Several months have passed since Lan and Muginami left Earth. Now in her final year of high school, Madoka spends most of her days thinking about her friends, when Lan suddenly returns to Kamogawa City.
Watching Rinne no Lagrange II is like taking a walk on the beach but with a breeze of fresh air where you feel and experience the fun as well as the joy of being young. But somehow, some way, this series at times seems like one of those titles where you can watch through but feel bored of the somewhat repetitive moments. Those moments are heartwarming, filled with joy, but occasionally also has emotions that can be connected to each of our own young lives. At any rate, this series seems be one of the most underrated titles of this summer. But that's ok because
Rinne no Lagrange II isn't here for a popularity contest but rather to deliver entertainment that the audience deserves.
Rinne no Lagrange II (also known as Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne Season 2) is the direct sequel of the original series that takes place several months after Lan and Muginami leaves Earth. Homesick yet? Well, Madoka should be but thankfully, she gets a surprise visit soon. Now that she's a high school student, Madoka has responsibilities to handle but with a little bit of help from her friends, she can do just that.
Like the original series, this sequel is also lighthearted with an atmosphere that is suited for more of the younger demographic audience. That doesn't mean it's for little kids though as there is some drama and intensity involved later on. But still... if you're looking for some sex, gore, or mindfuck, then this sequel might disappoint you. (unless a small bit of yuri is part of your taste category)
The setting of the sequel is roughly the same. Friendship is one of the key themes in the original series and as such, the Jersey Club is reformed once again and becomes the flower of hope. It's more about cute girls doing cute things although at times it is, especially some of the filler episodes. Speaking of which, the story itself in this sequel plays a more direct approach and addresses some more sibling-like dilemmas involving the brothers of two main characters in the series. It becomes more emotional and dramatic to watch and sheds some of that lighthearted feeling. Still though, the filler episodes added in occasionally gets quite bothersome. It certainly isn't “maru!” like Madoka often yells throughout the series. No, it's not perfect and the story does seem to lose touch at times.
Thankfully though, we have the Jersey Club to make up for that. The club still consists of three members:
Madoka Kyouno – She is a cherry young girl who is now attending high school. Often or not, she's very cheerful, friendly, helpful, and patient with dealing with not only with her problems but those who she cares for. When she accomplishes something or likes what she sees, the term “maru!” comes out of her mouth. She is an adorable character in this sequel especially in some of the latter episodes that explores more of her inner self, in more places than one.
Laffinty Fin E Ld Si – or simply just Lan! This girl is a strange one in this sequel alright even from the original title. Her personality hasn't changed much although from the beginning of this sequel, she seems to be off balance a bit. Thankfully though, there's the Jersey Club who help the helpless. And of course, being a prominent member herself, her cute “woof” personality is retained in this sequel.
Muginami – the dramatic character of the trio. In this sequel, she still has that witted personality. Her motivations are to be what's best for her friends and maintains a good relationship with her beloved brother. But at times, she shows her emotional self and is even willing to harm others to protect what she treasures the most.
These three girls still brings forth entertainment, joy, and also emotions in this sequel on a peaceful Sunday weekend.
Well, not exactly. Not everything is peaceful because there are still conflicts. In the latter half of this sequel series, there seems to be troubles brewing among the older peers concerning past events that have left both physical and emotional scars. Beyond that, a new character named Yurikano also joins the series who has one hell of a time during a particular episode with our Jersey Club member, Madoka. She is a strange character to say the least that seems to blur the lines between cheerful and moody. How do I say this? Sometimes, she seems bossy but other times is more emotional especially with Diselmine whom she shares a special bond with. On the more antagonist side, Moid loves brewing trouble and shows his colors to the audience later on.
The artwork and battle scenes in this sequel remains relatively the same. Production I.G. delivers that lighthearted style of the typical cool life with the bright sunny daylight and cherry atmosphere. Some of the battle scenes inspire some thrilling action but mostly still retains that lighthearted style of fighting. It's not something like Muv Luv: Total Eclipse where aliens are out to eat you alive and have to be exterminated immediately. No, it remains its typical lighthearted Rinne no Lagrange style theme with the girls half naked riding those bad boys (Ovid) in combat. It's amusing to watch again in this sequel and brings some chuckle to our heads thinking the way they fight with the danger it poses yet to them, it's like playing a video game without the joysticks. Overall though, the art is alright. Not too special but to the point.
