Rinne no Lagrange First Impressions – Swimsuits, Robots and a German Suplex

I never got around to watching the pre-airing of Prodcution I.G. and Xebec’s new original series Rinne no Lagange, and stayed away from it after I heard the quality was awful. It was however worth the wait, and I think this series will be one of my favourites of the season, assuming it continues the way it started. From the very interesting opening sequence to the blend of mecha action and comedy that works well and produces a show that is both entertaining without being entirely serious.

The story follows Kyouna Madoka, an eternally energetic high school girl and the only member of the ‘Jersey Club’. And as far as I can tell is a classic example of unwitting high schooler is recruited to pilot a big mecha and fight hordes of evil demons intent on destroying the earth. In this case the evil demons come in the form of 3 bishounen, a big space ship, and one funky looking robot; not the greatest threat mankind has ever faced, unless they plan to conquer through handsome looks, which could work.

The main draw of the series for me is definitely Madoka’s incessant need to help anyone and everyone. Her schedule is so packed that it looks as if she is running her own company; helping most of the sports clubs in her all-girls Kamojo high school and even the film club since she just seems incapable of saying no. Even when Lan, the mysterious alien/transfer student asks her to pilot a robot, she was clearly surprised and yet still went along with it, further emphasising her willingness to do even the most outrageous requests. The show also starts off with Madoka stripping down to save someone drowning, handily having her swimsuit on underneath, and then apparently walking to school like that since her uniform was ‘stolen’ by Lan. She also, always has her tracksuit (Jersey) with her, this is potentially something important, or it could be inconsequential and simply part of her slightly crazy character.

An interesting plot point is hat Madoka’s cousin Nakaizumi Youko – who she calls Onee-chan – appears set against her piloting the ‘Vox’ robots for n as yet unspecified reason. Although I have a feeling that it has something to do with the promise made between the robot and Madoka that Lan alludes to, and quite probably to do with Madoka’s mother who appears to have died. There is a short flashback that suggests the Vox Aura rescued Madoka when she was drowning, which has potentially led to Madoka’s incessant need to help anyone and everyone. We have yet to see the enemies’ power, or the introduction of the other heroine who is presumably an alien as well, but that will come with later episodes.

There appear to be clear nods toward well-known mecha franchises, such as Macross and Evangelion. There are nods to Eva with the different colour heroines and their matching robots – red, blue and green – along with a agency that seems to have been formed to fight off this ‘mysterious’ evil. However, the mecha to me look like a combination of the mecha from Eureka Seven when in ground mode and the planes from Yukikaze when in flight mode. Lan also seems far similar to Eureka than to Rei, although this may change depending on who is watching. These seem to be clear nods to other franchises, but I don’t think that Lagrange has taken wholesale, or attempting to be another Evangelion, Eureka Seven or Macross. And I feel, rather than detract from the series simply makes it more enjoyable for me to see little apparent references to other shows.

There is plenty of fanservice, but it didn’t detract anything from the episode. I’m intrigued to see where this takes us, especially since we have yet to really meet the enemy, and even find out what is going on. I have my suspicions – which involve rival aliens fighting over the salad, or more accurately the best view on Earth – and there seems to be a sub-plot about Earth dying at some point in the past, as alluded to by evil Bishounen no1 Kirisu. But overall I really enjoyed the episode, it kept everything light and we never lost the comedy element that got me interested in the first place. I was wary at first after I had learned that the robot designs were by Nissan strangely enough, but the robots look pretty nice actually. And more importantly, any robot show that has the main protagonist beating the enemy robot by performing a German Suplex automatically wins my vote for best original finishing move in a mecha anime.

About illogicalzen
An Illogical anime fan in a very Zen-like way.

4 Responses to Rinne no Lagrange First Impressions – Swimsuits, Robots and a German Suplex

  1. Justin says:

    I pretty much knew I was going to watch it anyways–but I refuse to watch it if it’s in low quality, which is what I heard for Lagrange. So, watching it in normal quality, it was definitely good. It didn’t feel that good, but I’m intrigued to see where it goes..

    • illogicalzen says:

      It’s too early to tell if this will be one of my favourites for the season, however, from what I have seen it looks like it will be fun. I will know by episode 3 or 4 whether its a good series of course, since right now we have very little information and the characters are just being introduced. I’m interested to see who the ‘enemy’ are, since right now those bishounen dont seem all that threatening, and I suspect that they are simply the vanguard of a much larger, more powerful and more dangerous force. I am glad that I waited for the proper aired version since the animation is very nice and my first impressions would have been spoiled if I had seen this show in the (apparently) terrible quality of the pre-aired version.

  2. kluxorious says:

    this one here doesn’t have anything that makes me want to watch the rest of the episode. It was simply… hmm… even average seemed too kind of a word. Maybe I’m just indifference towards the whole setup but like I said in my post, if there’s somewhat good character development between Madoka and the bishies, that might just changed my mind. At the moment there’s nothing that I want to hold on to

    • illogicalzen says:

      Fair enough, for me I obviously enjoyed it, overall I have enjoyed the start to this season far more than last season actually. Many of the shows aren’t standouts, but the first episodes have been enjoyable, which is important actually. We shall see how the story progresses of course, it could veer off in some known direction and be terrible, only time will tell.

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