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Monday, February 1, 2010

RIN ~Daughters of Mnemosyne~: The Review

I've always been a fan of dark adult-themed anime. Ever since watching such classics are Akira and Ghost in the Shell, I was truly captivated with the phenomenon of Anime. However, such anime that have mature themes has always been somewhat uncommon and so I have the joy and privilege of reviewing RIN ~Daughters of Mnemosyne~ AKA Mnemosyne ~Daughters of Mnemosyne~ in Japan.

So before I go into the real review, you may be wondering, why was RIN renamed for US release. I had the same question and inquired Adam Sheehan of Funimation on Twitter. The reason is simple, the original creators wanted it renamed.

First thing I noticed when I picked up my review copy is that the series is packed in a box covered with art. The slim dvd cases also were chuck full of artwork, making them very pleasant for the eye compared to older anime releases. Funimation lately has been doing a very good job making interesting packaging that looks attractive on a shelf and interesting to open.

First Impression:
So I fired up the first episode and I was greeted with the opening which was kind of annoying at first but then diffused to... wait... I recognize that voice and music style ...yes, the opening and ending themes are done by a Japanese power-metal band Galneryus which I am quite familiar with and very pleased they did music for such a dark and grotesque show.
The show opens up introducing the main characters waking up and drinking water vodka which happens to be something that occurs on every episode, except with noticeable variations.

Vodka ends up playing a key role in the overall plot.

Getting Comfortable:
It's not easy to get comfortable with this show, as there is plenty of graphic violence, nudity and sex; Which is comparable to a rated R movie. However, what struck me were the voices of the main characters as they sounded quite familiar. Rin Asougi was casted by the same actress that did the voice of Amaha Masane from Witchblade: Noto Mamiko. Mimi was casted by Rie Kugimiya who everyone should know, is responsible for plenty of tsundere characters such as Shana, Louise and Taiga. So this show has quite a solid voice cast! Besides the remarkable voice talent, the animation is just gorgeous. Lots of attention was given to detail and animation quality.

Detail. Lots of lots of detail.

The Vitals:

So what did I think of character and plot development? As a show about immortals, the series progresses through about 6 decades with a decade in between each episode, forming quite an interesting perspective on immortality. This sort of thing has been done by Popotan, but the girls there were transported forward in time. Instead, here, each episode tries to convey what occurred during the gap of time that we missed since the last episode.
The series slowly unveils every mystery right until the final episode where it ends in a truly epic fashion. The characters themselves are very interesting especially the antagonist who, as the series progresses, becomes more and more hated... in a good way. Rin Asougi, who is the main focus of the series, undergoes extensive mental and emotional development throughout the series while undergoing painful physical and emotional trauma.

One reason for purchasing a series on dvd is that many times there are those extras that you don't get from a download or stream. The extras for Rin are pretty standard fare: textless opening and endings; trailers and promotional videos. But Rin also has an interview with the Japanese voice cast which I thought was very interesting to see four very influential voice actresses in one room talk about the show and their roles.

Bottom line:
The high quality production, the dark and brutal atmosphere, and interesting and original story makes Rin ~Daughters of Mnemosyne~ is a must have. But, I would not recommend this to people who have a weak stomach for violence. Overall, I would rate this series 95/100. Go watch it!


  1. I didn't mention this in the review, because I don't think it belongs there, but I did not watch the dub so it doesn't factor at all into the review.

  2. Good review. As for the dub, I switched to sub the second I heard Mimi's English voice. Rie Kugimiya does the character so much better.

  3. I haven't watched a dub in 8 years :) Even then... I tuned it off and walked out of the room... tot he annoyance of the 5 others in the room haha.

    I just finished Rin myself.... and to be honest I rarely watch stuff like this. You know what the flow reminded me of? Read or Die. I'm not sure how to explain that... but that's what I think.

    I did get pretty wrapped into the story. When things got weird... I dunno. But it didn't leave that much unexplained to where I hated the ending. But with that ending I don't like how they left it open enough like it wasn't over.