OP: 「マーブル」 (Marble) by 中島愛 (Nakajima Megumi)
Watch the OP!: Streaming ▼
「おかえり、鴨川!」 (Okaeri, Kamogawa!)
“Welcome Home, Kamogawa!”
Unsettling. That’s the best word I can use to explain this episode. Not, let me be quick to note, in a bad way – it’s not as if this episode left me feeling uncertain about the direction this series is going (it did not). No, it’s that everything about it was designed to evoke unsettling feelings in the viewer. This has always been one of Rinne no Lagrange’s greatest strengths, how it can subtly evoke feelings by weaving them into the entire fabric of an episode. Rather than shout its message, this show gathers a lot of small things together until the message is clear without ever having to go so far as to say it. It’s some beautiful storytelling.
Here, it begins with Kyouno Madoka’s (Ishihara Kaori) uncertainty about the future, and the complex look that crosses her face as the Le Garite ships pass by overhead. But that’s not the only time it’s plain on her face that the world is not as it should be. There’s also when she blanks out at the mention of Lan and Muginami’s names, when she calls out to them in their empty rooms, or when she looks at the pictures of them all together, as she is alone next to her bed. She only starts to look like herself again once Lan returns (d’aaaaww!), but…well, that doesn’t last.
As for Lan (Seto Asami), after what Dizelmine (Ono Daisuke) and his little lackey Moid (Okitsu Kazuyuki) did to her…I will kill them both with bones ripped out of each other’s chests -_- Dizelmine started looking shady as soon as he showed up last season, and Moid always was from the get-go, but damn, you don’t get much more bastardly than torturing your own little sister to past the point where her mind could start to break down. It’s because of shit like this that, once the uncertainty begins to leave Madoka’s face, it jumped right over to Lan’s.
But I’m nowhere close to calling Le Garite the bad guys, or at least not close enough to calling De Metrio the good ones. While Villaguilo (Nakamura Yuuichi) clearly doesn’t want to be as ruthless and cold as Dizelmine, he still has “dirty work” that needs to be done, work which involves stopping Madoka from piloting Vox Aura…even if that means that Muginami (Kayano Ai) has to take her friend’s life. That’s point two in the list of things Rinne no Lagrange does exceptionally well – we still have no idea who the good guys and the bad guys are, which is exactly how it should be. After all, true wars are rarely fought between good and evil. Mostly they’re just fought between two sides, with bastards aplenty among both.
Between those issues, whatever the deal is with that Flower of Lagrange fossil that Madoka’s onee-san Youko (Noto Mamiko) found, and the whole Lan-and-Muginami-are-trying-to-kill-each-other thing, there are a lot of questions raised this week. Yet the one thing that I never doubted for a second was that Vox Aura would fly again. There’s a fight going on between Madoka’s two best friends, and there’s nothing she could possibly do but step up and stop it.
I’m uncertain. I feel uncertain, but not because I doubt for even a second that season 2 of Rinne no Lagrange will be a worthy continuation of the story the first half laid out. No, that was the other thing I never doubted. What I’m uncertain about is how Madoka will be able to salve ancient prejudices and mend an entire galaxy at war, so that she and her best friends can be together and hold hands once again. Emotions, feelings, empathy, passion…Rinne no Lagrange pulls these out of you and plays them like a virtuoso on a Stradivarius. I’m just uncertain how it all will end. I hope, oh I hope that it will be a good one. A good ending, and a happy one…
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Uncertainty suffuses the episode, for the future, for the present, & for friendships torn in twain. Lan, Muginami, nooo! #Lagrange
- I guess I ought to put on my sensei hat and provide some explanations. During the whole mind rape scene, it appears that Dizelmine wants to be able to trigger the flowering of Rin’ne whenever he wants to. However, being that he apparently couldn’t make this happen with Lan, it looks like he’s going with Plan B: Madoka. Villagulio, just as in Season 1, would rather this not happen. That’s why Lan and Muginami are at each other’s throats.
- The third thing that Rinne no Lagrange has always done so well is weave in little moments of humour amidst all the seriousness and the action. They did that here again, with stuff like Madoka wincing in pain after banging Vox Aura or Youko’s assistant blushing at her because of his crush. It’s the little things that count, and I love seeing a story where they’re paid attention to.
- Speaking of, I loved seeing the boys of KISS again. We have the bishie butler Kirius (Nohima Kenji) as the joushi bait, useful cook Izo (Yoshino Hiroyuki) as the hungry bait, and trap-meido Array (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu…yes, a trap voiced by a guy) as the fujoushi bait. Add in Madoka as some otoko bait and there’s really no way that place can fail!
- I don’t blame Madoka’s friend, Kondou Michi (Mimori Suzuko) for changing her career plans to diplomacy. Astronomy sort of loses its charm when you absolutely know there’s life out there, and a bunch of them keep flying over to have parfaits.
- Finally, I liked last season’s OP better, but I don’t think its peppy feeling would have been appropriate for this season’s tone, so I’m fine with that decision. As for the ED…well, they can’t get everything right, I suppose 😛
ED: 「ジャージ部魂！」 (Jersey-Bu Tamashi!) by 石原夏織, 瀬戸麻沙美, 茅野愛衣 (Ishihara Kaori, Seto Asami, Kayano Ai)
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