The year is 2050. A young engineer named Derrida Yvain became famous thanks to his contribution to the development of the "Autonomous Machine DZ" at Rebuild, the manufacturing company founded by his father. One day, Derrida and his colleague Nathan discover a flaw in the DZs and try to warn their boss, but are ignored. Although Derrida and Nathan are aware of the danger, they reluctantly decide to put off taking any measures, and instead go to Nathan's daughter Mage's birthday party. The next day, after enjoying a peaceful day, Derrida and Nathan are suddenly attacked by unknown forces. At the end of the escape, Derrida falls into a cold sleep machine and 10 years later, he wakes up to a devastated world in the middle of a war. While Derrida is attacked by a group of out of control DZs, he almost gives up, but he recalls Nathan's last words.
"Take care of Mage."
Despite the harsh fate that has fallen upon him, Derrida sets off to seek Mage.
Not to say that I cannot understand the appeal of this show at all or what it might have been trying to say. Rather, I have barely any grasp on how this series has turned out the way it has. Initially, this show was dubbed by publishing company Kadokawa Shotan as ‘Project D’, an original series centred around time travel. The premise is honestly nothing new as time travel appears a dime a dozen in many anime nowadays. However most of the excitement RErideD was receiving stemmed from the announced staff, specifically Takuya Satou the chief director of Steins;Gate, alongside acclaimed
character designer Yoshitoshi Abe. These two are known for bringing their own unique style and unconventional aesthetic to many of their works, and while RErideD is certainly a perplexing show as one would expect, I do not mean that as a positive. Because if one were to watch this show with no knowledge of the crew behind it, neither person’s name would come to mind as RErideD appears more middling that any of their previous work suggests in practically every way.
RErideD is set in the near future where artificial intelligence has recently brought forth advancements in society’s living standards. Derrida, one of the engineers behind their creation has discovered a flaw in their programming that his co-worker says could prove fatal if not addressed quickly. After being ignored and reluctantly putting off any further action until later, they are attacked by his own company that results in Derrida being frozen for 10 years, emerging in a world devastated by the technology he helped create. On top of this, the update needed to repair the robots was given to his co-worker’s daughter Mage who’s now missing, leading Derrida on a quest to find her and the device before all hope is lost.
Now, whatever hopes you have for this series based on my general description of the synopsis I want you to cast as far from your mind as possible, because the potential this story had gets crapped on and then some. The entire progression of this narrative is constantly dependent of contrivances, to the point where it no longer seems like a show you can trust on its internal logic to hold up. Time travel stories are often some of the most prone to these plot devices, but the fact that this series manages to fall back on the power of convenience so often without even having involved the concept of time travel for majority of the show is frustrating to say the least. Even the plot progression through Episode 1 just to reach the premise circumstances alone should give enough red flags to warrant concern:
- Derrida decides to leave the upgrade that would end up saving the world to his friend’s 8-year old daughter despite standing just outside of their house. Why? To move the story forward.
- When Derrida is attacked by his assailants, they shoot at their car till it explodes instead of just shooting at the guy. Why? To keep the story moving.
- After stumbling into an underground laboratory, Derrida manages to lock himself inside a cryostasis chamber so that 10 years pass by without him knowing. Do I even need to ask why?
The series only continues with this train of thought while, ironically, lacking such. Now awoken to a war-torn environment he meets Vidaux and Mayuka who offer to help him under the pretence that he will pay for their services. However, the pair soon find out that Derrida is promising their pay based on finding the upgrade he gave to Mage 10 years prior. Derrida does not have anything concrete to offer which makes their choice in continuing to help very odd and frankly unrealistic considering how the world has gone to shambles and helping Derrida this way would most likely result in the party wasting resources and money of their own. On top of that, Vidaux is constantly putting his daughter further in danger from protecting Derrida from everyone wanting to kill him. It’s choices like this that go against the setting and character motivations depicted, and even when/if an explanation is brought to light episodes later, more often than not we’re provided more questions than answers, a cardinal fault of the series. There are many examples throughout the show that similarly plague the plot, even sometimes going as far as breaking the laws of physics; from a character dodging every bullet her way in real time to a grenade going off in the same room as a little girl, only for her to come out of it hanging from the window with no injuries. If you were hoping for a serious, grounded series in RErideD then I think you might have put misguided trust in the wrong show.
