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!

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)

Nazo no Kanojo X – 13 (Fin)

Urabe bumps into Tsubaki’s sister Youko and has coffee with her, learning that their mother died. Tsubaki, his sister and his father visit and tend to her grave. When Tsubaki tells her more about his mom, she wants to go with him to her grave. That day, she arrives in her Sunday best, with flowers and an offering of food she made herself. Tsubaki insists he doesn’t really remember his mom, and thus doesn’t miss her that much, but when he and Urabe exchange saliva while he’s touching her gravestone, tears well up in both. Urabe wanted to “meet” his mother and seek her approval, and wants to continue being part of Tsubaki’s life.

While it’s certainly not an absolute necessity, most people seek the approval of their significant others’ family. As unconventional and mysterious a girlfriend as Urabe Mikoto is, she’s no different in this regard. Learning about Tsubaki’s family draws her closer towards eventually becoming part of that family. So Urabe surprises Tsubaki by not only meeting and chatting with his sister, but expressing a desire to visit his mother’s grave. He sees it as an unexpected but touching gesture on her part, but it’s more than that. In her mind, knowing where Tsubaki came and who shaped his life up to this point, is another step in their relationship. This is a pretty good way to end the series, if it has to end with thirteen episodes (we’ve heard nothing about a sequel, though we’d welcome one).

No major drama; no second girl or second guy; no Oka or Ueno side-story; no panty scissors or nudity. Just Urabe, Tsubaki, and his family. It’s a calm, mature finale. It was an interesting choice for Urabe to not admit to Youko that she’s dating her brother, but we suppose Youko will figure that out eventually, and in any case, it’s something Urabe would need to discus with Tsubaki first, so they could coordinate such an announcement. Instead, Urabe is content that his sister likes her and she got to “meet” his mother. As the cherry trees start to blossom and spring arrives, Tsubaki and Urabe keep steadily, believably moving forward in their romance, one we’re sad to see go. Romance series this good don’t come around every season.


Rating: 8 (Great)

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