Anime Review: Rinne no Lagrange Season 2

rinne no lagrange review

This mecha drought of ours is nearly at an end, thanks to this review of the second season of Rinne no Lagrange. Honestly, I’m not the biggest fan of mecha anime. Gundam, Macross, and others just don’t seem like my cup of tea, but RnL showed me that mecha anime isn’t quite as bad as I imagined. That doesn’t automatically mean I’ll give it a good score, but it’s a positive start. Hey, baby steps, people!

During my review of the first season, I opined that the story was rather simplistic and small in scope. Thankfully, that’s not the case at all this go around. A greater emphasis is placed on the ongoing conflict between De Metrio and Le Garite and those involved, especially Villagiulio and Dizelmine. Madoka & Co. are still doing their thing, but unlike the first season, the story doesn’t solely revolve around them. Some might view this development as unfortunate—and I can completely understand that—but it is nice to know why these factions are fighting and have a better understanding of everything that is going on.

The twists and turns in the story are there (even though I didn’t find them that surprising), and more light is shed on the tragic events from the past that threaten to repeat themselves. I found the pacing to be an slight issue at times, as there are lulls in the action and drama that slow things down considerably, but Madoka and the girls usually get more screen time during these moments, so it kind of evens itself out. My biggest gripes about the story from the first season have mostly been addressed, but even though I wouldn’t call it great by any stretch, I think the story is still an upgrade over what we had previously.

Since the time was taken to further enrich the story, there’s less screen time for the three Voxes, yet there still happens to be more character development than there was in the first season. Everyone from season one is back, and they’re just as likable (or unlikable as before). From the very first episode to the last, you can sense the growth of some characters, which is always great to see in any anime. It seemed like almost everyone other than Madoka, Lan, and Mugi saw an increase in screen time, but even though there are plenty of good and interesting characters, I still found myself wanting to see more of the main girls.

You have a few characters that you might hesitate to call “good”, yet they don’t seem bad enough to be called evil. This moral gray area lends some added depth to the characters that makes them seem more appealing and someone you want to either root for or against. So, if you’re a big Madoka/Lan/Mugi fan, they still have very major roles in this season, but other characters play more important roles than they did before and generally make the cast seem more well-rounded and complete, in my opinion.

Compared to season one, it feels as though there isn’t quite as much mecha action happening this time around, but don’t let that fool you. Hot robot-on-robot violence is still the cornerstone of the eye candy, and every colorful explosion takes the vibrance level up another notch. Even more than season one, landscapes are something that really struck me as being especially eye-catching and beautiful, reminding me a bit of Shinsekai yori, for some reason. More of a good thing is never bad, so even though there doesn’t appear to be anything technically different from the first season, being easy on the eyes is always appreciated.

With the increase in drama comes an increase in dramatic music, and even though I wouldn’t necessarily say it was a huge improvement over the previous season, I think there’s a little more to like here. What I did enjoy much more than last time were both the OP and the first ED (shown above). Those two are just some fun and feel-good songs that it’s impossible for me not to like. As for the second ED… yeah, I could’ve done without that, but 2 out of 3 ain’t bad! The voice acting benefits from more dramatic performances brought on by the increase in drama, so that’s another positive worth mentioning. Overall, while I can’t say that there are major audio differences from before, you don’t get the sense that anything is particularly bad or not quite up to snuff.

rinne no lagrange yuri
There is a bath scene, but nothing like this happens. 😦

On the yuri front, I have some good news and some bad news. Let’s start with the good news. For those who were wishing the girls would lock lips at some point, your wish came true! There are literally forced kisses between Madoka x Lan, Madoka x Mugi, and Lan x Mugi where the odd girl out would force their faces together into a kiss. Needless to say, this wasn’t quite what people had in mind, but be careful what you wish for, I guess. Now, on to the bad news. I’m sure this could probably be debated, but to me, it felt as though there was even less yuri this season. The strong bonds that were forged between the three girls over the course of the first season don’t progress any further and remain strictly in “friendly” territory. Unless you’re the type of fan that can twist any non-hateful female relationship into yuri, I think it’s clear that strong friendships are all that exist between the girls, so don’t have your expectations set too high for any signs of potential romance.

Even though most of my scores haven’t changed, I can definitely say that I preferred this season over the first. A lot of the things that made the first season enjoyable are back, along with a more focused story that manages to better exemplify the situation at hand. Yes, the yuri may have fizzled out, but that aside, I’d say Rinne no Lagrange Season 2 remains a slight improvement over season one.

Year: 2012 — Length: 12 Episodes — Genre: Action, Comedy, Mecha, Sci-Fi

rinne no lagrange review

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10 thoughts on “Anime Review: Rinne no Lagrange Season 2

  1. As you know, I've watched the first season of this, but quickly lost interest in continuing.
    Seeing that you rated the Yuri with a mere 3, doesn't make my urge to continue watching any stronger 😛

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  2. I am going to be honest, I hate the second season, so I'll restrain what I have to say about it…
    I'll just say three major problem I has with it:
    1.) Between the first and second season, there is an OVA that could be used to explore the relationship between Lan, Muginami, and Madoka when they are away from each other so second season doesn't need to waste their precious episode slot with useless drama like Lan and Muginami somehow hate each other after become a friend a year ago, yet they don't do this, and we spend two episodes establishing the obvious (Madoka, Lan, and Muginami are friends)…
    2.) Unlike previous season where the arc is build on character (Lan's, Muginami's, and Madoka's), the second season doesn't focus on character, making the character as tool to explain plot instead of the point of the plot, thus make the story felt unnecessary (“oh~~ Lan's brother goes bananas!!!” Why? Why would he betray his friend [again!] after assuring Villagiulio he has forgiven him? And so what the point of showing him make peace with Villagiulio last episode when the source of conflict remain the same [that Villagiulio 'betray' him]?)…
    3.) The one that make me hate it the most, the second season focus too much on the boys (which is why it felt less yuri) while they have two girls left unexplored (Asteria and Youko). I mean they are important to the main character and the plot, feature heavily last season, but barely mentioned (beside exposition and flashback) in this season. Instead we focus in Lan's brother's love story, his bromance with Villagiulio, Villagiulio's 'regret', etc. Why? Why would I care them more than the poster girls? Or other girls? Why would I care about them in a show that I watched because the girls are kissing each other? When there are two infinitely more interesting girls than these two generic guys (seriously, Lan's brother and Villagiulio are generic hero and lance archetype)…

