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Lagrange – The Flower of Rin-ne – Season 2 Collection Blu-ray Anime Review

9 min read

Lagrange Season 2
Lagrange Season 2
Time passes but does not heal all wounds as the two sides face off to war again.

What They Say:
Several months have passed since the last battle took place in Kamogawa City. Madoka Kyono is now in her final year of high school and has yet to decide what she will do with her life. Across the galaxy, Lan now takes part in research that involves the Vox Rympha. During an experiment, their research facility comes under attack by De Metrio forces, led by Muginami’s Vox Ignis. Will Madoka, Lan, and Muginami be able to reunite once again as the Jersey Club? And what is the mystery behind the Rin-ne and the Vox?

Contains episodes 1-12 of season two.

The Review:
Audio:
The audio presentation for this series is quite good as we get the original Japanese language in stereo along with the new English language dub, both of which are encoded using the DTS-HD MA lossless codec. The show is one that has a decent balance of action and dialogue where the bulk of it is admittedly just dialogue. But it handles things very well across the forward soundstage when it comes to the action with the mecha flying around and the weaponry itself. There’s some good placement and impact from it all and it definitely makes for a more engaging sequence. The dialogue is straightforward throughout but with some of the action sequences and some of the comedy oriented pieces, it does a decent job of balancing things out with some good placement. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we didn’t have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally airing in 2012, the transfer for this twelve episode TV series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 in 1080p using the AVC code. The show is spread across two discs evenly with six on each, giving it plenty of space to work with and it uses it well. The series, animated by Xebec, has a strong, colorful and vibrant look to it that definitely stands out well here. There’s some very vibrant moments when it comes to the craft themselves and that definitely stands out beautifully with a solid look to it. The character animation has some nice detail to it but largely they go for simple and easy costume designs that make them easy to identify. The show works some good backgrounds to it overall though and there is detail, but it’s not an overly done one. The series has a strong look overall that ties together in a good looking way. Colors are solid throughout, cross coloration and line noise are non-existent and it has a smooth and clean look.

Packaging:
The packaging for this release is pretty nicely done as it comes in a standard sized Blu-ray case where the discs are both held against the interior walls. The front cover artwork looks good as we get the three main girls in front of Madoka’s Vox where the character artwork is kind of small overall but it lets them look good as they line up in front of the star filled background. The logo is simple and is the same as the Japanese one so it has some good colors to it while not being overly large. The back cover is nicely laid out as well with the upper half showing off more of Madoka against the space background and Madoka definitely looks good here with a big smile that makes it inviting The premise is very simple and short and there are a few pictures that’s decent but doesn’t do much to sell the show in a big way. The discs extras and features are listed and the production credits round it out as well. Add in some of the usual logos and basic technical information along the bottom, which makes me wish they were using more traditional technical grids, you have all the information but it’s just spread out a bit.

Menu:
The menu design for the show works a similar angle to the front cover as we get a static image that has the three girls together, but in slightly different outfits for them. The background uses the advanced technology as it’s basis while the foreground brings out the three main girls where they’re in more of a street clothes aspect, except for Lan, and they have some cute expressions that reinforce their friendship. The menu navigation along the bottom is simple and to the point and it looks decent when used as the pop-up menu. Submenu navigation is quick and easy and everything loads quickly and without any problems.

Extras:
The extras for this release are straightforward on the second volume as we get the clean opening and closings, some of the original Japanese promos and another look at the Kamogawa Drama pieces.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The first season of Lagrange managed to tell a pretty decent story all on its own, though it kept things more than open enough for where it wanted to go next. The second season, which came just a few months afterwards, carries forth on the promise of the first season by bringing to conclusion the events that were seeded in history while also dealing with the characters. The first half actually ended nicely in how it threw the three core girls to their respective worlds for awhile and had its own sense of finality about it. A lot of mid-series breaks like this tend to leave too much open in a way or don’t really take a break by hitting a mid series big moment, but things wrapped up nicely there and that made getting into this season all the easier. Even though it’s working off the foundation of the first season, it’s like coming into a new show without quite the same kind of baggage behind it.

