Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me. That’s It? Really?
I’d been waiting for Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne to come out on bluray before I watched it. From everything I’d heard about the series it sounded like something I might really dig, and I figured I’d wait and actually spend money on it. This makes the first time since… let me see… damn. I can’t think of the last time I watched an anime that I’d not seen before buying it.
Which kinda fits Mnemosyne, since it essentially plays like a 90’s OAV series in most of the right ways.
Sex is good. It’s good to see gratuitous sex scenes in anime. Not every anime needs pointless bumping of uglies, and too much becomes tedious after a while, but I’m not fond of the direction anime has gone when it comes to getting it on. It’s like they took all of the sex we used to get in these OAVs from back in the day, put it into dating sim games, rendered it crappy by having it be in the context of wish-fulfilment fantasy scenarios about losers scoring with chicks that can never exist in real life, and then forcing everyone else in the animeverse to take vows of chastity.
Rin takes that trend, tosses it on her bed, and ravages it. Repeatedly. This is a series about amoral immortals and all the weird stuff that goes on around them. They live in a world of criminals and pimps and other assorted nasties. In the midst of all the bloodshed, exploding sewers, and cannibalism, it’s only natural for people to want to fuck each other. Rin doesn’t shy away from this. Yeah, the scenes often feel shoehorned into the plot, but it’s no different from a panty shot being tossed in or giving a girl a pair of glasses or big breasts or a pony tail to appeal to certain fetishes. It’s fan service and nothing more. And I gotta admit, I rather dug the “If you want the information, you’ll have to find it between my legs” scene. That was honest and classy fan service that doesn’t shirk back from its true nature.
I will say that I can do without Mimi being sexualized. I get that she’s an immortal stuck in a young body. I can take her being flirtatious with Rin and showing her sexuality, and I’m fine with them saying that she has to “put out” to get info in the third episode, but we could have done without actually seeing it. So there are drawbacks to going the extra proverbial mile and showing the sex scenes when we’re in an anime environment where far too many fans dig that sort of thing. But I’ll take that as an unfortunate side effect to other trends in the anime world.
At the same time, based on reviews I’ve read of the series, I was expecting this to be a little more hardcore than it was. There was nudity, and they didn’t shy away from certain angles, but I guess I was expecting a little more action, so to speak. Most of the scenes ended right as they were getting to the actual act, or in the case of the scene with the government dude and the prostitute, they focused on the faces rather than the actual act. Just surprised on that count, since many of the reviews I’ve read about the series remarked on the explicit sex. Guess the scenes I’ve seen up to this point (I’ve watched the first three episodes.) just don’t meet my level of “explicit.”
And what’s this about the series being ultraviolent? I must be really desensitized of something, but I found most of it to be pretty tame. The fight scenes are typical R-rated action movie stuff. Stabbing, gunshots, blood, the occasional mauling. Standard fare as far as I can tell. The bits that I was expecting to be pretty grisly, where people are dissected and pierced and tortured, cut away from the key scenes. In the first episode, where Rin is captured by Piercing Fetish Chick, they just show one nipple being pierced, then they cut away and come back after everything’s said and done. Even that one piercing was nothing compared to, say, some of the stuff in Ichi the Killer. The action’s good in Rin, and there’s some cringe-worthy scenes, but I’m still not seeing how this series is that extreme.
I must really be far gone or something.
As for the storyline, it’s your typical OAV jumbled mess that doesn’t really make sense but leaves enough holes for the viewer to fill it in with their imagination. Pretty much what I talked about back when I was blogging Dance in the Vampire Bund. There’s a barely defined reason for people being immortal. It works differently for men and women (OMG SEXIST!). It gets boring being immortal, so you open up a detective agency and look for missing cats and weird pharmaceutical experiments and stuff like that. Typical immortal stuff. Comparisons could be made to Highlander, if all the Highlanders were chicks and they wanted to screw the males (Who get screwed when they try to become immortal.). It isn’t quite a brilliant mess, but it’s close enough. Ridiculous enough to not take seriously. Once I’m done with the series I’m sure I’ll have some crazy conspiracy theories, especially with all this stuff about gender and shit, but we’ll deal with that later. But yeah, there’s going to be a lot to say about the dynamics between men and women and who’s really in control and biting off the heads of lovers like a praying mantis and bondage and all sorts of crazy stuff.
I’m digging it so far. It’s like I’m watching something released by Manga Video that I never got around to seeing until 10 years after the fact. I could really go for this sort of thing more often. Too bad these sorts of series are so few and far between nowadays.