「鴨川アドバルーン」 (Kamogawa Ado Baruun)
Full on slice-of-life mode engage! More so than any other episode I can recall off the top of my head, this one showed us what director Suzuki Toshimasa and his team would have done had Rinne no Lagrange been a full-blown slice-of-life comedy. Peppered throughout the episode were tons of funny little moments, along with plenty of everyone being cute. Though nowhere near the level of epic yuri kisses or embarrassed shoujos, I was laughing throughout most of the episode, and since that’s clearly what they were going for then I have to count that one as a success.
Speaking of successes, the addition of super-clumsy first year Miki Reiko (Takamori Natsumi) was a solid addition to the comedic formula. Since Lan has been acting pretty competant these days, Stalker-chan took over her dojikko duties and dialed them up to eleven. Then she gave us this, for which I am eternally grateful. Banzai, Stalker-chan!
Still, while I always enjoy the funny moments LagRin always gives us, I prefer it when they’re peppered throughout the episode. As far as main courses go, the comedy just wasn’t very filling, which was why I found myself gobbling up what character development and plot we got all the more voraciously. As far as character development goes, that was all Youko-nee this week. Her conversation with Machiko-sensei + the central “find what makes you happy” message of the episode felt like they were laying the groundwork for a more fundamental shift in Youko-nee’s character before the season ends. This focus on her (and Asteria) strikes me as a bit odd, though. Why are we focusing on secondary characters so late in the game? Still, it’s not necessarily bad. They intrigue me, so I’m honestly interested in what we’ll learn about them.
Also, Michiko-sensei and Youko-nee’s conversation gave us an interesting take on the whole “dead parent” trope. Usually when a parent dies, we focus on the effect their death has on their children – Madoka, in this case. Yet Madoka wasn’t the only one who lost someone. Youko-nee is Madoka’s cousin, which means she lost an aunt too, and one she clearly looked up to. She was “only” an aunt (only…how harsh, how cruel), but whereas Madoka had Youko-nee as to look up to, depend on, and learn from – she had a female role model to help guide her life – Youko-nee had none of that. Sure, Youko has always had her friend Machiko, but that’s as different as Lan and Muginami are to Youko herself (in Madoka’s eyes). Youko has had to be an island, and the rock against which Madoka could anchor her life when she most needed it…but when did Youko ever get a chance to do the same? What does the rock anchor itself against?
But that’s nothing next to the plot bomb at the end. We got irrefutable proof that Asteria was the one who caused the trafedy 20,000 years ago, ans was absorbed into the Rin’Ne before Yurikano, straight from the person herself. But Moid was also there 20,000 years ago, and he’s got something like fifteen memoria to prove it. Asking for payment from Dizelmine for the glowing slab-seed thing…he’s certainly exuding full-on bad guy vibes. I think this is where it switches to Moid being the Big Bad while Dizelmine gets sucked into doing something else unkind, though this time far more unwillingly. I still don’t know his plan, but after Asteria’s talk of the three Voces on the slab (whereas only one caused the tragedy 20,000 years ago) and the markings on Moid’s memoria, I’m thinking…well, I don’t think everything is as it appears. Maybe Moid is trying to blow up the Earth, to finish what he presumably started 20,000 years ago, but I don’t know, he doesn’t seem the type for wholesale slaughter to me. We’ll see, I suppose. It looks like we’re going to get some more yuri vibes next week, but I’m hoping for a little more plot as well. Only a few more episodes now, and I want to know where this is going! Guh…is it next week yet?
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Cute-&-funny hijinks ensue, and were great, but it was the char development & plot that I most loved. Also, Moid!! #LagRin
- Poor twintails-chan. Just no match for Madoka’s bakaness.
- Quite enjoyed Lan being frightened at the thought of a “phantom” club member. Way to go, Muginami!
- A stunned Madoka is cute too.
- Wait, Array in male clothes? What is this sorcery!
- So it sounds like Array is leaving, and perhaps all three of them. Things are too peaceful, too idyllic. I can only assume everything is about to start blowing up.
- I hadn’t noticed her, but I’m told Stalker-chan has been around all season. I appreciate director Suzuki and his team having the forethought to include her ahead of time so they didn’t have to pull her character out of nowhere (trope!) for this episode. A little planning ahead will go a long way towards earning my praise. A dubious honor, I know, but it’s something.
- Lan’s stunned wan was so cute, HNNNNNNG!!!
- Ahhh, poor Assistant-kun. Not even in the running. Fighto, dayo!
- Wait, they have a high school club broadcasting the festival to the rest of the galaxy?? Only in Kamogawa, people.
- Related: I feel like, if Kamogawa is the most well-known city on Earth to everyone in the Polyhedron, it should have blown up in size by now. I can’t imagine it would remain so unchanged with all this attention. More of LagRin’s idealism there, I suppose.
- I like how no one was much worried (other than her haremettes) while Madoka was flying away. Hang in there, Madoka-chan.