Leader K reviews “Rin~Daughters of Mnemosyne~”

Leader K

 

Rin~Daughters of Mnemosyne~

Written by: Hiroshi Onogi

In Norse myth the tree known as Yggdrasil is a holy link between the worlds, and while the pagan gods and their religion have faded away over time, there are still some who who claim to know The World Tree is more than a myth. To the mortal beings of earth Yggdrasil remains invisible and incorporeal, but to those who can see it will find themselves humbled by the gargantuan and ominous sight from anywhere in the world, yet not a one could tell you where its roots lie. Every so often the tree will spread its seeds, small spheres of beautiful light, invisible to the human eye passing through all matter on our side of the dimension gathering an unthinkable stock of informations from everything they pass through, eventually returning to Yggdrasil where the wealth of all the worlds knowledge is stored.

Strangely one of every million of these spheres may turn into an what is known as a time fruit. If one of these unseeable fruits passes through a human being it will stay inside their body, transforming said persons life for all eternity, in a very literal sense for some.

For Women the time fruit brings immortality. Unchanging from the moment of their transformation and able to recover from all damage so long as the time fruit (which itself can only be destroyed by a specific hand) remains intact. Rin Asogi is one of these immortal women, possible the oldest in existence. With her beauty, hundreds of years of experience, masterfully honed martial arts skills, and a selflessness that normal people cannot afford, Rin acts as a private investigator unhinging evil organizations or just finding lost pets. Helping Rin is Mimi, another immortal woman who acts as an expert hacker, best friend, and sometimes lover to Rin. Also along for the ride is Koki who through a chance encounter begins working for Rin as a fellow detective. Then there is the mysterious caller that often contacts Rin, unknown in name or voice to all except for Rin.

Though the gifted fruit of Yggdrasil grants such great reward for those like Rin and Mimi they still remain to be little more than an anomaly not bore by intention from The World Tree. They gain this power at random, and they spread to without a true target. This is the danger of the time fruits. While women are granted internal youth and regeneration, men who are touched by the time fruit become mindless, murderous, monsters complete with grey skin, red eyes, super strength, and a set of wings. Most frightening of all; the immortal women and the monstrous men share an uncontrollable sexual attraction when in each others presence. The angels mindlessly seek to devour the time fruit of immortal women and despite the fear and pain, the immortals are almost powerless to fight back against those that seek to destroy them. It is a testament to Rin’s strength in that she is the only known immortal that has been able to kill an angel, though just barely.

This is one of several ideas that  grants Mnemosyne its mature rating. All the sex and violence HBO gets awards for but when put into an anime its called porn. Admittedly Mnenosyne is not always in wholesome taste, but good taste it has, as do I. Sex and sexuality as a theme in anime is pointed at the lowest common denominator in an attempt to gain the easiest profit. Mnenosyne is marketed to a lower standard than it actually is, and it will probably satisfy that audience just fine. We know from the wealth of smutty TV, film, and music that they are not hard to please. But for those who hope for a better world and an elevation of personal experience, the will find that Mnenosyne has the sort of substance that sets it apart from other anime (and TV in general) with a mature rating. It has sex, and violence, but it also has character and heart. That said the show is to much for younger audiences, bottom line. Its MA rating is not a joke. Torture, rape, stockholm syndrome; this violence is not expressed lightly.

                                                                                 “It is impossible not to notice that our world is tormented by failure, hate, guilt, and fear.” -William Saroyan

Mnemosyne is a mature show with mature themes and characters, And while Mnemosyne has a tendency to show the more than it necessarily has to, i’m always ready for someone to test the limits of what s and is not necessary to show to express a point in art (The picture above for example is suppose to express a sense of fear, disgust, misogyny, and plotting. How do you you think it did?). If you can stomach A Clockwork Orange this will be a walk in the park. That is to say there is almost always a point, and i would dare say that the makers of Mnemosyne would argue that there was no reason not to show as much as they did. While i may disagree at times i will not deduct points for it as i truly did not sense the lack of taste of a Saw, Hostel, Last House on the Left, or the joyfully murderous Deathnote (to name another so called mature anime). Those that would argue against the gore and sex of Mnemosyne should remember movies like The Exorcist, The Thing, or any Kubrick movie that sport equally disturbing imagery for  equally improbable story lines and  often get away with it because they are just damn good. Mnemosyne falls into this “just damn good” category in my view.

The story we follow takes place over approximately 65 years in six 45 minute episodes. This of course puts the pacing to a different test than a two hour film about one cop’s bad day, or a longer show with a more episodic formula. The central plots of each episode for the most part have nothing to do with each other, and yet they are all relevant to the overall story even if you don’t realizes until the end. Throughout all six episodes as the years pass by and the world changes Mnemosyne takes on the genres of different times, going from Noir mystery, to cyberpunk, and finally into a urban fantasy world crisis. It is a diverse and well thought out world that gives little exposition and for the most part is never open like a book to the audience. As a series Mnemosyne does exactly what it should; leave us wanting more. The story’s that could be told with this world and these character could fill a shelf with manga or comics.

Rin as a characters plays a sort of Freudian mother to those she meets, protective to human beings in general, believing strongly in the sanctity of life. When faced with danger she is ruthless and practical. She is skilled in combat, but not to the unreasonable degree that a super hero is. Though undying, she is still only a person, and not particularly graced with the figure of a fighter. She is as strong as her unchanging body allows her to be, but this is not always enough. She sheds no tears for those she is forced to kill. She is not an apathetic anti-hero, but she is not the unreasonably good classic hero like as Batman or Superman.

Note: Colleen Clinkenbeard (my favorite voice actress) plays Rin in the english dub. Dub wins. Sub is obsolete.

Overall: 9 out of 10

A bold project that stands alone in the world of mainstream anime. A must watch but not a must love, though i greatly enjoyed it. And with only six episode you have nothing to lose especially sense the show is currently on Netflix.

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Comments
2 Responses to “Leader K reviews “Rin~Daughters of Mnemosyne~””
  1. Leader K says:

    Please forgive the typos, i’ll do my best to fix it up.

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