Rinne no Lagrange

Alt titles: Lagrange - The Flower of Rin-ne

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roriconfan's avatar By roriconfan on Jul 26, 2012

This is a mecha show planned by Studio I.G. which is very good at sci-fi shows, but is otherwise animated by Xebec, a studio notorious for its bad anime. It is directed by Satou Tatsuo, who has made lots of mecha shows, most of which are unorthodox but otherwise slow and usually anti-climactic (Martian Successor Nadesico, Gekiganger 3, Shingu, Stellvia). He also has Suzuki Toshimasa as an assistant, who in the past directed Heroic Age and the second season of Polyphonica. So ok, he isn’t much of a talent. Thus we have a project based on antithesis, decent director and planner but also bad assistant and animator. So the overall feeling was expected to be mediocre. And yup, I was right.

It starts right away with establishing every character through sexual stereotypes, something which is sacrificing a lot from personality in favour of shallow appeal. There is the usual variety of uniform eye candy, such as school uniforms, swimsuits, maid suits, nude scenes, and even combat suits that fit better for erotic foreplay than… well, combat. Also, every single girl in the anime dresses, acts, and thinks like a retard (exactly how the male audience likes them), thus you get that fuzzy feeling of dumb fun out of them, but nothing amazing in the longrun.

CHARACTERS
- Madoka is the lead heroine, who always acts on impulse and rarely thinks what the devil she is doing. She is following the energetic/positive bimbo stereotype and in a way she feels like a parody of Shinji Ikari from Neon Genesis. Where he would constantly try not to run away, she just storms in and then asks forgiveness for messing it all up. She also wears her swimsuit underneath her school uniform because "you never know if it comes in handy." It is also a joke on having two fetishes at the same time. But as I said, since every girl in the show is dumb, she is not smart enough to change after she swims and walks all around the city while still wet and risking pneumonia, even when she is carrying her jym clothes. Oh yes, there is also the issue with the jersey, a third fetish. She is the leader of the jersey club, where girls run around in them doing good deeds and feeling all happy about it. She even has her own signature pose (Maru!), hairstyle, and impractically lifted sleeves that are supposed to be giving her an identity or something. But it’s nothing much.
- Lan is the second heroine, and is following the cooldere stereotype. She acts like a puppy, as she constantly replies by barking and feels neglected (like one) when left alone. She also seems to lack common sense, but is excused because she is apparently an alien. So she doesn’t mind how she walks around in a military uniform that conveniently leaves her half-naked. She cares very much for Madoka and that is why she gave her a robot to go fight some aliens she has no idea what they are all about. But it’s ok, Madoka is so stupid that agrees right away because she wants to help people. In fact, she rushes to it so fast, she never asks anyone to explain what the hell are aliens like Lan want in the first place and just continues her life with her as a friend.
- And then we have Muginami who dresses like a street whore and is so stupid she even talks slowly. She also seems to have a brother complex and get all emo and crazy when not being exploited by him.

And that is all you need to know about the main characters of this show. A dumb energetic one, a dumb dog, and a dumb whore, playing around with robots for some weird alien conspiracy. There are a few others but surely you will remember them for even less that that. Such as the director of the institution always smirking with his eyes closed, the president being a loli who loves molesting underraged girls, and a male alien soldier who loves to cross dress. So as you can tell, the cast is just silly people doing silly things.

STORY
So what is this conspiracy in the story anyway? Well, there are these human-looking aliens on a far away planet who are in the middle of a civil war, and there are three ancient robots that can destroy everything, and the rebels look for them, and they came to Earth, and they… Ok, screw that, nobody cares about the plot, ok? It is mostly silly moments with dumb girls undressing, doing school activities where they are molested by eels, going to the beach where they bathe in the nude, being debriefed by their loli superior before she fondles their breasts, and stopping an alien armada before filming a yuri movie. There are some heavy emo moments too, regarding the alien war but it is completely disregarded in a few minutes. Hell, even the war just ends out of the blue and they all go back to do more silly stuff. Yeah, ok, nothing to see here, moving along to the robot action.

ART/ANIMATION
The robot battles are very cool in choreography and the only good thing I find in the whole series; everything else is just dumb fun. Of course I’ll be damned if I didn’t get Neon Genesis deza vu out of them. It appears to be one big tribute to Hideaki Anno works and it’s not like this can’t work, since one of my favoured retro mecha is Gunbuster, which was also girls and robots fighting aliens. The thing is, both Gunbuster and NGE were directed by Hideaki and animated by Gainax, a combo that beats this show’s team ten times over. Oh well…

So anyways, the overall production values ain’t bad but surely far from amazing. The robots are battling in extremely interesting ways, like pulling out energy swords, creating barriers, transforming to airships, and even using martial arts like German suplex and strangling grabs… although the last one is just Madoka trying to do cool stuff even when they are not necessary. I mean she keeps trying to play wrestling with the enemy robots as if they are humans, yet trying to strangle a mecha that doesn’t breathe is just dumb. Or she keeps trying not to cause too much damage in the city, yet she never thinks about just moving away from it in order to fight. Yes, she is dumb, just like we like them.

Oh, and there are boob/pantsu jokes too in case you are not into robot action. Nothing amazing about them; they are presented in a perky/non-slutty way but we can get a thousand anime like that.

MUSIC
The soundtrack didn’t feel interesting; some j-pop trash I wouldn’t care less about. And voice acting was ok, meaning everybody sounded as retarded as they needed to be. I bet that “Lagrange” word in the title comes from how everybody’s brains “lag” in all “ranges”.

ENJOYMENT
So, basically you get a completely stupid show which can easily be labelled dumb fun. If you can switch off your brain then you may enjoy it for what it is but for me this is a completely passable title. Even when it tries to be a social drama at points, it does it in such a light way before throwing in fan service and school comedy that it might as well not exist at all. Thus although it has a serious aspect to it, it plays out way too light and silly to leave you with fond impressions.

VALUE
It came out at the same time as another similar show named Aquarion Evol, which is far more extreme in all sections and pretty much stole all the spotlight. But even without it, it is not much of a show people will remember in a few years from now. It is way too light and simple for its own good to the point you will easily forget it.


And now for some excused scorings.

ART SECTION: 6/10
General Artwork 2/2 (looks nice)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic, too many trashy fetishes)
Backgrounds 1/2 (basic)
Animation 1/2 (basic)
Visual Effects 1/2 (basic)

SOUND SECTION: 7/10
Voice Acting 2/3 (silly but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Music Themes 3/4 (not great but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)

STORY SECTION: 4/10
Premise 1/2 (typical)
Pacing 1/2 (loose)
Complexity 1/2 (not much)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 1/2 (cheesy)

CHARACTER SECTION: 6/10
Presence 1/2 (generic)
Personality 2/2 (cheesy but well founded)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there)
Development 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
Catharsis 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)

VALUE SECTION: 2/10
Historical Value 0/3 (I don’t expect it to be remembered in a few years)
Rewatchability 0/3 (nothing we haven’t seen better elsewhere)
Memorability 2/4 (perky but that is pretty much it)

ENJOYMENT SECTION: 2/10
Too light and silly for its own good. Gets boring fast.

VERDICT: 4.5/10

4/10 story
6/10 animation
7/10 sound
6/10 characters
4.5/10 overall