Monday, October 15, 2012

Anime Review: Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne Season Two

The sequel to the winter anime title of the same name, there's not much else I can say to introduce. If you haven't seen the first half, watch that first, this is a direct sequel, and it's all streaming on hulu for free anyway.

Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne

Summary:Over nine months have past since Lan and Muginami went back to their respective sides in the growing galactic feud and ever since Madoka hasn't been able to awaken her Vox and has felt a bit depressed. She hides it well but even the people around her have started to notice how lonely she's feeling. Thankfully for her Kamogawa is about to get a lot more exciting again as the "the planets orbits collide and cause them to nearly crash into each other once every 1000 years" event draws closer and the town is chosen as a meeting place for the various officials to come and figure out how all of them can live in peace. 

The Good: There was some very funny writing in the show at some points, especially early on, and at some point I will go through all the cast lists to see if I can pin down who exactly did the writing I liked since I want to see what else they can do. I also liked, and wished they had expanded more on, how it was shown that yes, Madoka is depressed when her friends have left since rarely do stories give a main character enough time by themselves away from the action to have that happen, although I also would have liked if Madoka was toned down a bit as well. 

The Bad: The show tried to strike a balance between being a more action-y, with a little bit of politics, mech show with a slice of life show and in the end it felt lopsided with the slice of life aspect taking up much more (and, since I was in it for the other stuff, I was a bit frustrated by this). All in all I think the first half was the stronger one both pacing and ending wise and, while the show did have good writing at times, it felt like it was stretching what central plot it had too thin, threw in too much fluff, and was perfectly fine with letting the characters grow and regress as much as the plot needed them to.

The Audio: While the new opening and ending themes weren't bad they just didn't grow on me as much as the ones from the first half did and I even fast-forwarded through them a few times (which is pretty rare for me to do unless I'm marathoning a show). Even though there was kinda a new character they had spoken in the previous season so there weren't any new major characters at all and nobody got suddenly better or worse at their role over the break, really there's less to say about these split cour shows in general.

The Visuals: The show is pretty much unchanged in this aspect, there is only one new character and there aren't any new costume designs otherwise, no new mech designs either, and while there were some new locations none of them felt like something I hadn't ever seen in anime before. I still like the mech designs in this show, they seem a bit more impractical than usual (why do they need legs if they just fly?!?) but I do love the sleekness of them.

So, I liked the first season better and this one just never got as great as I hoped. Due to popular request, I shall start giving number ratings on anime (since I do already do that on anime-planet, the site I use to keep track of what I'm watching) and I rate this season a 3/5 and the first one as a 3.5/5. So, would I buy it? Ehhhhh, probably not, although if I'll have a chance to buy it is almost moot. The show will be dubbed and streamed on Neon Alley and apparently if it does well there then it'll get a physical release. Of course, it's a live channel, on a PS3 (which I don't have), and subscription only (which involves money) so I have no chance of seeing it that way and I'm slightly miffed that the best way to get a physical release of shows I'm interested in is to support them in a way that is completely unfeasible for me. That's a rant for another day though, if you're in the US you can however watch the sub-titled release over on hulu.