RErideD Review

RErideD Blu-ray

AKA: RErideD: Derrida Who Leaps Through Time, RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida
Genre: Sci-Fi/Adventure/Drama
Year Released: 2018
Distributor: Funimation/Crunchyroll

Origin: Japan
Running Time: TV Series, 12 episodes, 24 minutes each
Rating/Recommended Audience: 13+

Related Films/Series: N/A

For Fans Of: Noein, Steins;Gate, Texhnolyze, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Doctor Who, The Place Promised In Our Early Days, Now and Then Here and There
Notes:
-I reviewed the series through Crunchyroll and watched the Japanese version.

-I also recommend this review of the same series from Never Argue With a Fish.
Fun Facts:

-RErideD is the debut work from the studio Geek Toys. Their other notable work is Hensuki. This is also the first time a Yoshitoshi ABe project was animated outside of Triangle Staff, Radix, and Madhouse.

-Hilarious in Hindsight: This anime had a codename of “Project D”. I’m sure Takumi Fujiwara and the Takahashi brothers from Initial D would be proud even if it has nothing to do with street racing (okay, there are car chases, but that doesn’t count).

-Derrida Yvain is voiced by Kensho Ono. His other anime work extends to the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure remake as Giorno, Ryunosuke from Bungo Stray Dogs, and Tomohiro from A Silent Voice. He’s even been the Japanese dub voice of multiple characters played by Daniel Radcliffe including Harry Potter, Andy from Toy Story 3, and Miles Morales from Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse

-RErideD is an original screenplay that marks the third time Takuya Sato collaborated with Yoshitoshi ABe. Sato did storyboard work in Serial Experiments Lain and directed NieA_7. Come to think about it, this anime and NieA_7 have randomly capitalized letters in the titles, and—oh wait, ABe-sensei was involved, so never mind that. Hahaha! 😛

-Literary Bonus: The Yvain family are named after French author Jacques Derrida and with his book “Yvain, the Knight of the Lion”.


This review completes a major goal I had for 2019 for my reviews. As of this moment, I have reviewed every anime series that Yoshitoshi ABe created/co-created! I do have to make an addendum that I’m not counting Welcome to the NHK even though he did cover illustrations to the light novels. Getting back on track here, this name should be familiar to anyone who has followed my blog over the past two years. It’s safe to say that I’ve been kind to him and his works. Haibane Renmei was the first thing I ever gave a 10 to. Texhnolyze followed suit to get another 10 which made ABe the only creator to get two 10/10s on this blog. Serial Experiments Lain wasn’t as good, but it still has a place in anime history and was still a great watch. NieA_7 had a unique concept despite some questionable moments like the post-credits stuff mainly. When I found out that ABe was involved with a new anime series while collaborating with Takuya Sato (known for directing Steins;Gate for those scoring at home), I knew I had to review this as soon as I had the first chance to watch it.

Is this going to be another high-caliber work from one of the most creative artists and animators from Japan? Let’s leap through this and check out the latest work from ABe-sensei.

RErideD starts out in the year 2050. It’s in a utopian futuristic environment with hi-tech cars, computers, and robots around. The main character is Derrida Yvain who is a robotics engineer who helped invent some new robot AI called the DZ. Things started out just fine as he visits his colleague Nathan Bilstein’s house to celebrate his eight-year-old daughter Mage’s birthday. Unfortunately, things get intense afterwards. Derrida and Nathan discover a flaw with a common AI system originally created by the former’s father Jacques. They try to warn him, but what doesn’t help is that their boss Hans Andrei is willing to exploit this flaw in the system in order to weaponize it with killing machines. The secret gets out which leads to the deaths of Nathan and Jacques. The news smears Derrida and he eventually gets frozen in cryogenic stasis. He wakes up a decade later into a war-torn dystopian setting. The population has been decimated and the DZs roam the cities to kill at will. He’s eventually saved by ex-soldier/bounty hunter Vidaux Volker and his young daughter Mayuka. How will he clear his name, survive this hellish war zone, and to find a way to go back to his past which he mysterious has the ability to go back in waves?

It’s good that original screenplays are still made in this era of constant remakes, adaptations, and sequels. Even though ABe isn’t a newcomer to sci-fi (just look at any anime he was involved in besides Haibane Renmei), there were certainly some fascinating things in this series. It’s nice how you have a male main character who has intelligence as a primary trait which I appreciate. Derrida is very smart as he’s able to invent and code things let alone making a scientific dissertation about time travel which I thought was great. He certainly is sympathetic for being blamed for something he didn’t do and seeing his inventions used for malicious purposes. I really wanted him to succeed. The other protagonists were certainly interesting in their own right. Vidaux may come across as some gruff money-loving gunman, but he is likable and has some useful bits of wisdom. The shutterbug Yuri starts out as some photo-crazy girl, but grows up after the time skip as a very concerned individual who wants to help find Mage as well as Derrida. Besides the main characters, there were things to like about RErideD. The opening theme “Paradox” by Quadrangle was a nice J-rock number which certainly worked with this anime. The ending theme “Toki no Tsubasa” was a pleasant ambient number that’s complemented with ABe’s hand drawn work. While I didn’t like the songs as much as previous ABe anime series, they were still good in their own right.

Some of you are certainly rolling your eyes. I know what you’re all thinking. “Oh, Yoshitoshi ABe was involved, so this pretentious blogger is certainly going to give a glowing review. He might even give RErideD a perfect 10 just like Haibane Renmei and Texhnolyze.”

