizelmine in the stomach, and he was easily forgiven without any regard to the lives lost in the war. So why take it seriously now? It’s just meant to be crazy good fun! Or maybe I’ve lost it….

Rinne no Lagrange S2 Episodes 8, 9, & 10

Kamogawa Balloons

A White Kamogawa

Betrayal Over the Skies of Kamogawa

Episodes eight and nine are the calm before the storm. The biggest worry on Madoka’s mind is to make the Jersey Club official so they can keep their club room. They recruit a new member, a clumsy girl who’s in it for the robots, but it looks like they get to keep it without her anyway. Then the three cute alien dudes working for Madoka’s uncle decide to go their separate ways, so Madoka’s busy throwing them a Christmas/going away party. We get a hint that something’s not quite right, though. Moid takes the stone tablet that all the scientists have been studying, and Astelia reveals him to be a human from 20,000 years ago. Dun dun duuun.

Now as for episode ten… Woah!! Talk about intense. Although I don’t entirely understand Moid, he’s clearly messing with Dizelmine’s mind with that experiment and is trying to bring about another tragedy for whatever reason. Dizelmine is no longer the “cool-headed king” of Le Garite, but some madman out to get revenge on Vilajulio for a dispute they had ages ago. He starts another war and goes so far as to attack Laffinty and try to kill his former best friend. The fights are amazing, but I can’t help but feel bad for Vilajulio who tried to place trust in him this time. If only he knew what was going on… Stupid, creepy Moid. Anyway, I say “try to kill” because I can’t believe they’d kill off Vilajulio’s character just like that. He deserves to say a few dying words first.

So yeah, this is quite a predicament that our heroines find themselves in now. How will they stop Dizelmine and defeat Moid? And most importantly, will they ever have time to eat their lunches that Madoka’s uncle gave them? Will Madoka figure out her future? Wow, so many questions… o_o

Rinne no Lagrange S2 Episode 7

A Vow to Kamogawa

Well, it can’t get any more perfect than this! Dizelmine and Vailajulio make up and everybody accepts their apology just like that. Even though lives were lost, the only consequence they face is getting punched in the stomach by a 17-year old girl. Furthermore, Madoka and her friends make a vow to never use the vox in battle again. Yeah, it’s a bit too perfect. The good thing is that this isn’t the end. Otherwise I’d be like “Eh, that’s it? Really?”

So it turns out that Astelia is Queen Maycun from 20,000 years ago, and she caused the first tragedy to occur. I don’t know if she’s immortal or a reincarnation or what. But how will that revelation be used for anything now that everybody’s on the same side? What could happen that would trigger the possibility of another tragedy? I have no idea what the finale has in store for us. New enemies appear? Or perhaps Madoka will use all her power to change planetary orbits? Nothing’s impossible anymore… xD

One more thing. Did Dizelmine say earlier that the collision of their planets wouldn’t happen for another millennium and that caused his thinking to go astray? That…doesn’t make much sense unless he thought there’d be no opportunities like Madoka’s power in the next thousand of years. But still… He sure jumped the gun. o_O Not that I’m taking this really seriously. I just have to pick on it sometimes!

Rinne no Lagrange S2 Episode 6

May This Voice Reach Kamogawa

Madoka and Yurikano swap bodies, and it only gets crazier from there! As the ship is getting destroyed by those crystals, Muginami tries to rescue Madoka without realizing she’s actually Yurikano, and Madoka is forced into an escape pod by Dizelmine’s men. To make matters worse, Vilajulio is engaged in an all out space war with Dizelmine, laser beams flying off in every direction. Yurikano manages to get inside an ovid and defend herself quite well out there, but the real challenge is convincing everyone that she is Yurikano. It seems the best way she can do that is to bring up the most embarrassing moments in her life…that involves somebody being naked of course. *face palm* So…how could they possibly solve this? Oh, just think outside the box a little bit.

