This is review number ninety four. This is part of the Summer 2012 lineup and man, the first season of Rinne no Lagrange was my 18th review. After a few months, the second season is now the 94rd review. I am reading the first review and I really changed in terms of my review. It’s time to close the books on this anime. This one is a twelve episode anime about three girls who are part of a Jersey Club and oh, they also pilot big robots. Let’s read on.
The anime picks up where the first season ended. It’s been months now since the three friends last saw each other and a chance encounter gives the girls their fated reunion. A war is about to break out soon and the three girls decided that they’ll make sure the fighting stops.
Taking the Pants Off
I honestly could’ve lived without a second season of this anime because there really isn’t much to tell anymore. Yeah, there are loose ends and the story was still half cooked but the anime has done what I think it sat out to do so the book should be closed. I think people really enjoyed the anime for it to get another season (then again, Hiiro no Kakera got another season so I already lost hope on humanity) but there really is only one more chapter to tell. This impending war about the two groups, isn’t really that interesting. I guess I am a bit intrigued at how they will close the books and I am intrigued to see the girls reunite. Despite the plain story, Rinne no Lagrange 2 is still a great anime that nicely closed the story of the girl who pilots a robot and belongs in a club called the Jersey Club. You’re reading this cause you’ve seen the first season so I will openly talk about the events of the first season in heavy spoilers. So you’ve been warned.
The anime picked up where it left off at the first season. Madoka, Lan and Muginami last had a big fight when the king of the rebellion got back to his throne. Muginami betrayed the other girls and dashed off with his brother. After the conflict was averted, Lan and Madoka went on their separate ways as well with Lan going back to her home planet preparing for the war that is about to fall upon the galaxy. The anime literally picked up where the first season ended. There is no recap or whatever, it just came and the story just resumed as if it was paused. It’s been months now since the three went their separate ways. Madoka is now a third year student who is soon to graduate. She misses her friends terribly and some series of events led Lan and Muginami back on Earth fighting with their robots. Madoka came rushing to greet them only to be met with hostility. She heavily believes though that the two misses her as much as she misses them so she holds on the fact that the two girls are longing for a reunion as well. While they are busy with their personal longing for each other, the two planets are engaging war with Earth caught in the middle. Earth has called for a conference to discuss the status of the galaxy and invited all planets to come to Kamogawa. This is easier said than done when the two planets are fighting for their survival.
So the first season ended with two questions still up in the air. The first is the breaking point of the war and how much it will affect the anime. The second is the story behind the legend about the three robots destined to destroy the world. I personally believe that these questions are fine being unanswered kbecause the anime has reached a pretty satisfying stand still in the first season. I guess I just had enough of the anime and its straightforward set up. The anime is known for its brilliant marriage of the School and the Mecha genre. The anime is centered around Madoka and her friends spending time together in school while riding their robots and fighting evil. One thing the anime did pretty great is making the anime laid back and calm even though it had mecha aspects. There is time to enjoy a day with your friends and there is also time to battle in space. This is topped off with a nice theme of “friendship” that illustrates how friends can help you weather any storm and solve any problem. The first season pretty much did it all. It introduced a laid back setting with robots fighting in the sky, it presented all the personal conflicts of the characters and helped flesh them out and it was able to give us a satisfying open ended ending. Season two is basically just finishing off the scraps. The characters with the personal conflicts resolved would band together and help end the war. For the anime to reach a climax like two planets going to war, it needed to abandon the lighthearted atmosphere and laid back feel. I doubt the anime will do that so do I really need to watch a lighthearted war? I don’t know. I feel conflicted.
So this anime is really just about the war that was about to happen. The first season ended on a high note with the war about to commence. The second season picked up right on back on it. I must say that it was a bit of a nostalgia trip for me seeing the characters, both minor and main, go back doing what they do best. The first season is among the first anime I ever reviewed even though it was just a few months ago. The individual personality of each character is really nice to see again. I love Madoka with her blunt personality and her never say die attitude going in the middle of the crossfire just to see her friends again. The little subplot where the girls get reunited is probably the highest point of the anime because it’s what we are basically waiting for. As for the impeding war, I’ll try not to spoil the story but keep in mind that the anime is lighthearted. It’s more about the power friendship connecting people and sadly, ending all conflicts. The anime is missing a really good villain which was really needed for an exciting event like a war. In season one, it was clearly established that the rebellion is just fighting for survival after enduring hardships in their barren and dead planet. The other guys, although shady, is actually good even extending their hands to Earth to solve the problem diplomatically. Any opportunity for a bad guy, even a stereotypical loudmouth, to appear in the anime is crushed by the anime’s lightheartedness and strong bonds of friendship. I still remember in the first season that Lan started out as bit cold and b*tchy but the anime soon showed us that she isn’t really all that bad. In the second season, the same approach is done to all the characters. They might start out bad and jerky but deep down, they’re just misunderstood. That sucks out the excitement of the anime. Do you really want to see the power of friendship end a war? Ask yourself this question.
