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 – 16

Dizelmine and Villagiulio arrive at Kamogawa, and Asteria wastes no time luring them into an elevator rigged with cameras that gets stuck between floors. Asteria, Todokoro, the Vox pilots and the two Kings’ delegations watch as they talk things through. In the middle of their chat, an Ovid makes an unauthorized launch and nearly crashes into BWH. The pilot aboard is Yurikano, who escaped her handlers. Dizelmine rescued her from the Militia Zodia calamity, and she’s reverted to a childlike state, and has no memory of who she is of her big brother Villagiulio. She returns to the La Garite mothership with Dizelmine; Lan, Muginami and Madoka tag along.

Former buddies Dizelmine and Villagiulio have a nice, cordial little discussion (not that they have a choice, falling victim to another Asteria scheme), but it doesn’t solve anything this week; war is coming as long as Dizelmine is convinced the only way to save his planet is to destroy De Metrio. The sudden appearance of Yurikano is almost the cherry on top that enrages Villagiulio to action. His sister may not recognize him, but that doesn’t change who she is, and he probably doesn’t appreciate Dizelmine being the sole source of her recovery.

Now that the secret of Yurikano being alive is out, another secret remains: why she talked to Madoka at the end of last season, and appeared in her cockpit in the previous episode. Madoka doesn’t get any answers, and neither do we; Asteria remains tight-lipped. The solution is to go aboard Dizelmine’s ship (in hilariously half-assed disguises) and try to find out more. Rinne’s second season’s first five episodes are reminding us of Eureka Seven Ao’s first five – all very competent, entertaining, fun outings, but nothing that’s categorically wowed us. But we’re confident that wow episode is coming. That’s right…we just used wow as a verb and and adjective!


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Rinne no Lagrange – 15

Asteria, Todoroko, and the rest of Nuvomundus determine that in order to present a peaceful demonstration of Vox, they need to subject Madoka to the same tests Dizelmine subjected Lan to. Despite the risks, Madoka is gung-ho about the idea, so they proceed, with her entering a high orbit. After artificial mind stimulation fails, Asteria resorts to talking about subjects that make Madoka blush and get overexcited, leading to the opening of Rin-ne. Madoka snaps out of a dreamlike state and closes it, destroying all of the ships the phenomenon created – but the damage was done – now the Vox looks more powerful a weapon than ever.

Finally, the episode where conversation about Madoka’s virginity leads to the opening of a Rin-ne, and a red one at that. Where have you been all our lives? In all seriousness, though, Asteria and Nuvomundus took quite a risk sending out Madoka, someone known to be unpredictable when it comes to Vox Aura. Not surprisingly, the trend continues, and Asteria’s gamble backfires. Vox is as tempting a technology as ever to the great powers of the immediate stellar neighborhood…but its peaceful application remains elusive.

Meanwhile, De Metrio and Le Garite are about to descend upon lowly old Kamogawa, Japan, Earth, for a quick exchange of terms. With King Dizelmine determined to eliminate anyone who opposes his plan, and Villagiulio determined to stop him, war seems all but inevitable. In the midst of all this impending doom, Todoroko makes deliciously inappropriate, scene-silencing remarks, Madoka meets that etherial woman who warns her not to open Rin-ne (it destroys planets, dontcha know), and that same woman appears at Dizelmine’s side, calling herself Yurikano and making him tea. Why not?


Rating: 6 (Good)

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 – 12 (Fin)

After the Rin-ne starts to bloom, an impenetrable shield protects the Voxes while Madoka speaks to a mysterious woman in another dimension, who tells her to choose her own path, as she did. Madoka wakes up, takes the hands of Lan and Muginami, and further develop a giant flower in the sky, but her Vox abruptly goes silent. Villagiulio takes advantage of the confusion to try to take Madoka out, but he’s stopped by the sudden arrival of the La Garite fleet, led by Lan’s brother Dizelmine. Muginami flees with her injured brother, and the De Metrio fleet is either destroyed or retreats.

Two weeks later, it’s time for the La Garite fleet to depart, and Lan with it. After visiting the Hill of Vows and promising to see each other again, Lan departs, leaving Madoka alone. She returns to her normal school life, keeping busy. Array, Izo and Kirius remain on Earth, and Asteria tells a recovering Yuuko that she is a witch who bears the seal of Rin-ne, which she expects Madoka will sever and break the universe’s “cycle of peace and calamity.”

