RIDEBACK – 04
Rin is so involved with Ridebacks now that she forgets about a shopping date with Shouko and has to cancel. As it turns out though, she doesn’t get to spend time with the Fuego because Hishida and Kawai are taking the Ridebacks out for maintenance. She decides to get a ride into the city with the two so that she can go shopping after all, but their car gets stuck in a traffic jam due to the inauguration ceremony of Romanov Kallenbach. Rin calls Shouko to tell her about the delay, but while they’re on the phone, the building Shouko is in is hit with a terrorist attack by the anti-GGP group BMA. Hearing the commotion over the phone but then cut off, Rin decides that she has to go save Shouko, so she takes the Fuego from the back of the truck and speeds off. Shouko meanwhile has a close call with the terrorists and is eventually able to get in touch with Rin. She tries to warn Rin not to come, but the call gets cut off again.
Rin soon arrives at a checkpoint right outside the building, and she decides to blow past it when she sees Shouko through a window at the same time that the GGP start their assault on the terrorists inside. Crashing through the window, she saves Shouko, but the two then come face to face with the terrorists, including one who is on a Rideback. They’re saved when a GGP vehicle bursts into the area and kills the terrorists, however the GGP shoot at the Fuego as well, so Rin rides to a higher level and jumps through another window. She’s able to jump the Fuego over the mass of GGP forces and onto an unguarded road, but the GGP forces are now after her. Rin manages to use jumps and speed to get past more of them, and in the process she feels oddly close to the Fuego, like it’s an extension of herself. However, she and Shouko are eventually surrounded on a bridge by GGP forces.
With nowhere to run, Shouko thinks that they should give themselves up, but Rin doesn’t immediately do so. Instead, she hears someone’s voice suggesting that she jump, and in the distance she suddenly sees a missile fired toward the bridge. Rin takes this opportunity to jump off the side of the bridge, and the rocket races past her and hits a GGP helicopter. She gets another feeling of connectedness with the Fuego during the jump and finds herself surrounded by lights, but it ends when she lands, and she races off into a nearby tunnel. While in the tunnel, Rin is approached by a white-haired man on another Rideback, and he questions if the Fuego chose Rin. Just as quickly as he appeared though, he then disappears, and Rin and Shouko return to school without further incident. Despite all that happened, Rin’s thoughts dwell on the lights she saw.
Well that certainly had a lot of flashy Rideback scenes. Is it too early to be calling it Rideback porn? In all seriousness though, this was a pretty exciting episode that managed to bring the various elements of the story together while still be chock full of action. What felt odd to me was that Rin’s priorities seemed all messed up. I mean, I understand that she wants to save her friend, but she went charging into a warzone and almost got herself (and Shouko) killed half a dozen times. She only survived because of her apparently amazing Rideback skills and because the GGP forces were suffering from the stormtrooper effect. I also don’t understand how, in the middle of all that, her thoughts can be mostly about her connection with the Fuego. You’d think that there’d be more important things on her mind, like trying not to get killed.
Anyway, I still really enjoyed the episode, and the story’s starting to shine. It looks like Rin might become something of a fugitive, though it doesn’t appear that the authorities know exactly who she is yet. I’m not sure she wants to be on either the BMA or the GGP’s side though, and despite how the white-haired guy helped her, he doesn’t seem trustworthy. She’s better off staying on her own side with the Rideback club, though as this episode shows, she doesn’t necessarily do what’s best for herself.