Riding Bean is one of Kenichi Sonoda's early works, and though it was originally planned as a series, only one episode was ever released.
The anime follows the exploits of the legendary courier "Bean Bandit" (a truly unfortunate moniker), and his partner Irene Vincent. They are framed for the kidnapping of a wealthy heiress, and are subsequently hunted by the police and various other parties.
The art and animation of Riding Bean is quite typical of it's time, and bears a resemblance in places to the style of Lupin and Giant Robo. Riding Bean does however have something that sets it aside - the chases. Very few animes are able to convey the feeling of a high speed pursuit, and Riding Bean is amongst the best.
The sound is of a very good quality, and all the gearheads (a.k.a. car fanatics) out there will love the roar of the engines in the anime.
Riding Bean has some memorable characters, and ironically enough, the most memorable is not Bean Bandit. It is in fact, the cars. The Bean Bandit drives a customised sports car called "The Roadbuster", and if you're like me (in other words, you like cars and racing), then you'll understand me when I say I WANT THAT CAR! If you watch the show, you'll understand why. I watched the showed at the young and impressionable age of 14, and The Roadbuster has been flitting around in my head ever since.
On the flip side, the police also have a car with which to hunt Bean Bandit - the Shelby Cobra GT500 **drools**
One other thing that needs mentioning is the character of Irene Vincent. I hope the name sounds familiar because Kenichi Sonoda later evolved her character into the famous Rally Vincent from Gunsmith Cats.
This is an enjoyable romp through the streets of Chicago, and the chases are truly memorable. If you're a fan of classic anime, or better yet, a fan of Gunsmith Cats, then this is a must watch. If you like action and adrenalin, then Riding Bean is well worth viewing.
If you're after romantic comedies, slice of life, etc, then this may not be to your tastes, but it never hurts to give it a try :)
Riding Bean is effectively a prequel (and dare I say - a pilot), of the legendary Gunsmith Cats, but it is just as enjoyable as GC. The chemistry between Bean Bandit and Irene Vincent is marvellous, and Inspector Percy is a hoot.
I found Riding Bean to be fast paced and highly enjoyable. The mixture of action and comedy is just about right for me, and I've rarely seen chases that match the ones in this show.