Rideback tells the story of Ogata Rin, a ballet prodigy who, due to an injury, was forced to stop practicing ballet. Rideback also tells an alternate future story about a world government, the GGP, against the terrorist group BMA. These two seemingly unrelated plotlines come together and quite possibly make Rideback one of the best show to come out of the Winter 2008 anime season.
The first thing that caught my eye when I saw Rideback was the quality of the animation. The CG work in this show is amazing. From the very first episode to the very last episode, the Ridebacks were given extremely fluid
animation and modeling, almost to the point of realism. I found it very neat to not have to suspend my disbelief too much at the Ridebacks, since they were animated so well. The character designs and movement were also done quite nicely, and having the show air in HD helped a lot. Madhouse did a fantastic job of creating a living, breathing, alternate universe Tokyo in the year 2020.
The second thing that caught my eye, or in this case, my ears, were the sound and the music. Music composer Takafumi Wada went all out, mixing techno, classical, and heart-thumping action pieces throughout the show. The music really coordinated with the scenes, especially during the action sequences along with the soliloquy sequences. The opening song is a jumble of Engrish, but once you figure out the lyrics, it creates a nice motif to the show. The ending song is a slow ballad, which goes nicely with the slideshow of solemn redemption scenes.
The characters, given the time constraint of the show, were given enough development for the audience to care for. We get to see Ogata Rin's desires and motivations, the BMA's desires and motivations, and we are able to empathize with them. However, many secondary characters were one dimensional and only appear in the show to create plot devices. Sadly, with only 12 episodes, these characters were unable to become fully fleshed out. We can only see the police chief as only "the police chief," the reporter as only "the reporter," and the Rideback club members as only "the Rideback club members."
The story is also a mixed bag. Frankly, Rin's soliloquies were much more fascinating than the game of cat and mouse between the terrorists and GGP. Madhouse, however, did a fantastic job to meld the two storylines together. I can see why some people would scoff at sudden climax in the last episode, or at the disregard for physics in some of the action scenes. But all in all, the story provides a nice tinge of sentimentalism, which is not overbearing or underwhelming. The allegory between Rin's Fuego and her desire to continue ballet is done very well, I must say.
When I started watching Rideback, I didn't know what to expect, other than awesome animation. After finishing it, I found out that it had a little of everything: political intrigue, amazing action scenes, intense ballet, and lesbian tendencies. On Anidb's comments for Rideback, some people have complained that this show is all animation, no quality. I must politely disagree. Most shows hit you over the head with repeated symbolism. Rideback, however, does it with style, by layering the symbolism with multiple story backdrops. I recommend this show highly to those who enjoy action and mecha series in general, and to those who like to see quality coming-of-age stories.
I forgot to mention that the voice acting in this show is superb, especially commendable is Nana Mizuki as Ogata Rin. I want to end by imploring whoever is reading this not to get discouraged by Anidb comments, and give Rideback a chance. I was quite glad I did.
What do you do when you fall down? Do you get back up and continue what you are doing? Or do you simply wait for someone to come along and pick you up?
In a futuristic Japan where vehicle's know as Ridebacks are all the rage Ogata Rin must try to pick herself up from ruining her career as one of Japan's finest dancers.
Rin herself may be one of the best things to come out of Rideback, as she is a terrific main lead. Throughout the entire series she tries to come in gripes with herself, and why she does the things she does.
Why is it that when she rides Fuego does her heart pound so much? Why did I make that jump? Why in all of these flames do I feel truly alive? These are the type of questions she ask's herself throughout the series, and her coming into gripes and realization of each of the answers is truly a wonderful journey.
Rin is most definitely a rare character, but sadly that's all this show has to offer in terms of characters. Unfortunately all of the characters are nothing more than one-dimensional cut outs used simply to move the plot forward. You never get to know any of the characters, on really any level, other than their purpose inside the context of the plot. Which is definitely a draw back, from an otherwise great show.
One of Rideback's successes is that it's plot is believable. I am not talking about the motorcycle's with arms. No I am talking about how everything comes together. How Rin comes into mix with the terrorist organization and why she becomes wanted by the GGP. It's brought together, by a couple of really believable coincidences. Rin getting caught in the middle of this doesn't feel forced at all. On the contrary, it actually feels like she got caught in the middle of everything.
However, just because everything comes together in a believable way does not forgive the very shaky plot of Rideback. The problem with Rideback is that it's only 12 episodes long. I think that a longer series would've benefited Rideback a lot more. The viewer never fully understands what happens in the show. Why is the BMA leader want revenge so bad? It's clear he was screwed over, but how? Why? Who is this mysterious lady who seems to have the answers? Why is she helping take down the government she works for? The anime itself is full of questions that never get answered. If this series was extended and had the time to answer, explain and expand on everything already present that this anime would have truly been a masterpiece. But alas it's 12 episodes holds it back and keeps it an average level.
