Sunday, September 12, 2010

Anime Review: Rin ~Daughters of Mnemosyne~


Most people who know me would be surprised that I like this show. (Because my taste for the occasional dose of schlocky horror rarely comes up.)*

Rin, with its twisty roller coaster of a storyline about two immortal women, private investigator Asougi Rin and her computer hacker-assistant Mimi, is one part speculative fiction, one part trashy, sexually-tinged horror, and one part surprisingly involving human drama, blended into an appetizing smoothie of "wtf."

This show was released as a series of 6 forty-some minute episodes , which were broadcast on the AT-X channel to commemorate its tenth anniversary.

The early episodes involve Rin and Mimi solving cases connected to the tree of Yggdrasil that releases invisible time spores that turn women who absorb them immortal and men who absorb them into "angels" that eat the immortal women they encounter.

In the first episode, Rin helps Kouki, a man with a connection to a shady lab who feels as though his memories are fabricated, and he ends up joining Rin and Mimi's detective business. While the first two episodes take place in the early 90's, later episodes jump ahead by larger chunks of time, ending in 2055, with the last two episodes dealing with Rin's amnesia after an especially grisly death (baaaad idea to wrestle an android on the side of a flying airplane) and Rin and Mimi's confrontation with Apos, the pimp guardian of Yggdrasil who wants...I'm still not quite sure what his motivation is, aside from being a complete bastard. In a nice twist, Kouki's granddaughter Mishio helps Mimi save Rin from Apos- and the legend of Tajimamori from the Kojiki plays a major role in the denouement, which is a pretty cool touch.

Rin has a plot, but its most famous hallmark is the blood-and-boobs gratuity that permeates it like oil frying a doughnut. (Of course Laura attacks Rin when she's only wearing a towel- and what lab facility doesn't have a dominatrix mad-scientist? Etc, etc.) It can be disturbing at points (definitely not for the squeamish), but the excesses are so hammy and over-the-top that they can't be taken seriously. (In a From Dusk Till Dawn kind of way.) The characters are suitably likeable and/or demented, depending on their roles- Rin's a great protagonist no matter how many times she kicks the bucket. (Usually courtesy of Laura, with her single-minded, Wile E. Coyote-like dedication to killing Rin again and again.) I especially liked how the futuristic setting in episodes 4 through 6 was developed. (The last two episodes will probably be a hoot to people watching them in 2055.)

As for yuri- Rin and Mimi are pretty obviously bisexual and gay, respectively. Underground information in this series is sold by Grasshopper-ordering lesbians who require sex as payment. (How do they pay for their living expenses? lol Is there a larger lesbian sex-bartering network that this series just doesn't reveal? "What do I need to do for this month's electricity?") Subtext this ain't.

Story: Such a mixed bag...
Art: B+
Overall: ...but I like the overall package. B

Funimation's DVD release of this series actually has noteworthy extras- a commentary over episode 2 by the English voice cast and an interview with four of the main female seiyuu. I only watched a few minutes of the former- I like making inane comments with friends while watching silly movies, but I don't want to listen to a group of strangers doing the same thing. The seiyuu interview was entertaining- and not too long at about 15 minutes. (Although I would have loved to see how Ishida Akira felt about playing Apos. :-) )

* I like Mnemosyne, but I can't stand torture-horror movies like Saw, Hostel, The Hills Have Eyes, etc. (It kind of freaks me out that they've been so popular.) Go figure.

7 comments:

yasashiisekai said...

I watched this a while ago!! I liked some bits but I really couldn't stomach the torture/sadism. The next bit would be the deadly attraction between the immortals and the "angels". *shudder* If they could have taken the sadism out and toned it all down a bit I would have thoroughly enjoyed it. A bit of a pity...in my opinion.

FYI - I did post about this one ages ago...

Katherine said...

I agree that this series isn't for everyone- it isn't a very...restrained series. ^^; I do like it, but I definitely understand why you're put off by it.

Taylor said...

i liked this series a lot. i'm a fan of horror titles (like higurashi and elfen lied) and for some reason these things always entertain me with their over-the-topness. what i liked most from Rin is that i felt nostalgia for earlier episodes like i watched them years ago even though i had just seen them.

Katherine said...

@Taylor- Probably because of the huge time gaps between episodes. :-)

I liked seeing how the non-immortal characters aged as the series went on, and how Rin and Mimi dealt with it. (Especially with Kouki, Tamo, and the old woman from episode 3.)

Taylor said...

i agree. every episode i was like "OH MY GOD this character is back!" i also liked how Rin and Mimi stayed the same while everything was changing around them.

Julz said...

Do you agree with this post here that fans of High School DxD may also like Rin? I'm really not sure if I should add this one to my watch list. It does sound a bit too weird - although High School DxD has its moments, too....

Katherine Hanson said...

@Julz- I haven't tried High School DxD, so I can't give an informed opinion on that. Rin is hella weird, but if you have the stomach for its horror content, I think it's worth giving a shot.