Rinne no Lagrange – 01 Review
So in case you hadn’t noticed after the first three seconds who the main-chara is supposed to be, the story helpfully provided us with the pretentious nobility of the main-character wishing for everyone’s happiness. It also includes the kind of foreshadowing that reminds you shit is about to hit the fan in case you wondered after three seconds whether this is a slice-of-life-series. Yeah, this series cares a lot about possible misconceptions you could have after three seconds.
This was actually one of the series I had some hope for but this episode crushed everything I had built up in terms of optimism. This is a forgettable offering of having yet another douchy girl with godlike talents exploring the depths of love, world-peace and the bliss of obliviousness. Her mecha is (of course) the best thing since sliced bread and someone along the way probably will try to sell us the idea something in this series should matter to us. But it sure ain’t the characters because aside from the main-beef, you get to see a deep-frozen case of shallowness as her sort-of sidekick and a bunch of other characters… you probably won’t remember after the end of the episode because technically they don’t meet the minimal qualifications of being a character. It’s generic in its concept and dull in its execution – to make it short: stay the hell away from this. But of course there’s a long version as well…
Madoka, a completely normal girl with shit for brains and the positive attitude of a stoned monkey, spends her days showing everyone what retards they all are in terms of sports. She’s also the town’s single person responsible for checking the beach. She even goes so far as constantly wearing a swimsuit in case someone who’s about to drown needs to be saved because that’s just the thing you see regularly in this town. So one morning she drops her clothes and saves some nameless idiot – and someone steals her clothes.
Arriving at school there’s a lot of useless banter where most of the time is spent telling us stuff we already could deduce from the beginning again and again. She’s an athlete on a godly level and she believes in the Easter Bunny, Santa and Gardeners being natural murderers – characterization done! We also get to hear that she has no hobbies whatsoever besides being obnoxious and insulting in a retarded way. She has a frigging timetable for shaming every club of the school and showing them what a bunch of losers they are! I bet the two words she gets to hear the most are ‘Piss off!’ with this kind of freetime-planning.
But then a mysterious girl appears (hint: she has perhaps, but only perhaps, something to do with the story) who gives Madoka her clothes back. She’s too slow to comment on the girl’s dress up making her look like some kind of Star Trek Cosplayer with a bad sense of humour. But then again this mysterious girl has the great ability of dramatic sudden-disappearance-stunts. So Madoka ends up saying ‘Thank you.’. Yeah, a random girl in a weird dress up steals her clothes for whatever reason while she’s in the water and she says ‘Thank you.’. Because that’s just the thing you say to thieves when they bring back the stuff which was originally yours.
Madoka goes home and her oh-so-serious-hard-working sister comes home suddenly to tell her some shit about stuff that will happen (prediction: stuff will happen). She drops some few obvious lines for the audience so that they ‘get’ what’s going on. Because yeah, Madoka is the heroine since her grandma was also an ass-kicking heroine and Madoka also got her share of experience with the shit that’s happening but (naturally) completely forgot about that.
The next day she spends again some considerable time showing some clubs what a sorry bunch of losers they are and having a shower in the faculties of the school by herself (because her ego wouldn’t allow anyone else to take a shower at the same time, it seems). That’s the moment when she’s surprised to find the Star-Trek-cosplayer staring at her silently. She’s as crept out as the audience is but Madoka is too retarded to actually comment on how creepy her behavior is and starts talking to her about comradeship and other great things she learned from watching cheesy movies instead. It includes stuff like that comrades should always support each other. The girl from space agrees to be Madoka’s comrade and tells her that she needs help in her usual monotone voice (which never changes no matter what she says). Madoka agrees and then the girl reveals that she wants her to control a robot (that’s the punchline of the episode and you’re supposed to laugh at this point).
Then some scifi-stuff happens, Madoka kicks some ass while laughing like a maniac, some dudes in space babble among themselves and the sister realizes that she’s condemned to be a talking head for the series.
Rinne no Lagrange dedicated itself to being stereotypical right from the start: Even in the first episode it didn’t forget to include the kind of scenes that would make any reasonable person cringe.
There’s nothing really standing out in this episode that would encourage me to continue watching this series. The setting is as generic as it is vague, the characters are dull and the action is flashy but lacks drama. There are some good things but in the end I’ve felt like these were all things that I have already seen in other series and most of the time it’s done better there than in this case.
First, the story which is as by-the-book as these mecha-plots can get. Epic shit mixed with the personal private world being invaded by evil stuff the hero is supposed to stop from happening to his personal world. Two things really disturb the story. One is the pacing because this episode dwells on pointless stuff which has no real payoff in this episode. If Madoka is a good athlete I only need to hear it be said and let it be shown later. I don’t need to see her spend every afternoon kicking ass at club activities to be a prick about her athletic talents. This series seriously spends several minutes just telling you this one simple fact and honestly it’s 99% wasted time. The first talk with her classmates is this generic “Geez, you did ‘insert random character detail’ like usual, right?”-conversation where we get to hear this boring stuff about the character although the whole thing is totally bland. And that’s the second thing which is wrong with the story and that’s its sledgehammer-philosophy. The sister of Madoka looking at family photos thinking that she doesn’t want Madoka to become a mecha-pilot like her grandma is NOT what I call subtle foreshadowing. Not only was the episode very direct in delivering the story to the point of being nagging, it also was babbling. The dudes in space talked in this all-so-important “Let’s drop some names and stuff you get to learn about in later episodes without making much sense.”-voice. Again, that’s not what I call foreshadowing or a healthy throw into the cold water of a defined setting. That’s just being pretentious with a very thin plot.
The dialogue apparently never realized that people beyond the age of five are watching this series for all the crudeness it shows.
The characters are just catastrophic because the minor characters get to have no personality at all and the rest might as well have none for all the good the characterization in this episode is doing. Madoka has the best shot at a decent characterization with the screentime but she’s this energetic tomboyish stereotype who’s good at sports, very positive and very stupid. All of this exaggerated in a way that’s supposed to make you forget how one-dimensional her character is does this also mean that she’s VERY stupid. This isn’t about moe, she’s just really dumb – and only because it’s part of the ‘package’. And the Star-Trek-cosplayer who’s supposed to be her sidekick, well, she has to play the role of Mrs. “I can’t be bothered to show any reaction to anything whatsoever.” which is after characters being VERY stupid the kind of characterization I hate the most. It’s lazy, that’s what it is. And you might think: “Wait, I get it! She’s supposed to be the complete opposite of Madoka who’s full of passion… Right, now the whole thing has gotten really dynamic and shit, what a stroke of genius!” No, simply no, the characters are shit and they won’t work better together because honestly: These aren’t characters at all. Besides the show’s humour is crappy and when it’s decent enough they mess up the timing. There’s nothing to be saved in that department, I fear.
What’s left? The action, many colours, large robots, many explosions – what else do you want? Well, I guess it might get more exciting if the first episode wouldn’t already have a character who knows some shit about the story whisper in awe how kick-ass the heroine’s mecha is. So no, didn’t care about what happened. This is all just a matter of Madoka reaching her ‘full potential’ or something thanks to love and the Easter Bunny riding on dolphins.
A very underwhelming first episode and I have no idea why someone would pre-air this episode because now I can pre-drop it (Jesus, even this bad pun had more humour than this episode…). What this episode did acceptable enough is stuff from the ’been there, done that’-department and the rest was a lackluster effort to spend the time trying to make you believe something worthwhile happened here.