Rinne no Lagrange – 02: Lan’s Secrets

You know Lan it is a custom on Earth to kiss the bruise to make it better...

It is well and fitting that the mecha in Rinne no Lagrange are known as Ovid for it has made its way into my heart and I am loving it to pieces. The humor was once again succinctly placed and there are indications that there is something larger at work here than a simple straight forward enemy of the week. That cell phone bar skit caught me off guard and gave me a good laugh. Madoka is quickly making a case for herself as a top tier mecha pilot this winter, last week she gave us a suplex this week was a lot more muted, but they did make an effort to establish more of the setting.

Demeteria and L’Egalite (Demeterio and L’Garite or whatever the Romanization is going to be) look to be fighting a civil war and Earth is simply another front in an intergalactic struggle. I like how the Earth Forces are suspicious of L’Egalite and well aware of how their allies are not very forthcoming about how much they know. For now though it seems that the Earth has decided to ally with L’Egalite to face the threat from Demeteria, but if Lan is a monarch in exile then I think it is quite possible that L’Egalite is slowly losing the war or is already staring at defeat. Lan claims to have been sent to protect the Vox Aura and Madoka but given her inability to pilot a vox herself, L’Egalite is running out of man power if they sent Lan on a mission of such importance.

My theory is that Lan is royalty and that L’Egalite is on the verge of defeat, heading to Earth and convincing the humans to be their allies was mostly a bid for asylum rather than a formal military alliance. Of Lan’s good intentions I have little doubt, she seems to want to help and is very fond of Madoka. However if L’Egalite is fighting a losing battle then it is unlikely that there will be any hope of reinforcements assuming there are still other forces out there still fighting. Demeteria seems to be belligerent enough as they are out to destroy L’Egalite and Izo is certain that it is their destiny to claim the Vox Aura and crush L’Egalite. Tadokoro is right in his suspicions that L’Egalite is not here to defend Earth and that there might not be any hope of reinforcements given L’Egalite’s reluctance to leave Earth. Demeteria certainly doesn’t seem interested in conquest at this point given how they have not staged a massive invasion. L’Egalite doesn’t seem to be interested in taking Earth than they are about keeping the Vox Aura, so maybe their reluctance to leave is simply because they cannot risk leaving since there are no safe havens left for them to regroup. That Vox Aura and Muginami’s Vox have achieved Memoria with humans also complicates the ability of L’Egalite to leave. Having Madoka and Muginami cooperate is just as important as possessing the Voxes.

I am curious as to how dire the legend is that surrounds the pilots of Vox Aura and whatever Vox is bonded to Lan and Muginami. Does piloting mean the doom for all who the Voxes bond with or does it only apply to aliens like Lan? Certainly there had to have been a pilot for Vox Aura prior to Madoka, as it is older than Madoka. Whatever the nature of the legend I hope it isn’t too dire a fate for the pilot, but it will be interesting and fun to put everything together. Lan might never tell us explicitly but Muginami might know a bit more of what it means to be a pilot and the consequences thereof. Speaking of Muginami, I hope that her little “lost” skit with Madoka was a sign of cunning and not just the dumb luck of an air head. It seems clear now that Muginami is rather reluctant to be there and by putting Madoka on a collision course with Lan certainly would have helped Muginami make an escape or at the very least help her find a new hiding hole. That Lan is sorry that she has to force Madoka to pilot Vox Aura to protect herself implies that there is an ill-fate for those who pilot Voxes. Kirius going to pilot and declaring his intent to die before a shocked Izo also implies that death is the fate awaiting the pilot and that there is a time limit for Ovid pilots in general. That or Kirius is just that horrible a pilot.

