Posted by psgels on 24 September 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews, Rinne no Lagrange



Mecha series today are a bit rarer than what they were in the past, but they definitely still keep getting made. 2012 gave us shows as Eureka Seven Ao, Aquarion Evol and the entirely original Rinne no Lagrange. In the first season we already got to see its rather interesting sense of plot progression, and with this we finally finished its long-awaited conclusion.

Now, let me start by saying that Rinne no Lagrange is very unconventional as a mecha series. It’s usually a series of action and lots of fight and over the top plot twist. Instead the mecha fights only take up a small portion of this series. The first season spent much of that extra time building up and creating characters, whereas the second season is more about developing a plot about two warring planets and the mindsets of the leaders. At the same time it still tries to keep true to its themes of reaching out to others, rather than fighting and the slice of life. It’s a daring combination indeed, and unfortunately it does have a few hiccups, but also interesting results.

The most interesting of the results is that it has quite a good cast of characters. It really devotes time to explore the relationships between the different members of the cast, and this definitely pays off in the second season, whether this is the bond between the three female characters, or between the kinds of the two worlds. Again this uses the theme of reaching out and talking to each other above fighting quite well. It also leads so a number of very enjoyable and whimsical scenes.

The hiccups result from trying to be too epic at the same time as trying to be personal. On one hand it tries to create this huge setting involving three planets, on the other it tries to revolve everything around five characters. It doesn’t combine too well, and especially in the final arc of the story it doesn’t really seem like it really knows how to deliver an action packed climax so it just pulls a berserk button on one of the villains, removing any personal aspect of his character.

At its best though, it is kindof refreshing to see this series deal so lightly with politics that are usually entirely serious, and it still manages to take itself seriously despite of it (compared to series that turn politics into a joke for the sake of moe…). It still didn’t quite exactly strike the right balance, but it’s an interesting attempt nevertheless. However, I do have to say that I expected more of this series. It’s all a bit too careful, especially considering the ingredients it had as a fully original story, not based on anything. Take Madoka’s aunt for example: a wonderful character, who mostly just stands on the sidelines doing nothing. There were points at which it should have taken a few more risks. It’s a tad too mundane to really make an impact, and it definitely had the potential for it.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Gives a different spin to the mecha genre by combining politics with slice of life, but failed to tweak the balance.
Characters: 8.5/10 – Great and enjoyable cast with a good resolution, though had the potential to be more.
Production-Values: 8/10 – There are a few moments of eye candy, but apart from that the animation is pretty average. Soundtrack is as good as ever.
Setting: 8/10 – Could have been great, but is a bit stuck in a limbo between this show’s wishes to be both epic and down to earth.

Suggestions:
RD Sennou Chousashitsu
Mouretsu Pirates
Simoun

7 Responses

  1. meow says:

    Liked it. Believable happy ending. Surprisingly, Asteria didn’t disappear, even though Moid did. Not complaining. XD

  2. Kamen Grinder says:

    0-79 : imaginary rating.
    91-100 : really really good mood.

    Are you using the modern review scale?
    They’re using it on Myanimelist.

    http://i.imgur.com/TNgaP.png

    • Scruffy says:

      I think the difference you see between how a reviewer rates a show and a fan of anime is simply this; First you have to watch the show! You have to enjoy it enough to watch the thing. That is why on MAL I very rarely rate a show less than a 5. After all why would I have continued watching the show if I didn’t enjoy it?? Reviewers are paid to watch stuff and so will force themselves to sit through stuff they hate.

  3. hoiut says:

    I still find it hard to believe such an over-the-top, super-energized show shares the same director as Mouretsu Pirates. It’s…just… how on earth does that work?!

    (Before anyone agrees, yes, I know, it’s as if the director of the epic Death Note was the same guy who directed garbage like, well, Guilty Crown or something.)

    Still, would you recommend something like RnL to someone who likes more “serious” or “realistic” scifi?

    • meow says:

      Um…actually I think Moretsu Pirates and Rinne no Langrange are in the same niche. They both have capable female leads, friendship in lieu of romance, a kind of laid-back atmosphere sometimes.

