Rinne no Lagrange – 11

Vox Lympha and Ignis are deployed to repel a large De Metrio attack on Pharos, but both are cornered when they split up; Muginami by Villagiulio, and Lan by a barrage of repelling fire. Madoka enters Pharos and prepares to launch in Aura. It takes convincing from Youko for Asteria to authorize her launch. Madoka turns the tables in the aerial battle, and her classmates at school even launch a firework and form words of encouragement. The De Metrio fleet fires on Kamogawa, but the blast is absorbed by Kirius, Array, and Izo. Still, an enemy ovid lands in the schoolyard, injuring Youko and others, and causing Madoka to lose control. Rin-ne blooms again, and the enemy ovids start to crystallize.

Three is better than two – that’s the main takeaway this week. If you’re going to be defeated otherwise, why not throw everything you have at an enemy, and damn the cautionary legends? We understand that Asteria’s first duty is to protect earth, which means preventing the demons of Vox from reawakening. But her stubbornness almost leads to the destruction of Pharos, Kamogawa’s last line of defense (which is also the episode’s title.) Lan and Muginami fight valiantly, but ultimately two isn’t enough to fight off the multi-vector onslaught of De Metrio. Whatever happens next week, Asteria made the right choice, albeit a bit late.

Very intriguing is the surprise appearence of Kirius, Izo and Array, protecting Kamogawa of all places. Just more evidence their loyalties are uncertain; one could say they’re on their own side. And perhaps visiting the town and interacting with people compelled them to prevent their destruction. As for the fleet up in orbit, they want the Voxes destroyed, and they don’t care how many people are killed in the process as long as that’s done. The final scene is another Rin-ne bloom, instigated by Madoka’s fear her sister/mentor may be dead. The battle was won, but the final cost won’t be known until next week.


Rating: 4

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Bakuman 2 – 23

Miura reads Ashirogi’s manuscript for Perfect Crime Club. While at first he finds its crimes petty, the realistic art and serious tone draw him in. He believes it will be a hit. While at any other serialization meeting, it would easily pass, the editors have to determine whether it will be able to beat Crow and +Natural, right now. Their deliberations go on a long time, as Mashiro has a Christmas get-together with Takagi and Kaya. The resulting vote at the meeting is tied 3-3, and the Chief editor with the tie-breaking vote. He believes it’s good, but not enough to win. With the final vote 4-3, Perfect Crime Club will not be serialized by Jack.

Bakuman is full of foolish promises. The idea that Mashiro and Miho cannot possibly be together unless they achieve their dreams is getting to be a major problem. Huge chunks of their youth have been spent away from each other. Yes, they love each other, but the idealism of their promise is starting to strain credulity. Case in point: Takagi and Kaya have Mashiro over for their first Christmas as a married couple. Why isn’t Miho there? Because of that silly promise, made when they were still kids. We know this issue has been covered exhaustively and they both seem to be committed to keeping the promise, but these constant drawbacks make the dreams they seek to achieve seem more like mirages; impossible to ever reach. Time will tell, we guess.

That’s beause of another dumb promise: to create a manga that can defeat Niizuma Eiji, or leave Jack for good. Ashirogi Muto has been through the pressure cooker enough; there was no need to gamble themselves into a corner. We held out hope Perfect Crime Club, which is the most original and best-thought-out manga Ashirogi’s created to date – would at least be given a shot to compete, but the Chief Editor took their gamble to mean that they the editors – and they alone, not the readers – would be the arbitors of the manga’s fate. With that, it seems like Ashirogi Muto’s Jack days are finished, unless Hattroi and Miura have any other tricks up their sleeve.


Rating : 3.5

Ozuma – 01

In a future where the world has become a desert and oceans are sand, humans cling to survival in remote oases. Sand pirate Sam Coin seeks to bag an Ozma, the gargantuan sand whales that lurk beneath the surface. Instead, he comes across a woman being pursued by the Theseus military. He rescues her and brings her back to his home of Port Oase, and aboard the ship he serves on, the Bardanos. After a tour, Theseus ships return in force to collect Maya. Maya surrenders, but Bardanos Captain Bainas refuses to give her up, and orders the ship to dive into the sand using its Quantum Transition (QT) drive.

We’ve been watching sky pirates and space pirates, so why not sand pirates? The sci-fi world of Ozuma is bleaker than Aquarion, Lagrange, or Moretsu. When we first saw Sam Coin on his flying contraption, we immediately thought of Princess Nausicaa on her jet-glider. His hometown of Port Oase, with its windmills, is similar to the Valley of the Wind. The huge Ozuma, well, they’re like Nausicaa’s ohmu; mysterious and awe-inspiring, much like ocean whales. Sam Coin’s a archetypal good guy; if he sees someone weak being bullied by the strong, he’s going to help. Doing so nets him a beautiful but potentially troublesome fugitive in Maya (voiced by none other than Lacus Clyne), and irks his childhood friend Mimei (who also voices Aquarion’s MIX and Bakuman’s Iwase). We also like the tough Captain Bainas, who decides to protect Maya – who may have important info. It’s also a chance to thumb her nose at authority.

Frankly, we don’t have a problem with Ozuma’s borrowing of elements from Nausicaa, along with Gundam and Dune. Its character design and score are decidedly, unapologetically old-school. Side characters come in every shape and size, while the core characters all have different color eyes. It looks and sounds like the eighties, only the picture is crystal clear and in widescreen, adding majesty. Whether the nostalgia is intentional on the part of the producers, they’ve regardless crafted a wonderful setting and a fun and colorful cast. The throwback aesthetic is the icing on the cake. Ozuma will only run for six episodes, and this first one was also very efficient and got much of the introductions out of the way. We’re definitely looking forward to whatever comes next.


Rating: 4