OP: 「TRY UNITE!」 by 中島愛 (Nakajima Megumi)
「鴨川デイズ」 (Kamogawa Deizu)
Before anything else, I feel I should mention who should watch this. This OVA is fanservice in its purest sense. No, not in that there are boobs and asses flashing all over the place – other than a little teasing at the very beginning and the very end, there’s not much of that – but in that this gives what existing fans of the series will enjoy, but little of worth to anyone else. For those of you who have watched both seasons (or even just up to the end of Season 1, since after that is where this OVA takes place), this will give you another dose of those characters you’ve come to love. Not much happens save for a little foreshadowing – the first appearance of Miki Reiko and the origin of Madoka’s scrunchie chief among them – but the characters are still likable and carefree and enjoyable and it’s a good time. For everyone else, I suggest you start back on the first episode of Season 1 before you even consider diving into this.
With that out of the way, this OVA takes place in between the events of Season 1 and Season 2 (as previously noted), which suggests two immediate problems. First of all, it’s completely unnecessary, story-wise. That’s pretty standard for OVAs, but it bears mentioning…if you don’t see this, there will be no appreciable difference on your enjoyment of the series as a whole. Secondly, having it take place between the two seasons is one of the worst possible places to locate it because nothing happens then! Sure, it’s also the only place there’s a lot of time (continuity-wise) for an extra story, but there’s no action, there’s no tension, and Madoka, Lan, and Muginami aren’t even on the same planet at the time! That’s a horrible handicap to labour under, because lemme tell you, I never watched Rinne no Lagrange for heart warming stories of Madoka getting a tan or goofing off with Sacchi and Michi. I watched it for super optimistic giant robot battles starring Madoka and her waifus. ‘Nuff said.
So as you might suspect of a 45-minute OVA taking place during a time in the story where nothing much happens, it was a bit slow at times. At around the 25 minute mark I was actually starting to get pretty bored, though it did recover shortly thereafter. It was just sort of aimless and without the heavy hitting characters that made me love Rinne no Lagrange in the first place, so know that going in. It was also rather odd how Lan and Muginami were so chummy, considering how they were at each other’s throats during Season 2 Episode 1. I know there were extenuating circumstances there, but still…that’s not the Jersey-bu spirit!
That said, if you’re an old fan of the series then there are worse things you can do than take a little spin down memory lane. And honestly, if this thing had been about 10 minutes shorter, I think it would have been a lot stronger. It just took too long to get to the squishy Lan and Muginami bits at the end (which were by then too far away from the other squishy Lan, Muginami, and Madoka bits at the beginning).
So that’s the OVA. Now I’d like to close with a little reminiscing about the series as a whole. Since I started blogging for RandomC a little less than a year ago, it’s been a rare month that LagRin didn’t touch in some way. I remember Divine talking about it when he was teaching me all the technical stuff – he was watching the pre-air of Season 1 Episode 1, as I recall – and his reaction is what slid it firmly over into my watch list. Good thing too, because that meant when Divine had to go on hiatus, I was practically frothing at the mouth to finish the season out! So I finished that one off, then took care of Season 2, and kept after it all the way up to this post today. Rinne no Lagrange has in many ways defined my blogging career so far…is what I’d say if I didn’t have a massive ego, but I do, so I think I defined it! *smug*
Yet I find myself wondering how well this series has held up. While watching this episode, I had trouble remembering small details, like what happened to Hiroshi’s wife or how much time was supposed to pass between seasons. That doesn’t bode well for it being an enduring sci-fi masterpiece! Well, after some contemplation, here’s what I think. At times, Rinne no Lagrange was a masterpiece. Most of Season 1 qualified as that, with probably the zenith of the series coming at the end of Episode 11 – though the early parts of Season 2, particularly Episode 2, Episode 3, and the fun with Yurikano that centered around Episode 6, were great as well. That said, it had a tendency to pull its punches, and never built up to a true catharsis which would have moved the series from “great at times” to “amazing, always.” The series finale was especially disappointing, not in that it was bad, just that it wasn’t as good as it could have been.
I guess, though it hasn’t even been that long yet, I’m not sure how well LagRin has aged. The subtle skill of episodes like Season 1 Episode 9 is undermined by the lack of epic, defining moments. It’s almost like LagRin never wanted to have the spotlight, which is a shame because Madoka is, and always was, absolutely maru. Still, I’m glad to have both watched and blogged this series. I always say we could do with more original anime, and this was a damned enjoyable one. Flawed perhaps, but it gave us some moments I’ll never forget. And that’s not too bad, ne?
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – A little trip down memory lane with the #lagrin girls. Not much happens, but it was nice to see everyone again.
- Asteria told Lan that “nyan” was a New Years greeting. You’re such a troll, Asteria-chan! But Madoka going nyan herself? POSSIBLY EVEN BETTER!
- I like how Array not only cross-dresses, but does it 120%. That’s the Jersey-bu spirit!
- “I don’t know why, but I’ve always gotten a lot of chocolate from girls.” “Madoka is such a chick magnet!” I rofl’d heartily, I must say. It’s because you’re so yuri-licious, Madoka-chan!
- Braided twintails Lan is chou kawaii, yo.
- A shopping space station? Imagine what Black Friday must be like in that thing. Ugh. I think I threw up a little bit.
- Giuvi-nii is such a commercial whore. So that’s how he makes his money! I do approve of him making his imouto all embarrassed about how her onii-chan is some kind of royal idol, though. We could use more of that in this world.
- I feel like the people of the real Kamogawa are getting screwed out of some serious licensing dollars (yen, space credits, whatever) for this Kamogawa replica place. Don’t they have copyright laws in outer space?
- Sensei, she’s your student, you can’t do that! …but you totally should, immediately!!
- That’s the Jersey-bu sempais for you. How maru!
ED12: 「HELLO」 by 中島愛 (Nakajima Megumi)