Madoka, being the bright girl she is, accidentally activates voice transmission from her pod, so everyone else can hear what she’s mumbling to herself. She figures out that Yurikano actually loves Dizelmine, and she expresses a need to tell him this in person. But how can she? She’s floating farther and farther away into the depths of space. Not to worry, Midori rushes in to save her and breaks into Dizelmine’s space garden. When he touches her hand, Madoka and Yurikano simply return to their bodies. They finally confess their feelings, with Yuri explaining that she can’t choose him over the destruction he’s causing. Vilajulio appears at the last minute to see her, but unfortunately, she turns into pink fairy dust and disappears. Madoka cracks her knuckles, ready to send these bad boys to time-out.

It really amuses me how everyone acts like a big kid in this show. They should definitely not be in charge of weapons that can destroy planets! If Yurikano and Dizelmine had just been more honest with their feelings, a lot of this could have been prevented. Maybe. I suppose there’s still the issue of their planets colliding, so I wonder how they’re going to deal with that. Well, first they’ve got to deal with a 17-year old girl who doesn’t look very happy with them…

I wish that the body swapping thing was used in a different way. It would have been interesting and funny to see Yurikano living as Madoka for a while. Or maybe I just find her a little less annoying than Madoka. =P Anyway. I’m still loving how ridiculous this show is. Call it a guilty pleasure or whatever. It’s fun! Who knows what’s left for the finale.

Rinne no Lagrange S2 Episode 5

In Orbit Above the Summer Skies of Kamogawa

At first glance, Le Garite is a paradise. You have beautiful space gardens, dresses, food, and of course, the oh-so-gorgeous Dizelmine. For a while, the girls enjoy the royal treatment, but you just know that it won’t last for long. Madoka eventually asks Dizelmine to see Yurikano and about why he hid her from Lan. His response goes something like wanting to protect Lan’s feelings from Yuri’s huge change of personality and amnesia. Yeah, right. Well, they buy into his weak excuse anyway, though Madoka isn’t allowed to see her just yet. It isn’t until she goes wandering around by herself in Dizelmine’s private space garden that he agrees to let them meet.

Dizelmine takes Madoka to the “Deep Level Experiment Division,” where Yurikano is laying unconscious. Her naivety shines through when she trusts Dizelmine to hook her up to a machine in an attempt to contact her. It turns out that his real plan is to embed Madoka’s mind into Yurikano so that they don’t need the Vox Aura to obliterate De Metrio. The process can’t be reversed, at least not according to Moid. When Madoka is finally able to connect to her, Yurikano explains that she sealed herself up in Rin-ne so that Dizelmine can’t use her power. Madoka tries to convince her that this isn’t the end, and they should ask them to understand, which results in a little slap fight. ^_^! While this is going underway, Muginami and Lan devise a plan to find Madoka, but it appears that they don’t make it in time… And the ship is getting destroyed by red crystals growing everywhere. Oh dear.

I know… It’s silly how this predicament happened in the first place, with the girls getting on Dizelmine’s ship as if it’s a field trip, let alone Astelia’s forces not being able to control them at all. But if you don’t take that stuff too seriously, then this show can be pretty entertaining. This episode in particular is among the best for the adventure and the dramatic turn of events. Dizelmine has finally shown his true colors, which is starting to make Vilajulio look like a good guy now. I expect there to be a lot of crazy action in the next episode, so bring it on. :3

Rinne no Lagrange S2 Episode 4

A Reunion in Kamogawa

Yeah, you can’t take anything in this show too seriously…but at least it’s still entertaining! As the episode title implies, all the characters get together for a meeting on Earth to discuss the fate of their planets. Or as I’d like to call it, a costume party, since everyone’s wearing something weird and different. To begin, Astelia traps Dizelmine and Vilajulio in an elevator, listening to their conversation from another room. Of course, they don’t really solve anything, but it’s interesting to learn that they used to be best friends. Meanwhile, their subordinates are bickering outside like children. Their problems would be easily solved if you could just give everyone a popsicle…

