Real Drive, “Eat”
Posted by Doug on October 10, 2008
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is one of the best anime series out there, and so when I heard that Production I.G and Masamune Shirow were teaming up on a new series, naturally I decided to check it out.
I’m not sure what i was expecting Real Drive to be—given Masamune Shirow’s style, I think I envisioned it to focus on a beautiful but tough as nails female lead à la Major Kusanagi or Deunan Knute. I was not expecting Aoi Minamo.
Minamo is the sort of character that feels like the fact that she hates green peppers is so noteworthy she should mention it as a part of introducing herself. Her only talent is…uh, well…ahem…lemme think…well, I’m sure she’s good at something.
Real Drive strikes me as Masamune Shirow’s attempt at a sci-fi slice-of-life series: Wheelchair-bound octogenarian Masamichi Haru uses his talents at deep-sea diving to solve various problems on the über-Internet, with the help of his bespectacled android secretary/bodyguard Holon and green-pepper-hating helper/cheerleader Minamo.
In the fifteenth episode, “Eat,” Haru investigates a club whose patrons are addicted to the synthetic sensations of virtual food and, as a result, they stop eating in real life and suffer serious malnutrition.
Cyber-eating disorders. Yeah, they have an episode about cyber-eating disorders.
No bad guys here: indeed, Real Drive as a whole seems devoid of villains and villainousness. Even the android martial artist Iron Schwartz in episode five “Sous-Marin” came across as comical rather than criminal.
But don’t misunderstand me, here: I like this series, even though I can’t explain why. Maybe because it’s just so different. I mean, come on—how many anime series are there out there where the male lead is an eighty-year-old guy in a wheelchair, and he isn’t used solely for comic relief?
Sigh…sixty-one to go…