Rinne no Lagrange – 20

The three Jersey Club members each experience the feeling of being watched and/or stalked. Student Council member Shoko then informs them they’ll have to vacate their clubroom, as the club is not officially-sanctioned. Their solution is to apply for official club status, which means having to recruit a fourth member to meet the minimum. Reiko Miki, the girl who was watching them, comes forward to join, but she proves extremely clumsy. When she asks when she’ll get to ride a robot, the break the bad news to her at the Tanada Night Festival, complete with Vox balloons. The next day, she quits the club to find her own happiness. Moid transforms the stone tab into a talisman of some kind, and prepares to hand it over to Dizelmine.

There’s a two-part answer to the question “With no more conflict between La Garite and De Metrio, what’s next for this series?” First, the down-to-earth day-to-day of the Jersey club will continue. Second, the conflict may not be over after all, from the look of things on this episode’s periphery. A 20,000-year-old weapon has been dug up and now appropriated by Moid, Dizelmine’s right-hand man. Asteria blames herself for causing the catastrophe, but there are holes in her memory that keep her from properly assessing the threat of the stone slab. Now that it’s in Moid’s clutches, things have gotten more complicated.

Moid has always seemed like a pleasant enough guy, but also struck us as a little bit off, with a potential for sinister deeds. It looks like we’re about to find out just what he’s capable of, and whether it will hurt the new and fragile intergalactic peace. In the meantime, we’re treated to a mostly lightweight episode dominated by the enlistment – and prompt resignation – of the fourth Jersey Club member, the bobbed Reiko Miki, who is your classic klutz fangirl who bails as soon as she learns she’s not getting a robot. The clubroom crisis goes away of its own accord. We also enjoyed the brief girls-night-out between Jersey Club founder Youko and her friend Machiko.

Rating: 6 (Good)

Rinne no Lagrange – 18

Dizelmine’s experiment has made Yurikano and Madoka switch bodies, also causing an anomaly that is causing his flagship to crystallize. Yurikano is led away by Muginami, while guards escort Madoka to an escape pod; neither know about the body swap. Yurikano flees and pilots an ovid, fighting beside Kirius, Izo and Array in the orbital battle between La Garite and De Metrio. The Voxes come to retrieve their pilots, but Midori is confused by the body swap. Madoka inadvertently opens a general emergency frequency, and her astute analysis of Yurikano is broadcasted to all. After touching Yurikano makes her and Madoka switch back, Dizelmine admits he still loves her, but won’t let that get in the way of his plans. She returns to Rin-ne, and the crystallization ceases.

After that dull and plodding Muv-Luv episode, Rinne no Lagrange demonstrates just how much action, drama, and subtle comedy you can cram into a single episode, without overwhelming. Just about everyone is involved in the events of this week, save the crew on Pharos, who watch helplessly as the Voxes launch themselves and a potentially nasty intergalactic battle commences in orbit. And all the various parties have their own missions and agendas that have led them all to converge. Villagiulio wants Yurikano back (finally, Kirius, Izo and Array have something to do!). His hothead adjutant wants to engage La Garite in battle and gets her wish. Dizelmine wants Yurikano in Madoka’s body so he’ll have his weapon. And Madoka, Lan, and Muginami are united in their goal to avoid the brothers from destroying each other. Nuvomundus would be content to avoid Earth being destroyed too.

Amidst all the chaos, there’s still time for light moments, like Yurikano convincing everyone she’s Yurikano, and Madoka floating helplessly in her escape pod, polishing off her rations immediately and accidentally opening a comms channel. We also liked how she thought she was talking to herself, but in fact everyone can hear her, and all stop what they’re doing to listen. In her brief time back in the normal world, Yurikano reiterates her love for her betrothed, Dizelmine, but both of them feel they have higher duties, so the romance she dreamed of years ago isn’t going to pan out. More importantly, Dizelmine’s plot to pull her out of Rin-ne fails, and he’s left with one less superweapon.

Rating: 8 (Great)

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)

Rinne no Lagrange – 13

Note: we’re labelling the recap of the first season episode 12.5, making this episode 13. Click here for season one reviews.

Nearly a year after the events of the first season, Kyono Madoka is still in the Jersey Club, still waiting tables at her uncle’s restaurant and seasid cafe, and is weary of making plans for the future. Lan is undergoing Vox trials at a La Garite starbase that is ambushed by De Metrio, led by Villagiulio and Muginami. Lan returns to Kamogawa and begs Madoka to fight beside her in Vox Aura. Aura has remained dormant the whole time, but when Muginami arrives and fights Lan, it wakes up and Madoka races after her dueling friends.

This is the seventh Summer anime we’ll be watching. It puts us right back into the thick of things, with a Sweats Club that is back down to only one member, with the other two at each others’ throats, paralleling their civilizations’ animosity. Nearly everyone Madoka talks to in Kamogawa is worried about her being frozen in time; that she needs to move on and think of college and a career. But she can’t stop thinking about Lan and Muginami. She wants everyone back together; one happy family keeping the town safe.

When Lan returns, it’s not a social visit. She’s spent the better part of her time away being poked and prodded by scientists under the command of her cold brother, King Dizelmine. Lan wants Madoka to pilot Vox again. Muginami seems devoted to ensuring that doesn’t happen. We were surprised Vox Aura was back up and running by episode’s end; we thought the series would continue to handicap its heroine with relative powerlessness. But Midori wakes up and she’s back in the game. We’ll see if she can calm her two fiery friends.

Rating: 7 (Very Good)