Rinne no Lagrange – Past, Present and Future
September 10, 2012 Leave a comment
The Past, Present and Future and themes that have been touched upon throughout Rinne no Lagrange, demonstrating that what happened in the past can impact the present and the future. These ideas are all encompassing, bringing in anything from the apparently mundane notions of what you want to do after high school to the future of the Polyhedron. In fact the series is about the mistakes of the past catching up to those in the present and impacting upon the future of Earth, Le Garite, De Metrio, and numerous other nations and planets. The very existence of the Vox units is seen as the dangers of the past taking physical form and endangering the present. However, it is far more complex than this, and it has become clear that everyone has different ideas and views of the past. Throughout this and the first half of Rinne no Lagrange it has become ever clearer that these Vox units are far from simple, and that there are conflicting opinions of their use and their power.
The Vox units are described in a Le Garite legend as demons, bringing death and destruction to all, in the legend they are responsible for the near annihilation of an ancient civilisation on Earth that later became Le Garite and De Metrio.
The green demon will rip the heavens.
The giant blue demon will devour the stars.
The giant orange demon will spew out darkness.
Through countless sacrifices they will rule the land.
Furthermore Asteria turns out to be Queen Maycun of Le Garite who is supposed to have been responsible for the catastrophe that almost destroyed her civilisation 20,000 years in the past. Everything in this series leads us to believe that the Vox are demons, machines of war and destruction, something that has been backed up by the sheer destructive power that Madoka and Midori have demonstrated on multiple occasions. However, there seems to be far more to this puzzle than meets the eye, and it is very hard to imagine the Vox units as possessing purely destructive power.
The Rin-ne for all its power and might is also beautiful, with ethereal flowers blooming in the sky, and now because of Madoka a beautiful ring of green flowers surrounding the earth. As with all stories and legends, this one may have changed over time, becoming a legend of destruction rather than a tale of foolishness and idiocy. Asteria believes that she was behind the near destruction of earth, escaping death by being sucked into the Rin-ne, which appears to be an alternate universe. Her mission then, along with her actions in this and the first series is that of saving the earth once again and preventing another catastrophe from happening. But, while it may be true that she was a Queen and a pilot of a Vox (Midori/Aura apparently), she also has few memories of her life as Queen Maycun.
It is doubtful that she was even the one to instigate this destruction, and while it is clear that she was a Vox pilot due to her memoria, there are inconsistencies that make her account, along with the story itself problematic. Furthermore, the appearance of Moid, along with his links to and knowledge about the Vox units begins to question the notion that Asteria was responsible for the original disaster. He is another relic of the past, someone who seems to have been a Vox pilot judging by the numerous Memoria that he has on his body. However, unlike Asteria who is working towards a better future he has been quietly manipulating Dizelmine and perhaps many others from behind the scenes. Moid is a character that is at home with manipulation and uses all the tools at his disposal no matter what the cost.
With this in mind it is possible to see the Vox as blameless objects, tools with immense power that were used for the wrong reasons. The Vox, being ancient robots from a long dead advanced civilisation are viewed as demons, and yet no one seems to understand them. They, along with the Rin-ne are an enigma, but judging by the blossoming at the end of the first season they encapsulate the powers of life, and dead. Such immense power may have been the reason for the prosperity of this ancient civilisation; however, there will always be those who want more. The Vox are seen by Le Garite and De Metrio as weapons with the potential to destroy planets and rearrange the power balance of the Polyhedron. If this is the case now, then there is the distinct possibility that the calamity was caused by those who wished to use the Vox for more than bringing life. Having seen Moid in recent episodes this idea has some credibility, suggesting that the calamity was caused by certain people abusing their powers and thus invoking the wrath of the gods.
Much like in Greek mythology these rulers wanted power that was never meant for them, they attempted to establish themselves as gods with the power of the Vox’. In Greek Mythology there are numerous heroes or mortals who claimed to be superior to the Greek pantheon, thus suggesting that they have the power or the abilities of a god. For example in one myth Cassiopeia boasted that her daughter Andromeda was more beautiful than the Nereids (beautiful sea nymphs who often accompanied the god Poseidon), thus invoking the wrath of Poseidon who sent the sea monster Cetus to attack Æthiopia. A wise oracle told Cassiopeia that they needed to sacrifice Andromeda to Cetus in order to placate Poseidon and thus save their kingdom. In the myth Perseus manages to slay Cetus thus saving Andromeda and Æthiopia, however it also demonstrates how those who claim to be more than they are ultimately bring about their own demise.
The implications of this then are that the disaster 20,000 years before was caused not by the Vox’ on their own, but by those who were hungry for power. Yurikano appears to have suffered a similar fate when she was pulled into the Rin-ne during a failed experiment to use the power of the Vox as a weapon. The Vox are therefore nothing more than tools (albeit potentially sentient tools that know what is going on around them and react to the will and feelings of their pilots), they may be highly advanced tools, but on their own they are not necessarily dangerous. But, they are tools that are not understood, and while it is clear that the Rin-ne is immensely powerful, no one, perhaps not even Moid truly understands what this phenomenon truly is.
Unfortunately, Dizelmine in his eagerness never thinks about the implications of his actions and willingness to use the Vox and Rin-ne as a weapon. What makes this worse is that he appears to be doing this out of genuine, if twisted good will, and a wish to bring true peace to the Polyhedron. As explained by Vilagulio he truly believes that in order to save everyone from disaster a single strong leader who can pull everyone together is needed. This same reason or perhaps excuse has of course been used by military leaders and dictators throughout history, with Dizelmine being no exception. Much like in Greek myth and tragedy Dizelmine views himself as the true leader that can solve everyone’s problems. His assertion and belief of his own greatness comes across as foolish and short sighted, and much it is this hubris that may ultimately lead to his downfall.
The problem still remains however that the Polyhedron is close to collapse and it has also been explained that eventually Le Garite and De Metrio will crash into each other. The actions of Dizelmine and Vilagulio are informed by their wish for a peaceful present and future along with their fear of the past, neither can see the Vox as anything other than a weapon regardless of the possibility that these robots may be able to solve their problems in some other way. Through all this Lan, Muginami and Madoka are trying to come to terms with the power that they hold, along with working out what they want to do in the future. For Lan and Muginami the choice is clear, they want to go back to their home worlds and make things better, it is about building a lasting relationship between their nations. However, Madoka is completely the opposite, she has arguably never looked to the future and has instead focussed on the present while also being partly controlled by her past.
While Madoka’s apparent wish for things to remain as they are may seem naïve it does highlight how uncertain the future really is. Lan and Muginami may want to go back to their home worlds, but neither of them truly knows what the future may bring, something that Madoka may be aware of as well. This uncertainty also ties into the impact that Lan, Muginami and Madoka have on the current situation as pilots of the Vox units. While these three may be content with thing as they are, knowing full well that they will one day part, for many others this uncertainty is something to be feared. Neither Dizelmine nor Vilagulio truly know what the future will hold, and while Vilagulio appears to have accepted this and is working towards other goals, it also seems to scare Dizelmine. More importantly it is the lack of knowledge and understanding of the past that worries everyone, with the shadow of these three demons hanging over them even as they attempt to create a lasting peace and work towards a bright future.