Saturday, April 11, 2009

Rideback Review - 85/100

Concept: (9/10)
A second chance to have what we lost. Showing those we love that we can get back on our feet. Showing ourselves that we can both fight and accept the loss of what we’ve held dear. I like the philosophical questions addressed in Rideback. They’re very subtle; I don’t think every viewer would see them immediately. I appreciate the dose of Josei/Seinen it gave me. After tsundere twins, bouncing bosoms, pilot boys, magical girls, harems, it’s nice to get back to “reality.” The concept of using a machine to achieve a physical performance one’s body lost is not very original, but I think they played it well.
Writing: (8.5/10)
Everything was tied up in the end, except maybe, what happened to Okakura and Tamayo after everything ended. I was relieved no one died except Suzuri – I was afraid Okakura might die. Of course, that may have lent some more emotional impact to the finale. Don’t get me wrong, Rin’s final performance was great, but not heart rendering. I kept expecting a nice, big gutting finale and I don’t think I got it. Though, I am very grateful none of the characters got angsty.
Characters: (9/10)
There’s no way to hide that Rin was the favorite child of this story. And although I love Rin and think she’s a strong female lead, I found myself a little hungry for the other characters to get some development (except for Suzuri-san, the annoying one.) The relationships also got shafted. I would have liked to know more about Okakura and Tamayo’s relationship. Rin and Shouko’s friendship is the only one that I felt was solidly developed.
Animation/Art: (8.5/10)
I got tired of the CG – I think the animators should have done a better job of blending it in with the hand-drawn art. The non-CG animation was good, though the rest of the episodes never lived up to the beauty of the cherry blossoms and landscapes of the first couple episodes. The character designs deserve some praise – no two characters looked alike as in some anime. Of course, that’s really praise to Kasahara Tetsuro, the mangaka.
Voice Acting: (7/10)
I didn’t know any of the seiyuus before hand, but they did well.
Enjoyment: (9/10)
I’m not sure if Rideback could live up to my dreams – much like Library Wars. I enjoyed both. They offered adult mind candy. But they didn’t utilize all their good points. Nevertheless, it was a good ride. Now I want to read the manga; see if it’s any better or the same.
Content Warning:
There’s terrorist violence, a torture scene, depictions of war, and machine violence. We get a few glimpses of Rin’s panties when she’s riding Fuego.
Library Wars, Gunslinger Girls, Kino no Tabi, Magnetic Rose, Planetes, Kure-nai, Voices of a Distant Star

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