    To me, second season is a step down, a big let down, because the reason I like the first season isn't there in the second season…
    There are other reason, but I don't think it worth to be talked, less I turn green from spewing why I hate it…

    P.S. To tell the truth, the only reason I remember Villagiulio's name is because you spelled it, showing how much 'interest' I have on the boys…
    P.S.S. If you want yuri, the OVA is much better watch than the second season, there is at least real yuri girls there…

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  3. 1) I didn't bother to watch the OVA, so I really can't say much about it. 😛

    2) I think the first season did a good enough job of building up the characters, so I didn't mind that they focused more on the conflict in the second season. Dizelmine was just trying to save his people, since that astral phenomenon was going to cause De Metrio and Le Garite to collide, destroying both. If it meant saving them, he'd betray Villagiulio and destroy De Metrio instead. After everything that happened, the orbits of the planets had changed, so the threat was gone.

    3) The people who were only watching for the girls would probably dislike it more than the first season, but that's not who they're trying to cater to. There were probably plenty of people who felt the opposite way. In season one, those people might've wanted more action and less personal drama. With how the show played out, you could say it's fairly balanced, being more character-driven in the first season and more plot-driven in the second. That said, I wasn't a fan of Dizelmine either, but he was hugely important to the conflict, so we were stuck with him.

    To me, Youko's not that interesting at all, so I don't mind one bit that she didn't get more screen time. Wouldn't have minded learning more about Asteria, though~

    I don't think I enjoyed the show enough to take the time to watch the OVA, so I'll pass~ 😀

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  4. 2) But they've make agreement to use Vox (through Madoka, Muginami, and Lan) to help the two nation's people so there is literally no reason for Lan's brother to betray Villagiulio beside that he has oath (or promise? or pact? I forget) to that closed eye guy that he has to fulfill at the last minute (which results in his brainwash) in use the Vox himself. I'll admit the specific incident escape me (And I don't wish to degrade my health seeing S2 again), but my point still stand, he has excuse of 'saving his people' before the agreement with Villagiulio, but that excuse is gone once the agreement is 'signed'. His sole reason to fight as end boss is because the closed eye guy 'convinces' him to 'fulfills his duty' or something like that…
    And this isn't the only part I have problem with, there are slew of problem I have with what second season because doesn't focus on the character (And I never think it as 'plot' but more like on check point [especially the second half] that they need to check because the show is certain genre)…

    3) Really, Asteria, the first Vox pilot that kickstart the whole series is less important than some emo guy who lost his lover? Asteria, the queen that doomed her civilization, tricked by the main villain, frozen in time in the other zone, and has body regressed to kid form, isn't crucial to series? There is a lot of way for Asteria to be explored that not only would make a better story than 'Lan's brother bromance with Villagiulio', but also would explain the whole series better (there would be less 'brainwashing' and 'I am sorry I betray you, although I don't' or other non-nonsensical stuff that doesn't plague the first one)…

    And Youko is important because she is the reason Madoka is Madoka. Exploring her could show how Madoka could grow or show where Youko and Madoka differ, perhaps shows that Youko and Madoka face a similar challenge but each has different path to take. (Though the main reason I said Youko along Asteria there actually because I ship them, and due to their closeness in the story, if Asteria is explored, Youko would also be explored)…

    I always thought (before second season) the reason they put Youko close to Asteria is because Youko is Proto-Madoka, so when they get to explore Asteria they can have the story move away from Madoka without losing Madoka-esque character…

    Also, if they choose to focus on character, it could be build to expand season 1 arc: Lan 3 episodes, Muginami 4 episodes, Madoka 5 episodes, Yurikano 6 episodes, and Asteria 7 episode (6 TV series + 1 OVA, probably to show that she lives in a better world now, no longer hunted by her failure, to close her arc)…

    There so much more that they can do but choose not to, but I probably should stop completely now (as I can easily write an essay on why I hate second season) before I open the pandora box inside my brain that I bury for so long (It took me roughly 2 months before I can stop cursing at second season)…

    And I suppose your last question is the reason I like this, I love (and I mean I LOVE) the first season so much (I rewatch it three to four times before second season comes) that when second season choose to not focus on why I love the first season, it hurts me more than it should've (not counting the blatant bait and switch as the season goes, though luckily not a full switch)…

    But, as I said, this should be my last reply, lest I damage my health…

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  5. They probably just wanted to appeal more to shounen fans who prefer watching male characters in those situations. They were already promoting the main girls, so in addition of those fans, they could try expanding the potential fanbase by showing the guys more. There are probably people who wouldn't even consider watching an action anime with an all-female cast. I still didn't mind them, for the most part.

    Youko… meh. I'm still not sold on her. 😛
    But more Asteria definitely would've been nice~

    Yeah, I can sense that anime anger symbol 💢 forming on your face, so you should probably call it quits. 😀

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  6. I enjoyed this show as a whole. Oh and the OT3 of MadoMugiLan, more so MadoLan, lives on in my heart. I still believe they changed history and became a triple couple. Hehehe.

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