Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A rant- err review of Rinne no Lagrange season 2

Am I the only one watching this season who ultimately felt kind of...lukewarm towards it?

Lagrange season 1 exceeded the expectations that its lame set of opening episodes gave me. Ironically, Lagrange's first season improved enough for me to expect this season to pay off more than it did.

Its three leads- Madoka, Lan, and Muginami- are still a good trio in this season. My favorite character, though, was ultimately grumpy Youko, with Muginami in second place. "Blasphemy!" some Madoka/Lan shippers might think. Lan was never a favorite of mine, but as I said in my review of season 1, she was more interesting than I expected. And I expected Madoka to annoy the shit out of me, but there was more to her than was first apparent also. Despite her dumb blonde act, Muginami is the sharpest one out of all of them and she was was pretty kick ass when she saved Madoka this season, so she emerges as the strongest of the three.

My verdict on the yuri in this season? Sorry folks, I can see why some shippers are still shipping, but I ultimately see Madoka and Lan (and Madoka and Muginami) as bffs. I was never interested in the OT3 thing that some yuri fans got excited over- I used to see Madoka x Lan, but have always seen Muginami and Madoka only considering each other close friends.

The first eye-rolling thing this season was the episode that turned into a loooong, unnecessary joke about how much of a blushing virgin Madoka really is. A male version of Madoka- some hotblooded high school boy piloting a mech and doing good deeds in honor of his dead parent's memory- would NOT have had the spotlight shone on his virgin-or-not status like that. What a piece of shit that episode was.

After that, the plot gets back on track.

Body switches usually bore me as a plot point, but the one in this series held my interest. Until its lame resolution. I won't spoil it, but...well, I guess I'm not romantic enough, because I thought it was an incredibly lazy solution, contrived to make Dizelmine and Villagiulio quickly arrive at a truce.

Dizelmine and Villagioulio's truce serves a purpose- to lull our leads into a false sense of security- but its execution bothered me also.

I'm glad it turned out Novumundus wasn't stupid enough to take Dizelmine at his word. I would be concerned if Earth's crack team of military strategists accepted a truce easily given by a Machiavellian inter-planetary colonizer who is armed to the teeth at face value. I can see why certain civilian characters would believe in the truce- although I question Lan not being disturbed at all by the fact that her brother Dizelmine was willing to subject her to painful, possibly mentally disabling experiments for the sake of the war but was willing to end the war after learning that it made Yurikano sad.

When the show revealed that Dizelmine broke his promise- don't complain about this being a spoiler, you should be able to see it coming from a mile away- it's treated like this big, shocking reveal. Characters who really should not be shocked are SHOCKED. Oy.

Everyone who called out Moid as a villain in season one? Yeah, we all called it. As long as I'm bitching about Moid- how did he manipulate Dizelmine so effectively? I would have loved to learn more about how Villagiulio supposedly betrayed Dizelmine, just to understand what Moid used to turn him against his best friend since childhood. Let me contrast this plot point with a similar one in Fushigi Yuugi. In Fushigi Yuugi, Miaka and Yui had been best friends since they were small children. As teenagers, they were spirited away to an ancient China-like fantasy world, but Yui got spirited back home right away. Miaka eventually got spirited back also, but found that Yui was in the pseudo-ancient China world again. When she went back to save Yui, things turned out badly, as Yui had been turned against Miaka by Fushigi Yuugi's equivalent of Moid. Fushigi Yuugi revealed why, exactly, Yui felt betrayed, sufficiently enough that I understood Yui's perspective. Lagrange does not give us sufficient information about what Dizelmine perceives as Villagiulio's betrayal, and what Moid said to manipulate him, for me to buy his perspective.

And Moid's ultimate fate was stupid- although I quite liked that Youko punched him out first.

Lagrange season 2 has a sweet ending, although I wish the subplot of what Madoka plans to do with her life had been more sufficiently resolved. As much as I'm complaining about it, this season entertained me- and was genuinely good at points- but it dropped the ball a lot.

Story: Oy.
Art: B+
Overall: C


Justin said...

Based on reviews I've seen, you're not the only one. And the more reviews of Lagrange I see, the better I feel for skipping season 2. I really didn't like season 1 at all. I really had nothing to say about it: it felt like a confusing mess of mediocrity and averageness, but had some likable characters, robots, and good sound. Needless to say, I wasn't gonna go back to S2 unless I heard some glowing thoughts about it. I guess not :/

Katherine Hanson said...

@Justin- Yeah, good call. You really didn't miss out.

Helen said...

I had similar feelings on the second season, the first ended up being much better than I expected but the second half never got nearly as good.

dm00 said...

I got a fraction of the way into the second season (up to the beginning of the body-switch, maybe I saw the resolution of that) and just lost interest, never finishing it --- despite being a fan of Tatsuo Sato's work.

Katherine Hanson said...

@Helen- Yes! Exactly.

This show was the most frustrating of the summer season for me because, unlike the other sequels I watched (Yuru Yuri season 2 and Horizon season 2), it was worse than its predecessor.

@dm00- Can't blame you. The body-switch's resolution was idiotic. At least Mouretsu Pirates was still good.