I hope that Yoko channeling her inner Kamina when inspiring Madoka will be all the motivation the latter will need for a while. I hate it when mecha pilots start questioning themselves about stupid things like the rightness of the war they fight in or about something lame like having to fight a friend. Madoka seems to be free to dumb questions and her dilemma actually centers around something understandable, namely her own ability to meet the great expectations placed on her. It’s a tall order to be the lone hero who defends Earth and for a kid to wonder about their ability to deliver is not out of line. In fact I am glad that Madoka is not so arrogant as to think that she can win just by showing up, and Yoko did get it right. Madoka should not think about meeting and exceeding those expectations but she is obligated to try her best because that is what she agreed to do. Yoko goading Madoka about quitting the Jersey Club reminded Madoka of what the mission of the Jersey Club is, namely helping those people in need.

Mecha-wise I am glad we have avoided the excessive use of beam weapons and it does seem that lowly Earth weapons do have some use in pinning down Demeteria Ovids and giving Vox Aura some cover fire. I am giddy at the prospect that all combat of significance will be done through fists of melee weapons as Izo had a mace and Kirius has a sword. Character wise it seems that Yoko is going to be enlisted to help, Moid and Tadokoro will be exchanging verbal punches of an illuminating nature, and for now it seems that Madoka and Lan will have a lot of growing closer to do given that Lan is just full of secrets. I hope that Lan is able to trust Madoka as Madoka is fairly ardent in her faith in Lan. That Tadokoro was unwilling to force Madoka to pilot on his own volition at least implies that the human forces do not have a darker agenda and that they are dedicated to defending Earth even if their ignorance of how Voxes work is still a significant obstacle to overcome.

Next week we get to see Lan in action and hopefully Muginami will join the party as well.

That's one way to get out of a meeting.

Izo seems haughty enough, but who is the best pilot on Earth? Madoka is known for Perfect Victories...

Man Izo is already crowning himself champion... and calling it DESTINY.

Take heart for in the future T-Mobile will still be around, while Verizon is no more.

They just had to preserve Array's fail pose.

Yoko's so mean teasing her friend like that...

Never trust a man whose eyes are shut...and beware if they ever open.

That is some reasoning Moid has...

Maybe this is an allusion to how L'Egalite's ship is broke...

Good question, probably the most intelligent and important of them all.

I am just wondering if the war is all but over for L'Egalite.

If nothing else Muginami is decisive.

Muginami also seems more than capable of giving orders...

So this is why they had Lan going woof all the time? I wonder if Lan find's Madoka's smell to be intoxicating...

Poor Lan, I hope she finds her courage soon, Madoka can't win the war by herself.

I trust Lan has a good reason for all the secrecy, I am just hoping Moid is being paranoid in his guardianship of Lan and not malevolent.

I wish we had that Lan helping Madoka into her dress scene, but I guess somethings just need to be handled behind close doors.

Good to see that Madoka has no pretensions of being a know-it-all. Also is Tadokoro a salesman for Infiniti?

I applaud the honesty, I just deplore the lack of indoctrination.

This is going to be the biggest mission for the Jersey Club yet.

I really hope that Moid's loyalty to Lan is absolute.

Lan, believe in the Madoka who believes in you.

Good to see beam weapons doing little damage but at least capable of knock back effects.

So selfless, Madoka you are alright in my book.

I just hope that these moments of self doubt are rare or that this will be the only time.

Yoko is so wise and learned.

I like Yoko she hates quitting as much as I do.

Yoko, more GAR than 60% of mecha pilots.

I hope Lan was inspired by Yoko's rant. She is a Jersey Club member too.

GET MAD, GET ANGRY, GET EVEN.

Madoka was so mad the tried to snap Izo in half.

Good Demeteria just made things even...

Wait did Kirius just propose that he and Izo commit a love suicide?

Oh another kendo player... I look forward to seeing Madoka's response.

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10 Comments

  1. Bob from Accounting
    Posted January 16, 2012 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    The main issue I have here is that I’m not sure who to cheer for as the designated ‘villains’ are so damn heroic compared to the designated ‘heroes’. Also, I’m not too sure if I like Madoka’s refeshing lack of… thought about what’s going on, or if she’s gone too far the other way. I did get slightly frustrated when her motivation to continue was designated as not wanting to let down the random strangers who have essentially conned her into fighting a one-girl war without bothering to give any semblance of an explanation as to why.

