Sunday, August 17, 2014

Anime Review: Rideback

Did you expect me to write something witty or clever in this intro for my new review? Well the joke's on you because I'm never witty or clever, just long-winded and irritating. Yeah, nothing to report about my life, just that I'm still wishing I had more time to play games (I still need to beat Bravely Default) and I have increased the number of games that is sitting on my shelf untouched. Anyway, now it's time to review an anime about robot motorcycles and stupid evil world governments.

In the future cellphones get even smaller and more inconvenient.
Rin Ogata is the daughter of a world famous ballet dancer, and her future seemed set, following in her mother's footsteps. However, after a disastrous performance that left Rin with a broken ankle, her love of ballet has disappeared and Rin moved on. Years later, Rin entered college and discovered a unique club dedicated to Ridebacks, a personal vehicle that's a cross between a motorcycle and a bipedal robot. After discovering her natural talent for the machine, Rin joins the Rideback club combining her skills as a ballerina with her driving skills, making her a formidable rookie in the Rideback community. However, soon she is at the center of a terrorist plot to overthrow the world government and their plot to use Ridebacks as a military force.

I want to fly like an eagle..... AND FALL LIKE A ROCK!
Rideback is a series that I feel like it is just one huge missed opportunity. It had the makings of a better show, but went in the completely wrong direction. See the good things about the series was it's initial set up. We have a main character who has lost her dream, and then found a new way to realize that dream. As stupid as the Ridebacks are, they are at least presented in a way that makes them somewhat believable as a new vehicle and sport that is slowly catching on with the common people, and Rin's ability to pilot one is handled well without making her seem like the chosen one. And for the first few episodes we have this nice progression of a standard underdog sports series, as Rin slowly makes her way up the ladder in the Rideback community and perhaps live the dream she never had the chance before.

But then the series decided that a sports anime about recapturing lost dreams is too boring and instead we shift to a plot about an evil corrupt world government and their conspiracy to use Ridebacks as an unstoppable military force because.... Evil? Oh and there is a terrorist organization and Rin and her friends get all caught up in all this and all that stuff about racing and following a new dream that was build up in the first few episodes gets thrown completely out the window. The problem here is that a lot of this is not nearly as interesting and it gets kind of stupid after a while. The world government is so cartoonishly evil that they might as well be led by Dr. Von Kill-All and the terrorists don't get much more character than "This guy looks totally like Sephiroth." As cliche and overused as the sports angle was, it at least had heart to it. This doesn't, and it dominates the series after the 3rd or 4th episode.

Rideback had potential. It was fun and heartwarming for the first few episodes, but like Robotics;Notes it got swept up in an unnecessary government conspiracy plotline. And unlike Robotics;Notes, where you still had the fun "let's build a giant robot" plot throughout the series, Rideback completely drops it's initial themes and focuses solely on this dumb coup d'etat. It's not completely terrible, but it isn't as much fun as it really could have been if they just focused on the sports aspect. Limited Recommendation.

Until Next Time.

-Crescent, Rin.... That's a rape face you've got going on.

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