Friday, January 30, 2009

Ride Back, Episode 03

I am hoping that Andrew swoops in to assure me that the manga is better.

It's an alarming sign when the most exciting bits are the shounen-inspired race scenes. Rin is passively interesting, but cannot carry the work by herself. Shouko isn't much more than a wallflower. Suzuri needs to fall off a Ride Back and break her goddamn neck. I can't even remember the names of Glasses Guy and the other one. Katoaka is the Rival and Potential Plot Device right now. Okakura is the only one that grabs me, but that's largely because he bears an actual relation to the politics and history of the world -- the draw of the series to begin with!

I also am not optimistic that it'll be satisfying if they get around to "the war shit" as Andrew has previously described. The likelihood of hurried exposition that is revealed simply when it's convenient isn't my lone worry, either -- anime just rarely succeeds in presentation of politics. The only titles that meet that level have been made by Kenji Kamiyama, Mamoru Oshii or Satoshi Kon. Just about any other attempt either makes a superficial protest (Kamichu!, Now and Then, Here and There) or else becomes too apologetic (Gasaraki, Zipang).

Maybe Hideki Arai has spoiled me with The World is Mine and Kiichi!!, but that's still no fucking excuse for this apolitical attitude that Japan apparently has in their graphic mediums.


  1. I'm not even bothering with this fucker any more; Madhouse's inability to adapt a manga continues.
    Removing the fucking point from a manga is just baffling. And they do this every time; in this case, politics, but with Neuro, the insane glee, with Princess Resurrection, the blood stained camp, with Allison and Lillia, the fucking adventure....
    Only Moryo no Hako survived. No idea how.

  2. While I plan on finishing Ride Back the anime, I do have to agree with David about how apolitical it is. Disappointing to say the least, given how the political nature of the series was the major draw for me in the beginning. Sounds like I'll be headed to the manga before long as well.

    @Andrew: So you're saying that Madhouse is never able to properly adapt a manga? Are you sure about that? Sure, their original works are generally much more consistent, but there have been quite a few good manga adaptations by Madhouse. Aside from the aforementioned Moryo no Hako (although that's technically adapted from a novel), there's Hajime no Ippo (first series), Monster, Shigurui, BECK, Hanada Shonen-shi, Claymore, Kaiji .... the list goes on.

  3. In recent years, obviously.
    Back with Monster and Hajime no Ippo, they were fine. Beck as well.
    Shigurui is fucking terrible. Classic Madhouse; take a visceral manly manga and make it SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW. And fuck boring. (I believe two other editors here will vehemently disagree.)
    Claymore was fucking shit to begin with. Kaiji wasn't ever going to be my thing.
    Don't even recognize Hanada Shonene-shi.

  4. Andrew and I do not see eye to eye with Shigurui. (Though controversially slow pacing aside, the point of the manga is more than intact.)

    This talk about Madhouse reminds me that the only Madhouse anime I've kept over the years have been directed by Kon, Hamazaki and Hosoda. When the hell did this happen?!

    Oh, and did you actually watch the third Ride Back episode, Andrew? Just how much is the anime deviating here?

  5. By this point there had already been pitched battles between riot police and student protesters, and the race in this episode was interrupted by a terrorist attack.
    Since none of that seems to be happening, fuck it.