Violence. Gore. Torture scenes. Sex scenes.
These are elements in most things media that you as the viewer are attracted to or appalled to and in this case, there are many anime that is clearly not meant for everyone and it’s not just the pointless fan service anime or the very, very nauseating hentai titles but more titles that are too risqué for TV but instead went into the OVA format and that is where Rin Daughters of Mnemosyne come to mind and when first hearing about it based on most reviews and just shootin’ the shit with some people, some say it’s either good, perverted, creepy, etc. but then again, I’ve been reviewing anime for two years now and I have seen way worse material than what they describe and so I went inside an open mind and that’s all I wrote.
Rin Asogi is an immortal private detective with a thirst for vodka and a talent for attracting things that go bump in the night. In a series of nightmarish vignettes spanning sixty-five years, Rin’s lush body is sadistically pierced, blown up, and mulched to a bloody pulp. The fiend behind her tortured existence is Apos, an eternal being obsessed with sacrificing Rin to Yggdrasil, the tree of all life. While Rin struggles to unravel the secrets of her endless agony, Apos lurks in the shadows, eager to tear into her ripe body and devour the memories of her countless lives. Rin’s no stranger to the realm of the dead, but her next visit could last forever.
And the result was that the show was……while it has very strong sexual and erotic themes and there is copious amounts of graphic violence in the show, I didn’t really feel that creeped out by it because in actuality, those themes fit within the show without it being played for shock value. Like I said, I have seen much worse than this. Elfen Lied, I feel was creepy, pretentious, and only being played for shock value for most of the part and also it fits the context. It doesn’t seem out of place or inappropriate that you wonder what the hell you just watch. The story does introduce immortals, which most people are familiar with if they saw Baccano! And believe me, Rin gets in most situations where any person would just up and die. However, while Rin is an immortal, I did felt like she was in real danger most of the storyline does go through 5 timelines from the 1990s to 2011 to the very near future of 2055 within the span of 6 45-minute episodes, the pacing was smooth as when an episode end, it feels more conclusive and episodic at least for the first 4 episodes and while it has that monster or bad guy of the week (actually, year) format, it never felt as tiring or easily bored. As of what I thought about the main plot, I was confused at some times but then again, like most shows, I get the idea just about a few episodes in and it is an interesting yet devious plot.
I do like the duo of Rin Asogi and her assistant Mimi as likable characters although while everything around them change, from cities to people to technological advances, they actually don’t considering that I always remember the line of when Rin wants some water and Mimi gives her Vodka and says, “Vodka is Russian for water” and that is repeated for the first 4 episodes. The Maeno family are the most interesting characters as you see different variations of them from Koki to his son Teruki and to Teruki’s daughter Mishio and it does show how well-connected they are to Rin and Mimi. Apos, the main antagonist of the show, isn’t exactly as textbook “take over the world” villain as I thought. He does it with sex and murder.
Xebec is in charge of the animation and while I had my gripes with them on a few titles that I either watched and/or reviewed, this is definitely a far cry from the usual material they often make. The art style and animation is fine with the setting within the in-universe changing from either a year or two to 10 to 50 years. The gore and violence factor is very high so this is definitely not recommended for those who have weak constitutions or not much of a gore/violence fan.
I really, really, really love the opening theme and I also thought the ending song was decent but not exactly high on my list as the opening and ending are both sung by Galneryus and while I like it, I can’t really say it fits to the show although some of the time, it does.
As for the English dub, the FUNimation dub leaves me not wholly satisfied as while Colleen Clinkenbeard was perfectly cast as Rin, I seriously can’t picture Jamie Marchi as Mimi. I like Marchi as a voice actress and I appreciate her going for a role outside of how she’s usually cast but she sounded kind of screechy in her role. Todd Haberkorn manages to give a decent performance as Apos and all around, the dub is….well, the FUNimation standard of dubs.
FINAL VERDICT: In short, I really enjoyed watching this show. I like that while it does have those themes I’ve mentioned earlier, it manages to fit with the context of the show and not feel out of place and if the show creeped you out, then the show did what it needed to do. I guess if you are a fan of shows like this, then this is made for you.
Then how would I rate this then?
8/10 – SOLID B.
Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne is avaliable on DVD and Blu-ray by FUNimation Entertainment. Streaming options are avaliable on Funimation.com, Netflix, and Youtube.
And guess what? This is review 99, meaning I’m about to reach that milestone. That’s right. 100 ANIME DISCOVERY REVIEWS, BABY!!! And this will commence……NEXT YEAR! Yeah, I’m making you wait for it in 2014. It’s in January so there’s plenty of time to think about what to review for that specific review.
And until then, this is MAK2.0 aka Blue Hybrid, bringing all the elements in one format.
RIN: DAUGHTERS OF MNEMOSYNE – animation by XEBEC; distributed by FUNimation ENTERTAINMENT