Title: Rinne no Lagrange
Genre: Comedy, Science Fiction
Summary: Madoka is the lone member of her school’s Jersey Club. She is one day recruited by a mysterious girl named Lan to pilot the robot “Vox” and protect her city from space invaders. They are joined by a third girl, Muginami, who has a different goal than Ran. Meanwhile, they still don’t know their enemies’ true goal, or what “Rinne” might be.
Review: I wanted to write this review before the second season came out this summer. The reason being that this anime came as a complete blindside on my radar and ended up being one of the best of the Winter season. I was completely taken back by its interesting story, characters, action, and flow. It was no wonder it gained enough popularity to not only make a second season, but also an upcoming movie. Extremely excited for both and hopefully this review gets you excited as well.
I’m pleased to say that this anime didn’t disappointed in subtle fan service and hardcore action. Now some of you may be thinking that the fan service wasn’t subtle considering I pointed it out right away, but hear me out here when I say that it really was subtle. It’s not like they had breasts bobbling about or panties flashing in your face for over half the episode. There were a few choice angles that both looked cool and a little ecchi. Moving on before this artwork discussion gets creepy the action was also stimulation to watch. This was probably one of the first mech anime that I’ve gotten into for a while. Although it didn’t have the artistic brilliance of Star Driver, it still had some great visuals. Among beautiful scenery and dynamic backgrounds Rinne no Lagrange also had some nifty lighting effects. It didn’t go over the top and make the entire screen a seizure inducing mess; instead it brought out the fundamentals for solid visuals. The scene that best sticks in my mind for the art alone was when the flower pedals were falling from the sky to the Earth below. I don’t want to give away so you’ll just have to watch for yourself!
At first I thought that the story of Rinne no Lagrange was going to be poorly thrown together and have loosely tied backstories. Thankfully the anime proved me wrong two-fold and brought a captivating yet simple to follow storyline. It wasn’t anything over the top so you wouldn’t get lost in all the details, but still offered something unique so you didn’t get bored with it. I feel that much of this came from the character designs the series decided to go for. Instead of making all the characters completely different, they overlapped in a lot of qualities. The mighty trio of Madoka, Lan, and Muginami consisted of some of the best teamwork and internal conflict I have ever seen. Rinne no Lagrange made it clear exactly how every character felt and followed with flawless reactions. None of them were whiney and annoying or overly happy. They acted much like anyone else would in the situation they were put in if not better. I’m glad that Madoka wasn’t a girl who sat in the background trying to comprehend all that was going on before taking action. I’m glad that Lan tried very hard to keep a level head but was still capable of strong emotions. I’m glad that Muginami wasn’t all that she posed to be when initially meeting the other two girls and had some depth to her eccentric personality. The girls were different enough to make the trio seem dynamic, but similar to keep it together. I wouldn’t be surprised if they managed to base these three off actually people and their friendship. The story itself was also enjoyable to watch because you weren’t exactly sure what was going on. There was a whole past that you weren’t able to fully comprehend because the series throws you in the middle of a war. However, you were able to piece together what this entire mess was all about. It was that kind of story telling that kept me coming back every week to place another piece in the puzzle.
The soundtrack for Rinne no Lagrange wasn’t bad either. Although I’ll say it was probably the most lacking portion of the anime because I never really bothered to check out the full versions after the season was completed, it was still good enough. That’s all it was though, good enough. It served its purpose of being at the very least good background music and didn’t force me to skip the opening or ending. I wouldn’t give them a good listen after the first time either though. The background music was probably the best because there were a lot of instrumentals that got me pumped for the next fight. The battle music was either a mix of brass and strings or new-age techno. I was really happy with how they put it all together and glad that I at least skimmed the OST.
Final statements: Easily a high priority watch and I suggest marathoning through it before the second season and movie. A lot of great scenes such as the “Goodbye” scene (which anyone who has seen the season will know exactly what I’m talking about) and first mech battle.
“Maru!” – MadokaTags: Anime, Review, Rinne no Lagrange, Winter 2012