Monday, 9 July 2012

Rinne no Lagrange: Season 2 - Episode 1

An animated advertisement for the town of Kamogawa?  It must be time for the second season of Rinne no Lagrange!!

We rejoin the action under a year after the events of the first series, where we soon find that plenty has changed - the town itself is thriving since all the alien activity that took place there previously, and the presence of staff from Le Garite have the place abuzz before you consider a new seafront cafe hosted by Squid Girl... err, I mean the cross-dressing Array and his merry band.  Elsewhere, Lan's role also seems to have changed, albeit not for the better as she becomes little more than a guinea pig for her brother, King Dizelmine.

It seems that the only person in statis throughout all of this is Madoka Kyono - with no idea of what she wants to do with her future, and unable to pilot the Vox Aura since the events of the previous series, she clings on to her Jersey Club just as she does her friendship with Lan and Muginami.  When Lan turns up on her doorstep on the eve of a universal conference to be held at Kamogawa aboard the returning Pharos, it seems as if Madoka's dreams of returning to those golden days is at hand, particularly when news filters through that Muginami is also making her return to Earth.  However, while Madoka has stayed still the goals and desires of her two friends have clearly changed markedly in the midst of the political situations to which they've both been exposed...

I think it goes without saying that this episode was always going to be about reunited the show's "holy trinity" of Madoka, Lan and Muginami in some shape or form, and this opener to the second season of Rinne no Lagrange has certainly wasted no time in doing just that - indeed, it's almost been a little too hectic in places as it smashes everything together with something akin to the story-telling equivalent of brute force.  For those who were annoyed by the first season's dalliances with whimsy and slice of life shenanigans, this second series certainly feels like a more serious beast, heavy with tension and the psychological aftermath of the gap between the show's two seasons.  The real question is where Rinne no Lagrange plans to go from here - its colourful animation, cool mecha and great soundtrack are a sight for sore eyes (and ears), but this is but a springboard that will lead the series as a whole to either success or failure.  I wait with bated breath for how things will proceed over the coming weeks.

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