Rideback is a 2009 anime based on a manga of the same name. The show was produced by Madhouse, one of the most well-known anime production companies, who also responsible for Princess Resurrection and Highschool of the Dead (among many, many others). FUNimation licensed and released it in 2011. At twelve episodes it’s another fairly short series but believe me, it felt a lot longer.
Full review after the jump.
[WARNING: There's at least one outstanding spoiler in this review, so proceed at your own risk.]
|Yeah...it turns out this isn't a racing show afterall|
On the technical side of things the anime looks pretty good. The animation is pretty smooth and the character designs are pretty unique. This show, way too many shows these days, mixes in some CG their cell animation; specifically with the ridebacks and some of the other military weapons. It technically works well enough but I’m not sure it ever truly looks all that good together.
|Black Swan: The Animated Series|
One stand out is Suzuri, Rin’s number one fan, not because she’s an interesting character but because she’s incredibly annoying. Spending all her time hero worshiping Rin, biting anyone she perceives as being disrespectful to Rin, and all around being a real jerk to the relatively innocent Rideback Club members I can say I spent a lot of time wishing someone would backhand here. [SPOILER ALERT] She dies near the climax of the show in a stupid and petty scenario and I’m pretty sure the show meant for me to feel both sad and outraged at her murder but when she went down my reaction was pretty much “Oh. Nice.” Not exactly me calling out for the perpetrator to pay for their crimes.
|I'd punch her in the face if she were real|
Speaking of the thriller stuff it’s really uninteresting. It’s nothing that Rin ever directly confronts; it’s not like she’s leading a rebellion against a corrupt government. It’s merely the atmosphere of the series. Plus the show doesn’t do a great job of explaining exactly what the problem was. The leader of the GCP stationed in Japan, Romanov, is clearly cartoonishly evil but that’s not his organization fault. Plus there’s no rhyme or reason to his brutality. It’s just there with no further explanation other than hes corrupt and likes to oppress people whenever he can.
This isn’t a bad anime, it’s just not one that I care to watch again. I certainly didn’t like it all that much but it’d be unfair to say a bunch of things about how bad it is, because it’s not. I liked the ridebacks themselves and I liked the way Rin used hers, but at the end of the day for all the good elements featured in the show few of them were used in the right order to actually attract my fancy. Whether it works for you is entirely up to you so if you find it convent check it out. It’s short so it shouldn’t take too long; just don’t speed through it twice.
|And, hey, if nothing else the show had a lot of cool shots like this|
-The rideback vehicles were cool
-Rin’s ability to ride them was equally interesting
-The main plot isn’t very interesting
-The show feels like it should be a completely different genre
-The cast is pretty unremarkable
I need more anime to watch. If you have any requests or suggestions of anime for me to review shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also you might as well follow me on Twitter too. @JasonBetaMagnus