Dizelmine and Vilajulio (these are just the strangest names I’ve ever had to write) are pretty lax in the beginning, but when they have a real meeting with Astelia at the table, the drama finally unfolds. The mysterious girl, or Yurikano, turns out to be Vilajulio’s real sister. She only ended up with Dizelmine because he rescued her from the Tragedy of Militia Zodia, and she has no memories of her life before then. I think she had a greater involvement in it though, perhaps contributing to the cause. Dizelmine also mentioned that she is his trump card in the war. Vilajulio can’t stand it, so his scary, serious side comes out again! Woo!

It’s really cute to see Lan and Muginami’s reactions to their brothers being there. They can’t really believe it’s happening, and whenever one of their brothers offends the other, they have to apologize. =P Towards the end, Madoka is able to confront Yurikano. Why was she in her cockpit? And didn’t she meet her before then? Yurikano is either acting innocent or the answers are buried deep within her subconscious… So what happens next? Madoka and Muginami get the brilliant idea to disguise themselves as Lan’s “ordinary friends” to ride in one of Dizelmine’s ships. It’s a horrible disguise though! Silly girls. Well, I’m looking forward to their adventure to Le Garite! It’s just what I’ve been waiting for.

Rinne no Lagrange S2 Episodes 2 & 3

Mayhem on Kamogawa Beach

The Kamogawa Experiment

It’s hard for Lan and Muginami to get along since their brothers are enemies, but not to worry… Madoka makes everyone make up with a surprise kiss! Heh, awkwardness aside, it’s great to see them back together again. I was sort of hoping that this series would take place on another planet, but it looks like we’re sticking to Earth, as Lan and Muginami seek asylum there. For now, they place their hopes on Madoka who promises to do all she can to make everyone get along.

They do some fun stuff together, like host a haunted house at the beach and eat snow cones. It gets much more interesting when Astelia asks Madoka to participate in the Vox Particle Control Experiment, which is met with enthusiasm. They want to draw out the vox’s power to use for…something good, as opposed to the others. Dizelmine just wants the power to destroy other planets, particularly De Metrio, since their planets will eventually collide… It’s a simple setup, but an interesting one.

So during the experiment (skipping over Astelia’s perverted comments to get Madoka revved up…*ahem*…), this…mysterious girl screams at Madoka and tries to choke her for opening “the Rinne” again, and it cuts to a scene of a planet getting obliterated. Madoka realizes that she met this girl before on the beach where she was much nicer (was that in S1? I can’t remember…). And she looks a lot like the girl hanging out with Dizelmine at the end. I’m excited to see where this will go.

Love the music as always…

First Impression: Rinne no Lagrange S2

Rinne no Lagrange S2

Rinne no Lagrange is…a strange mecha anime that is surprisingly entertaining. The first thing that many people think is that it’s going to be filled with fan service, but I assure you that it’s not that bad. What usually makes fan service annoying are the constant jokes about it. This is not one of those types of shows…thankfully. I don’t mind a joke here and there. =P

So why do I think this anime is strange? Well, the three main mecha pilots (or Vox pilots) are girls from different planets, defending the Earth against other aliens. It’s just not something that you see everyday. The main character, Madoka, appears to be your ordinary, energetic girl and proud member of the Jersey club. In S1, she recruited two alien girls, Lan (princess of La Garite), and Muginami (from a rebel group called KISS). They became good friends, but serious issues emerged between Muginami and the others because her “prince” is pretty much everyone’s enemy. Now she wants to kill Madoka?! *gasp* What makes the show work well for me is all the character drama, accompanied by an awesome soundtrack. I never really get bored watching.
Needless to say, I am looking forward to the second season. S1 hinted towards an interesting role for Astelia, and I still want to know about the horrible fate that awaits all Vox pilots…