Lagrange – The Flower of Rin-ne
Aided by a robotic aircraft that responds to her emotions, schoolgirl Madoka Kyono helps lead the fight to save humankind from an alien force.
I completely fell head over heals in love with this anime, just the opening itself made my heart pound away. Not only was this a mecha-genre anime, but the three main characters are all female. It may just be me, but I’ve never found a mecha anime with female leads like these.
We follow Madoka Kyono, a high school girl who is over the top filled with energy. She is the sole member of a school club her older cousin started when she was at the school called ‘The Jersey’ club – dedicated to helping out anyone and everyone in need. It is a motto that is continuously mentioned of throughout the anime, giving Madoka and even her friends Lan and Muginami strength and ambition to continue on in their current struggles.
It is when Madoka meets Lan, that her life changes. Lan – an alien princess, asks for Madoka’s help, and in consequence joins the Jersey club. She takes Madoka across the ocean to moving military base that houses a Vox – robotic aircraft that only Madoka can fly. The base is attacked and Madoka is forced into the cockpit under the pretense that the base can control it’s movements. Well… it doesn’t take long for Madoka’s psyche to link up with the Vox – who seems to have it’s own soul and for Madoka to fly the aircraft herself.
From there, she is the pilot of Vox Aura – or as Madoka calls her Midori. She is then tasked to protect her friends, her home and even earth from a menacing organization who wishes to invade earth.
Things get more complicated as we go on. Lan, the alien princess also is able to fly a called Vox Rympha or Orca. She is the hesitate one there is a myth surrounding these three Vox units, that spell disaster to earth. It is Madoka who gives her the encouragement to get into Orc’s cockpit and become it’s pilot.
Then there is Muginami. Seriously – her backstory is the best out of the three. Born on a decrepit planet, she struggles just to survive, barely able to steal food to eat. She stumbles upon Villagulio – our main villian – and prince to another planet that is now at war with Lan’s planet and in effect Earth. Villagulio is wounded and even though Muginami has nothing, she gives what she can to him, looking after him until his wounds are healed. The two become close, and in order to help his organization, she comes to earth to steal one of the Vox units – Ignis. When Villagulio appears and confronts Muginami, he basically insults her and threatens violence against her for taking on a mission without his permission. Whatever bond, we think the two has, Villagulio quickly breaks it, and Muginami’s heart.
Yet, despite the scene, and Madoka attempt to take revenge for Muginami’s hurt feelings, Muginami refuses to let any harm come to him. It is a very turbulent sub-plot which comes to a head in the final episodes of the first season where Lan’s people arrive to stop Villagulio and his people from taking over earth. Villagulio is hit in his mecha suit and it is Muginami who takes him away to avoid being killed but at the same time away form earth. There is no good-bye as events happen so fast. You get the feeling that Muginmi still considers Madoka and Lan friends, and wants to return to earth and be with them.
However, live is seldom that easy or simple.
Not much later, Lan too has to return to her home world. The first season ends with a tearful good bye between the two girls, they make a pact to meet up again in the future. As much as Madoka puts on the strong face, once Lan is gone, she is brought to tears. After all that she has been through, with the knowledge of space and other planets, and her friends all going back to their homes, Madoka is left behind, on earth with a Vox unit that has fallen a sleep.
It is powerful, sad and at the same time a great ending to the first season.
I have just started the second season, and well, things are hitting the fan. Muginami is working with Villagulio, and continuing to attack Lan’s people’s military bases, putting them at odds with each other. When Lan finally returns to Madoka’s town, she forces Madoka to try her Vox unit again, then Muginami appears – with the intent to kill Madoka.
The three characters, Madoka, Lan and Muginami all have their own strengths and weaknesses, together they can be a powerful group and stand up against anything, but as we see in the second season, the group has been divided and I don’t know how things are going to turn out.
I highly recommend this anime to anyone who enjoys the mecha-genre. The visuals of the anime are amazing, and I love the stories between the three girls. There is still so much left unexplained from the first season and I hope I get some answers by the end o the second.