      I wouldn’t describe Moretsu as serious or realistic. There’s plenty of suspension of disbelief and…um…cosplay. Eg. A yacht club that can crew a custom pirate spaceship into several missions…I’m reminded of that disney movie with those space cadet fanclub that accidentally get launched in one of Nasa’s space shuttles and somehow lands it back safely – and that was already quite a stretch. This is…yeah. ^^

      • hoiut says:

        Hm, so in both series, character capability is the big stretch. I can certainly attest to the fact that Mouretsu was a fair bit taxing to my suspension of disbelief, but the circumstances were nonetheless extremely realistic to me. (Also, I found it somewhat plausible that in the far future areal or even “safe” space travel would be commonplace enough to have a space yacht club.)

        There was a fair bit of SCIENCE there (eheh) and the atmosphere certainly tried to pass for “harder” sci-fi. Suppose we were to suspend our belief in the same quantity for the same reasons — would the two still be similar enough to recommend to the same audiences?

  4. meow says:

    For some reason, I’m having difficulty grasping the “extremely realistic” part of your description of Moretsu Pirates’s circumstances but I think I get what you mean. I liked Moretsu Pirates but I wouldn’t put it in the same universe as LoGH or Tytania. Maaaaaybe Stellvia, although while Moretsu was fun, Stellvia was simply epic.

    There was a fair bit of SCIENCE there (eheh) and the atmosphere certainly tried to pass for “harder” sci-fi

    Well Moretsu Pirates is more into space opera, a “fun” space opera (Schoolgirl Pirates of the Space Carribean?) whereas Rinne no Lagrange is more like a super robot sci-fi, possibly aimed at an audience more into personal drama with mecha tacked into it somehow and less into technicalities like zero gravity, the finer points of ship-to-ship tactics, etc.

    LoGH vs ? Sorry, I can’t think of another setting similar to Rinne no Lagrange at the moment. I think there are some but they aren’t coming to mind.

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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 01:18 AM)
    Also looking back I notice heavy thematic similarities between Elysium and Battle Angel Alita. The labor division and the great disparity in life-quality of Earth versus Elysium is almost a direct parallel to Tiphares and the Scrapyard. I wonder if this is going to hinder the Alita’s Hollywood adaptation, in which case good- that horrendous GitS one is more than enough.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 01:13 AM)
    Truthfully Seinen is an age/gender demographic and not really a genre or category, but even within Japan the term has come to be identified with manga that have sexuality and violence like the works of Go Nagai instead of those that contain general adult themes. That’s why comedies are pretty much never considered Seinen, even though some are probably only appreciated by the Seinen crowd.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Mar 2. 2015 01:29 AM)
    Late to this one but
    @BrendanVGC, that’s kinda tough. See there is a huge amount of very different manga that fall under the category “Seinien” You would kinda need to give us a more focused genre to work with here. Like horror, action etc.
    And pretty sure death note is shounen.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:35 AM)
    Damon I am more used to seeing in a drama or comedy role I reckon rather than an action hero.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:24 AM)
    Eric Bana is so underated =<
    I want to see more of the man on film.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:52 AM)
    The story would’ve been much more anchored and believable if the social imbalance wasn’t portrayed so heavy-handedly. It makes no sense for every house in Elysium to have a healing-bed that completely restores you and they dint bother to put a single one on Earth to keep the working class happy and healthy. I mean, c’mon now.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:49 AM)
    Yeah the action sequences were the best parts of Elysium. I don’t k ow, I just don’t feel Matt Damon in these roles anymore and I hope they stayed with Eric Bana like the rumors were hinting; that probably would’ve made it a more personal story.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:55 AM)
    Its been too long since I saw district 9 to have an accurate opinion on it.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:54 AM)
    I can remember giving higher points to elysium when I saw it first because I really needed/wanted to see an R rated action movie. But apart from Sharlto Copley as the villain it was in hindsight fairly miscast, the ending was quite poor and the script could have been improved on, I liked the robots/action scenes however.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:20 AM)
    I have a feeling that the movie’s gonna suck tho. District 9 was good, Elysium was a mess and Chappie looks like a Short Circuit ripoff with nothing new to add. I have respect for Blomkamp since he started as an animator and probably has respect for the medium and a good eye for aesthetics, by he’s doing progressively more conventional stuff as his career goes on.

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