The Fall 2018 Anime Preview Guide RErideD: Derrida, who leaps through time
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How was the first episode?
Going by the premise alone, RErideD should be at least twice as interesting as it actually is. I like the idea of a scientist waking up in a future where his creations have run amok, since that opens up all kinds of clever thematic angles. The time travel angle is also intriguing, with the potential to split and tangle the narrative in unique ways. However, despite all that sci-fi promise, my overwhelming impression from the first four episodes is one of boredom. The primary issue here is the writing, which just isn't up to the task of telling this story.
The first signs of trouble come from the characters and their interactions with one another. Derrida makes for a thoroughly forgettable protagonist, with his most defining personality trait being a vague desire to do the right thing. The series tries to give him a little depth through his relationship with his father, but this quickly gets sidelined in favor of the main plot. Derrida's band of post-apocalyptic buddies all fit squarely into generic roles: the mercenary with a heart of gold, the impossibly adorable kid, and the sharp-tongued girl with a camera. The fact that I like Vidaux's talking car more than any of the main characters sums up the extent of the problem quite nicely. As bland as the heroes are, the villains are worse. Corporate baddie Andrei is so laughably incompetent that I can't bring myself to take him seriously, and supposedly deadly assassin Donna seems to be better at delivering stale dialogue than she is at actually killing people. After four episodes, there still isn't a single person in this show that I care about.
As for the story, it's clunky at best and downright ridiculous at worst. Part of the issue is that the absence of a competent villain allows the heroes to progress without doing anything particularly clever, but the plot holes go deeper than that. The amount of narrative hand-waving and questionable logic at play here is almost impressive. Derrida literally stumbles into a cryogenic tube, the killer robots that wrecked most of the world have yet to hit anything smaller than a car, and apparently nobody guards the main lobby at the world's biggest defense contractor. If RErideD is having this much trouble making basic plot points seem believable, that doesn't bode well for any time-jumping the series might eventually employ.
There are a few positives to be found here, but they're pretty minor. The art and animation are hardly first-rate, but they are at least competent enough to get the job done. There are also some interesting ideas at play in the show's world, like the integration of robots into daily life. That being said, these small points of redemption aren't enough to justify sitting through four episodes of below-average storytelling. Even if it's not a complete disaster, there's nothing about RErideD that would make me recommend it to anyone. Unless it pulls off some kind of miracle later in the season, go right ahead and skip this show. There are plenty of better time-travel stories out there.
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