There are several examples of works of fiction that predict with an eerie accuracy what kind of technological advances the world will see in the future. A good example is the several books written by Jules Verne, on which he described submarines, helicopters, cars, the television and even the Internet, which is amazing considering he born and died in the 18th century. Movies these days seem to predict the emergence of holographic interfaces, nanotechnology and teleportation.
But if we consider RideBack’s view of the future, the next big thing will be two wheeled gas/electric hybrid vehicles that can change into bipedal forms, the perfect thing to allow girls wearing dresses to flash their panties when they ride it.
Damn, I love Japan’s visions on technology.
Let the Curtains Raise
We are introduced to the main character, Ogata Rin, when she’s abou to enter the stage of a ballet scene. While she flawlessly dances in front of the crowd, we are informed by her offscreen voice about the current world setting.
A world scale resistance group, the GGP, has managed to overthrow the superpower, achieving an historical victory. But most of the heroes involved in this war were erased from the records of those times. These are times of revolution, where the waves of revolt keep rising agaisnt the GGP and the militarist government. Not that Rin cares, because her worl is all about dancing and trying to achieve the same level as her mother, Ogata Yuki.
But suddenly during her perfomance, Rin tores a ligament, making her crash into the cold floor of the stage.
“RIDEBACK” by MELL
The opening song has a nice vibe with a style that reminisces from Euro Tech. Mell’s perfomance is quite good considering she only has 4 singles released.
Betting on a 3d animation Op is quite a gamble but thankfully this is MADHOUSE, not Gonzo, so the overall look actually matches in terms of textures and lightning (I still have nightmares with Dragonaut…).
But why the hell the OP’s called RIDEBACK? They’ve ran out of names so the have decided to name it the same as the anime?
A New Start
The anime jumps two years into the future; Ogata Rin and Uemara Shoko celebrate their entry into the theater department of Musashino University while watching the blossoming sakura trees. Strangely enough, the real life Musashino University doesn’t seem to have a theater department…
If you check closely, there’s a hanged sensei in the left corner.
The girls discuss a bit about their new dorms and the fact they are roommates. after this, the scenes skip from the welcoming speech of the university and again into their new dorm. While Shoko’s taking a shower, Rin is on the phone talking with her grandmother, Itou Miyuki. They speak about Rin’s brother, Kenji and if Rin has regretted quitting ballet, which she answered negatively.
Memories of the Past
While having lunch in the cafeteria with Shoko, Rin is approached by Uchida Suzuri, a 1st year arts student who is a fan of Rin and her mother. It’s at this time that we are revealed that Ogata Yuki has died in a earthquake six years ago. When some friends of the girls join the talk, Rin takes the chance to leave.
Is this a new way to say you are a lesbian?
Meanwhile, Shoko and Suzuri talk about Rin’s absence from ballet, which is explained by the injury she suffered while performing Regina. While some dancers recover, Rin’s goal was her mother, which is impossible now.
Red Iron Horse
It starts to rain, so Rin seeks shelter in a nearby warehouse. She notices a gorilla looking man leaving the warehouse doors mounting a stumpy humanoid robot with wheels on it’s feet. She takes the chance and peers inside the warehouse by sheer curiosity. It looks like a garage, filled with tools and gear. Going deeper into the garage, she notices a red version of the machine that Gorilla Man was riding. This one is slender and and looks more like a normal motorbike….that is, if motorbikes had robotic arms attached to the sides.
Meanwhile. Haruki Hishida enters. He looks like the typical otaku, with scruffy hair and glasses. He confuses Rin as a prospective new club member and introduces Rin to RideBacks (the humanoid vehicles she’s been seeing). He tries to convince Rin to experiment the new red RideBack. Since most of the operations are controlled by the internal computer, no special license is needed, although they are still not allowed into regular roads since there’s no legislation. They are described as a two wheeled humanoid vehicle which allows for traveling in 3 dimensions. There’s also a computerized wristwatch unit that auxiliates identification and control.
The model in front of Rin is a Teryan Kaduro manufactured mountain trail RB, Type L “Fuego”, a model that’s a bit rough but simple to ride. Since it’s still raining outside, she decides to test it and jumps on top of Fuego with a nice twirl of legs, flashing her panties momentarily to a stunned Hishida. He proceeds explaining Rin how to start Fuego and get it into Standing Form, similar like being on someone’s back. He also explains that Ridebacks can follow simple voice commands.
Since it has stopped raining, Hishida decides to teach Rin how to start the engine mode and take her outside for some testing. But the brakes seem not to be working and before she smashes into a wall, Rin speeds out to the right, out of Hishida’s range. Instead of being scared of driving a machine without brakes, she seems to enjoy herself on finding how to control Fuego using the balance of her body, even finding out how jump with it. Her driving is like a dance, obviously inspired in her expertise on ballet. But she starts to be in trouble when the RideBack changes into his motorbike form ( Spread Legs Form) due to the low height of the tunnel she passed by and she drives down some stairs.
This is why all girls should drive bikes while wearing skirts.
Hishida is right behind in his scooter and meets up with Tamayo Kataoka, a blond girl who’s also a member of the RideBack Club. They suspect that a cable on the control board has got loose, making the brakes inoperable.
Rin passes by the gorilla man (he’s named Tenshirou Okakura), which notices the distressed Rin and proceeds to chase her in his RideBack, SARU. While avoiding some obstacles, he detects the trouble on Fuego and fixes it, but they have entered into a overpass in construction. Okakura shouts Rin to hit the brakes but Rin instead makes a jump into the air, with a stunned Kataoka and Hishida watching her from the scooter.
I believe I can fly.
Ep 2 Preview
Well it seems that Rin hasn’t died from her daredevil flight and she’s racing against Kataoka. Hmm tight suits…..
“Kioku” by Younha feat. GOKU
It’s a nice mellow song that has a animation that actually doesn’t suck. What else can you wish for?
About the Manga
If you have read the manga, you will notice that there are differences as usual when you adapt it into an anime. Most of the times, when this happens, they tend to result in crap (Damn you Gonzo and Kurogane no Linebarrel.). Instead, the changes turned out to be a major improvement. For example, in the manga there is no chase scene, but a manifestation scene instead, which had less impact. Most of this episode was filled with content that wasn’t present or had lack of dynamism in the manga.
Oh, by the way, after a 7 month break…..I’m back.