Rinne no Lagrange – 14

Madoka is able to wake Aura up in time to break up the fight between Lan and Muginami, but only for a moment, as they both retreat and Aura shuts down again. Certain that if they didn’t leave the planet they headed for Kamogawa, Madoka swims to shore from Pharos, and sure enough, Lan and Muginami are in the Sweats clubroom, where Madoka insists that rather than fight amongst themselves, they try to find a way to bring Dizelmine and Villagiulio together. Lan and Muginami are granted asylum on earth.

We’d been wondering what exactly is the beef between Lan and Muginami’s worlds, and this episode answers that question: their home planetary systems are literally on a collision course with one another. The Vox is a potentially planet-killing power that could be used by one world (in this case, Le Garite) to destroy the other (De Metrio) before that collision happens. Better to save one planet than to let two be destroyed, right? Perhaps, but the planet being destroyed has every right to object nonetheless, and it does. Most strongly.

Muginami and Lan aren’t just fighting each other for no reason, or because they’re on different sides. They each believe their cause is the most just, and both believe their actions are protecting Madoka. The thing is, Madoka doesn’t want either’s protection if it means they’ll be at each others’ throats. That just isn’t the “Sweats Club Way” (the Sweats Club Way is everyone kisses and makes up). So before there’s any killing or weapon-harnessing or planet-busting, Madoka believes it’s worth a shot to try to reconcile the brothers. This should be good…

Rating: 6 (Good)

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse – 03

Ensign Yuuya Bridges transfers from Nevada to Yukon Base in Alaska, joining a international group of elite TSF pilots called Argos Flight: Stella Bremer from Sweden, Valerio Giacosa from Italy; Tarisa Manandal from Nepal; and lieutenants Takamura Yui from Japan and Ibraham Doglu from Turkey. Bridges and Stella team up against Tarisa and VG in a mock battle. Bridges is able to use himself as a decoy in order to get the cocky Tarisa in the right position for Stella to snipe her. Though he won the battle, Takamura isn’t impressed.

With Takamura the only survivor in last week’s dark bloodbath, the series serves up a fresh cast; the one we’ll probably be following the rest of the series. We like how casually the group comes together; no barrage of dozens of characters. The episode doesn’t try to do too much, after all, we’re still a little disoriented after the events of the first two episodes, which covered years; this week only covers days. But those first episodes painted a vivid picture of the trials Takamura Yui went through to get to where she is now: a lieutenant in an elite UN corps that may be humanity’s last best hope of survival. It also explains why she doesn’t like Bridges.

Of the members of Argos, only Bridges and his pal Vincent are from the US, a country not under Beta occupation. It’s apparent his life’s been a lot easier than Yui’s, nor he hasn’t seen any of the horrors she’s lived through (i.e., he hasn’t seen any friends get EATEN). The way he wins the battle – letting the enemy get right on top of him and relying on Stella to bail him out – probably wouldn’t work in a real batle against the Beta. At this point, we still like Yui the best, followed Stella (nicknamed “Venus”) and Valerio (“Macaroni”), where were inoffensive enough. But “Top Gun” Bridges seems like kind of a dick, while Tarisa (“Chobi”) is a shrill, irritating, arrogant little brat. Here’s hoping they mellow out a little.

Rating: 6 (Good)