It Came From Netflix – Rin: Daughter of Mnemosyne – Disc 1

You remember when anime was weird?  Anime used to be weird, didn’t it?  Especially from the 1980’s through the 1990’s, and that’s not just an exaggeration.  I mean, think about it: the first time you saw Akira?  Weird.  Ghost in the Shell?  Weird.  Or maybe Evangelion?  Holy crap weird.   At the risk of waxing nostalgically, I remember when I first started watching anime.  The plots, 9 times out of 10, were nearly incoherent on a first viewing, involving blood spurting like bodies were constricted water balloons, and more often than not a naked girl.  Sure, the girls still get naked sometimes now, and other times you see the occasional blood geyser depending on the show, but mostly the weird plots have faded away replaced by more conventional territory of traditional comedy, horror, or drama.  You can watch most modern anime movies/shows only once and “get” them.  I sometimes wonder if this change is one of the reasons the anime industry is hurting at the moment, but I digress.

Rin: Daughter of Mnemosyne is weird.  Really weird.  Additionally there are ample amounts of blood and nudity.  At times, it feels like a throwback to those anime I used to watch that left me scratching my head before rewinding the VHS (am I dating myself?) hoping it’s clearer the second time through.  I’m not saying that is a bad thing.  Nope.  Not at all.  This anime, while it was made in 2008, feels like something from a bygone era of anime that is greatly missed.

Rin: Daughter of Mnemosyne takes place over a span of 65 years following the adventures of Rin Asogi.  Rin is a private investigator, or a consultant as she calls it, who can’t seem to stay out of trouble.  In fact in the first five minutes of episode one we see Rin get killed, murdered by a mysterious woman for reasons unknown.  Oddly enough, the scene then shifts to the next day and Rin is perfectly fine and healthy working in her office as if the night before she hadn’t gotten her arm blown off and her body dropped off a ten story building.  Rin, it turns out, is immortal and can’t be killed by conventional means.  Gunshots, stabbings, even losing of limbs, are all obviously extremely painful and torturous (watching some of these scenes can be very intense) and will eventually “kill” her, but a few minutes after death she wakes up and starts to regenerate.   Rin works with her assistant Mimi, who is also immortal, and takes odd jobs that range from finding lost pets to investigating murder.  These odd jobs usually lead to something much more sinister and slowly a bigger picture of what is really going on in this anime becomes clear.  Why are Rin and Mimi immortal, and what is the significance of the Yggdrasill, a massive tree growing over the city that only immortals can see?

The series is only 6 episodes long, the first three 46 minute episodes being on this first disc.  The story is intriguing, and you probably will have to watch it more than once to pick up all the detail and nuances of the plot.  Some things that may throw off certain viewers is the amount of blood and sex in this show.  Every episode on this disc has at least one cringe worthy tortuous event that happens to Rin, and also a degree of nudity and sex (mostly yuri) that some may find gratuitous.  This said I think the story is fascinating enough to keep people interested even if they have to avert their eyes during at certain scenes.

Funimation, as usual, did a great job with the DVD.  The animation and video quality are very clean, crisp and clear and the dub is also stellar.  Colleen Clinkenbeard is excellent as Rin, giving her the perfect voice full of mystery, strength, humor, fear and kindness depending on the situation she is facing.  Jamie Marchi also does an great job as the older than she looks Mimi.    Her character can switch from happy and bubbly to serious and analytical and she does both flawlessly.   The supporting cast including Todd Haberkorn as the mysterious and most definitely menacing Apos, and Robert McCollum as the confused possible clone Koki do equally impressive jobs.  Extras are sparse on this first disc, with only a commentary on episode two with the ADR director J. Michael Tatum and the main cast.  It’s a bit raunchy and fun to listen too, but I have to wonder if there are more exciting extras on the second disc of this set.

So if you are like me, and wonder where the old school style anime went, full of blood, sex and weird yet intriguing plot lines, look no further than Rin: Daughter of Mnemosyne.  You won’t be disappointed.

Story – 5   Visuals – 4  Dub – 4   Extras – 3
OVERALL – 4 out of 5

Rin: Daughter of Mnemosyne – Disc 1
Funimation
Released: May 18th, 2010
Episodes:  1- 3
Running Time:  2 hr. 30 min.

– DC

15 thoughts on “It Came From Netflix – Rin: Daughter of Mnemosyne – Disc 1”

  1. Mori, that is an interesting theory. It seems to me that maybe anime companies have been getting comfortable, doing the same things again and again. Are they afraid to try something new? Where is this generations Akira or Ghost in the Shell? Thinking about it, most of all classic anime broke exciting new territory, doing things and exploring stories that hadn’t been done before in animation. Ghost in the Shell defined cyberpunk. Shows like Cowboy Bebop, Outlaw Star, and Trigun created the space western genre. These were radical new ideas not seen before, and new things are naturally uncomfortable and intriguing. Now it seems it’s the same old thing every season, with few exceptions, but even those don’t hit that nerve the same way.

    I’m sure there is a rant/story to be written about that.

    And yes I agree Ray, the music is great. I can’t believe I forgot to mention it. *kicks self*

    1. What about DRRR? Urban Legend + realistic(?) city life being portrayed naked on the screen with many characters all whom are interesting and no fillers.

