“Rideback” is the story of a former ballerina prodigy named Rin, who suffered a career-ending injury. Years later in college, she encounters a club on campus that has what I can only describe as a transforming mecha motorcycle called a Rideback. Rin discovers that her ballet talents make her a natural-born rider. Through the Rideback Rin learns how to dance again. But in the background, conflict between the government and a terrorist group is rising until she is dragged into it along with the people around her. Whilst it’s not as grand as most Anime that have come out, it’s a classic in its own right. It feels more grounded and realistic about what could happen in a parallel future compared to most anime.
The plot can be positive or negative depending on the viewers’ preference of background detail and character development. The main story following Rin Ogata and her journey is more fleshed out, in comparison to the government and terrorist plotline along with all the other side characters. But seeing that the show only has 12 episodes, it makes sense that they weren’t able to fully develop the adaptation from the manga and expand the rest of the plot and characters. I do however think that for a short 12 episode anime series it’s a good binge.
The animated visuals are stunning with a flawless blend of 2D and 3D animation. Especially in the action sequences including the Ridebacks. It fills the viewers with adrenaline whenever a fight happens. Character design-wise, all of the characters can come off as bland and normal. But I personally appreciate this change from the more eye-catching and unrealistic approach to character design.
The biggest drawback I can say about this anime is once again its plot. Whenever it does not deal with our main character the story feels like it’s rushing itself and forcing our heroine from one situation to another. But aside from that, this was a memorable experience and an anime that has stuck with me since I first watched it in middle school. Even with all its flaws and old anime style, I believe it’s a unique experience that won’t feel like another generic copy and past story.
Article by guest contributer Hailey Walker