26 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Rinne no Lagrange episode 1

The new season begins here. It wasn’t supposed to begin for a few more days yet, but Lagrange had the audacity to a pre-air the first episode on NicoNico in eye-cancerous quality. I could be patient and wait for the higher quality version, which would be the intelligent thing to do. But am I an impatient bastard? Did I watch this awful quality version? Is Guilty Crown a pile of shit? Of course!

One thing that struck me about Lagrange when making the season preview was how Xebec, animator of ‘classics’ like To-Love-Ru, Yosuga no Sora and Rio Rainbow Gate, were making something a bit classier. Giant robots, dramatic camera shots and a talented staff behind the production. Then, less than a minute into the first episode, the main girl dropped her skirt and ran around in a swimsuit. “Right, great start here, but it could be just a once off” I found myself thinking, to which Xebec promptly replied with “oh no, we’re serious, there’s going to be fanservice everywhere”. I think any touch of class to Lagrange was firmly thrown out of the window when a teacher poked the main character in the breast with her kendo sword and it made a pleasant ‘sproing’ noise.

Not that I particularly minded or anything. The camera wasn’t on extra perv mode the whole time, having the camera situated firmly just behind the girls thighs the whole time so they can see the bottom of their bum cheeks. It didn’t need to be situated there anyway, what the characters dropping their skirts at every available opportunity. The censorship was not of the blinding flashes of light splayed across the screen variety, nor was it obnoxious stamps plastered over the nipples. Just some weird water vapour in a shower scene. Which may not have even been there and was actually just blurred because the video quality was so poor. So if you want to watch this solely because of tits and ass, just do the intelligent thing and wait for the BD/DVD release so you can see some nips. A bit rich coming from a person who had to watch the pre-air webrip, but learn from my mistake!

So there’s fanservice, with skirts being dropped with alarming frequency. Lagrange is also very energetic in its presentation, mostly due to the main character being some genki girl. She makes humourous reaction noises to events of the ‘eeeehhhhhh’ variety, seemingly good at everything she does including piloting giant robots, and has no soul. Yes, for all her energy, our main character has no discernable thougths beneath that attractive head of hers. It’s a very similar problem with Fam in the new Last Exile. Genki juvenile idiotic energy is seen as a Good Thing in anime, so it’s not treated as a flaw in her personality. It leaves no room for development or actual brain power either. She just goes with everything that’s thrown out her, occasionally spouting “eeeeehhhhhhhh” and flashing her underwear.

For all its energetic presentation, Lagrange is completely shallow and souless underneath. It’s not that I was looking for an epic tale of loss and redemption rife with metaphor and symbolism. The opening sproing boob told me that much. But there was nothing to latch on to for interest. The robot element feels like it was tossed in because people like robots. Even the fanservice was rather limited, not enough to carry the production on its lonesome. It has the same Guilty Crown designed by committee problem, where the concept art and plot elements were thought up of before they had a reason to include them. The fact that the best thing I could say about Lagrange is the production values are nice, even though I watched the eye-cancerous webrip, is a worrying sign indeed. In short, Lagrange is a souless, shallow production relying on pretty pictures and fanservice for entertainment, with all the characters being lame archetypes with no actual personality. Stay classy Xebec.

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26 Comments

  1. Erif
    Posted January 2, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    God I love your posts. xD

    This is so unfortunate though, Lagrange was one of the only shows I was looking forward to this season! :/ I’ll still watch the first couple of episodes when it actually starts airing, but expectations have been severely lowered.

    Ah well, I still Aquarion, right?

    • Scamp
      Posted January 2, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      Oh god no, don’t go expecting stuff from Aquarion either. I was being optimistic in my season preview, chances are it will be even more generic and souless than Lagrange. At least Lagrange had ass and tits

      • Erif
        Posted January 2, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

        So you’re saying my only hope at surviving the long, cold winter is the Daily Lives of Dickless Dudes? D:

        Actually, I wouldn’t haven’t even noticed Aquarion if you hadn’t posted the promo video with your preview. It was somewhat impressive… somewhat. :/

      • lmm
        Posted January 3, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

        Mini Skirt Space Pirates is the only hope for this season.

  2. Posted January 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Lagrange? Another derivative Evangelion clone. 17 years later.

    Dropped.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 2, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

      I would be OK with an energetic EVA clone if the characters had some actual depth and weren’t shallow stereotypes

      • Posted January 2, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

        They already made one — Rahxephon. :)

      • Scamp
        Posted January 3, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        RahXephon was just as depressing as Evangelion though!

