Truth be told, the formula for Rinne No Lagrange
isn't original in the slightest. Empire of aliens invades Earth, is repelled by Humongous Mecha
, all that jazz. Our Hot Blooded
hero, The Stoic
sidekick, the happy-go-lucky ditz make a collective of unlikely heroes that fall into the conflict. This is the equation for nearly the entire Super Robot Genre
But what makes the show worth watching isn't originality. It's a matter of the more careful elements, primarily the characterization. The interaction and development of the cast in this show is nothing short of fantastic. Everyone has far more depth to them than meets the eye, and motivations that make them seem human even in these fantastic circumstances. You can totally believe that this cool, rational king is planning to destroy a galaxy in all sanity, you can totally believe that the hero really IS crazy enough to pull off what she does. All of it is pulled off in such a subtle and nuanced way that it gives the rare impression of how this would actually happen, given the circumstances.
Visually, the show is crisp and stylish, and gives off a pleasant Post Cyber Punk
vibe in its aesthetics. The soundtrack fits in well, hitting home in every situation, from intense moments of dire stakes to light-hearted humorous scenes.
But of course, nothing is without its flaws, and as much as the show succeeds, it falls to more than a handful of trappings. The fanservice is pretty heavy around the beginning, most notably the..."eel scene", which is by and far one of the more facepalm-inducing things I have ever seen. And if you need your plots to move quickly, this...doesn't. It's very slow and deliberate, breaking away from plot so the leads can go for a walk.
Also, the ending seems to fall a bit flat, by ways of not making due of prospective depths. We get the impression Madoka has deep inner sadness from her losses, and hints of intricacy to other characters and to the overall plot, but it never makes due. Everything works out in the end, all the problems are solved, but it seems a bit hurried, and the potential for poignancy seems wasted. And the budding OT 3
that seemed to be in sight just...didn't happen, as much as it would've totally fitted. Not even a hint of that materializing into something real by the end.
All in all, it's worth a watch for those who are willing to try something slower.