I didn't really know what to expect from Rinne. Considering that, during the Winter 2012 season there were two other 'scifi-girls' shows, I wondered how this particular anime would stand out. And how did it? By being as much of a character piece as it was a mecha show.
Story (7/10): With our lead heroine Madoka and the two friends that she acquires in aliens Lan and Muginami, you get a sense that the story wouldn't have worked nearly as well without the dynamic that they build up over the course of 12 episodes. We have an alien war going after the Vox mechs and the town of Kamogawa is stuck right in the middle. It's interesting in how much of the first half of this series is built just around the back stories of everything, and when you see a good chunk of the plot just there, it means that we can expect good things from the second season. It has it's funny moments, it's sad and heartwarming moments, and it's dramatic and action scenes, and it does handle them all pretty solidly and fluidly. There also seems to be a theme of showing both sides of the conflict and making you connect with them. It's definitely interesting and I'm excited to see how much farther they take it in S2.
The story does have it's faults, though. It takes a while for the plot to really kick in (probably around episode 4 or so would be my best guess, with episodes 1-3 acting as a really long pilot episode), so you may or may not lose a slight bit of interest in the mean time. It also has the distinct problem in not knowing how much of the high school life of our 3 girls to put into the show (I honestly feel bad for their classmates, since it feels like they just pop out randomly), along with strange time jumps here and there that can distract you from whats going on.
Art (9/10): Those mechs are pretty as all hell. Well, the whole show is pretty, but there has to be some props to Nissan for the great designs for the Vox mechs (in both robot and plane mode). The main Ovids are also interesting looking, though I'm not a big fan of the purple that they're mainly designed with. Also, I'm glad to see that Xebec has gotten out of there rom-com style here and helped make the show look nice (not saying they still don't do that, but for a mecha anime, they did a good job with the help of Production I.G.), though you can still see their distinct character designs here and there. Really, the show just looks good. Plain and simple.
Sound (7/10): The only piece that stood out for me, as it usually does, is the opening "Try Unite!". It does a good job of capturing the scifi quality of the show, while still being a nice song to listen to (also, it becomes pretty haunting in the slower version that plays during episode 12). The ending wasn't bad, but nothing really interesting. Otherwise, the show sounded nice.
Character (9/10): Where Rinne shines is it's characters. Madoka get's a metric ton of development, changing from just the spunky, jack of all trades that we're introduced to over the course of the season. Lan breaks out of her shell, into a sweet girl that would do anything for friends. Muginami learns that others are more than willing to be with her, and that she doesn't need her 'brother' alone to feel like she has people that love her. The 3 pilots Array, Izo, and Kirius change from what we think are typical bad guys into noble people...
What I'm trying to say is that all the characters in this show are great and I'm hyped to see how they change further in S2.
Enjoyment (8/10): I'll be honest here- at first, I really wasn't that interested in anything that was going on. The first three episodes went on too long for me and I was just waiting for something cool to happen. But I'm glad that I stuck it out. I got to see wonderful characters, interesting dilemmas, really cool action...basically everything that I was hoping that this show would provide. By the end of episode 12, I was pumped and completely interested in what would happen next that I was sad to realize that I would have to start watching the second season.
Rinne separates itself from the pack by being a mecha show with a little more just waiting for you underneath. Definitely worth a watch and a total recommendation for all. Off to season two!