    • Crusader
      Posted January 16, 2012 at 1:26 am | Permalink

      You do understand that picking sides in a Civil War is more often than not a losing proposition, without knowing the full agendas for Demeteria and L’Egalite I think you are rather short sighted for deeming Demeteria for being heroic. I understand that civilians think of pilots as heirs to the knights of old putting themselves in danger, but this is a mistake. Who’s braver the teenage pilot piloting the nigh unkillable mecha or the faceless sailor who perished on that ship that could barely fight back and yet stayed in the fight?

      I understand your desire for some brooding but fundamentally Madoka doesn’t really have much information to go on. She’s going on faith that Lan is an honest person that is in need of help. Whatever powers that be on Earth have also decided that cooperation with L’Egalite is in their best interest and given the underwhelming performance of Terran conventional weapons they aren’t being unreasonable or idiotic for accepting L’Egalite’s assistance against a foe that is more than capable of taking over the Earth. Moreover L’Egalite could have just rolled the Earth Military just as easily but instead they entered negotiations. Given the lack of information who do you trust? The Devil you know of the Devil you don’t? Either way their war just spilled onto Earth and given the disparity in military might staying neutral is not an option.

      Izo’s desire to claim the power of Vox Aura through force of arms for the goal of wiping out his enemies isn’t exactly a message of peace. So basically all Madoka has to go on is that Lan needs help and she’s taking Lan’s words on the basis of faith, faith in Lan and faith in their friendship. The powers that be on Earth have decided to support L’Egalite and are certain that in doing so they are acting in the best interest of all of humanity. So if the humans are telling her the same thing Lan is telling her why shouldn’t she trust Lan? What reason does Madoka have for being suspicious? Simply put Madoka isn’t paranoid nor is she suspicious of everyone she meets. For better or worse Madoka has made a habit of helping people and goes about it selflessly without caring much about the rightness of what she does.

      You civilians are too wrapped up in your notions of just war and over zealous desire to question everything. Madoka right now does not have the means to make the ideal decision, she doesn’t know Demeteria’s side of it and quite frankly they did not make a point to make a peaceful introduction. Again all she knows is that she believes in Lan and the Earth Military needs her to be a battery. Madoka is again putting faith in Lan, and if you really are friends with some one you will have to put faith in your friends from time to time.

      Besides Demeteria is attacking so why should Madoka be agonizing over the decision to fight? If some one was shooting at you, would you sit back and wonder why they were shooting at you or would you simply shoot back if you had the means? You could surrender and put faith in the shooter not to kill you. You could also run but unless you know what your doing don’t be too surprised if you get gunned down anyway. I don’t thing that the humans have the luxury of debating the rightness of the war between L’Egalite and Demeteria, fact is this war is going to happen with or without them. They chose to deal with L’Egalite and now they are stuck with that decision, they do not have the leverage to maintain any measure of neutrality nor territorial integrity against either side on their own. Right or wrong do not matter right now Earth is in trouble and the humans are grasping for straws to survive the war.

      So what if Madoka isn’t demanding answers from Lan? You are quite certain of the malevolence of Lan and the righteousness of Demeteria’s heroes laying waste to lowly humans, I say go with your gut. Fundamentally you can’t slam Madoka for going on faith when you are putting faith in the bishies who act “heroically.” Then again maybe you just have an affinity for brooding bishies, you carry the banner for Taichi so maybe there’s a pattern at work here.

      • Bob from Accounting
        Posted January 16, 2012 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        Civil war? Is THAT what’s going on? I literally had no idea. My brain must have fallen asleep during some exposition at some point…

        Well, at any rate, while I won’t discount your brooding bishie theory (which doesn’t make much sense when applied to Taichi, by the way, as any blind git can tell that Arata is way sexier), my (admittedly very shallow) view on the factions comes from their onscreen actions thus far. The side that puts everything on Madoka’s shoulders and hides or the one that risks everything to save a single comrade and fly in heroically refusing to abandon their friend? Vague motives and goals be damned, I know who I like better!