The soundtrack of this sequel remains somewhat intact although I have to admit that the original OP song has a better rhythm to it. "Marble” by Megumi Nakajima does not seem to work here in my opinion. It lacks a sort of rhythm that the original OP song bought to the viewers. That and the fact that it's a near replication montage of the Jersey Club girls is a bit repetitive to watch. Jin Aketagawa (Honey and Clover, Nodame Cantabile, sola) is someone who has experience with creating lighthearted music. In this sequel, he once again presents that soft touch of Rinne no Lagrange-like melody that is dramatic to the ears. But at the same time, it seems to lack any flavor and inspires more of that boredom. It's hard to judge but give or take, the music is just so-so.
Rinne no Lagrange II is a fun series to enjoy and watch on a bright sunny weekend. You know the first thing you wake up, open your windows, and smell the morning breeze? Ya, that's a similar feeling you get when you play the episodes. It's not all about play and games though as there is a story going on here. Unfortunately though, the story seems be a bit out of shape although it comes together at times. Pushing forward and rushing it through the story is not a good idea and in this sequel seems to repeat a bit of that mistake. But at the same time, the series presents entertainment of the Jersey Club that is enjoyable to watch. Cute girls doing cute things may be a bothersome at times, but I'm sure Madoka has a few things to say about that especially since her hobby is to help others in need. It's not bothersome to help people and you'll feel good about it. That's what the Jersey Club is there for and in this sequel, it's exactly what they do.
Ultimately, Rinne no Lagrange II isn't a “Maru!” or “perfect” as Madoka states. Yet, it can be a relaxing, enjoyable series to enjoy on a weekend with the Jersey Club.
Rinne no Lagrange Season 2 is one of the more enjoyable series I've watched recently, although it's a little hard to explain why. To put it bluntly, this is a horribly written series, and there isn't much to like from an objective standpoint. And yet I still liked it.
Taking place several months after the conclusion of the first season, it follows Madoka and her two alien best friends, Lan and Muginami who with the power of their magical mechas--the Vox--they try to persuade Lan and Muginami's older brothers Dizelmine and Villagilio (respectively) to stop warring with each other, and prevent an apocalypse that's somehow
connected to the Vox.
And that's pretty much half of what I could give as a summary to the plot. The story of Rinne no Lagrange is a confusing one, in that it's a fantasy series where none of the fantasy elements are ever given explanation. What exactly are the Vox? Are they bad or good, and how are they related to the apocalypse? Why are the nations of De Metrio and Le Garite warring with each other? What is with those huge flower things in the sky? None of this is given a clear answer, and since these are the things which the main story revolves around, it causes the whole thing to fall apart.
And yet it's all tolerable to the point where it's actually rather enjoyable in a non-ironic way. Most of the characters themselves are well-written; I wouldn't exactly call them deep or anything, but they have likable personalities, and they're dramatic needs were believable and clearly expressed--even if the plot surrounding these dramatic needs was not. You may not understand why Madoka and the others are battling against the powers of darkness (or something), you still enjoy watching them do so because of how likable they are.
This in part is due to the slice-of-life qaulities of the first season, which allowed you to feel more attached to the characters. The first season also had the problem of infusing these qualities with the more dramatic parts of the story, which consequently made it hard to take certain scenes seriously. Although the straight-up slice-of-life scenes are toned down in Season 2, it still has the problem of having a light-hearted atmosphere when it would probably have done better if it could have taken itself more seriously.
It seems as if the writers put so much focus into the characters and slice-of-life elements, that they never bothered to put much thought into the actual plot. Nothing was really even presented as "questions"--all of the characters just went along with the flow of events as if they already knew the nature of the Vox, or why De Metro and Le Garite were warring.
Despite this, Season 2 still manages to have its share of emotional moments, which only get better as the series progresses. However, sometimes you'll be enchanted by one of these wonderfully presented scenes, only for some other aspect of the plot to ruin it--canceling out what could be seen as a redeeming quality. In fact, the plot pretty much cancels all of the good qualities that the show has to offer, no matter how enjoyable they might have on their own.
"If I tell her that I want to see results from her, no matter how grueling the task or how high the wall, she always steeled herself and exceeded my wildest expectations."
The Lagrange series is about a trio of girls riding giant robots, but it's much more about their friendship and the warm home town of Kamogawa. Season 1 ended on a bittersweet, unfulfilling note, and the aim of season 2 is to finish the story and finish the journeys of many characters.
Season 2 begins several months after the end of season 1, and whatever warm feelings there were between Lan and
Muginami are now swallowed up by conflict. De Metrio claims that Le Garite is trying to use the Vox (Madoka's Vox Aura in particular) to destroy the De Metrio star system to avoid a collision expected to happen in 1000 years. To that end, Muginami is ordered to eliminate Madoka if she is ever involved in such a plot, and naturally Lan won't stand for such a threat to her best friend. The trio's journey starts at an impasse, but seeing them grow into girls who could support one another, even when the exact same situation arose in the final arc, was a fulfilling moment. There's a similar evolution in Villagulio's character going into and through the final arc.
