It’s not often that I don’t find myself longing for a series involving a suit-wearing, ass-kicking female detective who swigs vodka, can’t die and fights cyborg assassins.
Just as well one got made for me, eh? Oh, Japan.
RIN ~Daughters of Mnemosyne~ follows the eponymous Rin Asogi, who owns a private eye business in Tokyo (where else?) with her colleague Mimi and dog. Oh, and by the way, they’re all immortal. Yeah.
The series starts out in the year 1993, and ends in 2055. It’s an interesting concept, since the main characters can’t die permanently or age due to their absorbtion of a ‘Time Fruit’ from Ygdrassil earlier in their lives (it’s complicated). It creates a real sense of attachment to the side characters of the series – mostly members of the Maeno family, who Rin forms a strong bond with in the first episode – and it’s sad when they eventually pass away or simply disappear from the series (saying any more would be a spoiler).
It’s not fun and games though – the series is steeped in violence and sex. The main drawback to being immortal is that while females get to live forever and become badass ninjas and drink constantly, men become ‘angels’ who are anything but – hulking, slobbering killing machines that only want to have sex with immortals and then eat them, adding to the BDSM overtones of the entire series. The main antagonist is a hermaphrodite who likes nothing better than to relax by playing chess with immortals impaled by swords!
I’d be lying if I said the sex is all violent and horrible – there’s a couple of moments that stand out as being tender, and the series is well-written and mature enough to pull it off. Unlike HOTD, where the nudity was played for laughs, Mnemosyne’s is more subdued and steamy, for lack of a better word. We have fanart for the risque stuff, after all:
Violence in Mnemosyne is what gives the series its distinctive flavour. Rin is killed in every episode, usually multiple times, and usually at the hands of the same obsessive (and also immortal) assassin who you just saw. So, there’s a lot of exploding and getting shot and in one instance pierced to death. It gets pretty creative, and there’s a certain degree of morbid glee to see what horrible fate Rin will bounce back from next.
On to the technical stuff – the English dub, while not quite as good as the original Japanese voice over (Mimi’s voice is a little too ‘princessy’ for my tastes) [HINDSIGHT-O-VISION: Did I seriously suggest that Colleen Clinkenbeard and Jamie Marchi gave inferior performances? What was I thinking?], is pretty good, and does the series justice, unlike Highschool of the Dead‘s – that’s an update on the last review, to clarify.
The theme song, like HOTD‘s, is phenomenal, and I found myself rushing out to buy the mp3 directly after I finished the series. It’s by Japanese metal group Galneryus, who also provided the closing track, and they set the tone for the series nicely.
All in all, this is a damn fine series – it’s intelligent, dark but not depressingly so, and the only thing that really holds it back from being a 10/10 is the very last episode. It goes a bit off the rocker compared to the rest of the series (which is a stretch, I know) and feels a little rushed. Nonetheless, I’m going to give the series a…
Quality entertainment aside from an iffy finale, Mnemosyne is a gritty, violent thriller well worth your time.