Finales: Another, Lagrange … also Kill Me Baby 12

Another 11, jam packed with craziness and deaths, apparently wasn’t long enough to show them all.

A hotel full of frightened kids on fire (not pictured: homicidal maniacs, lightning)

Another 12 picks up right where we left off. I think the first minute had three or four additional deaths thanks to the homicidal landlady and the hotel burning and all. And the chandelier that lands on a handful of students. One of them manages to squeeze free and runs for the exit LOOK OUT FOR THE PILLAR! … Oh, damn … That moment made me giggle. I think whatever being was in charge of the mayhem was giggling a little at that point, too.

Okay, fun is fun, but this is the final episode. There is a problem to be solved amidst all the mayhem. Okay, two problems: finding the dead person and killing them, and staying alive when some of the people who are also trying solve the problem think you’re the dead person. Both Kouichi and Mei have this second problem. Mei’s already been gone at by two people (yet she remains so eerily calm–only when there’s a weapon pointed directly at her does she show any reaction at all), and now Kouichi’s the intended victim of Kazami, who’s got his dates mixed up. The first death came before Kouichi ever came to class, but no one knew about it, and now he’s past listening to reason. Kouichi is saved by Akazawa, trouble is, she thinks Mei’s the dead one. Soon we got two or three people rolling around hitting and pulling and slashing–oh, the hotel is on fire, remember, and let’s not forget about the lightning, or whatever caused the explosion.

I hate to see a good tsundere go, especially one that’s been trying to fight the good fight all this time, but it seems that if you take a swing at one of the heroes, even under duress, you’re not forgiven. At least she got a few parting lines out. And so, much of the danger is passed, the suddenly heroic librarian has gotten the survivors out, but problem one has yet to be solved, until Mei forces the issue. The identity of the dead person came as no shock to me, but that’s only because it was spoiled for me. And frankly I didn’t really feel that big an emotional connection. Not true for Kouichi, however, and so it was still a moving scene and difficult to watch.

After twelve episodes we finally get sunshine.

After that it’s back to normal, sort of. Some confusing explanation by the librarian in the cemetery, some chat between the two heroes about getting together again, sort of a letdown. Teshigawara and Mochizuki make another recording for future students, and hide it–why? This is important information. It should be written into the student handbook for chrissakes! And so one of the best shows of the spring season ends. Like most shows, I find things in it that don’t make sense, such as how the class handles its curse, and the curse as a whole was so convoluted that I lost interest in details. The middle parts dragged the story down, but that’s true with a lot of shows. Kouichi was a bit of a wuss but he was brave when he had to be. Mei needed more range. She kept up her undertone behavior even when her life was in danger. But the show did an excellent job in conveying an atmosphere of dread, from the cloudy, decaying feel of the town to the excellent use of music and sound. And if the final two episodes were a bit extreme, they were fun as hell to watch. Another good job by PA Works.

When I started to watch Rinne no Lagrange 12 I thought I had done the same thing as last time, and skipped an episode. What happened? Madoka was going beserk and that flower thing was happening! Now it’s a goodbye party? Nope, I didn’t miss anything. The show was just playing some games with me, or maybe it was telling me where the heart of this show really lay.

The sun is ALWAYS out in this show.

We learn some whats but now whys or hows. Lan’s side has shown up on Earth, Lan’s a princess and is going to leave soon. I suppose you could have predicted all of that, so it’s not really a spoiler. Muginami isn’t there, but since no one’s terribly upset you figure she’s not dead. So it’s a bittersweet time when the three must break up, possibly for good. And that’s what this show was all about, much more than any silly intergalactic war or strange cosmic light shows. It was about the friendship of three girls and the town they’ve come to love. Not that I cared. I wanted the battle and the light show. I wanted to know what happened. And finally the show decided to fill me in.

Okay, there's no sun here, but there's a giant, glowing flower. That counts for something.

It made even less sense than I expected. The three girls are caught in some kind of glowing triad while the trippy theme plays. Villaguilo is blasting away at them to no effect, and suddenly Madoka’s sitting on a beach, where that strange woman everyone refers to chats with her about personal decisions, though I’m not sure what that has to do with Madoka. Maybe that she shouldn’t let her vox freak out and sit around on surreal beaches. Revived, she gets the others to fly around and around the big cloud, and a big flower is formed. “Aura!” says Moid. But all of a sudden Midori stops dead, The flower withers (in a cosmic, colorful way), Villawhosits attacks, but here comes the De Metrio calvary, and Muginami shows she’s learned nothing and flies him away before he can get killed. So much for the flashback. Now we know.

The trouble is, it raises more questions. Why did Midori suddenly conk out? What was that flower? The show has no interest in telling us. It goes back to goodbyes, and they’re very sweet, but now that we know there’s unexplained story there we know there’s probably more to come. So the sad “bye byes” kind of lose their potency. What’s more, we learn during the previews that not only will there be an OVA but a second series in July! So much for “bye bye!” Not that I mind. This show is by no means a classic, or even very good, but its kind nature, sense of fun, and colorful, trippy aesthetic made it a pleasure to watch every week. Apart from Macross on a good day this is the happiest mecha show I can think of. Sure, I’ll watch more.

And there was Kill Me Baby 12.

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