The two biggest successes of Rideback have to the art and soundtrack. Both entirely entrancing and add so much more depth to this series. The animation of Rideback is breathtaking. The character designs are top notch, and the background visuals will leave you in a state of awe at just how beautiful they are. The Rideback animation is flawless and the action sequences done with the Rideback have so much detail in them that they will raise your heart levels tenfold.
The soundtrack in anime(Outside of Mells consistent bad English in the opening) is fantastic. From the adrenaline pumping techno to the beautiful piano scores. The OST adds a depth to this anime that the story and characters weren't able to. It adds so much emotion as Rin tries to figure out who she is, and really gets your heart pumping every time she gets on a Rideback. Truly one of the better Sound Tracks out there.
Unfortunately do to the jumbled messed of the plot and lack of any character depth(Outside of Rin} leaves this anime easy to forget and easy to pass by. It's a good anime, but at the end of the day that's it. The stunning visuals and beautiful OST does not make up for the other area's that are lacking. Rideback is definitely worth a watch, but don't go in expecting to find one of the rare gems of this decade.
i thought it was just another mecha filled anime, but this is actually a pretty good one. the art is pretty good, the colouring is bold and vivid - they also have a pretty good soundtrack so far already.
*slight spoiler for first ep*
during the scene where she rides the rideback for the first time, i could feel the adrenaline that she felt and that's when i really liked this anime.
This is the first review I ever wrote. And there is just one reason for it. I am pissed off. Completely.
In the first episode, I was heads over heels in it. I breathed, smelled and laughed with RideBack. That delirious-like state continued for a few more episodes, even intensified. I was sure right then that this is the best anime I have watched in a long time now. And then came the cold shower.
I should probably mention that I finished watching the last episode 5 minutes ago. So I might not be the most rational being at the moment. The promise and the letdown are
the biggest two I have ever faced when watching basically anything up until now. The emotions portrayed as she stopped dancing, the feeling of pure joy and life as she discovers RideBack.. It was like I was watching a creation of universe. Immense, deep and indescribable. Ofcourse the story goes on, but the biggest disappointment for me were Rin's emotions, intentions and willpower. She is able to give up something she loves more than anything else just because circumstances changed. She hurt her leg. She managed to hurt someone else by some miracle. No, no, can't do. Let's stop. A nap sounds so much better. Bullshit.
So, she discards it all, never to do it again, then does it all over again for someone else's sake. Imagine this scenario in a different setting. You absolutely love playing basketball. Nothing else like it. A friend of yours manages to get hurt badly. And yes, it was caused by you, since he was coming to see you play and a car hit him. And now you decide never to play basketball again because it made someone you love get hurt. Wtf? Oh, I forgot to mention that even tho you swore never to play it again, you still do it in the end because that friend wants to see you play. So you play for him and not for yourself anymore, appearing saint-like. Not even allowing yourself to enjoy it as before. Seriously, there is not much more that could be piss me off than this whole charade. Bah.
As for other topics.. Animation is amazing. CGI fits in well, the scenes and background are simply amazing.
Story is mediocre, but it works. There are some untied ends, but it was enough to hold everything together without flinching.
Sound department I think lacked. The soundtrack could be amazing, but it was just something that goes along with everything..
Characters. You might have read my initial pissed-off complaints about some aspects, but I was generally happy with everyone. Else.
Also, I shoulfd mention, I would rate this by the end of first few episodes as almost 10. Judging purely by personal enjoyment. Then it just went downhill. The are freaking lucky that they had a scene with panties twice! Look, RideBack is like one sport at which your panties would be on display ALL THE TIME if you were doing it in skirt. Which Rin manages to do alot. But they always chose perspective that obscures them. The wind was also behaving non-windy. Really stupid details, but as they keep repeating over and over again, it gets to be really annoying. But there are two scenes in which they managed to give a split second pantie-shot. I am a pervert, sure, but here are the basic laws of physics being denied. The barely managed to get out of that spot by that maybe one second altogether. Meh. Btw, they are white and really plain looking. Enjoy your spoiler.
Overall, an entertaining series, with fabulous visuals, great music, and both subtle and not-so-subtle messages, the latter being a bit overbearing at times. The major flaw, as most will attribute, is the story. Frankly, the only reason not to watch this is if you value an intriguing plot very highly, and will be heavily turned off if it doesn't meet those standards. If you believe it's something you can get past, then this is absolutely a must-see.
While MADHOUSE did a great job, as usual, the pacing they used had some issues. It was rather slow towards the middle of the series, and there was very
little plot development. You were basically expected to know what was going on from the beginning. Indeed, unless you were paying close attention during the cold open of the first episode, you may have missed altogether what the background plot of the series is (I was one of those people).