And so Rinne no Lagrange comes to a good resting place, making an interesting choice of how to organize it. Rather than just pick up where we left off – which was a cliffhanger – we jump two weeks into the future, where all is well, then we’re shown why everything is well. In addition to Madoka suspending the battle with Vox Aura, the cavalry finally arrives in the form of La Garite. We were wondering when they’d show up to clean up the mess, and their swift and efficient mopping-up of De Metrio, accompanied by a quieter re-arrangement of the opening (just piano and vocals) made for an awesome climax.

We will say Madoka and Lan’s good-bye dragged on a bit too long, but we’ll give it a pass since neither is happy about separating. Of course, they’ll see each other again, because immediately following this episode was the announcement of not only an OVA, but a second season, to be aired in the Summer. We’re surely learn how the trio of friends will be reunited, how Madoka’s chosen role further affects her life, and what’s up with Asteria being a witch, at that time. Until then, matane.


Rating: 3.5


Car Cameo: There’s a Nissan Juke stuck in traffic.

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

Rinne no Lagrange – 10

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.


Rating: 3.5

Rinne no Lagrange – 03

Madoka is locked in battle with Kirius, and makes great pains not to cause excessive damage to Kamogawa, eventually moving the action to a vacant lot. Lan gathers up the courage to go out in Vox Lympha, but Izo’s ovid leaps out of the sea to stop her from interfering with Kirius’ fight. Madoka keeps her spirits up by singing her Jersey club fight song, and by her words helps Lan overcome her fear and unleash Lympha’s warrior mode for the first time. Faced with two Voxes, Kirius orders a retreat. Victorious, Madoka and Lan meet up and name their Voxes Midori and Orca, respectively. In his cell, Array recites the legend Lan fears, in which the three Voxes are harbingers of destruction.

Ignorance is bliss, at least in Madoka’s case. Forced to improvise against Kirius, Madoka resorts to stopping his non-lethal sword strikes with Vox’s hands, and even tries to choke his ovid with an electrical cable. Such tactics throw Kirius off, unaware of just how inexperienced his opponent really is. But that same ignorance helps Madoka press on with Vox, something Lan can’t initially do, because she knows about the legend. Will Madoka lose her edge when she learns of the foretold destruction her green Vox might cause? Who knows; for now, she’s two-for-two, thanks to her obligation to “finish what she starts”, a tenet of the Jersey club to which she belongs (translated as “Sweats club” last week).

Also, she’s helped Lan achieve what she couldn’t before, which is a big boost to her confidence. Making the princess Lan more initially flawed than the tomboy Madoka makes her more interesting, and we like how she has the same seiyu as Chihaya. We were also impressed not only with the gorgeous battle animation, but both the producers’ and Madoka’s committment not to forget where it is she’s fighting: in the middle of a densely-populated town she loves very much. Not only is she holding her own with Kirius, but she makes every effort to minimize collateral damage, and even smashes away a flying vending machine with a baseball swing to save two schoolgirls, punctuated by her trademark “Maru!” (“circle”). We like this kid!


Rating: 4

Rinne no Lagrange – 02

With his comrade Array defeated by the Vox, Izo heads down to earth to take it on. Madoka meets Tadokoro, the fleet captain who runs Pharos along with Lan’s superior, Moid, and a strange girl named Muginami. Madoka is issued a uniform and put her back in the cockpit to battle Izo. When she’s told she holds the fate of the world in her hands, she initially wavers, rendering the Vox ovid inert. After a motivational phone call from her cousin Yoko, who has always been against her piloting Vox, Madoka regains her confidence and the Vox powers up. Izo’s comrade Kirius has joins the fray, while Lan heads to her own Vox.

Not a bad follow-up to the first episode, reiterating how Madoka has been plopped down in the middle of an interdimensional war, a lot of pressure is immediately placed upon her slight shoulders, and she trades her sweats for a tight-fitting uniform like Lan’s. Basically, if she fails, everyone dies, so she’d better not fail. Think Evangelion without all the psychological baggage. Our heroine has never had a problem expressing herself or excelling at any number of athletic disciplines. Since her ovid Vox Aura responds according to the strength of her conviction, it’s important she see this as the life-or-death situation that it is, and not a lark or dawdle. Also, watching her wander the military complex for a decent cell signal was pretty funny.

Meanwhile, Lan, it would seem, seems offput by Madoka’s impression it was ‘easy’ to pilot the Vox. As watching the opening credits, she’s pilot too, but is clear she has some kind of underlying issues that require resolution. As for the third pilot, well, all we know is her name is Muginami, she has big boobs, and her voice is kinda stupid-sounding. She says barely anything and does nothing this week. Madoka, meanwhile, isn’t actually locked in combat all that long. The balance of her two-on-one battle will play out next week, in which she’ll be joined by either Lan, Mugi, or both.


Rating: 3.5