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Bean Bandit is known as the Roadbuster; he's one of the best driver/couriers in the business. He makes a living on the outside edge of the law, but he's one of the good guys down deep, a true antihero with a heart of gold. He and his business partner, Rally Vincent, unwittingly get involved with psychotic kidnapper Semmerling, who sets them up to take the rap when her victim is killed, but they fight their way out in a hail of bullets and a screech of brakes. The story ends with nobody the winner and few survivors, but the kidnapper is "retired," permanently, and Bean and Rally live to keep on hustling.

This is one of the most interesting and watchable of anime actioners-made with a real love of Hollywood chase movies including The Blues Brothers, Bullitt, and The French Connection. Watch, too, for Japanese references to such anime as Lupin III, especially in the cat-and-mouse relationship of cop and criminal. Some of the best car chases in anime are routed along the streets of Sonoda's beloved city of Chicago. Director Hasegawa also lets the darker side of Sonoda's manga show through the lighthearted take on an American genre; the violence and amorality of Semmerling's lifestyle are real and chilling, and her abusive, sadomasochistic relationship with an adoring child-slave is clearly spelled out without any need for sexual explicitness. Following the same studio disputes that truncated Bubblegum Crisis, ownership of the Riding Bean property became difficult to determine, and the franchise seemed finished. However, Sonoda recycled some of the characters and situations in his later Gunsmith Cats-a radically different Rally becomes a bounty hunter, the child-sex subplot returns in the form of her partner Minnie May, and Bean himself has many cameo roles in the manga, though he does not appear in the anime. LV

Characters & Voice Actors

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Semmerling ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Mami Koyama ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Irene Vincent ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Naoko Matsui ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Bean Bandit ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Hideyuki Tanaka ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)

Credits

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Tatsuyuki Tanaka Key Animator Animator and Illustrator
Kenichi Sonoda Writer

Original US Poster Art

General Information Edit
Name: Riding Bean
Release Date: Jan. 15, 1991
Name: ライディング・ビーン
Romaji: Raideingu Biin
Release Date: Feb. 22, 1989
Rating: R
Runtime: 45 (mins)
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