Still in Rinne, Madoka, Lan and Muginami find Dizelmine unconscious on the beach with Yurikano. She tells them their will changed his heart and brought him back, and she’ll stay there with him. Madoka isn’t having any of it, and they return to Kamogawa with Yurikano and Dizelmine, who loses ten years in age. Moid evaporates. Youko, Asteria, and Nuvomundus continues its research on the Vox and Rinne. After graduation, Madoka keeps the Sweats Club together and even adds more members, using the Vox to expand the range of their duties across Polyhedron.
Well, not only can three yelling girls defeat one yelling crazy guy, they can make him un-crazy, and save the world by singing the Sweats Club Song! His plans foiled, Moid simply disappears, while the Polyhedron planet collision problem kinda fixes itself. Madoka, Lan, and Muginami stay together after high school and continue operating as the Jersey Club, helping people all over the galaxy. Everyone comes out okay (except the unlamented Moid), and Dizelmine emerges ten years younger and is forgiven for trying to Blow Everything Up.
Too neat an ending for you? Not enough peril, or sacrifice, you say? Well, this was always a series that always throttled back when things got too dark, and was never above lightening an otherwise tense or somber mood with the occasional moment of levity. A series that neither sought nor required Gundam levels of seriousness. It was, for its entire run, presented a pleseant and hopeful vision. Things may have gotten pretty hairy there for a time, but Madoka & Co. pulled through like everyone knew she would, and disaster was averted. We leave the Sweats Club busier and more in demand than ever, as humanity embraces their spacefaring cousins who left Earth twenty milennia ago.
Rinne no Lagrange was never about war between robots or planets or nations or siblings – it was about peace, friendship, reconciliation, and accomplishing great things together…and always having a lunch packed for you.
Rating: 7 (Very Good)
Villagiulio prepares an assault on Pharos as Kiss space forces corner a La Garite fleet. Kirius, Array and Izo agree to participate, but they’re doing it for Yurikano. Meanwhile, the Sweats Club surveys the school art festival, visiting all the exhibits they helped out with. Asteria is there to sample a Japanese festival. Both Lan and Muginami are borrowed by classmates who need their assistance, leaving Madoka alone. Asteria makes matters worse by telling her they were ordered to keep it secret they’re sortieing without her. Borrowing a boat, she watches them launch, and vows to go with them. Back within Pharos, Vox Aura powers up…
Poor Madoka. Last year at the festival, she was a Sweats Club of one; helping wherever needed, and praised for said help, but in the end, alone. This year, it’s almost the same, as the two friends she made through her “extracurricular” activities (fighting to save Kamogawa) are branching out much faster than she expected. Tactless but correct, Asteria tells her it’s perfectly reasonable to fear being alone again. Being alone means you have no one to depend on but yourself, and if you fail, the whole dang venture fails.
This was an episode that underscored Madoka’s powerlessness, but by the end, it seemed she was going to find one way or another to re-insert herself in the decisive fight that looms. Her Vox Midori seems to respond to this intense need. Will it start up on its own and fly out to her? She seemed to be okay with Nuvomundus’ decision to ground her, but when it comes down to it, she isn’t going to stand on the sidelines. Maybe that’s selfish of her, considering the risk of repeating a calamity. So be it.
While Todoroko and Moid determine what to do with her, Muginami thinks back to her childhood on the harsh penal colony on planet U-Go, where she was alone and suffering until she found a young Villagiulio washed up on the shore. They had been together ever since – until she came to Earth. Lan tells Madoka that Villagiulio was the crown prince of Demetrio, and everyone thought he would be an agent of peace, but it wasn’t to be. Now understanding Muginami’s position, she seeks her out to apologize. Muginami apologizes too, but sneaks out in the night. Lan, then Madoka stop her, and tell her she shouldn’t go, because they’re all family now.
We may not have learned anything new about last week’s blooming of Rin-ne, but we did learn a lot more about Muginami, whose character got a boost of sympathy. Her Dark Past involves living on a hopeless, horrible-looking planet where it’s always dark and cold and grey – the last place you’d expect her to come from. Of the three girls, she’s had the roughest life – which both belies and explains why she’s so fashion-conscious and perfect at everything now: she had to work that much harder to scrape together a life.
Her life started with nothing, and it would have ended with nothing long ago if it weren’t for Villagiulio. Of course, now he’s a changed man, and it would seem he’s no longer interested in being Muginami’s family, but now she has a new one in the Sweats Club, made official by skinny-dipping at sea. Which brings us to the fanservice this week – there was a lot of it. Fortunately, it was mostly incidental never that overt…aside from the pan of a wet Lan covered in eels, of course. And we’re hoping Madoka eventually learns to pronounce Villagiulio’s name right. It’s not that hard!
Able athlete and “Sweats Club” president Kyono Madoka is one day confronted by a mysterious silver-haired girl named Lan, who escorts her to an offshore installation where she’s brought face to face with a robot she’s meant to pilot. Lan was sent from space by L’Egalite to protect her from Demetria, their enemy. Madoka pilots the robot and defeats the Demetrian counterpart using a kendo move.
This Winter 2012 series has delivered the most visual punch, and if it keeps up this ambitious level of quality, it will certainly be doing battle with Moretsu Pirates, once that series gets out into space and starts flexing its muscles. Still, this series was the first to provide a big action setpiece (Madoka’s first duel), and it was quite well done. This show has a budget and knows how to use it, both in CGI and design as well as really nice use of color, light, and a really appealing futuristic techno score, all working in concert to create a sleek, slick, and optimistic setting, with darker forces lurking beneath it.
We had misgivings when heroine Madoka stripped down in the first minute (she had a swimsuit on underneath), but we found ourselves warming up to her the more we saw her. We certainly appreciate another strong female character this season. She’s great at swimming, tennis, kendo, baseball – all skills that should serve her well as a mecha pilot. She’s got nice quirky details like her track suit with one rolled-up sleave pant leg and her hair bunched by a rubber band. And while the Vox robot seems initially “icky”, she quickly gets the hang of things. It’s suggested this robot may have saved her from drowning in the past, but it seems like her older cousin would rather she not pilot Vox. We’re glad she will, though; otherwise there’d be no show!