Hein (fub) wrote,

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Finished series: Rideback

We've finished watching Rideback. My first episode review is here.

Rin is the daughter of a famous ballet dancer -- and she was pretty good herself too. Untill she falls down and hurts her tendons, which meant she would never be as good as she was. She stops dancing, and goes to college.
When she has to take shelter from the rain, she sees someone drive away on a motorcycle with arms -- a so-called Rideback. The Rideback is able to stand up and to use the arms to keep itself in balance. Rin is welcomed into the garage by a member of the Rideback Club, and when Rin gets on a runaway Rideback, she pulls off some moves that would be quite hard to do for a newby...
Rin's reflexes are so finely tuned that the machine picks up on it and amplifies or corrects her movements, which makes her a natural. She joins the Rideback club.

Meanwhile, the GGP ("Global Government Plan"), a fascist militaristic world government, sets up shop in Japan. Terrorists on Ridebacks execute some strikes at the GGP, and one of Rin's friends gets caught in the crossfire. Rin jumps on her Rideback and charges in to save her -- and with her superior command of the Rideback, she gets away with it too, even though the GGP is after them (assuming they're terrorists too).
Then Rin's brother gets in a lot of trouble -- all of it staged by someone with connection within the GGP. A band of rowdy Rideback riders are made the test subjects of a new GGP Rideback squad, who pull no punches and even kill a gang member who surrenders. Rin sees this, and she jumps on a Rideback to save her brother...
It starts to get worse from there. It turns out that the advisor of the Rideback club used to fight with the GGP, and there's not much friendship between him and the current GGP commander in Japan. In fact, he joins the terrorists (former comrades in arms) after saving Rin from the clutches of the GGP. People get killed by the GGP, they unleash their unmanned search-and-destroy Ridebacks, bullets fly everywhere...
It's all pretty depressing, really. Rin's involvement with the terrorists is all a big misunderstanding, but the GGP isn't really interested in facts. And then some reporters find something out about corruption in the top of the GGP, Rin destroys the search-and-destroy Ridebacks through with her ballet skills, and then everything is OK again, and everybody lives happily ever after (except of course for the GGP evildoers).

Visually, the series is quite nice. The Rideback CGI is very smooth, and the backgrounds and character movement are quite detailed and fluid. The character designs, however, aren't as detailed. And Rin seriously needs a bigger wardrobe, because all she really wears is her white summer dress... The voice acting is OK -- there's not much emotional depth to the characters anyway, so you can get away with a lot less dynamic vocals.

Good points:
- Pretty nice CGI -- I would want a Rideback too!
- Well-animated.
Bad points:
- Rather jumbled story;
- Not much character development.

Nice for what it is, but it's good it's only a single season: the storyline wouldn't have supported any more. I'll give it a 7.
Tags: anime, full review

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