It’s kind of remarkable for how many questionable choices and events take place in RErideD, at the end of the day it all comes across uneventful and as if you could care less about what ends up happening to the characters. Part of this falls back on the cast who all fail to properly leave an impact on the viewer. Fact: apart from Derrida I had to check MAL for what the character names were. Of course, the main character has purpose pushed onto him thanks to the plot, but is there anything else we really know about Derrida? Perhaps more importantly, is there anything particularly memorable about Derrida? Most of the other characters also lack in personality and depth, some even acting as a burden to where I was contemplating what purpose do these characters serve if they are constantly shown. The antagonists were also lacking in these aspects also, with the main villain appearing more like a poor man’s caricature of Donald Trump than anyone remotely interesting. There were obviously glimmers of hope throughout, like the hired assassin who appeared to have intriguing motives behind her actions, until her backstory was revealed just before she no longer served any purpose to the story. Revealing important aspects of characterization in the narrative whenever convenient is a very common theme with this series.
RErideD is a hard show to pin down when trying to understand what it wants to be. Looking at the genres it belongs to: action, sci-fi, drama. And yet, RErideD constantly diverges from each of these categories assigned to it. Is there action present in this anime? Yes. But those scenes are few and far between the countless amount of exposition and dialogue viewers are subjected to that make the series less and less enjoyable. One would also think the action scenes would at least deliver for the 1 minute each episode they are shown. Shockingly these are the moments where the series is at its worst visually; poor CGI, significant drop in frame-rate, awkward character physics resulting in laughably dull moments. Yes, “laughably dull”. RErideD tries to come off as a serious science fiction anime, yet the way time travel is executed makes the series feel more supernatural – I’m no scientist, but I would imagine it’s extremely difficult to explain how an astral projection can help Derrida to time-leap by ‘thinking really hard about an intensive memory.’ The fact that time travel for most of the series had turned out inconsequential is also confounding to say the least. All that is left is a drama, one that leaves much to be desired on the emotion end as it regularly treads across separate genres, failing to establish a distinct identity for itself. Well, aside from being a bloated mess of an anime.
Disappointment is the best word I would use to describe this show, most notably regarding its production. Never is the series able to alleviate the overall visual blandness it has; never outright ugly or repulsive, just simply mediocre, run-of-the-mill art design lacking any visual flare. A muddy, insipid colour palette that does little to garner one’s attention, and typical uninspiring character designs that even look off-model in several stills. The art is plain, flavourless and comparing it to the almost avant-garde styles of their past work, feels like an antithesis to the aesthetics of Takuya Satou and Yoshitoshi Abe. I have to question the budget that went into RErideD, seeing as the action present here looks significantly worse than the typical exposition scene. The score is also unimpressive, merely passable OSTs and voice acting that leaves a lot to be desired. It’s honestly a shame that as I stated before: RErideD is an original work that turned out middling in practically every way. I can’t even say I’m mad or frustrated at it, just disappointment.
And so, what we are left with is a series that disappoints from the very start and never rises anywhere close to the expectations seasoned anime fans hoped to see from it. It lacked logic, coherence and any convincing characters to be excited for after the first couple episodes. If you weren’t left scratching your head in confusion, you were probably already busy rolling your eyes at the sheer number of illogical happenings unfolding in front of you. Maybe this could have been good. Maybe if there were a few significant changes made at the start, maybe a better script behind it, maybe a clearer vision of what RErideD should have been. Unfortunately, despite what the show would like to believe, time-leaps aren’t possible in this world line. And even if they were, I highly doubt anyone would waste 10 years in a cryostasis chamber to do it.
Over a year ago, I came upon a curious trailer that was shown from Anime Expo 2017. Originally, it was a cryptic project going by the codename “Project D’. What got me curious were the two staff that were announced at the time. First, there was director Takuya Satou who previously worked on Steins;Gate. Then, there’s Yoshitoshi Abe who designed the characters for the infamous Serial Experiment Lain. Flash forward a year later and we got much more in-depth information including the plot, more staff, and the cast. What RErideD actually ended up being though is far from an intriguing sci-fi thriller. To even use
word ‘intriguing’ to describe this show is an insult to science fiction itself.
