Yuri Anime: Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne, Volume 1 (English)

February 4th, 2010

2010 continues to be a year of wonder for Yuri fans, as we now have an inordinate amount of good and bad Yuri and Yuri-ish anime to watch in English.

Inexplicably among them, Funimation picked up Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne which has one of my top 2 most favorite opening themes ever right now. “Retsu no Matataki” from Air Master is the eternal winner, but “Alsatia” just cracks me up every time I listen to it.

Let’s get the most important thing out of the way first: Mnemosyne, greek goddess of memory, pronounced: \ni-ˈmä-sə-nē. Thank you, Merriam-Webster.

In Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne we meet Rin, an investigator of things as small as missing cats and as large as international terrorism and her sidekick Mimi. Rin and Mimi can die, but they can’t stay dead and are, therefore, immortal.

The first episode covers their meeting with Maeno Kouki, a young man with no memory. Their adventure brings them into contact with a corrupt pharmaceutical company, enemies in advanced stages of psychosis and zombie-like test subjects. And a missing cat.

This leads into an episode about a missing stamp and a missing brother who is actually an angel and an episode about a military cover-up and a lethal disease.

Time passes quickly in this series. We jump years from episode to episode. Rin, Mimi and their dog Genta, don’t change, but Maeno ages and technology changes, which are cues for the passing of time that are far more powerful than the opening marquee telling us what year it is.

In every case, the story is deeply strange, full of intensely bloody violence and physical and emotional sadism the likes of which I have never seen before in anime. This is not a series for the light-hearted or light-stomached. It’s not graphically represented. It’s just…obvious.

I know it probably makes me a terrible person, but I love how Rin is tracked over the years by Laura, who single-mindedly kills her over and over and over. I also like how Rin’s deaths become progressively more extreme. You think they can’t beat blowing her up with a bomb but…you’re wrong. Of course, Laura isn’t the real enemy – the real enemy is Apos, voiced perfectly by Ishida Akira.

Apos is a source of much confusion and consternation for viewers….personally, I view almost all the plot complications as handwaves that must be accepted in what is not exactly the most logical or well-constructed plot ever written. Since the story is largely a vehicle for pandering of about 70 kinds, if you’re gonna stress about Apos, then you probably shouldn’t watch this series.

Personally, I loved hearing Noto Mamiko voice Rin. This is probably as close as fans will ever get to hearing her actual speaking voice in a role. And Kagamiya Rie probably broke a few brains as Mimi. She was awesome.

The DVD comes with an extra commentary for episode 2, in which the American director and voice actors are just about as infantile as you’d expect. The word “boobs” is bandied about frequently and references to lesbianism are almost all in the “girls gone wild” sense. Despite that, I laughed once or twice anyway. :-)

There is BDSM and violence and sexual violence, straight sex and lesbian sex and more violence in this series. It’s not for the kiddies and probably not for most normal people. I liked it. :-)

Ratings:

Art – this series is a good reminder that not everything looks better on a large screen – 6
Story – Oh, come *on!* It’s a 4, maybe 5, but if you’re watching it for the story, you have completely missed the point.
Characters – 9
Yuri – 8
Service – 23.8

Overall – 8

Yes, I know my ratings make no sense. Neither did this anime.

Many, many thanks to Okazu Superhero Eric P. for making today’s review possible!

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6 Responses

  1. This is like, the most erotic anime I’ve ever seen. And I don’t even consider the hot scenes to be fanservice, to me they are not free scenes, they actually make sense in the series since Mnemosyne has such a BDSM thematic.

    Yeah, the story is kind of messed up, but thats a japanese trademark, I guess. But I still think they managed to tell so much more story in 6 episodes than alot of other animes with 13 or even 26 episodes.

    I just love it and I hope Yuri anime could be more like this. Can’t stand all-girl school anymore!

    Rin is the sexiest character ever made, and I’m not even into thinking anime characters are sexy lol

  2. furei kinoko says:

    is that… adult Yuri anime?!

  3. @furei kinoko – No, it is not adult Yuri anime. It’s an anime for adults that includes some Yuri.

  4. bec says:

    i loved this series. so glad it got picked up, and can’t wait til it goes R4. tried to dupe the gf into watching it with promises of lesbian sex scenes but the gore just got too much. i guess mamiko noto as shimako is more her cup of tea haha

  5. ArcaJ says:

    When this anime first appeared, I avoided it on general principle. Of course as Noto Mamiko was involved I couldn’t help but take a peek. (I’m week, I know) While Mnemosyne was as gruesome as I anticipated, I noticed that under all that violence, sex, torture, gore, nudity, etc., this show had heart. It featured friends who would (and did) walk through hell for each other. Well, that and vodka. You gotta love vodka. ^_^

    ::HUGS::

    Arca Jeth

  6. They even had a cute dog in the middle of all the carnage and blood.

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