OP2: 「忘れないよ。」 (Wasurenai yo.) by 中島愛 (Nakajima Megumi)
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「鴨川エクスペリメント」 (Kamogawa Ekusuperimento)
“The Kamogawa Experiment”
Wow. As I sit here, having just finished this episode and now trying to decide what to write, I find it hard. Not because there wasn’t plenty that went on, and plenty to talk about, but because I’m so stunned by the events I just saw that I feel like the thoughts were slapped out of my brain, leaving a void of flabbergasted silence in its wake. This episode featured some of the finest yuri trolling I’ve ever seen, stuff that had me bouncing around in my chair like a 10-year-old schoolgirl who just received a pony with a saddle made of chocolate, but it wasn’t that which has me staring wide-eyed at the screen right now. It was that last reveal, the curveball that came out of nowhere. Now my thoughts are completely scattered, like the plans that Madoka just accidentally blew away. C’mon Stilts, get a hold of yourself! There’s a post to write.
First of all, let’s tackle that yuri trolling. From Madoka teasing Lan to Madoka declaring that she would do anything for Lan and Muginami (!!!), the first part of the episode was mainly about setting up the experiment + setting up the yuri fun. It was the small things that made the early scenes enjoyable, like how Tadokoro got owned by Asteria, or seeing those strange glowing bunny ears and space-bunny tail that Madoka wore during the experiment. But that’s all child’s play compared to what was up next.
“You’re a virgin, aren’t you?” Asteria, what are you asking!! Watching Madoka get all flustered, then Lan and Muginami follow suit was adorable! Madoka blushing, Lan swaying on her feet, and Muginami turning completely red…the production team clearly isn’t afraid to play up the yuri angle anymore! But rather than feeling like shameless pandering, it works here. Why? Because they took the time to establish these characters. Now their affection for one another is clear, and perfectly in line with what we know of their personalities. Pandering is when the writers force a little fanservice into the story because they think the fans will like it. Here it all fits seamlessly into the story, not getting in the way but rather enhancing it. The fact that many fans love it (here here!) is icing on the cake.
But no sooner had I nearly thrown my back out from laughing so hard – I’m not that old, I was just laughing really, really hard! – did the plot come roaring back. Everything was calm, they were just dealing with some political bullshit…when all of the sudden the clock started ticking back up, the soundtrack kicked in with those tense, unearthly chimes, and you knew things were about to get bad. There was some serious mood whiplash here (trope!), but it was perfect for the scene. It felt for us as it did for the characters, like everything was all fun and games…until suddenly it wasn’t. While Madoka was still adorably worrying about becoming a mother (eventually!), not all was well. Everybody welcome back Yurikano (Ise Mariya), now in vengeful blood-ghost form.
If you recall from last season, Yurikano is the princess of De Metrio, and Villagulio’s true imouto, who perished during the Vox Particle Experiment which destroyed Militia Zodia. She was the one Madoka met in the other world, and who stayed behind so that Madoka could leave. Needless to say, she seemed a little less pleased to see Madoka this time. I don’t know what to make of this, to be honest. It sounds like she wasn’t pleased that her sacrifice, her tragedy was about to be repeated. Perhaps she was just trying to frighten Madoka into closing the Rin’Ne? Yet that anger didn’t sound feigned. I just can’t rectify in my mind this vengeful spirit with the cool, mature woman we saw at the end of season one.
Then there was the wham moment. I was already riveted by how thoroughly Asteria’s plans had failed – not only did they fail to show that the Voces could be tools of peace, but they accidentally proved exactly how powerful of weapons they could be – but then the scene zoomed over to Dizelmine, and my jaw literally (literally!) dropped. “The fuck!?” I said out loud, because I’m crazy like that. Blood-spirit Yurikano wasn’t the only new Yurikano we got this episode – there was also a living, breathing version traveling with Dizelmine. I repeat – the fuck!? Once again, I don’t know what to say about this turn of events, save that there is something off about this latest Yurikano. As with the blood-ghost, I can’t rectify the differences between childish girl and the cool beauty we saw last season. This reeks of Dizelmine’s foul plans. I have to wonder how he brought her back from the grave – and what parts of the original he got. That looks like her body…but what about her mind?
Fortunately, we’re not going to have to wait for long for a chance at finding out what Dizelmine is up to, though I doubt we’ll get an answer on this Yurikano thing so quickly. Still, last week I said we might find out what Madoka’s third option to stopping the war could be this episode, and that certainly didn’t happen. Why do I even try to guess with this show anymore? It always defies my expectations in remarkable ways every time. Do whatever you think is best, Rinne no Lagrange. By this point, you have my trust. Let’s see what you’ve got.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Some of the best yuri trolling I’ve ever seen, & then a plot hammer upside the head. & then a few more. Wow. I’m out of breath #LagRin
- Waitress Lan and Muginami are back! \o/
- Madoka: “I’ll do anything for you two!” Oh gods. The yuri goggles! THEY’RE TOO STRONG!!
- Am I the only one that saw two girls about to kiss in that chalice card? Bad Stilts! No more yuri for you! …okay, maybe just a little more.
- I love the symbolism of the chairs. With one picture, so much is said about the events that are to come. While I love me some dialogue (big surprise, given how much I write), it’s even more impressive when a feeling, an idea, even an entire story can be told without words. Beautifully done.
- Lan and Muginami holding hands? OT3, OT3!!
- The long pause and the mass-sigh after the hypnotherapy failed to effect Madoka was priceless. It’s rare to see such a good use of silence, or rather, a lack of action. Directors always seem to want to cram as much as they can in the time they have, but that pause – it was like ten full seconds of no dialogue or movement! – drove that joke home well. Superb directing at work.
- “Is it that much fun with three girls?” Oh man Asteria, why are you so awesome? Trolling so hard.
- I enjoyed Tadokoro’s second owning even more than the first. Sorry Tadokoro, you’re no an eternal loli. You can’t get away with saying something dirty without some serious judgment, hah!
- Finally, bridge officer James Row (Kawada Shinji) said something that resonated with me, though I’m not entirely sure why. He said that Madoka always seems to go beyond their expectations. In that, she’s like Rinne no Lagrange itself. The entire show, encapsulated in a single sentence…but you have to watch the whole thing to appreciate it. Exquisite. I’ll shut up now. Is it next week yet?
ED3: 「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)
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