Rideback: The Complete Series

| June 27, 2011

Rideback is sci-fi anime done right and one of the best things to come out this year! Set in the distant future, the world has been taken over by an organization called the GGP, the Global Government Plan. As the world is encapsulated by this new world order, our main character, Rin Ogata is a ballet dancer that gets her dreams crushed by suffering an accident during a performance. Rin decides to quit and go to school and finds a unique club of motor enthusiasts that ride hybrid motorcycle machines called ridebacks. It is here that Rin and company are dragged into a crazy world of rideback racing, the GGP and terrorists that threaten their very lives.
First and foremost, Rideback on Blu-Ray is pretty damn impressive visually . The video is presented in full 1080p with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. All of the animation and CGI look pretty smooth and crisp, even when together on the screen. From the detail in the characters, the lush use of colors and the great backgrounds, everything this anime shows off visually is pure bliss. The animation was done by studio Madhouse, one of the biggest in Japan and they have done a wonderful job realizing Tetsuro Kasahara’s manga into an anime.
The audio mixes for Rideback on Blu-Ray are the Dolby True HD English 5.1 mix and the Dolby True HD Japanese 2.0 mix. Both mixes are really good in terms of clarity and directionality. The English mix gets a bit more kudos, due to it getting full use of front channel and surround channel panning. There are some times where the English mix gets a bit too loud during action sequences but overall sounds very impressive. The english cast do a pretty good job retaining the character and spirit presented in the Japanese language track. I preferred to listen to the Japanese track during a majority of the show and found myself only switching during the action sequences.
Rideback has a very odd sense of structure, due to it utilizing many different genres of anime. Yeah, there’s some mecha action and a few rideback races thrown here and there but the sci-fi element has the most going for it. Sci-fi always examines our world in a mirror and it gives the audience something to reflect on. Rideback‘s major point is to look at the world, post 9/11 and deals with the complexity of Big Brother type govenments and the war on terror. From literal images ripped off of the Twin Towers being attacked to the use of torture against suspects of terrorism, Rideback uses the form of animation to examine these problems that plague our society. Rideback uses these visuals and an interesting approach to storytelling to give the audience a compelling and exciting anime that has some serious meat on it’s bones.
The extras department is seriously lacking on this release. The only things included on the Blu-Ray are commentary for the 4th and 10th episodes, textless opening and closing songs and a set of Funimation trailers. It would have been nice to get a few more things and maybe some behind the scenes, but the show makes up for it in it’s content. Overall, Rideback is stellar show that won’t take up too much of your time. It’s only 12 episodes long and pretty entertaining the entire way through.

About the Author:

is a graduate from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Audio for Visual Media. He works as a freelance location sound mixer, boom operator, sound designer, and writer in his native Chicago. He's an avid collector of films, comics, and anime.
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