「勝浦発→鴨川行」 (Katsūra Hatsu → Kamogawa Kou)
“Departing Katsuura → Destination Kamogawa”

As has been said before, Rinne no Lagrange’s strength is in effortlessly moving between the light-hearted and the serious. Just as soon as you think you’re watching an entire episode of cross dressing maids, derailed duels and a clumsy Lan, suddenly you’re hit with tragic pasts, inspiring family members and galactic intrigue. And to be honest, if it weren’t for all the screenshots up there, I couldn’t tell you the exact moment the switch happened. It wasn’t a baton pass, like the comedy half said “Okay, here you go,” and the plot half took off running. The tone never really changed, or rather it was so natural that I didn’t have time to think about it until the moment was long past. It just effortlessly slid from one to the next, like Muginami feeling up a non-Array maid. This show consistently exhibits truly masterful storytelling, and I don’t think that can be said enough…which is why I’m saying it again!

Before I go on, I would like to take a quick detour. If you haven’t been keeping up with the news, you might have by now noticed that I’m not Divine. Hopefully this won’t make you instantly close the browser window and run away forever! But please, allow me to wax sentimental for a moment. This season I started off finishing the Zero no Tsukaima series that Omni started, and now I’m finishing Ano Natsu de Matteru and this show for Divine. It feels like I’m walking in the footsteps of giants…and for a guy who is 200cm (6’7″) tall, this is an unfamiliar feeling. I hope I’m up to the task.

Anyway, back to Lagrange. The first half of this episode was, to put it bluntly, friggin’ hilarious! After Villagiulio sets Izo, Kirius, and Array up in the clubroom from Yuruyuri, the laughs started immediately. Array was by far the star of this episode. From his masochistic gushing over the house, getting ropped into working for Madoka’s uncle after he couldn’t pay for his meal, and getting felt up by an old man who doesn’t mind that he’s a guy, I was laughing every time he was on screen. Izo was really funny too, though. I enjoyed him confusing TV with reality (haven’t we all done that occasionally), but him accidentally convincing Madoka’s friends that he is her boyfriend was hilarious. It’s good to know you’re serious, Izo. As for Kirius, his main contribution was to ask Array why he hasn’t bought himself new clothes. Perceptive, but that would ruin the fun, so let’s pretend we never heard that one.

And then there’s the other side of the coin. Not even 30 seconds after Madoka’s friends were giggling about how hilarious her “boyfriend” was, we’re hearing the full story behind Madoka’s mother’s death, and just how big of an effect Yoko has had on Madoka’s life. The jersey, the front ponytail, the always-wearing-a-swimsuit-and-being-ready-to-save-people…when Madoka was at her lowest, Yoko was there as an example of the kind of person she could be, and a good one at that. The full story really puts Madoka’s personality in perspective, including how she can act so calm even though Midori has been taken away. To be blunt, she’s been through worse. She’ll get through this.

But even more than that, it was the actions of our increasingly friendly antagonists that I found really interesting. After hearing the tale of Madoka’s mother, Izo, who was so ready to do what he felt was necessary just seconds beforehand, lost his will. Combined with everything we know about Villagiulio, it’s getting increasingly hard to root against Kiss. What we have here is a fight between two sides where neither is the bad guy, and if nothing else, this might be one of the most subtly brilliant things this show has brought to the table. In real life, wars are rarely fought between good guys and bad guys. Mostly they’re fought between two bad guys, or really two sides who both think they’re the good guys who just have to do really bad things. Here we have something a little different – two sides who both seem like good guys – but the general point stands. In a fight between Kiss and the Vox girls, I can’t honestly say I want either side to lose…and as I type that, I realize that’s probably exactly the point. Here’s what I’m thinking will happen: first, these two groups will slug it out and Kiss will get repelled. Then, while they’re all licking their wounds, the Vox Retrieval Force (sent by Dizelmine of Le Garite) will arrive. Not wanting to let Le Garite get the Voces, Kiss will end up allying with the girls against Le Garite. Imagine it: the three Vox pilots of Kamogawa and the three Ovid pilots of Kiss fighting together (with Villagiulio and Yoko off in a command center somewhere, I don’t know). It could happen…

Anyway, I better pack this in before this post gets long enough to qualify as a novel. For those who haven’t read any of my other posts, I try to judge each and every episode by one simple criteria: was it entertaining? Entertainment can come in many forms, but at the end of the day, whether something was enjoyable or not is all that really matters. So, was this episode entertaining? Yes! Very much so, yes. Rinne no Lagrange is an extremely well written, directed, animated, and voice acted show, and it exhibits this in every single episode. And you know what? I bet next episode will be no exception. I look forward to finding out.