While I am no stranger to slowly paced anime, and in some cases find it appealing, what was done wrong here was that it felt incredibly rushed. If the series was drawn out by a few more episodes (or, rather, extended to two seasons, and adding more much-needed detail), everything would have probably been much smoother.
To summarize, what I got out of this show was something that was:
a) aesthetically fantastic and a feast to just sit and watch, but
b) heavily intended as an aside for devoted manga-followers.
For someone who read the manga, you might either have taken it for what it is, and loved its visuals, or you might have hated how they failed to flesh out what was going on. I, having not read it myself, cannot say personally. Nevertheless, it was still an excellent watch for me, and there's one positive about it being only 12 episodes; even without much plot, if you value great visuals at all, then there's very little excuse not to watch it. You probably won't get bored that quickly. Probably.
This series could have worked better if it was entirely focused on how Ridebacks influenced Rin's character instead of the focus on corruption from a military-driven government and terrorist activity. For the most part, Rideback does do a decent job in exploring the development of Rin's character as she finds herself taking an interest in the vehicle as a replacement for her lost interest in ballet. As she becomes entangled in the military-terrorist conflict and realizes the original use of Ridebacks, Rin becomes disillusioned in the show's second half as she comes to grips over what would make her happy in spite of the hardships
she has come to deal with.
On the other end of the coin though, the military/ terrorist conflict comes across as rather flat. Both the GGP and BMA factions don't get much in the way of fleshing out other than we know they have their own radical agendas and come across as morally corrupt. Beyond Rin, there isn't much fleshing out provided of most other characters within the series as they only serve as supporting characters among Rin's friends or represent the GGP and BMA, many of whom serving to influence the development of Rin's character. The series also often gets in the annoying habit of having situations occur rather conveniently with Rin or other characters whenever they get in trouble as they are quite saved in the nick of time.
Visually, Rideback does have a slick presentation with highly detailed and lush shots of urban environments and the Ridebacks being almost lifelike in appearance as they are rendered in CG animation. Scenes with Ridebacks in action are very fluid and pleasing on the eyes to see onscreen, especially in some elaborate sequences whenever Rin is on a Rideback fleeing from GGP forces. Music in the series mostly consists of light instrumental pieces with the OP being a nice techno track, all of which go along well in conveying Rin's developments.
Overall, Rideback does do decent with its character exploration with Rin while lacking quite a bit in its political focus on the GGP/ BMA conflict. While it was entertaining to see the premise concerning Ridebacks, the series is marred by enough flaws where I can't picture myself wanting to see it again anytime soon.
A Tagline for Rideback would be: "A talented ballet dancer turned Ridebacker.
For Rin Ogata, her life has always been focused on ballet. After her mother's death, Rin decided to advance more into national competitions. From there she tells the story of the GGP, a new government formed by a takeover. One rainy day, she encounters a strange machine, Fuego. Now the second act begins......
From the previews, Rideback was the most promising of Winter 09. A mix of political conflict and internal conflict and of course, mechs. But these aren't Gundam-esque mechs, these are original, these are Ridebacks. It can be a normal Motorcycle or
it can be piloted as a robot. When Rin breaks her leg during a ballet routine, she ends her dream of it. It's really amazing that she can do the same routines in a machine, i like the transition there.
The animation is another big thumbs up from me. From the Rideback scenes, to just a casual chat, the animation is on par with some of those more popular but less creative animes.
Another reason i was excited for Rideback was because of Rin's seiyuu, Nana Mizuki. A very talented person with tons of effort in her works, i can say this: A great job well done. Then comes the sound: Really good, even just a simple engine turning on makes a good apperence. The OP is okay, but kinda boring. The ED is alright, but Younha (Who also sung Bleach's 3rd Ending) matured too much, her voice just doesn't fit.
Rin is your typical young lady: Puts in an effort for anything, a loyal friend and a little klutzy. Her friend Shouko, just the same, only more unaware of the Ridebacks. Then we have the Rideback Club: A group of college students, each with a different background. Tamayo, the group's leader, has an older brother working at the GGP. She's more interested in riding than politics, a good thing there.
Rideback is a show worth watching, it has all the makings of a great plot, combined with top-notch voice acting and a complete spin on mechs. I can't wait for the dub.
The Good(+): Voice Cast, Mix of Political and Internal settings, A new spin on Mechs
The Bad(-): The fact that we don't see Rin's Rideback training (it was a timeskip), however note that this show will only be 12 episodes. Some questionable character designs and a lackluster theme song.
