Rideback, “Crimson Iron Horse”
Posted by Doug on January 16, 2009
A mecha by any other name… In Gundam, they are mobile suits. In Full Metal Panic!, they are Arm Slaves. Martian Successor Nadesico gives us the Aestivalis, and Neon Genesis Evangelion gives us nightmares the EVAs. They never just call them “mecha,” it seems. Such a generic term is just too…well, it’s just too generic, and so you find Megadeuses, Variable Fighters, and Landmates. If you want your mecha powered by steam engines, seek out Sakura Wars and its Koubu; if you want it to wield a bow and/or sing, watch some Rahxephon for its eponymous mecha (you get some Vermillions as a bonus). Think your mecha should surf through the air? Me neither, but Eureka Seven‘s got LFOs that do just that. If you absolutely must kick reason to the curb and do the impossible, you will require a Ganmen, preferably a model with at least one drill attached. And a mole-pig.
If you want your mecha to transform into a motorcycle with arms, you want a Rideback.
But a mecha needs someone to operate it, and an anime about mecha needs a main character. And who would make a better Rideback driver and main character than a college freshman ex-ballet dancer young lady? That question was rhetorical; Ogata Rin is the lead, an up-and-coming ballet star who got injured and gave up the stage so she could go to college, wander into the garage of the campus Rideback club, take a spin on a malfunctioning Rideback, and flash her panties at everyone on campus.
Rideback is one of those few anime I can remember that is set at a college campus (the only other one I can think of off the top of my head is Ah! My Goddess); I am kind of intrigued by the first episode, partially because I wonder where they are going to go with the different factions that they mention are vying for control of the world, but mostly because the whole idea of a mecha that transforms into a motorcycle is just silly enough to be cool.