Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-Ne is a series co-produced by studios Xebec and Production I.G. who I imagine need no introduction but definitely have some history of quality behind them. The series follows Madoka Kyouno, a cheerful highschool girl in the sleepy town of Kamogawa, and the sole member of her school’s ‘Jersey Club’ – A club with no specific purpose beyond helping anyone who needs a hand. This release from Madman Entertainment collects both seasons, billing this as the ‘Robot anime that will boost your spirits!’. They’re not wrong.
When Madoka encounters a girl named Lan, she quickly finds herself part of a much bigger world when the Novumundos organisation surfaces off the Kamogawa coast on a floating facility and Madoka comes to pilot the Vox Aura, a transforming robot, to battle invaders from space, known as De Metrio, led by the undeniably stylish Villagulio. Feeling a strange connection to the robot linked to a somewhat tragic past, Madoka is able to pilot the robot with ease and protect her beloved hometown. The series really doesn’t mess around with getting the story moving, and the pacing retains this speed throughout.
The audience is left to kind of unravel the larger story at the same pace as Madoka herself – We see snippets of the past of Lan and Villagulio, along with Muginami, a third girl that rounds out the main trio with Madoka and Lan as the pilots of the Vox Aura robots. These snippets of the past are never fully explained and instead the whole picture slowly unfolds over the course of the series as the history of the Vox Aura crafts, space and humanity itself is revealed.
The series offers up some very well developed characters. The enthusiastic Madoka is impossible not to cheer for. the adorable Lan struggles with local customs and Muginami, caught somewhere in the middle of two warring factions faces difficult decisions on both sides of the equation. The animation is top notch, and the mecha designs are very cool, particularly the Vox Aura, to the point that I’m actually a little bummed out there doesn’t appear to be any proper model kits of the three Vox bots, seems like a missed opportunity for sure.
This release from Madman is very nicely presented, with both seasons across four discs and a collection of extras like the usual clean OP/ED animations and the fun little ‘Kamogawa Drama’ segments – shortform snippets with characters from the series having silly conversations or experiences. I went into this series blind, half expecting not much more than a shitty ecchi mecha show based off the trailer promising “Beach, Babes and Bots”. Thankfully, Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-Ne is much more, and has a lot of heart and a great cast of characters woven through a well told story.
A review copy was provided by Madman Entertainment to the author for the purpose of this review.