Initially, it felt like the show had some innate potential. The idea of a science fiction thriller mixed with adventure themes easily takes my attention in. Furthermore, we got a bit of mystery content about this girl named “Mage”. The first few episodes sets up the main plot as Derrida is thrown into a labyrinth of conflicts. Not only does he get thrown into a post-apocalyptic world in the future but he also has to take care of Mage. The main issue also stands as we don’t know much about Mage at all. In fact, I’d say the creators’ attempt to make Mage a relevant character degenerated from the start. She feels less and less prominent with each episode and by the half way point, I almost forget the character exists.
At somewhere after watching half the show, I also noticed the strange pacing of the series. It continuously jumps between themes to the point that it sometimes feels like a thriller, sometimes like a mystery, sometimes like a science fiction, and sometimes like a survival adventure. Because let’s face it, Derrida’s life is always in constant jeopardy and he has few allies to rely on. The people he encounters hardly trusts him in the beginning such as Yuri or Vidaux. It’s not until they risk their lives for each other that they develop a growing trust. The show occasionally dedicates screen time to grow these supporting characters although most of is easily forgettable in one way or another. The only person from the group that I find relevant is Vidaux as he plays key roles in their survival.
An anime like this can’t be complete without antagonists, right? The rogue gallery honestly looks pretty blend with the legion of robots and automata. However, there’s one name I can recall often and that person is Donna. From the start, she plays an assassin-like role and attempts at every chance to kill Derrida. In later episodes, we find out about her past and real motivations. But honestly, Donna is no more than an antagonist built with flaws. The way they reveal about her character didn’t make me care about her to begin with. Honestly, does anyone give a damn about Donna? To make matter worse, it took an entire episode to reveal her origins. The show already suffered pacing issues from the beginning and it didn’t do justice at all to concentrate so much on an uninspiring character.
For what potential it had, the show also has time travel. You’re probably wondering if this contains a similar style of storytelling to Steins;Gate. Considering that Takuya Satou directed both shows, that thought also came to my head more than once. However, this anime is nothing like Steins;Gate and I don’t mean that in a good way. It’s more of a tragic way that you shouldn’t feel sorry for. The story suffers from a lack of care with its character cast in particular for Mage. It’s void of any humorous content and instead tries to make the story as moody as possible. I also confess that the emotional value the show sells is incredibly underwhelming. This failure results from the consequence of its character chemistry. There’s hardly any that exists and most of it is overshadowed by the show constantly trying to appeal to its sci-fi thriller plot. And that’s a major slap in the face.
By technical standards, REride doesn’t house a name that makes people curious. Before this show aired, I had no idea that GEEKTOYS was producing it. I literally had to look it up since its animation quality and character designs didn’t remind of any other similar shows. It’s a good thing White Fox didn’t contribute into this show though. Because honestly, this anime looks plain average at best. Character designs looks one dimensional without anyone standing out from each other. Most of the characters’ expressions also reminds me how each lack personalities. I’m not going to lie, it’s really hard for me to tell what kind of person Derrida really is. By the end of the show, I still have no word to best describe him.
This year honestly had a lot of shows with sci-fi themes. Original science fiction series even took a step forward such as the extremely entertaining Planet With. Other established names like Steins;Gate 0 got attention for the good and bad reasons. What about RErideD? To be honest, it doesn’t even deserve to be on the list.
2018's dullest trainwreck has come to an end, and boy it was a complete waste of time. RErideD: Tokigoe no Diarrhea... I mean... Derrida was a complete mess from start to finish. So what did this show do to be so bad you might ask?
