Anime Vice News

RAIL WARS! #1 -- Special Review

Is this the little anime that could or does it never really leave the station?

This is Naota. He likes trains and the prospect of a job that can never possibly fire him.
This is Naota. He likes trains and the prospect of a job that can never possibly fire him.

We’re sampling the summer season’s selection! Check out our other pilot write-ups:

On a lark, I was showing a list of this summer’s pilots to a friend of mine who has really only ever seen one show: BAKA AND TEST (don’t ask). I determined that he would pick the first one I would review from the stack. In hindsight, this is not the best method because of course he’s going to pick RAIL WARS! because c’mon – it’s called RAIL WARS!

Please note that the exclamation point is part of the title. I am in no way attempting to convey any sort of enthusiasm for this show.

This show begins by telling us that our main character can’t wait to enter Japan National Railways Company Academy because the JNR has the highest job security of any company around, combining the timeliness of trains with the steady paycheck of a government job. He’s a real firecracker! Then he meets this chick who can run up trees and has huge boobs, followed by another girl who has even bigger boobs – and he even sees her panties! Then he gets to the academy and meets his instructor (who also has big boobs) and then they take tests about trains!

Eventually they chase down a pair of purse-snatchers (with the help of their thorough knowledge of trains and train schedules), but thankfully things quickly get back to the trains.

Here are the other characters. They like trains too, presumably.
Here are the other characters. They like trains too, presumably.

So, yeah, this show is for otaku who love trains. I get that. And I understand that there’s a culture of “trainspotting” that has roots in several countries all around the world, so I’m certain there are people who would enjoy this sort of program. And sure enough in this first episode we see slumber car trains and electric line testing trains and even a steam-powered train.

You’d expect, then, that these trains would all be lovingly rendered and showcased. I’m happy to inform you that you’ll be disappointed in this regard as well! Usually the trains are so big you can’t actually fit them on the screen, so no detail shines through. What’s worse is that sometimes they’re not even fully rendered when zoomed out!

There was a time when I was watching the intro of this show that I thought things might take a turn for the bizarre, and the students of the train academy would have to defend the trains from attacks of ninjas or something and have train-based powers. You know – actual wars on the rails. I’d totally watch that show! But RAIL WARS! is what we got instead.

I’d rather take the bus.

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About the Author

Matt Murphy is a freelance nerd who has contributed to many nerd websites. You can reach him by going to where the light meets the shadow, by sending out zeta-brainwaves or by following him on Twitter @Murphix.

zaldaron July 16, 2014 at 8:55 a.m.

ROFLMAO Very good Mat. Bakka no Test actually was somewhat entertaining in a bizarre bizarre way. Being more of a capitalist the whole judging people by ability is bad note got sour for me quickly but still fun. This though.....why did you put yourself through this?? Entertaining review though, and you know I think I might watch a show where they had train based powers too, lets see one power could be making steam clouds...another coating enemies with coal ash (my one experience riding a coal train I understood where freshening up from traveling came from).....hmm another making sure all the other heroes arrived on time? Hmmm...maybe train based powers are not a good idea after all.

Fun Game - come up with cool train based powers - GO!

metalsnakezeroon July 16, 2014 at 12:36 p.m.

Yeah this show is nothing up boobs and skin while trying to be about train security? These type of shows are starting to run thin with their themes.

sickVisionz moderator on July 16, 2014 at 2:28 p.m.

I was hoping this might be something like /library-wars/11-2529/. I guess not.

Murphix staff on July 17, 2014 at 10:28 a.m.

@sickVisionz: I have got to check that series out!

sickVisionz moderator on July 17, 2014 at 6:51 p.m.

@Murphix: Library Wars is probably a better series in every aspect on top of literally being about Library Wars were people employed by the library are armed with assault rifles and riot gear.

Completely off-topic but if you're into seeing something about /the-book-of-bantorra/11-5495/people in everyday jobs that have somehow gone horribly awry, Book of Bantorra has an interesting take on what it means to be a librarian

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