I have my biases which I won’t lie about. With that being said, just because I like several works from a certain creator it doesn’t mean I’m automatically going to sing the praises of someone or something. Here’s a spoiler. This is the worst anime I’ve ever seen ABe’s name attached to it.

Shock of all shocks, I’m going to rip apart certain elements. For starters, the animation and art style are mediocre. The CGI used looked boxy and incongruous. The animation felt so-so despite the glossy look. The art style looks completely generic besides the ending credits and the promotional art. This could’ve been drawn by anyone. Say what you want about ABe, but he has a VERY unique and distinctive art style with his character designs that does translate into animation, but the characters could’ve been from any other artists and I would not have noticed it. There were also way too many plot holes and world-building inconsistencies that were just as bad if not worse than Children of the Whales. How is it that Derrida can just go back in time because of his memories? What the heck is “anti-clockwise”? Why would they make human-like robots (not the DZs) who are susceptible to copy human looks and to kill people while avoiding any PR blowback (this could also apply to Blade Runner. BURN!). Also, I need to spoil something here. Ange, the girl who randomly shows up whenever Derrida does a Time Leap DOESN’T ACTUALLY EXIST! That was a huge cop-out because it looked like she would play a major role in the series. The background music is generic at best and tonally dissonant at worst. It’s a laughing stock compared to the music featured in Texhnolyze, Lain, and especially Haibane Renmei (Ko Otani deserves a freaking Grammy for that anime’s soundtrack!). The villains were just one-note psychotic businessmen. Sure, Andrei starts out threatening, but ends up being a total wimp of a mastermind post-time skip. These antagonists have nothing on Kano from Texhnolyze (my #2 most underrated anime villain for those that remember my Top 7 list). While it does tell a complete story, the ending felt so cheesy and was more fitting of a Disney movie than an ABe work with the forced optimism and plot conveniences to make sure a happy ending exists at all costs. It was frustrating because I know ABe and his collaborators can and have done so much better than this.

RErideD was disappointing for me. While there were some good characters in it, this felt stupid compared to the typically cerebral and artistic entries into ABe’s library of works. The theme songs were good and I wouldn’t mind listening to them here and there, but the background score is forgettable at best. This was riddled with plot holes and so many confusing elements that don’t make sense. Sure, some previous works can confuse others who aren’t used to more brainy pieces of animations (Lain and Texhnolyze being the obvious culprits even though I enjoyed them), but RErideD has no excuse since the narrative is clearly straightforward. I probably sound angrier than what I actually am which I do apologize. I don’t hate RErideD, but knowing that everything else I’ve seen from Yoshitoshi ABe was better than this, I could only find his latest creation to be average.

Abe-sensei, even you have bouts of mediocrity. I just didn’t expect it to happen with this time traveling anime.

P. S. Am I the only person who thinks the subtitle sounds way too much like that one Hosada film? I’m just saying.


Adjustable Rating System:

Add 1-2 points if you’re a die hard ABe or Sato fan.
Subtract 1-3 points if you need your anime to make sense.

Pros:

-Likable main characters
-Good theme songs
-Nice promotional art and ending credit scenes

Cons:
-Mediocre animation, art style, and CGI
-Lackluster villains
-Rampant plot holes and inconsistent world building

Final Score: 5/10 points

Content Warning: RErideD is fine for teens and up. There are multiple death scenes and the violence can get bloody. There’s some swearing here and there, but nothing major. Some drinking and smoking is on display. There’s a scene where the adult version of Mage is partially nude, but her hair and flowers cover her breasts and crotch. The concept of war profiteering and mass murder is disturbing and some aspects could fly over children’s heads.

All photos property of their respective owners and used under US “Fair Use” laws. RErideD is property of Funimation and Crunchyroll. The Blu-Ray cover is from Amazon and is property of Funimation and Crunchyroll.

6 comments

  1. Ah, this is the one. Yeah, definitely in that camp. I won’t blame ABe though considering that he only did the art. The director really didn’t allow ABe’s art to shine either, though the visual direction was so bad that nothing looked good anyway. Why did he have to choose this one to work on?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yup. I remember you not being to keen on RErideD in one of your posts. Sorry if it sounded like I was making ABe the only person to blame for this anime. Sato should’ve known better as well with making the art actually work and also for making a decent story since they’ve both done it before (side note: I haven’t seen Steins;Gate yet even though I know what it’s about). I was so disappointed in this series because it should’ve been so much more. Fingers crossed that the Despera anime sees the light of day (RIP, Ryutaro Nakamura). I’m asking myself that question, too.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sure thing and thanks for checking out the review. How many ABe works have you seen? I guarantee you all of them are better than RErideD.

      Oh, really? That’s interesting. I thought the subtitle was so glaring and the fact time travel is involved in this anime and Hosoda’s movie, it did make me go “hmm…” when they chose the full name of that series.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sometimes my brain just misses really obvious stuff, my brain tends to go its own circuitous route to things.

        I’ve not seen much of ABe’s work before. I know you’ve mentioned Haibane Renmei to be before and Texhnolyze as well, I think. If they’re not already on my list to watch then I’ll add them. You keep introducing me to a tonne of anime to check out.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Don’t feel bad about it. Some things I might not notice the first time while other times I feel like I’m the only person who thinks something is a bit funny. You might see the latter when I have some hilarious in hindsight fun facts like when it comes to actors or plot points.

        Gotcha and I was curious about that. He’s been involved in some great works. Yeah, I tend to introduce people to a bunch of anime or other media in conversations. Since this blog focuses on mostly lesser-known works from around the world, I know people will be exposed to animation, live action works, documentaries, and shorts that they probably have never thought about or heard of.

        Liked by 1 person

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