Short Answer: Everything
This anime has by far, one of the most stupid and convenient first episode I have ever seen. It starts out with Derrida Yvain, who is a scientist on the Artificial Intelligence Area. He alongside his team developed a robot called DZ which could be a revolution to the world, similar to that movie of Will Smith called
"I, Robot", but things end up way worse. It didn't last long for the anime to show us the first cliché and one of the most retarded events, the DZ robots had a "Failure" in their systems that would cause them to go berserk. Yet, Derrida alongside his best friend asked their boss in order to apply a patch they created in order to "Fix" that "issue", but the boss didn't approve it because fuck it. And Derrida, instead of trying to apply the patch by force (which is the exact same thing Derrida is asked to do at the very end... smfh) he went to a PARTY, the PARTY of his best friend's daughter called Mage. Later on, after a lot of vague exposition about time travel (Yes, there is time travel on this anime), Donald Trump calls his team of storm troopers to kill Derrida and his Friend on an Ambush. And here is where the most stupid succession of convenient events starts: Derrida falls off a cliff in order to fall off something that leads him to a weird facility no one has ever seen before, Then, Derrida "accidentally" stumbles on a Cryostasis machine, "accidentally" lying down on it, "accidentally" activating it where he ends up sleeping for 10 years, just to wake up and witness how the world has come to an "Post apocalyptic" scenery thanks to the DZ "Failure".
After this first episode I really had a bad feeling and the red flags dancing around my mind warned me from continuing, I was about to drop it, but at that time, 4 episodes were released in one day, so I decided to give it the "3 episodes law" and watched the entire first 4 episodes. I'm not gonna lie, the anime was looking better and I thought that it could get better and better after having a terrible first episode. Boy I was wrong. I don't know what the director of this series had in mind, but dear God, everything went to hell once they started focusing on "time rides", You see the "Sci-fi" tag on this anime? This anime is an insult to the Sci-fi genre. For being settled at 2060, this anime barely shows any new technology, everything looks outdated and if there's something "new" its the most useless thing you can think of. The only thing that I can consider appropriate for the year they are in, is the battle car Vidaux uses to travel, and yet, the anime stills falls short on that matter. Then, there's the issues of said "Time Ride" which is, the most inconvenient convenient power in this anime, its barely scientific, its just plain bullshit with several restrictions that are told after the damage has been done. In this anime, Derrida can "Time Ride" to a memory of the past, and send his consciousness to that memory so he can change "something" (In the end this ends up being a BIG plothole because the last episode came up with the most retarded revelation), but this "Time Ride" is so freaking awful that he can't do any shit because it doesn't last for that much, also its inconveniently convenient that he can't go back to a memory he has already modified, meaning that if he fucks up, he fucks up and there's no point of return. This anime trashes every logic possible and acts solely for the purpose of conveniences, there is no logic, Philosophy, nor science involved. Lets not forget that the robots are left forgotten for about half the show until the writer remembers them and adds them back.
Characters on this anime are atrocious, useless and are there just for the sake of filling, the only important characters on this anime are Derrida and Mage. Mage is the daughter of Derrida's best friend who disappears entirely off the show to add a sense of mystery regarding the DZ Robots and "Time Ride", but that just backfires as the show is focusing on nothing but atrocious exposition about how is possible to "Time Ride". The rest of the time, the dialogue is spent in dull interactions between Vidaux (Who is a mercenary who asks for big sums of money but forgets about this and tags along because reasons), Vidaux's Daughter (An anime always needs a Loli because why fucking not) and Yuri (Mage's best friend) who is now grown up and teams up Derrida just to be a good for nothing (Or you can consider her a "checkpoint" to know what things had changed thanks to Derrida's "Time Rides"). The rest of the cast is just plain dull and serves no purpose. This anime also wastes an ENTIRE episode to tell us the backstory of a character NO ONE EVER CARED ABOUT, just to kill her off in the next episode in the most dull confrontation against Derrida.
What's up with the sounds effects? The sounds coming from the guns doesn't match what they are using, it looks like very old weapons, yet sounds like a bass fart and it fires some sort of "lasers". The opening is Atrocious and cause ear bleeding, the OST is off most of times and there is nothing valuable from the art department, animation is just... there I guess.
I would really like to talk more about this shit but I guess I have said more than enough, don't even bother watching this, spend your time watching something better.
So...the first Fall 2018 seasonal series to end significantly early...so what are we left with?
With big names such as Steins;Gate director Takuya Satou and Serial Experiments Lain, Texhnolyze, Haibane Renmei character designer Yoshitoshi ABe, you would expect them to do the same formulas that they are well-known for...right? Unfortunately, RErideD is not a series that justifies the expectations that we were RErideD with, and all that is about to be revealed. And if you thought that this is good for even a single moment, I don't blame you, but please reason yourself.
