Except for These Immortal Women
Likely the least obscure of the titles I’m taking a look at for Obscure Week during our October Review Fest, Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne is a 6 episode series that offers horror, mystery, sex, and violence. Each episode clocks in at about 45 minutes and explores the life of Rin and Mimi, two immortal women who’s lives go unchanged as the world changes around them. Well, that is until one fated encounter.
So before I actually do the review, take a look at my notes. It ended up being a pretty wild ride. The notes are pretty amusing if you ask me too. There aren’t really any spoilers, this was just a way for me to keep everything straight since each of the six episodes is fairly long and I didn’t watch them all in one sitting.
Episode 1 notes: Opens with death of Rin. Jumps to her not being dead. Detective/action/gore – occasionally funny. Pretty literal gore-porn. It’s interesting but Rin has distractions that hurt its enjoyment. The guy joins up and is the most interesting character so far.
Episode 2 notes: Episode two opens the same way as episode one which threw me for a loop. Explanation of Angles and the time fruit – oh and of course that’s how it works. Some action scenes but it didn’t feel all that great, too much machismo to even take seriously. Wow, how irresponsible of the dude to just give that young girl a time fruit like that.
Episode 3 notes: And again, pretty much the same opening. The biggest difference is how old the guy is now. Death Island. Oh yeah, just when I thought it couldn’t get any more edgy. I love the dramatic music *duh, duh!* Again, things keep getting distracted. My goodness that outfit on the evil lady XD love her plan, eugenics is always a good idea. There was a good setup for the Angle & time fruit thing though. The bad guy can just rip those fruits out. That’s interesting. This one had the best story since it had the least random sex nonsense.
Episode 4 notes: What a big jump (time), also things never change. How subtle. Very Dennou Coil. The music played up the comedy, some amusing moments. Hints at a backstory. Welcome to 1984. Doesthedogdie.com. Finally moving away from sex to plot, that feels good. Felt like there were actual stakes here.
Episode 5 notes: Rin did a bad. I like the progression of time that’s presented. Whoops, Rin did it again! Man, when this show wants to be funny it is funny. That Watson/Holmes routine was great. This is the first episode that didn’t open with the vodka routine, not to mention the lack of girl #2. Oh that is interesting, glad there are some actual stakes now even if amnesia is often overplayed. MYSTERY! Not much of a twist there, but still good. Solid episode, it’s really picked up. That being said, the trade-off was more needless sex stuff. What the heck??? Doesthedogdie.com BDSM Angles back at it again. Oh that is a nice dividing line shot. Oh a twist!
Episode 6 notes: Well, what happens now (Pre-episode thoughts)? Meanwhile:
Off to a good start. The song I mean. Interesting episode opening, not really sure how everything is going to play out. Gotta love that overly dramatic music lol. Oh, that makes sense, and by that I mean [insert cliché bad guy moment]… Oh it’s “who is that again?” Haha, that old man was great! 10/10. Welcome to Roanapur… X-men: America vs Russia. “You mean eternal, like forever?” Step into my suggestive portal, be sure to ask for consent first though. I think you are playing chess wrong buddy. Finally, some backstory. Took long enough.
This is not how you fill in exposition. Also, I love how much they communicated without ever talking. Blood-gasm! What a wonderful guy Apos is. I do appreciate that bit of information about what Yggdrasil is and what its purpose is. Well things slowed down. A lot. Yeah, I suppose that ending is about all you could expect. That’s an ugly baby. Well ok. Hope you enjoyed these notes.
As you can probably tell my enjoyment and opinion of Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne varied pretty dramatically throughout its runtime. I knew exactly what I was getting into but even then I wasn’t exactly prepared for what I watched. At its best, Rin is compelling and has unique ideas that I haven’t really seen explored (well) in anime before. However, at its worst, Rin is basically porn rife with cliché that has me checking out pretty fast.
One part horror, a heap of mystery, a dash of intrigue, some yuri for spice, and an overabundance of male libido gets you Rin. There really is no better way to put it. For some this mix isn’t going to be an issue. The problem is for folks like me who are in it explicitly for one or the other. If you want the story, the sex is going to get in the way. It is forced almost every single time. If you want the sex, the story is going to get in your way.
There seems to have been a fundamental misunderstanding as to what makes an anime mature when it comes to Rin. You can’t just throw in a bunch of sex and violence, that simply isn’t good enough. Elements such as torture, rape, sex, death, etc… are all fine to have but there needs to be reason behind it. Sometimes, Rin definitely achieved this, but more often than not, the reason was just an excuse to incorporate some naked ladies.
I guess what I’m getting at is there was a great story, or rather, potential for a great story in Rin. I’m disappointed that it had to be watered down with a lot of unnecessary elements. Even if you are somebody who isn’t bothered by this sort of thing (not to say that I was uncomfortable with it), you can’t deny how obvious the writers were in bending over backwards to fit certain things in.
As for the unique elements, let me get into those because they made this worth watching for me despite everything. I absolutely loved that each episode (aside from one, and with good reason) opened in almost exactly the same way. The catch, the date and the people around the two immortal women, Rin and Mimi, were always changing.
This emphasized the burden of being immortal. Watching your friends, lovers, and those around you age and die. Normally, in anime at least, this aspect is cast to the wayside. I can’t really think of an instance where this was the focal point outside of Rin. It allowed for several excellent moments and a continuous narrative that evolved with the changing of the times.
Adding to this was the rivalry that Rin had with another woman. How would an immortal rivalry play out? This is a little more common in anime but there was some depth here. Unfortunately, this falls apart a bit towards the end where the other woman becomes overly evil for no real reason right before having a change of heart. It felt a bit awkward and ruined an otherwise great bit of interaction.
Mystery-wise, Rin delivers up until the final episode. That one is a real let down. Things play out in the least interesting and predictable way. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised but, again, I am disappointed by this.
At the end of the day would I recommend the show? Well, not really. Despite some cool ideas, there was just too much I disliked about the show. However, I also know a lot of people would probably enjoy this. There is definitely enough here to decide for yourself if this would be a show for you, so if you think you’d like it I hope you’ll take the time to watch it and enjoy it. If not, then that’s fine too.
You can find this anime for legal streaming on VRV or Funimation’s site. The title is also available for purchase at Rightstuf on Blu-ray or DVD. I suggest streaming it first if you can though, as mileage will vary. Sorry for the lack of pictures by the way, a lot of them weren’t exactly site-friendly…
What are your thoughts on Rin? Let me know in the comments below. If you feel like supporting me in my endeavors to continue to provide content like this and allow for me to interact with folks (something I’ve had to unfortunately cut back on) more often, then consider becoming a patron of mine. For more details, click the button below. Thanks again for reading and I hope to see you back here at Jon Spencer Reviews again soon!