I hope today is a great day, for me and for everyone out there.
TRY UNITE! by Megumi Nakajima
That girl wearing a jersey
Has something about her
Once she unzips it,
She can become anything!
She searches for something precious, even going to the depths of the sea
When the going gets tough, she unfastens her ribbon.
I’ll go see you right away!
I’ll go whenever you call
With your strange sign
Turn and turn, you can
Rewrite destiny, fly away!
On A Brighter Day
Stick out your tongue and walk forwards,
But if it’s dangerous, burn with passion!
After some delays, I finally managed to write up today’s Under Your Radar. This time, we’re covering LAGRANGE – The Flower of Rin-ne –, known in Japan as Rinne no Lagrange (literally Lagrange Samsara) or Flower declaration of your heart. In the context of the show, lagrange are a species of flower. LAGRANGE – The Flower of Rin-ne – is a 26-episode mecha anime series.
The first 12 episodes that made up the first season aired as part of the Winter 2012 anime season, another episode (an OVA that took place between seasons) was released in a bundle with a PS3 game based on the series (by Namco Bandai Games), and the remaining 13 episodes, the first of which was a recap of the first season from a different perspective, were released in the Summer 2012 anime season as season 2. In addition to the aforementioned game, the anime also received a manga adaptation (as well as another one that acts as a prequel from another different perspective).
Viz Media simulcasted the series (minus the OVA and recap, but you don’t really lose anything by not having those) on their website, but I can’t point you to it because they used Hulu, which bars Canadians. The first season has been dubbed and is running as part of their Neon Alley dubbed-only anime channel on the PS3 (they also recently announced Accel World for it, if you’re not aware), with no word on a dub for season 2 or if they intend to make a physical release of the first season.
The series covers the life of a girl named Madoka Kyōno, whose mother died when she was young. Madoka is currently the only member of the jersey club, a club where you wear jerseys and do a bunch of odd jobs to help people out. Sometime in the past, in a situation which is never actually explained, Madoka was drowning and ran into an Ovid known as the Vox Aura, which left its mark on her hip. As the bearer of that mark, she is the only one able to ride it. While she is unaware of this, an alien princess named Fin E Ld Si Laffinty (given name here is apparently Laffinty, but it’s Lan for short) convinces her to join an organization meant to protect Earth from invaders, and is made to ride the Vox Aura, using the strong power of the Ovid to protect her town of Kamogawa. Muginami, the de-facto sister of an alien prince, later joins up, with her and Lan taking the last two Ovids. While carefully trying to solve the political issues of the universe, the three protect Earth as close friends.
However, there’s an ancient legend stating that the three Ovids will destroy the world if brought together, based upon an event thousands of years ago where that happened. The girls are kept unaware of this for the entire series.
The series itself is not deep. Its overuse of catchphrases/catch-actions on the three main characters (Madoka draws an air circle while saying “perfect”, which a pun about how the two words are pronounced the same in Japan – that caused a lot of problems with PlayStation controllers when they were brought overseas, but I digress; Lan does a paw motion while barking like a dog, and Muginami does a salute) are enough to drive that point in. Whenever something bad happens, it gets reverted within an episode, except for the stuff that happens at the end (which takes two or three). I liked how which side of the intergalactic conflict was the villain switched between seasons – starting with Muginami’s side and changing to Lan’s side, but it ultimately did not create much more depth for the series.
The lack of depth, in fact, was part of the reason why I felt bored out of my mind during the first episode, until Madoka ended her first fight by performing a German suplex. This series runs on occasional silliness and its balance between light-hearted scenarios and difficult moments in combat, though the combat stuff remains under-developed for the entirety of its run. The series is also ridiculously idealistic, as is driven home by the ending, which I won’t spoil.
Still, as idealistic that ending may be, I cried. Either I cry way too easily, or they managed to make it somewhat touching. To be honest with you, I’m not sure which.
It may not be deep, but it certainly doesn’t suck either. What it does best is, aside from a few moments of monotony (like the first episode), be entertaining. In that aspect, it’s:
While it’s definitely not the best, it’s still a good watch.