  3. romulus
    Posted January 2, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Never even started watching this. I was right. Unfortunately there are people for every anime who proudly cry out ‘zomfg best anime!’ at every opportunity. I wonder how is there enough people willing to pay real money to release the BDs.

    I hope we get some good anime-bashing from Scamp-san this year too. I need to concentrate on exams and I don’t have the time to follow 7-8 animes I usually do. With me dropping Persona 4 last week I have a record-breakingly low number of shows I follow, namely 3. I eagerly wait further reviews unveiling the soulless fanservice, the boring shounen, the pedo-anime (there is one and only one every season) etc.

    • Posted January 2, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      >anime-bashing
      >Scamp

      How did you managed to fit these two words into a sentence? Scamp doesn’t bash, he criticises. I know you probably doesn’t mean it that way, sorry.

      • romulus
        Posted January 3, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

        Rest assured I didn’t. I just wanted to say that I enjoy Scamp’s reviews about awful or mediocre animes, and as nowadays 90% of the animes are like that I expect enjoyable reading material. Furthermore, I mostly rely on the blogosphere to decide which ones are actually worthwhile to watch and this year I especially need to be strict so I hope there won’t be many eulogies of masterpieces among these pilot ep reviews.

  4. Posted January 2, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    The opening is kinda cool, though.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 2, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      That it was, in a cheesy Europop sorta way

    • ペーパー先生
      Posted January 5, 2012 at 5:42 am | Permalink

      Cool? I couldn’t even tell what was going with the “eye-cancerous qual­ity”!!

  5. Posted January 2, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t Feel make Yosuga no Sora, I could be wrong, but I don’t think it was Xebec

    • Posted January 3, 2012 at 12:02 am | Permalink

      Correct. However, Xebec was responsible for Kanokon and LadiesxButlers, so they still have a pedigree.

      • Posted January 3, 2012 at 12:11 am | Permalink

        Yeah true, such a shame too, they used too make some genuinely great stuff, Nadesico was pretty awesome

      • Scamp
        Posted January 3, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        Oh woops, guess I’m wrong

  6. Posted January 3, 2012 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    It wasn’t that bad. It was just… what was it was about again?

  7. Posted January 3, 2012 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    I shall remain positive and trust that the 3rd person will be an ass-kicking mecha piloting Mugi clone!

  8. Posted January 3, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    I remind myself that other magical/mecha-action bishoujo shows Mai-Hime also had all sorts of dorky fanservice elements in it, but that was buoyed by great action choreography, stirring music, and compelling plot twists. I think anime producers tend to forget the second part of the formula.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 3, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      Oddly this did have some decent choreography and I did think the OP was better than Mai Hime’s

  9. Posted January 3, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    The chick pulled a suplex on that mecha and counted it out. That’s worth at least one more episode from me.

  10. DarkEnergy
    Posted January 4, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    How do you come up with such awesome tags for your posts?

  11. SENSAYSHUN
    Posted January 7, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    I am hoping for at least 2 shows to watch this season. im assuming this aired early because they knew how shitty it was & got it out quick so at least people watch the first episode before its buried by the other anime this season.

  12. Erif
    Posted January 15, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think I’ve been in such total disagreement with you till now.

    Since you’ll probably never read this, I’ll try to keep this short (okay god fuck this is long), but I feel the urge to say it. I really enjoyed this episode. Sure, there were a few pointless developments early on, but it’s nothing that hindered the overall quality of the anime. And sure, there was too much fanservice for my tastes, but it’s not exagerrated to the point that I can label it “souless fanservice”. Besides, there’s such a minimal amount I can easily look past it. I don’t believe the first scene constitutes as “fanservice” just because she took off her uniform; it was a plausible scene, and it revealed something about her character. Yeah, the boob jiggle was a bit much, as was the shower scene, and Lan taking off her uniform like that was completely pointless, but none of it is overbearing. Madoka is a decent character so far, also. She’s not that happy-go-lucky loud type you make her out to be; she’s a good Samaritan, and she feels like it’s her duty to help others in need, no matter how trivial the task. She’s optimistic, but not annoying. I know it’s easy to write off that as bland, generic, or cliche, but I believe she was properly developed.

    That last ten minutes so were great, IMO. I was pumped, and the creators were ambiguous enough to keep me interested in things to come. A lot of things were left unexplained. The final few scenes were also a good mix between lighthearted comedy and the seriousness of the actual situation. The music and production values were spectacular, and the mecha scene was great fun, and kind of awesome.

    So the fact that could already write this off as a “sou­less, shal­low pro­duc­tion” baffles me, but I guess we all have our tastes?…

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