While season 1 did involve extraterrestrial humans to some extent, nearly all of the key scenes are at Kamogawa or in the skies above it. Season 2 added one combat scene at a research facility in another star system, and extensive scenes aboard the Le Garite flagship, but the vast majority of the story is still told at Kamogawa. So while the show is far from leaving Kamogawa behind, we do get more background on Lan and Muginami, as well as their brothers, the leaders of the star systems in conflict.
Between the two major arcs in the show, are 2 "fun filler" episodes. They're all right, in that we get to see the chemistry among not only the 3 heroines, but also their counterparts, the 3 Orbit pilots who settled in Kamogawa as employees of the BWH seaside shack. We see hints of what's to come in the final arc, but I feel that there could've been more in the lead-up, like actually showing the manipulation of Dizelmine rather than Moid casually chatting about it.
As in season 1, the prime weakness of season 2 is the story, whether in the planning or the execution thereof. The reason why Villagulio is "exiled" to what appears to be a prison planet is not very clear, even when it's spoken of in dialogue, yet another example of why telling the story in dialogue is far less effective than showing it in a flashback scene. This is the primary weakness of season 2's plot, because this is closely tied into the Vox incident involving Yurikano (and hence, the first major conflict in this season), and the final conflict of the series. When a bloodthirsty Dizelmine showed up in a Vox 3 episodes after he signed a ceasefire, I was like, "Wut? Did Moid give you a lobotomy?" Similarly, Moid's so-called "voice from beyond" motivation is likewise either poorly planned, or merely tossed in as part of the rantings of a madman. Because his backstory is conveyed entirely through dialogue (mostly from a maniacal rant in the style of 1980s American cartoon villains), it's impossible to tell whether he's delusional or lying. I would've pushed for another episode just to show his story-- this is an anime, right? It's almost as though 50 different "cool" ideas were brainstormed during the planning stages, and lacking a coherent way to tie them together, they just threw them in and made them decorations. Well, all right, it's not quite that haphazard, but it really feels like there wasn't enough time to express everything.
I will admit that the climax made for a really funny Moid scene where he got exactly what he deserved. I suppose that some viewers will have a problem with all the galaxy's problems being solved by giant magical flowers popping miraculously out of a planet-darkening cloud of doom because Madoka (more than likely) flew donuts in the "afterlife", but I thought that was a decent way to bail out of the story and say "they all lived happily ever after" (at least the epilogue was written such that everyone's stories went on from there). It's a fictional (emphasis: fictional) giant robot show, and the Memoria aspect already borders on magical girl territory, so I can forgive this. Kinda like Sailor Moon without the outfits.
It's good to see Yurikano's character developed beyond "second Yoko in the afterlife", but one thing really nags at me, and that's the fact that she refuses to say how she feels about her fiance Dizelmine, but she's less hesitant to remind Izo of a embarrassing event in their past. Now, I don't mind tsunderes, but it's a bit of a stretch from the straight shooter in the season 1 finale. The way she thought she could get Dizelmine to behave is a rather ludicrous stereotype that Japanese writers often fall back on: the idea that "if I sacrifice my happiness, he will be safe or be a better person". Rarely does it ever work out that way, and suggesting that to viewers as a valid path forward is, in my opinion, continuing a tragic cycle. Fortunately, there are roughly 3 female characters in the show who don't think this way.
The soundtrack didn't sound like there were any major additions to it, and Mamegu's opening and ending are fantastic; the ED in particular feels, again, like an echo of Stellvia's second ED by Angela compared to the ED in season 1. Unlike the doomsday minor key love song "The end of the world", however, the warm orchestration with what sounds like Okinawan instruments brings to mind an ocean sunset, perhaps at Kamogawa. "Track Suit Spirit" (USAF "flight suit attitude"?) is a silly number that probably would've been better used in the filler episodes; but then, "Wasurenaiyo" was meant to be used when Yurikano's character became more prominent.
Lagrange is, through and through, a character show, so plot elements that are great in isolation, serve to further development and drama in this production rather than tell an epic story. There are a number of flaws in the storytelling as a result, but this doesn't really compromise the core themes of the show; rather, again, telling fresh stories with good characters is Hard. To the credit of the production staff and cast, this is about the only glaring flaw of the show-- the characters are well written and directed in general, the visuals range from good to amazing, and the soundtrack is solid.
Although Rinne no Lagrange revolves around a serious interstellar conflict that may leave Earth in ruins, it has plenty of humorous moments to lighten the mood within the story. Here are 15 funny quotes from this anime that will make you forget about the threatening alien forces!