First Date: Rideback

Topic started by gia on Jan. 13, 2009. Last post by jlrm01 6 years, 2 months ago.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13
Title: Rideback

Studio: Madhouse

Genre: Sci-Fi/Drama?

Ratings (of 5)

Story: ♥♥♥

Animation: ♥♥♥♥½

Characters: ♥♥♥

OP/ED Themes: ♥♥♥



In a future where the world has been taken over by a mysterious power called the GGP, a young girl named Rin Ogata-- daughter of a famous ballerina –falls during her own dance and, unhappy with herself, quits ballet. Since dance was her life, Rin finds herself lost and simply attends college with her best friend Shouko.

One day she finds herselfin a warehouse where she finds the RideBack Club, where she first finds a rideback: a sort of motorcycle/mech combination. In its regular form it looks like a motorcycle with two arms attached; the wheels can also come back up and form a couple of “legs” to give it a more mech-like appearance. She gets up on the thing to take a look per the instructions of a club member, but finds herself unable to stop the machine, going on a wild ride through the college campus. She even figures out how to make the machine dance...unintentionally.

As expected from Madhouse, the show is beautifully animated. I do notice a pretty significant disparity between the design of the machines and the design of the people...the former is super-detailed, and the latter is very simplistic, maybe even dull; I can't say I really liked the juxtaposition. But of course, it's just Madhouse's interpretation of the art in Tetsurou Kasahara's manga, so take it as you will.

I'm interested in seeing how the story develops, specifically as it relates to the world setting...Rin is kind of interesting, but based only on the first episode, it's impossible to tell if this is going to develop into an overarching story or some kind of unusual series of vignettes. (Of course, if you really want to know, you can look up more info on the manga, but this is supposed to be based only on what's available in the anime's first ep, right?) This makes it really hard to compare it to other series; thus far my first instinct is to say it's a bit like Kurogane Communication's early episodes, which were strong on mood and character development but light on story...

The OP and ED themes were both really nice, I thought, and Nana Mizuki does a great job with Rin so far...although the shy, contemplative Rin we see in the episode is pretty different from the badass one we see in the OP sequence. I didn't particularly notice the soundtrack, so I'm comfy saying that it's appropriate but not amazing. I do want to say that Madhouse did an amazing job of animating Rin dancing in the beginning-- theyclearly did their homework on ballet movements, and while dancing in anime often can seem stiff and awkward, it flows smoothly and beautifully here.

So, yes, I'm probably going to follow this one. I'd say watch the first ep for the production values, and stay with it if the story and characters interest you enough.

Post by omo (113 posts) See mini bio Level 2
The design difference between character and mecha seems to be in line with how anime studios lately decided to incorporate full 3d elements with 2d character animation. It's like the only difference is that on big budget shows, they can afford more character animation than shows that have less, and amount of detail on character art throttles up and down depending on the amount of character animation in those scenes.

I guess it's just something we have to live with.
Post by Agent_Lost (1,124 posts) See mini bio Level 10
is it just me or I'm getting a Initial D vibe from the op, I don't know if it the song or the fact that there using CG for the bike.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13
omo: I dunno, it feels like more than just 3D vs 2D kind of stuff-- it has to do with the design as well. To clarify with a's a little like having a completely realistic background painting and then have a stick figure in the foreground. Obviously that's a much more vast difference than what I'm seeing in this anime, but that's still the kind of difference it feels like.

Does that make sense? I dunno, it kind of feels like the mech designer/animators and the character designer/animators haven't consulted one another at all. The two kinds of designs just don't mesh together very well, IMO.
Post by Ping5000 (2 posts) See mini bio Level 1
Madhouse always makes things move all smooth-like.
Post by jlrm01 (198 posts) See mini bio Level 7
I watched the first episode yesterday. I wasn't liking it much (particularly the ballet scenes)... but everything after she found the RideBack was kind of cool (loved hearing the protagonist's VA saying some words in Spanish (or at least I think it was), like "Fuego"). So, I guess I'll watch some more. I like the character designs (well, Rin in particular), but mostly because they look kind of different to me, somehow.
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