Rinne no Lagrange – 23

“Beyond the seas of Kamogawa”, Madoka, Lan and Muginami are separated on dark beaches, and launch individual attcks on Dizelmine’s Vox, to no avail. Eventually Midori, Orca and Hupo help their beaten-down pilots reach one another, and the three girls combine their forces to throw Dizelmine across the sea, into the “ceiling” of the realm they inhabit. Meanwhile, Asteria and Youko take Moid into custody, and the De Metrio and La Garite forces agree to a cease-fire.

Dark, creepy skies…red thunder…glass birds dive-bombing bystanders and exploding — things must be getting down to the wire! The penultimate episode of Rinne no Lagrange snuck up on us somewhat, but it’s a very competent, confident episode balancing action and quiet character work, and doesn’t pull any arbitrary stunts. It stays true to the tone and overarching credo of the series thus far: friendship is magic…to borrow a term.

While in an abyss of sorts, the girls see flashes of the young Dizelmine and Villagiulio making a pact to stick together through thick and thin. But somewhere down the line, Villagiuvio betrayed Dizelmine, and that hurt him deeper than even he probably realized. The one who did know was Moid, who used Dizelmine as an instrument to open Rinne because…well, Moid’s kinda the weak link here, because he just wants THE ABSOLUUUTE POWAAAAH.

He knew the right buttons to get Dizelmine to totally lose it, and he pressed them. Even in binders, he gloats that it’s too late to stop what he’s started, but Asteria, AKA Queen Maycun, thinks otherwise (Maycun, who like Dizelmine was a puppet for unscrupulous baddies.) Madoka, Muginami, and Lan can still stop this thing before the world’s engulfed. We’ll see if we’re correct in believing three yelling girls can defeat one yelling crazy guy.


Rating: 9 (Superior)

P.S. Oh yeah, Villagiulio isn’t dead. Guess there wasn’t a need for everyone to break out their Horrified Faces after all!

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Mawaru Penguindrum – 12 (Retro Review)

Originally posted 1 Oct 2011 – Shoma describes to Ringo how his family killed her sister Momoka on the day she was born. It involved some kind of multifaceted operation that somehow resulted in a subway accident that claimed Momoka’s life. With Shoma and Kanba unable to retrieve the penguin drum, Himari weakens, and the headdress loses its power, which would result in her death. Kanba won’t allow that, and gives his own life energy to her, as he had in the past to revive her, but it’s not enough, and Himari flatlines…

It can be tempting to feel like you’re being strung along with Mawaru Penguindrum. It’s constantly shooting out hints, but it keeps so much below the surface sometimes, you start to wonder: how much of this will make sense by the end, and how much will just never be explained? Is the “Destination of Fate” a future setting? What’s with this talk of taboos, followed immediately by Kanba kissing a nude Himari? And what is the librarian doing with those oompaloompas?

The last few episodes were actually quite revealing from a storytelling standpoint. We now know for certain that Kanba made some kind of a deal to save Himari; it wasn’t a miracle. Shoma too seems to know more than he’d let on early in the series. It could well be that phenomena like helper penguins and survival strategies were old hat to the bros before the series even started? This and many, many other questions still abound. Fortunately, Mawaru Penguindrum has plenty of time to address them. So we’ll remain patient and have faith it will all come together by the end.


Rating: 9 (Superior)