Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne originally hit Japanese airwaves in 2008, and earlier this year FUNimation brought the series to DVD here in the States. After checking the show out, I have to say that it simply blew me away. Rin was unlike anything else I had seen before, and it was one of the most adult series I've experienced. Full of borderline hentai ingredients and BDSM, Rin tells a captivating story with a dark atmosphere. In case you missed it the first time around in standard definition, FUNimation has gone back to remaster the series for a Blu-ray release.
Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne was produced by Xebec and Genco, and directed by Shigeru Ueda (Serial: Experiments Lain). The show is comprised of six 45-minute episodes
Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne takes place in a world where immortals live among us. Basically there's a big tree called Yggdrasil that is not visible to mere mortals. Every once in a while Yggdrasil releases spores called Time Fruits and when one enters your body you become immortal...if you're a woman, that is. If you're a man you do not become immortal and instead your lifespan is shortened by a substantial degree. In return for having only a couple weeks to live you also gain immense power and become a being known as an Angel. Immortals fear Angels because they are the one force on Earth that can kill them by devouring them bit by bit. Making matters worse is the fact that when an Angel is close an Immortal woman will succumb to intense arousal.
Caught at the epicenter in the world of Angels and Immortals is none other than Rin. She's gorgeous, well-endowed, and dangerous. She also happens to have been around for about a thousand years. The show explores her life and we experience most of what happens through her eyes. Rather than chronicle the years leading up to a certain point the series begins in the 90's and follows a timeline of events right on up through 2055. There are some flashbacks to various points in the past to help flesh out her character, but what's most fascinating is the here and now, and what's coming. You really get the sense that the story is leading you somewhere and the giant leaps in time only hammer that fact home.
Early on in the show Rin and her partner, Mimi, get involved in a case involving a young man, Kouki Maeno, who says he doesn't feel quite right. It's not that he's really sick, it's just a feeling that something is off. It turns out that he's a clone and eventually comes into the employ of Rin's detective agency. Through the years they remain friends and one of the most impactful things about their relationship is the fact that as he grows older, gets married, and has a kid, Rin stays as young looking as ever. The show leaps forward in years and you just know he's going to bite the dust. It's sad for sure, but the series plays with the memory of the character by keeping his bloodline connected to Rin. Right up until the end there's a Maeno helping her out and it has a strong feeling of fate attached to it.
The core story of Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne focuses largely on the world and on Rin, but also on the involvement of a being named Apos. This person plays a large role in the shape of things to come and the show builds towards an inevitable clash between the forces of the Immortals and Angels. While the plot is certainly a winner it's the character drama and atmosphere that are the most engaging.
We've already talked about the characters, but what about that mature bit I talked about earlier? Well, this is a dark show and there is a ton of violence. Most of this violence actually happens to Rin, since she can't die. In the opening moments of the show we see her body blasted to pieces by a shotgun and further into it she's pierced repeated by a sadist, sucked through the engine of a jet, shot in the head, and disemboweled by an explosion. Adding to this is the presence of bondage, nudity, sex, and all manner of kinky things. It's not exactly hentai, but Rin definitely tiptoes the line and may be a little extreme for some tastes.
Despite it's sometimes off-putting sadistic, sexual tone Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne is alone in the world of anime. There's something nothing else like it on the market and it is captivating from start to finish. I haven't felt this satisfied from a show in a very long time and it's easily on my list of top animes of all time. Highly, highly recommended!
Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne is presented on Blu-ray with a 1080p High Definition SD Remaster with AVC/MPEG-4 encoding. The show looks a bit better than the previous standard definition edition, though I must say it's not "perfect". The picture tends to be a little muted, there's some grain, and the image isn't as sharp as it could have been, but you can only do so much with an up-conversion. The fact remains that the picture is marginally better than the DVD with finer details and less compression. High definition or not, Rin is a show with an attractive look that will seduce you.
For this Blu-ray release FUNimation upped the ante a little bit and went with English 5.1 and Japanese 2.0 Dolby TrueHD tracks. The quality is on par with the presentation we saw on the DVD edition of this series, however, I'd say the sound is marginally better. The dialogue is clean, the effects are sharp, and all around there's a nice presence on the soundstage. The sense of immersion is solid as well for the English track, though it's not the most aggressive experience out there. Overall the audio is better than the DVD, though again it's not a night and day kind of difference.
All the same bonus features from the DVD release are included here. That means you'll find clean animations, trailers, promotional videos, some interviews with the Japanese cast, and an audio commentary.
I was infatuated with Rin when it first hit our shores, and right away I anticipated a Blu-ray release. While the quality of the show is every bit as awesome as it was before, the improved A/V quality is appreciated, though not quite as profound as we were hoping for. It's still better on both fronts though, and if you haven't picked this show up yet I'd say the Blu-ray edition is the version to get. It's not exactly worth upgrading, however, so if you already have the DVD set in your collection, you're probably okay with that one. No matter how you slice it this Blu-ray set is highly recommended.
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