Random thoughts:

  • I forgot to mention Yurikano (Mariya Ise), the girl from the beginning of the episode. She apparently knew younger Villagiulio, and triggered something called the “Tragedy of Militia Zodia”…something which Madoka is dangerously close to repeating. Mentally bookmark that. She’s definitely going to be important later on.
  • I’m really surprised that Kirius’ chance meeting with Madoka didn’t annoy me. Usually I hate “convenient” stuff like that (oh, so he just happened to be near where she was?), but I didn’t even bat an eyelash here. I guess the more this show does right, the more I’m willing to overlook my normal pet peeves.
  • Kirius, you looked so cool right there. Almost.
  • Someday I’ll learn when to stop writing. Please bear with my wordy posts until then m(_ _)m

Full-size images: 05, 15, 18, 21, 35.

If you want, follow me on Twitter for my thoughts on the other anime I’m watching. N-not that I’m doing it for you or anything!

 

Preview

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45 Comments

  1. Thanks for picking up the shows Stilts, just figured out that we owe you a thanks for spending the time to help keep this wonderful site running. Sure we will miss Divine, but I’m also really excited on reading the impressions and thoughts of other writers.

    oliviaven
  2. Uh Stilts, Yurikano is Vilajavu’s SISTER. That also makes her the princess of De Metrio. The official site says that much.

    The prequel manga goes into more detail about Yurikano:
    Show Spoiler ▼

    As for the episode it goes a long way to make me like the bishie trio. Seeing them flail around Kamogawa was hilarious. Espeically poor Array, it seems his defeat by Robot Suplex has broken him. Its going to be more difficult to seem them as bad guys now. Even Givojuvo gets more more funny dancing Kinect. Dizelmine on the other is being set u as a bigger antagonist. He’s also working with Moid, so that can never be good.

    At the same time, its nice to see some background for Madoka. We got loli Lan and loli Muginami so its only natural to get some loli Madoka. The loli quota is filled! Speaking of Madoka not only is she genki but also very strong. Madoka is awesome.

    fragb85
  3. https://randomc.net/image/Rinne%20no%20Lagrange/Rinne%20no%20Lagrange%20-%2009%20-%20Large%2001.jpg

    This Yurikano girl kinda “feels” like Madoka with her personality (and the somewhat similar voice and facial structure). Some guys were speculating that Madoka’s mom is an “alien” from Polyhedron, right? Could this Yurikano girl be related to Madoka? If so, it means Madoka’s technically a member of a royal family and related to Villagiulio by blood, yes?

    Also, “Be With Kiss!” I lol’ed at that one.

    The_Magus_Killer
    1. Unlikely. Yurikano is around the same age as the bishie trio since she was part of their team. Unless time travel shenanigans are involved there is no way Yurikano is related to Madoka.

      fragb85
  4. Madoka can’t have a boyfriend, she needs to pay attention or Lan and Muginami!! 😀 I could definitely see the Jersey Club and Kiss teaming up in the future against Moid and his probably-crazy boss. Granted I want to see Madoka deck Villa first, but all things in their time.

    I was skeptical how good an episode focused on the Kiss-three would be, but these guys aren’t half-bad! Array is too pitiable to hate after his maid-conversion, and I just can’t take Kirius seriously for some reason XD Plus there were decent amounts of Lan, and that’s never a bad thing!

    “Wan”!

    Aex
  5. This was a good episode, but it’s hard for me to quantify it. It feels like a “glue”
    episode for the next arc. We’ve learned that Madoka’s personality is infectious to the
    point of simply hearing about her can stop an assassin’s attempt and brings
    sympathy from her foes. I’m not knocking it; it was all unexpected (to me). Here I’m
    expecting a huge confrontation and he simply changes his mind about trying to kill her
    (after witnessing her saving a cat).

    You mentioned Kirius’s chance meeting – it’s interesting that he was attempting to save
    the child, too (but pulled a Lan and tripped). So, they all seem like “good” people.
    BTW, is Lan looking more like she punishing herself…?

    What I kinda get so far is that everyone’s afraid of repeating what happened with the VOX
    in the past – but they’re not really sure how to handle it or if it will really happen again.

    Excellent series!

    mac65
  6. It feels to me that this show has a lot of seriousness to it, but it’s not going to start to be seen this way until some major character dies in an unfortunate and/or heroic way. I think the best candidate here is Villagiulio. Also, by the looks of it, KISS is definitely going to be on the good side, but misunderstood by Madoka and others.

    suff
  7. Stilts, you are amazing. Let me just put that out there.

    Last week, I stated in IRC that I felt like Rinne no Lagrange was perhaps a bit overstated. This week, I completely retract my words. Dogeza.

    The sheer amount of hilarity that this show can weave into its overall plot (which is likely getting darker) completely blew my mind this week, with some of the most tasteful references I’ve seen for a while.

    Jif
    1. Thank you kindly ^^ I’m glad that the awesomeness of Rinne no Lagrange is making its way through the world like gas through a taco stand’s clientele on the eve of cinco de mayo!

      …I wish I hadn’t made that comparsion. Ew.

