Rideback is about a girl who is the daughter of a famous dancer. During one of her performances she falls and then quits her dancing career. Some time later when she joins the Theatrical Academy, she finds out about a Ride Back club and then rides the bike to waste some time because of the very rainy weather outside. But something is wrong with the bike and she looses control. While trying to stop she finds out that the bike responds to her movements. She is able to sort of dance with the bike and gets inspired by it. As Rin gets more and more into the Rideback scene tension between GGP and “terrorists” heat up, causing an even bigger mess and getting Rin and her club members caught up in a situation there is no turning back from and forcing Okakura to confront his past.
As you can tell, the show very subtly evolves from light college adventures to a dark story about terrorism. Rideback is a real winner because the formula works, taking a typically unlikely anime premise and making it believable and compelling. 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. Action fans will also be happy as no mecha series would be complete without intense, fast paced, robot battles.
Don’t let all this mech talk detour you away from this series, if that isn’t your cup of tea. The machinery draws you in, but you stay with the shows for their human qualities. It’s got a questionable start, there is no denying that, but we also get to learn a little about the software and hardware that makes them work. It really is exhilarating to watch, with Rin just only trying to get used to the Ride Backs, and how she incorporated some of her ballet moves into Ride Back racing. Also with Studio Madhouse backing up the animation department, you know the visuals will be top notch.
Like with most anime series, there are scenes that generally speaking, didn’t need to be there. Even though it is a relatively short series, there was some fat that could have been trimmed. Most people won’t complain about it though since Rideback features motorbike robots, racing, action, emotional scenes, cuteness, intrigue & wonderful animation! But due to the short span of the show (12 episodes) it doesn’t have some of the depth and psychological make up that we expect from a lot of great anime.Still, Rideback, to my surprise, is much more complicated than I though it was going to be.
I heard Rideback has a 2nd season in process. This time it tells story of Rin’s daughter. If this is true, I welcome it with open arms. If it was not for the pacing in the early episodes, I think that Rideback could easily be at the top of my list for 2011. There was untapped potential in some background themes and one or two moments that should’ve been really emotionally hard-hitting felt a bit clumsy. That said, the idea of a transforming motorbike was slickly done and Rin was such a likeable lead character. In the end, everything meshed together and it’s more about what would you do in the current situation you are in on an instant whim to react. So the story feels right to me. Recommeded for any anime fan who wants a nice bite size series to get into.