Scared Rider Xechs – 01 (First Impressions)

srx11

In my experience, Tuesday is a pretty light day for anime, to the point I don’t even necessarily have to watch something on Tuesday. The only reason I would is if there was a show original and entertaining enough to make me watch it. But after an uneven and somewhat bland opening episode, I fear SRX is not that kind of show.

srx12

Part of this are the characters: there are certainly plenty of them, but few are named and most are bland as wallpaper paste. Hot pants, a guitar, and a strange half-Engrish accent to not dynamic and interesting characters make. There’s also the matter of the blob-like enemies, called “Nightfly O’Notes”, which while destructive could hardly be called frightening.

srx13

A team of four prettyboys called “riders” gear up (in what look like Power Ranger suits) and pummel the NoNs back to their dimension, while a fifth prettyboy (Mr. Guitar) runs into a burning plane to rescue the “6th Dirigent”, a girl in desperate need of a hair stylist and psychiatrist.

Boy #5 AKA Yosuke was unable to transform right until he needed to in order to save the girl, and that’s where the episode ends…right when things are starting to pick up and get a little interesting. I may give it one more episode, but I was not particularly impressed with anything SRX had to offer, especially when compared to the Spring carryovers I’m already watching.

16ratings_6a

Advertisements

Rinne no Lagrange – 06

With only hours until the deadline for Villagiulio’s ultimatum, Madoka and Lan take their Voxes into the upper atmosphere, where they come up against a massive swarm of Ovids. The two hold their own thanks to a sword and rifle launched for them. Muginami takes her Vox to intervene in the battle, but Villagiulio nearly kills her with a powerful weapon that makes impact with the ocean not far from Novumundus HQ. Muginami blocks Madoka’s attack on her brother, and she lashes out at her, inadvertently triggering the “blossoming of Rin-ne”, a shower of glowing flowers that sends all three Voxes crashing into the sea.

After Villagiulio discarded his sister, there’s really only one course of action from Madoka’s point of view: revenge. Interestingly, it’s Muginami who steps in and says it’s not that simple. Madoka thinks she’s doing her a favor, but Muginami clearly isn’t ready to turn the page to the extent she’ll let Madoka hurt Villagiulio. Villagiulio isn’t as charitable, and his attempt to kill his sister is one of the more harrowing moments of the episode. Now we’re wondering what the deal is with this “blossoming of Rin-ne.”

The show’s alternate title is “flower declaraction of your heart”, which didn’t make much sense on the surface until now, when Muginami makes a declaration from her heart (she thinks Madoka is acting for her own selfish reasons) and it results in a very odd and unexpected explosion of flowers from Madoka’s Vox. Both Moid and Villagiulio couldn’t be happier with this development, with the latter even insinuating this was his plan all along. If it was, that required an awful lot of accurate predicting of Muginami’s behavior.


Rating: 3.5

Rinne no Lagrange – 01

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!


Rating: 4