RideBack is boring. There are people that love this show, but I just cannot get behind any of it. I initially found the premise of the show interesting. Racing, terrorism, mech-bikes with arms, and so forth. Unfortunately RideBack is never interesting enough where I would suggest anyone watch it before a myriad of other anime.
The characters just never go anywhere until the very end. Sure we learn more about them along the way, but most of them don't round out until the end of the anime if at all. The protagonist in particular just stays in this annoying depressed state for most of the anime.
Blaming herself for things that are clearly not her fault. I found myself saying "can we just get over this already" to the very unnatural reactions.
The dancing motif can also get old. We get the main character was a dancer that got hurt and chose to give up dancing. We get that the Rideback is her pseudo redemption. But wow to they just never stop repeating the same flashbacks over and over again to drive the point across. Time that could of been better spent further revealing character motivations and backgrounds, which is severely lacking.
The music is pretty mediocre too. I usually don't notice this much, but they repeat a lot of tracks I dislike. Maybe it's because these tracks are often associated with scenes I dislike, but it is still something I wanted to say. Opening and closing themes are amazing.
All this adds up to one big borefest. In only 12 episodes they were unable to maintain my interest. You just want them to get to the point. There are a few good points here and there, but most of the show is just boring. At no point would I say it does anything particular well. Watch something else.
I am very skeptical when it comes to "new" anime. I will be the first to admit that I believe animes glory days were found in the late 90's and early 2000's. But once in a while I'll break from my skeptisism and venture outside my comfort zone. Rideback was my break from the usual.
Immediatly with the opening credits I was hooked. A somewhat techo-pop song rips through my body, shattering all other introductions, and with its stunning visuals and perfectly blended 3D graphics, grabs my attention like it hasn't been grabbed in a while. The main lead, Rin, tears
through Tokyo on an altered motorbike that now looks like a robot. The music pumps on. Now she's dancing, ballet it looks like, in front of thousands. Who is this Rin? What's Rideback all about? I needed answers.
As the credits end, you quickly see that the painstaking efforts put into the art and animation in the opening scene, are going to carry on throughout the series. Jackpot!!! For someone used to bright neons and dull hues found standard in early animation, the crisp lines and shading stand out like a midget on a basketball team.
Each character is beautiful. And unique. The clothes they wear, their hair styles, their movements. No time or money was skimped on when the animation team was put on the task to create something truely beautiful. And then you have EVERYTHING else. In each scene, in each background, you are completely blown away by how perfectly the lighting captures the mood and totally inhances a scene, transforming a simple conversation between two people into an epic dialogue or a high-speed chase around a track into a life and death road race.
After the inital shock of the animation you relise that the plot itself is a true work of genius as well.
You have Rin, a ballet dancing prodigy, who hurts herself somehow. This is a blow to her ego and perhaps her way out of something that she was never REALLY that into in the first place. So she quits and goes off to school instead. There, she finds herself attracted to "the next cool thing" to hit Japan. Ridebacks. They are half motorcycle, half robot. 100% bad-ass. This is the first aspect of the show that I really liked. These Ridebacks, thought not feasable yet, COULD, ONE DAY, MAYBE, exist. And that's an exciting thought.
Somehow, Rin is a born natural on the back of these futuristic machines. You get to see her race her rival and in competitions. But that's not what the show is about. It's about when she Rides against the GGP. You see in the future, the GGP (and organization) takes over every country and every organization and becomes the ultimate rulers of the world. A dictatorship of such. Anyways, when Rin Rides against the worlds superpower, when she Rides for what she believes in, that's when you get that tingily feeling running through your body. That's when you start getting excited.
I'm not going to get to much into the plot, but the great thing about the story is that this normal girl gets put into these situations, reacts the same way any normal person would, and gets deeper and deeper in trouble. This makes the plot very believeable and easy to like.
Until now, I have raved about the series, and with due cause. The one thing that was lacking however was character development. Now I am not one that needs hours and hours of background information pertaining to each and every person. But the ONLY individual to get ANY kind of story relating to her past experiance is Rin. Rin is an amazing lead, no question about that. Her struggle to come to terms with who she is and what she wants, is very appealing throughout. But with the sheer volume of secondary characters, you would expect a little more than a 10 second flashback for each.
Other then the simple, cardboard cut out characters, Rideback, to me was a huge success.
The animation and unique story telling, along with many humanistic emotions that Rideback will throw at you, will easily make this series a fun and exciting watch.
To break the ice it might be pointed out that this is a mecha anime and for many this may be an instant turnoff and for others it might lead them to stroke their nearby gundam model in nostalgic pleasure.
