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.