Prince of Tennis HD MF
Rinne no Lagrange
Let me sum up the complaints of many other bloggers: crappy web release quality, pointless fan service, genki protagonist, silent moe supporting female, and robot battles. While I do agree to a point on many of these, others I leave up to time to truly work out. The quality is unavoidable given that this is an early, online release. I think the show will look quite pretty in HD, particularly the robots. Madoka does annoy me a little in this first episode since she reminds me a bit too much of my current irritation with Fam of the currently airing Last Exile; she’s perfect at almost everything she does, including piloting a robot for which she seems destined for the very first time, and can balance a full schedule. She’s persistently energetic and positive-minded. However, I think it’s early to rail too much on her character. I’ve always kind of liked upbeat characters and her sense of humor is cute (like her alien parody). The strange, Ayanami Rei-like girl, Ran, also has a bit of a quirky personality that isn’t completely devoid of humor. I’m interested in getting to know her a bit more, as well. As for the mysterious robots, Madoka’s seeming connection to a robot that another character describes as “legendary” certainly catches my attention. This overlaps a bit into my thoughts on the fan service of the show, but Madoka looks to be inheriting a birthright of sorts, one that triggers at a specific age and leaves a mark on the body. Although her inception into a new world was less than original, I’m still hopeful that Lagrange can surprise me in a positive way.
The one area that irked me from the start to the finish was the fan service, which to me pulled down, literally, any pretense for tension. Instead of feeling worried about Ran’s true intentions, I was shaking me head at all the screen shots of Madoka’s butt. I mean, really? Did her ascension to robot pilot really have to leave a mark there of all places? The opening, too, has Madoka wearing a swimsuit underneath her school uniform because of a “feeling” that she might need it. This feeling turns out true when she ends up saving a drowning individual, one whom we never see again. If the scene was some attempt at setting her character as one who acts on heart and not on mind, then the effort wasn’t completely useless. It definitely wasn’t the most effective or artistic way, but looking at director Suzuki Toshimasa’s short and unremarkable record, I guess I shouldn’t have expected much.