Monday, 30 January 2012

Rinne no Lagrange - Episode 4

From saving the world (or at least the town), it's back down to earth for Madoka with this fourth episode of Rinne no Lagrange - but what's this, a new and mysterious transfer student at her school?

The new "student" in question is Muginami, the odd girl which Madoka previously met on-base during her previous adventures in robot piloting - intriguingly, it turns out that Muginami wasn't supposed to be in the facility at all, and it seems that she isn't affiliated in the slightest with that faction, which is both a cause for concern but a problem the powers that be seem willing to ignore even after she pops up in Madoka's classroom.

One person who does seem concerned with Muginami is Lan, who watches the newcomer like a hawk even as the school takes part in their annual swimming contest.  Realising that she's being watched, Muginami puts paid to Lan's spying, unaware of the fact that the latter can't swim and leading to both Madoka and herself having to save the day and rescue her (although Muginami clearly hasn't learned her CPR from Vinnie Jones...).  This only serves to deepen the friendship between Muginami and Madoka, much to Lan's irritation - although is she worried about this situation professionally or personally as her own friendship with Madoka is under threat of being overshadowed?  Either way, come the end of the episode Madoka is both living and attending school with these two girls - a trifling matter as further developments in space and with the prisoner taken in Madoka's first skirmish come to the fore.

After the pretty fast and furious giant robot action of the past couple of weeks, this was a pretty heavy change of pace for Rinne no Lagrange - its comic moments were absolutely spot-on throughout (Lan's cafe slapstick in particular was sublime), but beyond that we were treated to the same old transfer student and saving someone from drowning schtick that's been done to death.  This episode was necessary in terms of bringing Muginami's part in proceedings to the fore, so I can't begrudge it that much, but couldn't she and her rivalry have been introduced in a more imaginative fashion?  I'm still warming to this series in some ways, but hopefully it can think outside the box a little more going forward... or at the very least give us bash some big robots against one another for a while again set to the show's awesome soundtrack.

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