Anyway... the main concept or uniqueness to this anime is its particular "mech" which is given the name "rideback", which is a motorcycle with arms that supposedly aid in the balance of the vehicle and give it an advantage in maneuverability and speed over a traditional motorcycle (that has less air resistance). This vehicle is somehow central to a dichotomy of two competing plots in
the story, one being the progression of Rin as a rideback pro racer and the other being some governmental/military conspiracy involving the usage of ridebacks that allowed them to dominate the world.
Besides the mecha aspect, this anime does have characters and boy are they interesting. Well there is Rin, the main character who was once a rising ballet star but have decided to give up the grandeur of her mother's profession to become an engineer. So essentially a giant leap backwards in terms of societal recognition. She eventually comes into contact with a rideback called Fuego, which she instantly becomes attached to as it provides her the same joys of body control that she experienced in ballet (and no the ridebacks are not sentient). Other than Rin there are some other extremely memorable characters that I will fail to mention.
Honestly what truly drew me to this anime was my shallow appreciation of the animation work spent on this project. Madhouse knows its stuff. The races and artwork for the ridebacks are breathtaking and are what kept me watching this anime. If there was less of an emphasis on the characters and the overiding military plot, leaving the highlight of the show being the races to take the center stage in the story. IMO this is something to wait on to see if it gets better, but at the moment is not worth the time watching.
Oh and the music is kind of cool and fitting for the theme of the series.
This series offered a very innovative plot idea with a hint of a classic anime. Instead of having your plain old robot and person with an eerie past, Ride Back used a dancer and a motorcycle, then blended them into what you would call genius! I loved all the action packed into here with the twist up of a political feel. Plenty of fighting scenes for those who enjoy action and a very lovely animation design. A driving point for this anime could also be the fact that it stood out amongst all the other robot anime out there, and the fact that this short
show equally balanced plot twists and action without overloading itself. Plus the music in here is well timed an the opening theme song is made by the same person who did the Black Lagoon opening, which in my tastes is awesome!
There are some elements this anime lacks though.
1) For those who expect humor in their anime, this doesn't have that (nor does it have a pink haired anime chick).
2) You will not get those one episode dedications to character backgrounds.
3) Not a real lacking element, but there were those times where the anime slowed down a bit and was slightly boring.
4) There is no romance (yeah I cried for some, but hey no complaints), but the way everybody cries for Ogata Rin's sake, you would think there is some sort of lesbian love affair in here.
Overall 10/10, the series could have been longer, but everything was as it should be. In my opinion, everyone who loves that classic feeling anime should watch this.
Ok to start I was a bit worried about this, seeing the ad shots about I thought "Oh god chicks on bikes ='s fan-service ¬¬". But after the first two episodes I was proved wrong. The story looks good, the art is top class and the voice acting is pretty good too. I was very impressed with the dance scenes.
I can see this turning into something good, almost an Ippo feel to it. I can't wait for the third one to come out.
Rideback has perhaps the greatest drop in overall quality that I've ever seen. It starts out on the highest highs with a masterfully crafted first episode, then it slides down on the next two, still a great show with a great premise but not quite living up to the opening. Then the fourth episode drops, and the whole series falls off a cliff. From then on we get to watch our promising mech-racing show drown under all the needless drama and shoehorned war stories that nobody wanted to see. Rideback draws you in with the promise of an engaging, introspective sports series full of potentially
great characters, then leaves you with a half-assed Gundam story and bitterness.
The first episode of Rideback is a masterpiece. If that was the only episode ever made, I'd give it a 10/10 and lament the fact that we never got to see such an amazing story told in its entirety. Rin Ogata is a ballet prodigy whose career is cut short by an on-stage accident in high school. Though she recovers, Rin is no longer able to dance at the same level and is forced to give up the greatest love of her life. The themes of this episode are constantly and expertly reinforced by the visuals and settings. Rin's post-accident life is shown in drab, gray tones. Her graduation from high school is a lonely, solemn affair. She slowly walks out with her head down, thrust into the outside world with no direction and no motivation. Her one friend rushes to her side, but is unable to cheer her up, as the camera pulls far away and cherry blossoms fall over the screen like tears. College initially seems like a second chance, but she is hounded by memories of her past, tormented by her well-meaning fan, a constant reminder of her happy life snatched away by fate. When Rin reaches her lowest point, she's caught alone in a rainstorm and forced to hide in an unfamiliar garage. There, she finds her salvation in the form of a Rideback. The feeling of exhilaration from her first Rideback outing is hammered home by the shot of her flying high over the city, sun beaming in the distance, the colors dancing across the screen, life flooding back into her face as her passion is rekindled. The combination of story, themes, visuals, and sound is nothing short of pure art, and would have earned a place in every anime fan's heart, if only the rest of the series had reached the lofty goal set by the opening.