  2. @Mori / @Daniel: Uh, isn’t that how things NORMALLY work? I mean, in the history of creative activity, your “new, exciting” things are going to be the ones that take what’s come before and rearrange it in ways that make the Cultural Powers That Be quake in their boots and pine for the Good Old Days when Everything Was Better while the Young Cultural Avant-Garde celebrate it in Hedonistic Fits of Sticking It To The Man.

    I’m not going to argue that anime isn’t staid these days (because, well, it is) but I also don’t think the solution is to reinvent the wheel and return to what made anime OMG AWESOME in the 80s/90s, because that’s just creative stagnation of a different kind. They can look to the creative, can-do spirit of the 80s/90s as inspiration to be more radically unique, but it’s equally likely that whatever’s up next for the 00s/10s generation isn’t necessarily going to be most 80s/90s fans’ cup of tea.

    1. I totally agree with you. I wasn’t trying to imply that we should exactly go back to the way things were in the 80s and 90s, I was simply trying to compare that it seemed creators were more willing to take risks and think outside the box during that time. I think that is why the anime industry is hurting the way it is. I was also trying to to point out that this generation doesn’t have a signature anime you can really point to and say “That is what anime is” (The closest one that comes to mind is probably Haruhi Suzumiya) because so much of it is and same. Not to mention it is hard for anime to really stand out now, partly because western animation has borrowed so much in terms of style, tone and story.

      Thanks for commenting. :)

  3. Yes, this anime is totally weird. I really like the concept. 1.0 2.0 that kind of stuff. Too bad I’m a boy. I can’t be immortal. I wish I could be a girl, so I could be immortal, of course at the age of 17.

    Yeah, Evangelion was very weird. At first I didn’t understand, so I didn’t watch it. It was years later I started watching again, then I found it interesting.

    I love a school based pure romance with comedy touch anime. So maybe I’m looking for comfort instead of uncomfort. I’m a post Bubble (late 80s to early 90s) kid, so maybe I’m looking for therapeutic stuff. Are weird animes more popular than “comfortable” anime” in America?

  4. Anime, like anything else is much more exciting when it inspires new thoughts, feelings, questions, and arguments. If it chooses to remain safe, and do nothing to keep us guessing, it becomes nothing less than comfort food, which is unhealthy in large doses. That said, it depends on how the ideas come across in the finished work. If there isn’t a sliver of humanity to make it connect, it can be a slog (TeXhnolyze anyone?) So it must be done in equal measure.

  5. I don’t think 80s or 90s animes were better than today’s anime. Each genre got its own masterpiece. I would say there are too many masterpieces. We can’t single out the anime to represent our generation. Too many to choose. Not because there’s no masterpiece. We’ve entered the multi-dimensional, multi-cultural, the age of diversity. Just like the world entered it with the election of Barack Obama, which was very symbolic, a turning point for the world history, so today we can have multiple identities. We don’t need to have a ‘singular’ thing to represent all. I personally think Maria Sama Ga Miteru is a masterpiece of 00s. I never seen that kind of anime before, and it was just a shocking piece.

    I actually think today’s anime is a lot better. If you listen to seiyuu, for instance, original Gundam’s Mirai’s voice acting was terrible. Even the masterpiece like Gundam, seiyuu’s quality was bad compared to today’s awesome voice acting. Animation-wise, the movement was really weird, the drawing was very banal, so it takes an effort to watch, since it’s aesthetically unpleasant. Music was really bad, especially around the 80s, around the Bubble era, and the 80s fashion…just dumbfounding. Women’s sprayed bang was just horrendous.

    Thus, today’s anime is the best.

  6. ample amounts of blood and nudity

    All I needed to read, but thanks for the good writeup. I’m interested now.

    Does this compare to Elfen Lied at all (minus the S-F probably)? Because that’s still one of my top series of all time.

    1. I would say Rin: Daughter of Mnemosyne is a more “sexually charged” show than Elfen Lied when it comes to the nudity aspect. While Elfen Lied is, to the best of my recollection, much more bloody than Rin, I think Rin’s scenes are a bit more torturous. I’ve been told by a few people that some of the torture scenes were to much for them to watch.

  7. Hey guys, I guess I’m jumping into this thread late, but I thought it was pretty cool to see this write-up, because I recently saw Mnemosyne as well. And I also agree with everything you wrote. Weird as hell. But I pose a question. This is my favorite kind of anime…. what kind of person does that make me?!?! lawl

  8. Thanks for the review i was very hesitant of picking this anime, not anymore, i will purchase as soon as i have the funds, reminds me a little bit of berserk, claymore and elfen lied.
    For the other topic at hand i agree with you on the thinking outside the box, that this industry needs, but i think there is another aspect that comes into the picture as well, and is the creators efforts to do well told stories, not only anything seem before, but well told, consistent and coherent, for this generation i have examples for this, and maybe many people should not agree with me, but death note, Fullmetal alchemist (both),ghost hound, etc had achived this, and they are maybe not the most mind twisting never told stories, but they are very well executed, so i think is a combination of both.

  9. I haven’t really delved into weird anime yet. Although I did recently watch High School DxD which did seem a bit weird at times. I read a post earlier (here) which suggested fans of High School DxD may also like Rin – but I’m not sure if it’s a bit TOO weird for me. Do you think they’re similar enough that I may like it?

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