See that insanely long synopsis on MAL? That's just the basis of how RErideD
starts, and interestingly but (obviously) baffingly falls apart towards the end.; Nothing is coherent in this staged timeline of events that just happens for some random reason that I can (or actually can't) discern. Now, I get it that since it has Takuya Satou's now famous sci-fi time-changing mechanic, but to be honest, you are better off watching Steins;Gate than this bullcrap fest. Gliding along in this time lapse, is the fact that action-intensified tension doesn't seem to exist. If it really did happen (sic), it would feel indifferent, and raises alot more questions than answers with progression. Maybe Satou-sensei's idea was that beyond this horribly written story, we would sympathize with him. I'm sorry but nope, we're not gonna buy your plea.
I had much faith in ABe-sensei to produce good character designs, but once the PV and images came out before the anime started, it drabs mediocrity. Nevertheless, I was hoping the anime would do both sources justice, and...it was pretty much what I've got. Now don't get me wrong, the character designs were leagues way down what ABe was confident of, that was somewhat decent, but it's the personalities of the characters that makes this series a drag to watch.
And we start off with the MC behind it all: Derrida Yvain. Despite his technological superiority that is inhabited with his father's idea of robots taking over humanity for the good (along with his colleague Nathan Bilstein), all I saw was a MC who just literally follows the motion between events, whether he was pursued by enemies of trying to understand the vague reasons for Mage (that 8 year old girl that was Nathan's daughter, turned 18 year old who holds the key to everything) trying to follow his footsteps, and showing emotions that just reflect that of typical daily life humans. Yuri, the girl with Mage, before everything went busted, she really seems like the kind of needy girl, who like Derrida, is also trying to find information about Mage's whereabouts after she had part from Yuri some months before. Both were a pain to watch and the mediocrity sinks in when the story goes deep. (Spoiler warning) The equations gets worse then both of them finally catches up with Mage, only to leave more things unanswered on the plate than clearing up the mess.
The good part (at least for me) were the stories of Vidaux and Mayuka, the atypical lost child hidden in the clutters, and then found by some random stranger. Vidaux was bad-ass (along with the Knight Rider-esque AI car Graham), a fearless warrior who is like any other competent soldier of his time, saving Derrida's ass (if there's any worth in compensation), and Mayuka in helping Vidaux regain his composure, as if they were family. Honestly, if there was one thing that this anime can be dived upon is more of both of them.
The other characters (Andrei, Schmidt and Donna/Angelica) felt somewhat of a wasteland, a way to move the plot with significance behind the reasons why they act this way (well, a yes for Donna/Angelica, but barely). Worse still, the series doesn't really try to explain why they act this way, but moves us deep with the plot before we have any chance to understand. Bad move.
Art and animation:
More than just a new studio, the first production for Geektoys, the whole series fleshed out as a passion project, an original one at that. But after watching the much abhorred CGI and the less-than-stellar art and animation, this is pretty much a BIG FAT F (for fail) when production is so highly contested for original work. And what's better is that for veterans like P.A. Works, yes they had their share of failures (I'm looking at you Glasslip), but when they succeed with it (just look at Irozuku this season), this ain't a contested competition, but more of a comparison complexity.
So, along with bad character design comes production so woefully underwhelming, but only to the point where it is barely watchable.
This is the ONLY area where the anime excels at, or rather the OP itself. If you know QUADRANGLE from Joker Game (their OP is awesome), expect the same quality of music they have here. With a dope-ass OP, I have to say that this has been one of my favourites for the Fall season. The ED is pretty much a winding-down of events, but it is by no means bad. The action-packed OST is really just a meh fest. Nothing truly ever is exciting, if going by feels. Regardless, the decent area of the bunch.
All in all, RErideD was somewhat of a work that promises much, but bares very little to the recognition of famous people's works past and honestly doesn't deserve the placement that it does. Is it any good? No. But is it watchable? Only if you feel like you have nothing to watch, and get ready to face the ridiculous levels of mediocrity you have ever watched in your life. And get this: this is bad Sci-fi.
Oh well, that's one important marketing plea to understand and note: Don't plaster big names and deliver a sub-par show, it just destroys the fanbase of popular people and their reputation even further. Regardless, it's an immense failure of a high-profile project, through-and through.