The next few episodes are less inspired, but still lay a solid foundation for a 12 episode series to build on. Rin's talent as a dancer gives her a leg up in the Rideback world, with her unique sense of balance and movement occasionally translating into expert level racing maneuvers. Tamayo is initally presented with an awful lot of depth. She's both a rival and a mentor to Rin, simultaneously frustrated at Rin's seemingly flippant attitude about Ridebacks while also wanting to nurture a natural talent. Hishida is a dorky outcast with an endless love for Ridebacks, providing a visual metaphor for the public's distrust and disgust towards Ridebacks. The rest of the Rideback club are all shown as unique individuals with various personality hooks that could be fleshed out later on. Rideback racing itself shows hints of some great new concepts for a racing anime. Ridebacks can go essentially anywhere on land, teasing the audience with the idea of never before seen settings for races. The combat in the first (and only) major race shows us that there's much more to Rideback strategy than we've seen, and that we can expect a twist at any time during a race. The stage is set for a fresh, exciting racing series with a well-rounded cast.
Then the fourth episode hits. It hits hard, with guns and bombs and military Ridebacks. It knocks down everything you've seen built up, derails the entire story, and rips the focus away from Rin and her personal redemption. Instead of watching Rin further her budding racing career while learning to enjoy life again, we're instead suddenly given a ragtag rebel group fighting against a big oppressive empire. Rin's friends change from a quirky racing team to terrorist liberators. Everything you learned to care about is callously tossed aside in favor of a color-by-numbers military plot. None of the original themes are ever explored again. Despite Rin's efforts (and many times because of them), Ridebacks are overall presented both in-universe and out as tools of war and not as racing vehicles, again robbing Rin of her purpose in life. Rideback racing is outlawed and heavily policed, eliminating the chance for even clandestine nighttime Rideback touge with drifting and eurobeat. Tamayo's conflict with her father goes nowhere, same with the rest of the cast, and the whole “racing to win popular support” side of the story is torpedoed. All of the careful foreshadowing and subtle metaphor is abandoned so Rin can have a conversation with a guy while Rideback waltzing in the middle of a firefight, and it's sadly as silly as it sounds. Rideback plummets from its high standards like a bird with clipped wings. If the whole show had been like this then it wouldn't be so painful; Rideback could just be tossed on the heap of other boring rebellion stories. But the initial impression and betrayal are so powerful and unforgettable that it's impossible to separate those bitter feelings from the overall show as it is presented.
Rideback hurt me. It gave me the best first episode I've ever seen, and tarnished that memory by piling disappointment on top of cliches. It gave me a wonderful story of personal redemption before smothering it with a forgettable, aimless and messy rebellion. It gave me an exciting spin on racing that could never have been done elsewhere before mercilessly cutting it out forever. It gave me a reason to always doubt my first impressions. And it gave me a reason to warn you, before Rideback hurts you too.
The single biggest disappointment I have ever had in an anime. The first episode was a perfect 10 in every way and gave me high hopes of the rest of the series.
But is was not to be. As the series progressed plot holes and character inconsistencies accumulated and compounded. By the 8th episode I knew all was lost, but I watched the slow motion train-wreck through to the bitter end.
The first episode and several of the ballet/battle sequences are must watch, but stupidity of the overall show may cause your brain to explode(and not in the good way)
This series would be worth
watching for the brilliant music and animation, but
I can't recommend watching this series in good continence because of how the plot and characters are butchered.
Just about any idea has the potential to be good. It all depends on the execution. Rideback is proof of this because the story of an armed conflict between a corrupt militant group and a resistance group is nothing new. Isabel Allende likes to do it in her novels and we've also seen the idea in quite a few anime/movies/television shows and it's usually absolute garbage.
Rideback proves that this concept can be written well. How does it do this? It uses a few tactics. It puts the focus on a small group that's only connected to the conflict as a result of a misunderstanding and
even then remains largely outside of it. It also keeps the focus on this group without connecting them to the larger conflict for about half the series which allows the audience to acclimate to them. It also avoids demonizing either side of the conflict. In a lot of media involving this basic storyline one or both groups are portrayed as being made up of inhuman monsters. In Rideback neither side is particularly likeable, but that's the result of their human qualities. The military is corrupt and brutal but not in an exaggerated, cartoon villain way. They're brutal and corrupt in ways that military groups who have a disproportionate amount of power actually tend to be. You root for the resistance group, not because they seem like great saints, but because they seem like they wouldn't be as bad. A big part of what makes Rideback powerful and emotional is that it isn't unrealistic. It uses futuristic technology that doesn't, and may very well never, exist but the characters and their actions seem very real.
