「鴨川にランの花咲く」 (Kamogawa ni Ran no Hanasaku)
“Lan Blossoms in Kamogawa”
Three episodes later, the “premiere” of Rinne no Lagrange is finally over and we see a little bit of a recess in the story so that it can set things up for the next chapter. I like to jest about how everything that’s happened so far spans only a day in the actual show and could’ve easily worked as a one and a half hour special, but in reality, I actually like the approach this series has taken by allocating a quarter of its season in this fashion. In terms of progression, the lack of any time lapses is hardly a concern, since Madoka has come to terms with piloting Vox Aura “Midori” and Lan has overcome her fear of the legend — enough to activate Vox Lympha “Orca” anyway. There’s also a foreboding future surrounding the Voces themselves, judging from the legend recited by Array, which puts a nice little twist on what’s been an absolutely entertaining start to the series. All in a day’s work for Rinne no Lagrange, literally.
To me, the staggering discrepancy between time passed and material covered suggests that this series is very well thought out; however, I’m still most impressed by the combination of humor with mecha action that hasn’t skipped a beat. One would kind of expect the seriousness to just go out the window when Madoka failed to blade grasp Kirius’ attack twice, but it really didn’t because the latter was genuinely confused by questionable tactics. That in turn became a running joke of sorts and amused me a fair bit, yet was impeccably balanced out by Lan’s personal struggles to save the show from degenerating to a pure comedy. Madoka’s goofy Jersey Club song along with her “Maru” worked wonders for me from an entertainment standpoint, as it felt like she was unintentionally mocking her enemies. I actually started feeling bad for both Kirius and Izo, because they were trying to rescue Array and couldn’t get past a girl who looked like she was just messing around. A bit too trollish for my liking, but still really amusing.
With Youko and Souta (Iguchi Yuuichi) invited by Moid to be Vox Researchers, I’m looking forward to seeing how they get entangled in De Metrio and Le Garite’s struggle over the legendary Ovids. Much like we’ve seen in these first three episodes, I suspect the comedy will continue to be injected throughout even when they do, lessening the graveness of the situation, but when the series looks as good as it does, it can almost get away with anything and make it utterly awesome. Lagrange has something really special going on here with its seemingly perfect combination of story, characters, humor, and production quality, so things should get even better when Muginami rejoins the fray next time.
* I’m just going to go out on a limb here and say that Lan doesn’t like it from behind. Izo, you animal.
* I found the shot of the two chairs interesting because they’re Madoka and Lan’s from the ending sequence. It shouldn’t be long before Muginami’s orange chair joins theirs.
* Full-length images: 01, 23, 32, 35.