      Stilts
  8. Thanks for picking up blogging this series Stilts. I love this show. So now it looks like Le Garite is the hawk and De Metrio was the dove. Unfortunately things did not turn out the way young Villagiulio wanted. Instead he was sent to the prison planet where he met Muginami. Was he betrayed by Dizelmine? Does the briefly mentioned tragedy involving his sister Yurikano have something to do with the war path Le Garite (Dizelmine) took? Is Le Garite the Empire to De Metrio’s Rebel Alliance? So many questions but so far this show is great at pacing and gradual reveals. Looking forward to the next episode.

    bertman4
    1. It’s looking like Le Garite is the aggressor, yeah. However, if Yurikano is really responsible for this great Tragedy, and she’s Villagiulio’s sister (and therefore from De Metrio), then it’s possible that Le Garite didn’t really want to go to war, but after whatever happened they felt they had to. Now it appears they’re very much on the offensive though.

      I’m going to stick with Divine’s hypothesis and say that Moid is going to end up as the closest thing to a true antagonist we’ve seen so far. Dizelmine just doesn’t strike me as a true villain, though if he is, he’ll probably be a tragic one…which would be fantastic, come to think of it. Hurm…

      Stilts
  9. It’s amazing how each episode contributes something to the overall story while simultaneously entertaining the audience. And like Stilts said, the transitions are executed flawlessly.

    Kentaiyoshimi
  10. @ Stilts: I see no difference to the length of your paper against Divine’s long scripts (or Omni’s for that matter). You really should see what I have typed up for the most recent Guilty Crown episode. It’s even longer than what I have done during the last 2 weeks…maybe

    the episode:
    -wow, from public humiliation to slap-stick gag to crazy plot points, all seemed to mixed up with the consistency of smooth and crunchy peanut butter mixed together. That’s rare.

    -we know what Villagullio (didn’t copy and paste his name, didn’t care at all) wants to deny the vox tragedy. so what’s his deal?

    -and the most important thing, Muginami wanting more on bed action????

    info600
  11. For shows like this, the protagonist is never ordinary – there is always some sort of family history to be explored. In this case, as many pointed out, Yurikano is too young to be Madoka’s mother. It is possible, however, that they might be sisters (given their hair colour, etc.). It has been speculated already that Madoka may be “alien”, so that may connect to Yurikano as well.

    suff
  12. There’s the misunderstandings where it’s so stupid I want to kill someone, and then there’s the misunderstandings where it’s so stupid yet so f*cking hilarious I don’t give a damn; it was obviously the latter here. I lol’ed so much. And they actually gave more plots elements and all so I’m all okay. I hope even more and more stuff will happen now, there’s only 3 eps left before the break …
    I’m praying for Gattai action too.

  13. I hope they touch on this backstory again, because I’m guessing Madoka’s mom died trying to save Madoka. Madoka’s “contract” with Midori stems from a time Midori saved Madoka from drowning. Unless Madoka was drowning a separate time before her mom’s death, it probably is the same incident. Madoka also looks about the same age in the flashbacks as the one from episode one when she touched Midori in the hangar.

    On an unrelated note, there are A LOT of people that can’t swim and yet are out in the water alone. While yes it’s part of being in the ocean, you’d think the residents would be better at swimming to avoid drowning so often.

    a42
  14. The Team Frienemies stole the comedic show…
    Villagiulio trolling like boss with “Be with Kiss!”
    Array going meido-minded in their new home… THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN! RIGHT?
    Izo getting the duel idea from TV samurai show…
    Array, why didnt you use that card to buy yourself some NORMAL clothes?
    Smell of the ocean breeze…
    Izo getting cold shower for “being a pervert”
    Kirius, almost asking Madoka to tell him where he can find HER?
    Array being gang-pressed into serving hamburgers and then being groped…
    … and it doesnt matter he is a guy…
    Izo making girls at school think he is Madoka’s BF
    Villagiulio playing virtual hoop…

    And the plot creeps in stealthily, with the mentions of wider galactic war, Vox Retrieval Force and the race to Voces between Kiss and LeGarite. Big battles coming up?

    ewok40k
  15. i think array likes his new found hobby. that’s why he didn buy any other clothes.

    truthfully speaking, the first half of the episode had me rolling on the floor and laughing my head off. the most epic scene would be kirius and the peeing boy….. way to go production ig.

    and yes stilts, i have to agree with you about the change of tone. i did not see it coming and the transition was really smooth. not abrupt

    c2710
  16. Stils, awesome post and a speedy one too 😉
    Completely agree with what you said about judging every episode by one simple criteria: was it entertaining? Anime is a simple form of entertainment and I’m no film critic so as long as I am entertained, I’ll deem it a good show.
    The story behind Jersey Spirit is revealed. I should quit my job and start my own Jersey Club maru maru maruuu~!

    Seishun Otoko
  17. 2nd perceptive -> perspective

    Gillavugio’s too awesome to be stuck in the command center, you know.
    thought the girl in the beginning was younger version of lan, but guess i was mistaken.

    spellcorrection

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