How Did I Not Notice This Anime Before?!
One of my first suck-you-in animes was Initial D. I loved Takumi and his skills born of delivering tofu for his father every day at 5am – he was simply trying to get back to bed as fast as possible without marring the tofu.
I’ve always been on the look out for a similar anime, but nothing in the genre has ever really caught my interest. Until now. Hulu suggested that I give RideBack a try yesterday, and I thought, why not? Sure, I should have been working on my novel or a blog post, but anime breaks are totally legit (ah, so this is why high school was a fail for me)! You’d think by now I would know better than to tell myself that I could watch ‘only one.’ Four episodes later, I’ve done nothing else and I’m hooked.
I am alerting you that there are spoilers ahead!
The story starts in 2017, and the world has been taken over by a dictator-like organization called the GGF – Global Government Force. They don’t seem very nice, but since I’ve only watched the first few episodes I’ll have to save my judgement for later. The main character, Rin Ogata, is a ballet dancer who injures herself in her first lead role – and quits dancing as a result. The story begins when she enrolls for her first year in college.
I LOVE Rin Ogata! She comes across as a shy, unassuming girl whose feelings are always buried right beneath the surface. With her white cotton sundress and pink cardigan she doesn’t look like someone who would join a club centered around motorcycle-esq robot machines – or that she would become one of their top new members. Her natural grace as a dancer translates into an almost uncanny ability to control the movements of the machine Fuego, a very shiny red RideBack that takes her for an unexpected joyride in episode one.
Of course her control of the machine Fuego is awe-inspiring, and she literally makes it dance, using a pirouette to make a turn that should have been impossible at the speed she was going. Her first two races end without a clear indication of whether or not she would have won. Her oppenent, the team captain Tamayo Kataoka (also the RideBack champion of Japan) crashes her RideBack in their first race to avoid hitting a kitty, which endeared her to me for life! Rin blows the engine of her RideBack in the second race, though she was moving up the ranks and was probably going to at least place 3rd. One thing is clear after both of those races, however – Rin Ogata may look unassuming, but she’s got fire under that facade, and she doesn’t have an ounce of cowardice in her.
Another interesting twist of the plot is the apparent existence of a rebel force against the GGF – and the role that RideBacks play in that rebellion. Foreshadowing, anybody? Will my little Rin become part of more than just a RideBack club? Only time will tell!
This anime has a lot of potential to hold my interest, and I’m looking forward to following Rin on her RideBack adventure! I have a feeling she’s got more to her than an ex dancer who’s a natural at riding motorized vehicles!
Like I said, if you loved Initial D, you should give RideBack a looksee. The manga has a total of ten volumes out, so the story doesn’t have to end with episode 12…I think I’ll be adding to my collection!
Winter Is Coming, which means I’ll be spending a lot of time snuggled up with one of my favorite companions – anime and manga – and you can assume there will be lots more reviews where this came from! Oh, and bon bons, lots of bon bons!