appearing in manga magazine Gekken Ikki back in 2003,
is the story of a young ballet dancer named Rin Ogata. When Rin
seriously injures her leg during a performance, she starts to lose her
way in life- that is, until she discovers the thrill of piloting a
Rideback. After a chance encounter with a local club who operate these
robot-motorcycle hybrids, Rin instantly bonds with one in particular-
in Spanish. It all starts out innocently enough- Rin takes part in a few
races, and does well thanks to her ballet-trained agility and reflexes.
But she is soon caught up in events bigger than herself, when terrorists
attack the city and she is mistaken for one of them.
lots of big things going on in this series: theres
an oppressive world-wide government, who are trying to sink their claws
into Japan. There are political tensions, attacks, protest
demonstrations and bombings. But to be perfectly honest, that side of
the story didnt
really interest me. I was more interested in Rins
personal journey, and her search for an identity. Her character has
spades of charm right from the beginning, when we are introduced to her
on stage. She has her own simple yet stirring soundtrack, which
re-occurs in more dramatic forms throughout the series. As a character
she is imperfect, often lacking confidence and holding her head down.
drawn in a simple, yet beautiful way, constantly wearing a white dress,
with stray strands of hair sticking up. You cant
help but like her.
mention needs to go to the design of the ridebacks themselves, which are
awesome to look at. They are all built on the same design template, but
each one has its own style details in terms of headlights and cowling,
even engine sound.
flaws which come to mind are in regards to the plot. While the
over-arching story is good and has a satisfying conclusion, there are
some little issues in terms of continuity that sometimes get in the way
of the experience. As an example, Rins
brother Kenji is locked away during one episode. The last shot of him
you see is when he is taken away, presumably to some dire fate, but it
never comes up again during the series. And when terrorist leader Keifer,
locked in mortal battle with a GGP (government) soldier, gets the upper
hand, the scene cuts away. You assume from that vision the GGP man would
have died, yet he turns up safe and sound later on.
setup will get a decent workout here, with plenty of bass provided by
explosions, gunfire and the roar of the ridebacks themselves. The
visuals are a mix of hand-drawn animation and CGI (which is mostly used
for the ridebacks and water effects.)
standard with most anime releases, you get the opening and closing title
songs, as well as trailers. Commentary is also provided for two of the
features some great presentation, likeable characters and a large
helping of action. Its a charming twist on the mecha genre.