「鴨川絶対防衛ライン」 (Kamogawa Zettai Bōei Rain)
“Kamogawa’s Last Line of Defense”
By the end of this episode, my eyes were wide open in amazement. Wow. Wow. Seriously, wow. Why aren’t you watching this? And if you are, why aren’t you watching this again? As was the case with Divine before me, I came into this episode (as I have with every other one) with high expectations, and they were thoroughly exceeded. Take the combat. Last week’s preview was all glorious mecha combat, so I came into this one expecting plenty of that. Well it was delivered, and it was fantastic. Not only were all the mecha lovingly animated as they cavorted through the skies, but the tactics were interesting and constantly injected unexpected changes into the flow of the battle. Lan and Muginami’s plan to split up was met with exactly the correct response – so they’re not together anymore? Kill them one at a time. The crew of the Pharos needs to get these girls some better tactical training, or at least make them play Starcraft for a few days. But speaking of the Pharos, them revealing their adapted La Garite technology shifted the known dynamic as well. This was never been mentioned before, but La Garite has been working with Novumundus for a while now, so it was perfectly reasonable. Every swerve the battle took was unexpected but perfectly reasonable upon reflection, so it made for a fight that swept me off my feet and carried me like that throughout. Wow. Fantastic.
Speaking of an unexpected but perfectly reasonable turn of events, take our three favorite Ovid pilots. I’m not going to waste time saying that I called this (though I totally did!), because how it was done here was simply fantastic. I question the logic of Kiss firing on Kamogawa, because if their goal is really to destroy the Voces, that wasn’t a good way to go about it. Nuking Kamogawa would have just made Madoka go berserk sooner, so perhaps that’s their goal after all? Regardless, when they fired on Kamogawa and the city exploded, I stared wide-mouthed at the screen. “They nuked Kamogawa,” I said aloud, because I’m weird like that. And then when the smoke cleared to reveal Izo, Kirius, and Array floating there, saving the day…wow. Those three tossed away revenge and decided to fight alongside the girl who reminds them so much of the lost Yurikano, and the impact of their appearance could not have been greater. Wow. Just wow. Fantastic.
Those three weren’t the only characters that abused our assumptions about how bad guys are supposed to act. Listen to the bridge crew in the Kiss fleet when they’re calling out casualties. They don’t say “We’ve lost another!” or “#4 is down!” They say the pilot’s name, every. single. time. They won’t let us forget that every one of those ovids that the three Vox girls are destroying are piloted by people. Once again it’s the small things that make this show great. You don’t get such subtle details in anime too often. I was impressed.
What’s more, nearly every character in this show is likable, and even admirable. Tadokoro showed how badass he is when he assumed all responsibility and nearly launched Vox Aura against direct orders, the consequences be damned. Probably the only other non-pilot character that was more consistently awesome than him this episode was Youko-nee. Her little chat with the Chairman was exactly what was needed to save Tadokoro from ending up in a tiny cell, and possibly ending the whole world to boot. And then there was sensei, and the girls of Madoka’s high school, sending up that touching display for their defenders. Every character in this show is likable (except for Moid). Wow. How do you do that when the fate of the world is on the line? You’d think more than one person would have to be a shady bastard. Wow. I’m impressed. Have I mentioned that?
As for the Chairman, I’m afraid I was wrong about her last episode. She wasn’t trying to teach Madoka a lesson, or if she was, it was a secondary concern. She was scared. She was scared that history would repeat itself, and the world would end. I don’t blame her. It’s a good idea to learn from history, or else you’re doomed to repeat it. Still, you cannot be paralyzed by it. Youko-nee made her see that. What if the ones who left were the cowards who fled, and the ones who stayed didn’t fear the Voces at all? Sometimes it’s best to be a baka, as us anime nerds might say, and do what you feel is right. Trust in Madoka. She won’t steer you wrong.
…or maybe not. When Youko-nee got injured (saving someone, of course) and the Blossoming of Rin-Ne started in earnest, I was floored. Madoka’s pain flew out of the screen in an expert show of visual storytelling. I wanted to say “No, it’s not your fault!”, but no amount of logic could have convinced Madoka of as much, and rightfully so. Madoka’s anger with Muginami episodes ago was nothing compared to the loss of her hero, her role model, the one she had patterned her life after – her beloved onee-chan. At that point, the blossoming was happening no matter what, but Madoka’s scream was heartrending, and the fact that her pain took Lan and Muginami with her was unexpected. Once again, expectations were exceeded. Again. Wow. This show…wow.
Now it just remains to be seen whether Madoka really has a pure heart. Remember the legend Villagulio repeated at the beginning of the episode? I’ll transcribe it here:
The giant green demon will sunder the heavens,
The giant blue demon will devour the stars,
The giant orange demon will spew out darkness,
Through countless sacrifices, they will rule the land,
Feeding off a tainted heart, they awaken from within the mind,
And the demons shall rise,
Do not let them loose,
Never let them…
The Blossoming has happened, so now it looks like Madoka will be put to the test. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting some serious Evangelion vibes here, with Madoka sitting alone on the beach after Instrumentality. What we don’t know is what kind of test is ahead of her. With the Kiss fleet retreating, and Moid actually surprised, it appears that we’re in for the unexpected once again…and something so unexpected that not even the characters involved saw it coming. See what I mean? Even the characters themselves are having their expectations exceeded. Wow. This show is just a masterfully done. Wow. Fantastic.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Rinne no Lagrange exceeds expectations every week, w/ superb storytelling, & w/out fail. Wow. Wow. #lagrange #randomc
- The more fighting spirit the Vox pilots have, the higher their Bio Telepathic Wave go, and the stronger their Voces become. Now I’m getting Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (and just a touch of Full Metal Panic!) vibes as well! Wow. This show. Wow.
- I’ll try to be more objective next week, but no promises. After all, it will be the last episode before Rinne no Lagrange goes on break, set to return in the summer. Can’t wait. Seriously, I cannot wait. Those three months are going to be rough. Need more maru~!!