That being said there are some story issues. The pacing isn't very good. Not because it's slow, like the problem was with Bakuretsu Tenshi, but because it moves too quickly. It's a very fast-paced series that doesn't give you time to fully absorb everything that's happening, which makes sense when the action really gets going but feels out of place in the early episodes. An even bigger problem is that it has a very scant dénouement. For those of you who aren't familiar with story structure there are three broad parts. The setup, the confrontation and the resolution which includes the climax and the dénouement, which serves to tie up the loose ends and bring the characters from the climax back to a semblance of normalcy. The climax is very nicely done but after it ends you only get about five minutes for the action to fall and the series to conclude. This results in a feeling that the series is unfinished and it doesn't give you enough time to wind down after the climax.
The graphics are pretty nice. They aren't the best I've ever seen but they're definitely good. They have some great voice acting from great Seiyuu like Paku Romi, Mizuki Nana, Morikawa Toshiyuki, Matsumoto Megumi, Toyoguchi Megumi and Miki Sinichiro. The music serves to enhance the mood and help set the stage.
Moving on to the yuri factor. Rideback contains hints of yuri, some of them very strong, like Rin saying that Shouko is her "light", and others that are only really there if you're looking for them. Overall it has yuri potential but the actual content is pretty mild. So I'm giving it a 6/10 for the yuri factor.
Overall I give Rideback an 8.4/10. Its positive factors far outweigh its problems and it's well worth watching.
The background story is very vaguely presented and very little more is explained throughout the series. There were also 2 main things that bugged me: in the story, it seems that the world is ruled by an organisation known as the GGP.Not once in the entire series id somebody stop and bother to state what GGP actually stands for. Also, most of the time, the story seems to forget that it's set several decades in the future.
Nothing special about the characters, sometimes the drawing looks somewhat bland, but all the RideBack scenes are pretty nice to look at.
is the best feature of this anime, with some rather catchy opening and ending songs and good background music. Silent moments are also well employed.
I found the characters to be lacking personality, and the conversations didn't seem very natural. I also felt that they didn't manage to convey their emotions very well to the viewer.
Whenever there was a RideBack sequence, I enjoyed the anime. Whever someone openened their mouth, i didn't enjoy it that much.
It's an okay anime. I enjoyed it mainly because of 3 words: BIKES WITH ARMS. So awesome....However I feel that the developper felt the same way, because it seems that all the elements of the series were quickly created to create a context in which one can display RideBacks on TV. It could have been better, but if you have some free time, give it a try. It's just 12 episodes long.
Watching an anime loaded with mecha stuff is a daunting task for me back then when the series was aired. At that time I'm no mecha fan yet but since this is done by Madhouse (one of the anime studios I really respected), I gave it a try anyway.
The story started with a young girl whose life takes a drastic turn when her dream of becoming a ballet dancer came to a complete halt when she was very young after an incident that prevents her from performing anymore. During those time, the world is experiencing a series of changes brought about by an organization in
possession of a powerful new vehicle that will guarantee them military victory and political power for years to come. Years later, the young girl eventually becomes a young woman going in college with a very uncertain future. But, after she accidentally tumbled to a college club in possession of the same vehicle and learned the dynamics of it, she found passion in this new hobby of her and will lead her in a series of events that will make her the focus of many conspiracy theories as she struggle to win against herself and against the people trying to exploit her. The pacing of the episodes are good, it never feels boring. The story is told gradually and has the right amount of details in each episode to keep me excited to watch the next episode. The most exciting parts are probably the middle episodes when Rin uses her Rideback and the media, the police and the general public began noticing her.
The animation was probably one of the strong points of this series; the environment is well detailed, the sceneries are beautiful, the lighting effects that are used looks superb as it produces really great background arts, and movements are very fluid. The production in general is of high quality and the use of CG in many parts of the series (especially when the Ridebacks are involved) is very good in my opinion as it blends really well. The character design itself is good; it feels appropriate for the story. The color tones give the impression of seriousness. The fights scenes are nicely choreograph. The designs of the Rideback are fairly unique and gave me a really hard time whether I should classify this series as a mecha anime or not.
The OP theme is tuned in a modern beat but it’s not catchy enough for me. The ED theme is a bit mellower and it matches the overall mood quite well. The BGMs is not really noticeable, however there are few that I remember which feels good to listen when watching the scenes it is played upon.
The series has a good cast of characters. The heroine of this series is not your average one, Rin has a strong personality and although her dream of becoming a ballet dancer came to a halt. The Rideback pave way to her comeback as the famous mystery girl riding on a Rideback showcasing very good stunts as well as pushing the said vehicle to its performance limits. The other cast are also well develop, especially the people close to Rin. It is very nice how the series has able to develop their characters, the story of Suzuri is a good example, as well as others, such as Rin’s bestfriend, another is a former revolutionist, and the likes. It is good to see how everything connects together. Voice acting are also very top-notched, I like how the voices matches the characters they are portraying.