With it being just under a year since the group separated, Madoka has spent her time going through the motions with her school work and living the life she has, but mostly it comes across as though she’s been kind of idling. The Jersey Club keeps her pretty busy but we also see as it goes on that she’s getting pestered a lot by her teacher to submit her post-graduation plans and to get things moving forward there. But with her friends gone, you can sense easily that she feels like she can’t really progress and move forward until they’re back in her life and she knows what’s going on with them. Lucky for her, even though it took awhile, both Lan and Muginami end up back on Earth, though for very different reasons. Lan and her people have beaten a bit of a retreat after some recent attacks on one of their orbital stations and she’s come to try and bring Madoka with her for various reasons. Muginami has been working with her people as well and she’s come to swipe Madoka for herself, which leads to a decent if almost comical fight between the two in their Vox while Madoka can’t quite believe it.

Bringing the girls back together was a given and it’s also not a surprise that they largely smooth out their difficulties quickly and easily, moving on to other elements and some amusing elements as minor betrayals fall into place. In a lot of ways, the girls are more pawns this time around compared to the first season as there are two larger focuses that are playing out that they’re reacting to more than being proactive on. The first is that the leaders of De Metrio and La Garite, Villagulio and Dizelmine, are doing all that they can to prevent their world’s destruction as they’re on the collision course with each other. The two have a lengthy history between them that gets explored a bit going back to their academy days, which adds a nice aspect to how they interact with each other, particularly since Villagulio keeps thinking there’s some real good and understanding to be had with Dizelmine. There’s also the complications of sisters that comes into play, with Yurikano who has her memory issues and the fact she’s trapped in some “other space” and Muginami herself and how she knows her position is kind of limited. The two men definitely have an interesting relationship and it’s the one that’s worth watching here as it’s a rollercoaster ride.

The second issue is that of Moid, a minor character in the first season that has a much bigger role here that shows us that he’s part of something larger that involves the title of the series. With him sneaking around in a way nobody suspected, he sets the stage for the final arc of the season that brings us most of the action as both sides start fighting in a big way over the Earth. Most interesting is that this takes us back to the story told before that took place 20,000 years ago when the two sides left Earth and in turn reveals that Asteria is actually a reincarnation of the Queen from then, which she has kept hidden from everyone. The setup for the big action piece fell a bit flat for me when it came to the flowers, the meaning of it all and Yurikano’s connection to it since she felt like a forced element in this season. But the feel of it works nicely, even if it minimizes the core trio of girls as they become little more than tools. They have an emotional connection to things, but it’s more to shake others into realizing what they’re really doing and who it’s affecting more than anything else. It all comes back to Villagulio and Dizelmine and the kind of finality that it brings to the series. But even then, it’s opening up the world to the universe at large, which is where I’d like to think the real story begins.

In Summary:
I had enjoyed the first season of Lagrange when I had seen it in full after not being won over by the first few simulcast episodes, and now the second season brings pretty much all the plot points to a close. This season focuses on the girls a good bit in a number of ways, but they’re more secondary for a lot of it as it progresses and you see that it’s the guys that are really leading the story here. In terms of animation and execution, the series definitely fires on all cylinders once again with this season and it moves at a good pace where the twelve episodes really do feel like they fly by. It keeps things moving, the characters are always interacting and learning more and there’s a good variety of younger and older characters to balance things out and bring a different perspective to what’s going on. I definitely enjoyed the series as a whole and this season provides an interesting angle to work with.

Features:
Japanese DTS-HD MA 2.0 Language, English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Clean Opening & Closing, Kamogawa Drama, Japanese Promotional Video Collection, Japanese Commercial Collection

Content Grade: B
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B+
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B-

Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: January 7th, 2014
MSRP: $54.97
Running Time: 300 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen

Review Equipment:
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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