17
Jan
09

Rideback START [Orange Farm Archive]

Hey again everyone. Time for that Rideback post I was talking about!

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First off, some basic information.

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The main character, Rin Ogata, is a former up-and-coming ballerina star. However, a precisely mistimed earthquake breaks her foot and her will to keep dancing. A while later, nineteen years old, Rin enters college along with her best friend, Shouko Uemura. Initially, Rin wanted to join the theater club on campus, but a rainstorm causes her to unknowingly set foot into the mechanics’ club, where she finds a red Rideback – a transforming motorcycle robot that can take simple voice commands.

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Haruki Hishida, one of the club members, gets her to ride on it, and she ends up going on a joyride throughout the city(not knowing how to stop the darn thing). Rin figures out that the Rideback responds to her arm and leg movements, causing her not only to speed through the city at high-speed, but to dance while doing it.

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It’s the year 2020, and the world they live in is a rather oppressive world order. Apparently, a certain terrorist group appeared, and, using high-tech weapons they invested in, were able to overthrow all the world’s superpowers. Anti-government student protests are common, as well.

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The opening, with the same title as the anime, is called RIDEBACK, sung by MELL, while the ending theme is called Kioku, by Younha. Neither are too bad. I just can’t get over Rin riding that thing in a dress. MELL did the opening theme songs for Black Lagoon, Hayate the Combat Butler, and Sky Girls, all of which I liked. I think it’s Younha’s debut onto the anime music scene, though(correct me if I’m wrong).

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The Ridebacks themselves are an upcoming technology that’s still gaining popularity. It looks like a motorcycle normally, but it can unfold into a standing robot. Again, it recognizes simple voice commands, but as Rin realizes too late, the one she’s riding on isn’t completed, and a wire or two ends up snapping off, putting her in big trouble. Another club member – the other Rideback rider – manages to use his awesome abilities to fix it, but Rin ends up flying off a cliff anyway. As a mecha, the Rideback gives off a “man I wish these were real” vibe, without the “causing total destruction” part of it that most giant robots introduce.

Though, how long will that last?

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The style of the whole episode is really, really refreshing. Nothing but fun and a ridiculous joyride really happen, but already I know I’m going to like the show. There are darker undertones, of course – a world order and, wouldn’t you know it, student protests against said world order. It just so happened that Rin entered college, so I think we know where this is headed.

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As for the animation. It’s a little bit strange, but also familiar in a way. I’m not sure why. I like it, anyway. The character that really gets on my nerves is Shouko(her best friend) – she’s wearing overalls, but all the other college students seem to be wearing more normal clothes. Maybe it’s just her? The other thing that bugs me is Rin’s hair. Okay, I know it’s anime style to have pieces of hair sticking out, but this just looks like she didn’t brush her hair that morning. It didn’t even go down after being wet by the rain. XD

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In any case, we’ve been introduced to the main characters already – Rin, Shouko, and Haruki I already mentioned. The club president, Tamayo Kataoka, hasn’t gotten much screentime – she’s the one in the above picture. The VP, Tenshirou Okakura, was the big guy riding the gray Rideback, and he already seems to be an ace at it. The glasses-fangirl is Suzuri Uchida – your classic obsessive fangirl. At home, the grandmother, Miyuki Itou, and the little brother, Kenji Ogata, are there – the little brother is getting to the age where he’s going to have to think about college, as well. Apparently Rin’s mother, Yuki, was also a world-class ballerina, and everyone was kind of expecting Rin to fill in her shoes. Alas, it was all taken away. I think Yuki was only shown in a picture once, though. I’m not sure where she is – she might be dead.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing more of this! I can’t wait to see some things about the GGP(world order) and the Freejournalists. We’ll have to wait and see how the story turns out.

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