Rideback is a mecha, sci-fi anime that offers a more serious plot, drama is also evident but not over the top which is good, nor are over-powered robots, the series is well balance. Overall I like Rideback, the story is great, the inclusion of mecha, sci-fi, and drama in a college-life environment is particularly refreshing. More importantly for me is that the main character is a girl and has a strong personality, pretty uncommon because most of the mecha anime that I watched always has a male lead or group of male leads, so it is refreshing seeing a heroine doing some kick-ass actions. I would recommend this series to people who want some good mecha anime that has a decent story and a good balance of action and drama.
TL;DR REVIEW: A really fun and original show with a focus on character. CGI and quirky character design may be a turn-off to some, but its worth a try for those who desire a grounded and unconventional story.
Hey! Just a few quick things before I begin. Surely you know by now that its difficult to reliably put numbers to anime, so take my ratings with a grain of salt. They should give you a general idea though. Also, I have no experience with the source material, so I can't judge this as an adaptation. Lets dive right in.
STORY 8/10: The first and most important thing
to note about RideBack is that it is a blend of several genres which, though strange, are integrated pretty seamlessly. A story about a ballerina riding robot motorcycles in a distopian near-future may sound silly on paper, but in action it is extremely enjoyable. The pacing is consistent throughout and the story has a fairly satisfying conclusion, despite the many turns the story takes which can at times be mildly jarring if you are expecting a straightforward sport anime, mecha anime, or any single thing. Frequently were my expectations about where the plot would go proven wrong, yet always made sense when I thought back on it.
It also avoids many anime tropes and gags which would normally be standard which was something I just recently realized looking back. No boke/tsukkomi, no "umi-da" or "hentaiiiiii~~~" or boob grabs or anything of that sort. And to top it off, there is not a highschool in sight. Thank god.
Another point for those interested, is that I found the world to be incredibly grounded. Everything felt very real. Events that should have weight did so, and when people should have been seriously injured they were. The "mechas" (ridebacks, basically robot/motorcycle hybrids and the anime's namesake) in particular seemed believable enough that it really enhanced the concept immensely.
ART 8/10: Here's where some people might jump off the wagon. Almost all vehicles in RideBack are entirely CG. At first it was uncomfortable, but I warmed up to everything pretty fast since the ridebacks look great; in motion especially. The CGI is a fair trade off for more fluid vehicle scenes. Some might also be turned off by the quirky character designs, but I found them brilliant. There is an immense variation in facial structures and body types, which makes it easy to identify characters by something other than their hair. In the same vein, there is no fanservice in this. It was honestly surprising since its about a girl riding a motorcycle robot in a dress. There was not one panty shot, and it was only for a second at a realistic time. No attention was drawn to it either, which was refreshing.
The backgrounds were pretty good and there was little to no "QUALITY" scenes. This anime managed its budget well apparently.
SOUND 6/10: Not much to say here. The music was appropriate and pretty good, the voice acting was also good. Nothing bothered me during my watch, but not much stood out either.
CHARACTER 9/10: At its core, RideBack is a character driven (vroom vroom) anime. The main character in particular is exceptional, and the supporting cast is endearing and believable as well. I could have done with some more exposition on some of the side characters, but honestly the story is fine without it. If you're looking for a goof female protagonist in particular, this is fantastic.
ENJOYMENT YES/10: I don't know what more you'd need there.
Overall, this a seriously good anime and one of my favorites. Its a really splendid experience that constantly had me in the zone enjoying every minute of it. Although quirky, RideBack is seriously unique. You might not feel the same if you aren't into the possible hangups I listed above. But hey, its seriously something you should try if any of this sounds interesting at all. If you're ready for a wild ride, give RideBack a try.
I liked most things about this anime. I love that never give up attitude. I loved the characters for the most part or at least the main ones; BUT with the story the main characters aren't really that important to the arc there aiming for. Maybe they where like we got this story lets some how shove it into 12 episodes. Well that was a big fail. Even with the very almost mech feel here, which if you knew me you would know that's why I watched this. The story made me go RAWRRRRRR yep, you pissed me! Wheres the justice, where is it.
There is none I tell you. With another 12 or maybe 5 more episodes even, they could of given this anime some closure.
Meant to write this review earlier. Good show. It's major problem was it's pacing. I suspect it didn't do as well viewership wise during the season and so got rushed. I really enjoyed the development and stories behind the first 4 episodes or so. The races were nice and you got to learn more about the characters. The problem I feel is the plot got a bit contrived (maybe it was before hand and I just didn't realize it) and instead of more character development with asides to the battles in the background with gradual immersion into the fighting; you go from an interesting nicely
paced racing show into a fairly serious show about an armed conflict. It gets an 8 simply because MAL doesn't allow incremental scores.