        • Crusader
          Posted January 16, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

          The signs point to that being a distinct possibility as both sides seem to be aware of the Vox Aura being the suit of legend, that and male clothing seems to be aesthetically similar point towards some commonality in culture. Thus Civil War is a possibility since they both call their mecha Ovids and have a good understanding of each other’s technology.

          Slam the Earth Forces and L’Egalite all you want they really have no means to fight Demeteria on a level playing field. I just wonder how quick you’d turn traitor if the Earth was invaded and you deplored the cowardly humans for not performing a Banzai Charge to be “heroic” in the face of superior firepower that can scythe down infantry by the company. Again your mind is too befuddled by a false notion of what war is to appreciate the fact that Lan’s side has little choice but to rely on Madoka until they find a better solution. I hope you aren’t from the West because we hide behind superior technology, the Americans in particular were blasted for hiding behind their artillery by the Japanese who bravely charged machine guns with bayonets fixed during their last war.

          Besides your boob shirt comment made clear that you are an enemy of women and a fan of flatness which Demeteria has in spades.

  2. Whatsht
    Posted January 16, 2012 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    Muginami sounds like that ninja from Kill me Baby.

    • Crusader
      Posted January 16, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Don’t know about that one but Muginami’s VA (Ai Kayano) is also Mikono in Aquarion EVOL, and Kanade Oe in Chihayafuru.

  3. Magnus
    Posted January 16, 2012 at 3:03 am | Permalink

    This is a really nice anime so far. The lightheartedness in its approach is consistent throughout the whole episode, as you can see that the series doesn’t want to take itself too seriously. At least for now.

    OTOH, that has the effect of taking any serious tension out of the show, which could be detrimental later on. However, things are still being set up. Given the tone of the OP, though, I don’t see any really serious drama coming up later on.

    Can’t wait for your Aquarion EVOL recap, that show really is throwing its muscle around. Certainly looks like the best mecha anime since Macross Frontier to me, although we don’t have an awesome character like our Empress Sheryl Nome in sight. But the main male protanists whine factor is way down, so that’s another plus. The show certainly has the right tone to resonate with me.

    • Crusader
      Posted January 16, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      It is pretty light-hearted and I hope it stays that way for the most part. One can hope that Moid isn’t going to be the final boss and is simply Lan’s protector. Hopefully it will be as much about the war against Demeteria as it is about Lan and Madoka and Muginami.

      Aquarion is a different animal altogether, but this weeks episode was so FUN. I’ll try and get it out as soon as I can.

  4. Posted January 16, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    I loved this episode a lot and more Madoka being her usual fun self, while most find her hyper personality to be annoying I find her to be the most interesting so far…well the other girls haven’t done a whole lot either or had their time to shine. I laughed when Madoka wandered off and got lost while searching for bars for her phone! Amazing and when she met up with Muginami? Wow those two are going to be fun together! I am excited to see more character interaction soon.

    Yoko! So GAR damn best character next to Madoka…and yeah I agree I hate when pilots question themselves like why am I fighting? Who am I fighting for? Am I good enough? Arrrgg stop….please…but I understand they want to be “cool” or maybe realistic? Not sure if any non military person would be like HELL YA FIGHTING! WOOOOO! Depends on the person I suppose…

    Yeah the whole alien war thing is interesting…I have a feeling there is no back up arriving and they are just like waiting to see how the humans do? And them they might reveal more! Like Lan? She is strange…and hiding something huge! I bet the girls are like “connected” to their machines as in machine blows up you die? I could see that somewhere and the whole legend? What the? Anyway fun series so far even if most watch for the random fan service.

    Last thing! Those fight suits…damn very nice! I need to draw Madoka sometime xDD

    • Crusader
      Posted January 16, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      Hopefully we will see more of Muginami later, but next episode looks to be more about Lan which is more than fine. Madoka certainly is different in a good way and hopefully her helpful attitude will never change.

      It will be interesting to see where they go with the war but I hope they don’t get too heavy handed with it.

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