The anime had problem with the pacing. It was too fast compared to the first season so some of the events in the anime where a bit anti-climactic. There was some build up but not enough to justify the events that come after it. The anime is really just tying all loose ends and making sure no stone is left unturned. Aside from the war, the anime also revealed the story behind the legend where the robots destroyed the world. The story is interesting and a villain did emerge momentarily but the lighthearted nature of the anime was still prevalent and the power of friendship still saved the day. *flips table* Ok, the lighthearted nature of the anime is indeed nice because it was able to make a straightforward genre like Mecha a bit unique and unpredictable. Madoka’s headstrong personality will really grow on you and the laidback episodes where the characters are just doing fun stuff are really appreciated. It’s not your normal Mecha anime and that’s what makes this anime really enjoyable. The theme of friendship that was spread across the anime is a nice theme because it made the story a bit more unpredictable. As much as I hate friendship ruling the day, I do admire how the anime used it to keep us guessing how the events will conclude.
In between the war and the possible end of the world, there are also some episodes where the characters are doing laid back things like going to school or working at Madoka’s uncle’s shack. The first season did this as well and this is Rinne no Lagrange’s main selling point, really. The simple episode where the characters are just putting up their feet, relaxing, and enjoying the moment with their friends is the reason why this anime is a different kind of Mecha anime. This is also one of the reasons why the pacing of the anime was horribly fast. The second season should just be about the tension of the war and the impending doom to befall Earth. It could’ve survived without the fluffy episodes where the characters are hugging or kissing each other. This anime should’ve done much more but it was decent and decent is good. Great is much better but it’s too late to complain.
If you enjoyed the first season and all the good things about it then you’ll enjoy the second season. All the questions are answered. All the loose ends are fixed and all conflicts are resolved. If season one wasn’t happy enough for you then season two will be. It’s an anime where the characters lived happily ever after. Oh, I spoiled it?
Sight and Sound
I was surprised to learn this was a joint project by Xebec and Production IG. There was no mark of Production IG here because they do crisp animation and their eyes has so much detail that you don’t notice the characters blink. This is definitely Xebec though with more emphasis on Story but still giving us decent animation and some fan service. Xebec IS fan service but it’s subtle in this anime. The CG of the anime is probably the best part in terms of animation because it was nicely rendered and the presentation is really bad ass. The details on the robots and the fight scenes are really impressive. It was the same in the first season but there were a lot more fight scenes in this anime. Besides that, there really isn’t anything more to tell in terms of animation. There was no stand out scenes in the anime that has impressive animation except for the CG, or maybe those infamous lesbian kiss.
The anime’s OP is “Marble” by Megumi Nakajima. It’s a nice song with Megumi’s voice really adding an extra appeal to the song. The song reflects the strong theme of friendship in the anime. The OP sequence features the three girls and just like the first season, it gave you the impression of a mahou shoujo anime other than mecha.
The anime has two ending song. The first one is “Jersey-Bu Tamashi!” by Kaori Ishihara, Asami Seto and Ai Kayano. It was sung by the three main characters of the anime and it’s a really cute song. The voice actresses are really exceptional and they all added their own cute charm to the song. The ending sequence is just the girls moving to the beat of the song acting all cute. There is some fan service here and there but it’s mostly cute. There is some CG in it too. So the ending sequence really captured the anime’s charm without the robots. The second ending song is “Wasurenai yo.” by Megumi Nakajima. It’s a much solemn song with a slow pace. The song is really nice with Megumi’s voice really making the song a bit more special. The song captures the anime’s light hearted nature. The ending sequence features the Earth in all of it’s beauty. It’s a nice scenic shot that fits the solemn pace of the song.
3/10 “It’s a decent ending to a nice anime”
I heard the director decided to cut the romance elements of the anime. Doesn’t that just bum you out? Anyways, the anime is nice but it could’ve been better. If you’re curious how Rinne no Lagrange ends then you need to see the anime. The laid back feel of the anime is really something to be experienced. As a whole, I’d give both seasons an 8/10 because of its nice mix of School and Mecha that only Rinne no Lagrange can pull off. I recommend it.