Anime Taste Testing: RErideD – Tokigoe no Derrida

In the year 2050, a young engineer named Derrida discovers a bug in the “Autonomous Machine DZ” he has helped develop. Very nearly assassinated because of this knowledge, which his boss desperately wants to cover up, Derrida manages to escape – only to stumble into a cryogenic sleep chamber and wake up 10 years later, to a post-apocalyptic world taken over by weaponized DZs gone rogue. If all this sounds like it at least couldn’t possibly be boring, think again.

I would probably have still been on board with this show if the opening episode had only turned out to be messy. It might not have been good, but it would at least have been interesting. Instead, we get twenty minutes of exposition as the series tries to fit in every piece of important (and not so important) scientific information, every bit of apparently necessary worldbuilding, every painfully obvious attempt to get the viewer emotionally invested in a little girl nobody has any reason to care about. And at the very end, roughly two minutes of anything even remotely attention-grabbing actually occurring.

But hey, once the first episode is finally through, we get some payoff in the second in terms of story, right? Nope, and by the end of that one I couldn’t be bothered watching the next two that are already released to find out. True, the second episode is better than the first, but only because we get to see boring stuff happening as opposed to just hearing people talk about it – and frankly, even that much is debatable. I mean yes, there are robots walking quite fast and shooting badly at people, and boss guy somewhere in his office acting cartoonishly villainous and greedy (think Dr. Evil crossed with Trump), but other than that, surprisingly little is achieved in terms of either plot or character development.

That’s okay though, because the saving grace of this anime is the visual design. RErideD does after all take place in the post-apocalyptic future, so obviously everything appears grimly fascinating and viscerally dark. The artwork is bold and original, depressing yet somehow also brave and daring… said nobody at all about this show. It’s bland, flat, and generic, with average animation and bog-standard character designs that inhabit a setting which could only be described as unimaginative. I don’t know what happened to Yoshitoshi Abe’s highly distinctive style, but save in the ED, absolutely nothing of it can be seen here.

This all might sound unreasonably harsh. I can say with a fair amount of certainty that RErideD is going to be far from the worst series airing this season; it’s tedious, not terrible, and nor is it in any way offensive. For all I know, it might even be one of the better fall titles when all is said and done. But unless I’m left with almost nothing else to watch, I doubt I’ll be coming back for more.

Question of the post: What did you think of the first episode (or several episodes if you got that far) of RErideD? Am I being too hard on the show, or is it really just that dull?

12 thoughts on “Anime Taste Testing: RErideD – Tokigoe no Derrida

  1. Interestingly, some people were interested for Rerided because of Abe Yoshitoshi’s character designs (he of Serial Experiments Lain). Although just having interesting designs can only bring the show so far…

    On a side note, how did you find Free – Dive to the Future as a whole? I hear reviews were largely good, although some viewers were wishing for more screentime for Nagisa, Rei and the new Iwatobi recruits.
    How would you like to see the 2020 installment of Free? As a movie, or a new TV season?


    1. Yes, he’s very well-known in the industry, particularly among Western fans it seems. I was interested in the show because of the premise, but Yoshitoshi’s very distinctive artwork would have been a bonus.

      I liked the first few episodes of Dive to the Future, then lost a lot of interest around the second half. I felt it just sort of petered out after a while, and some of the characters started to grate on me a bit, just because their issues and how they dealt with them felt so contrived. I don’t doubt there’ll be another new TV season within the next couple of years though, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was another movie on top of that.


  2. I still haven’t gotten to this title even though it was released early. The reviews I’ve read haven’t been great and I’m debating whether to bother or not. I think I’ll wait and see how the rest of my watch list goes and if I’m short of titles I’ll check it out but otherwise I’ll probably give it a miss.


    1. That sounds like a good compromise. I haven’t read any other reviews so I have no idea how well received (or not) the show is, but it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that other viewers weren’t so impressed either.


  3. It’s okay, and that’s about all I can say. At least, it’s not full of post-structuralist pseudo-babble, as I feared. I have no idea why they use the name Derrida (and other French names). It seems false advertising (which is actually a relief).

    I’ll probably stick with it as a comfort watch. Sounds strange to say this about a post-apocalyptic show, but this is just familiar fair. It strikes me as the sort of show where the twists surprise you because you never thought they were supposed to be twists until the reveal makes a big deal of them.


    1. I don’t know, I think even the full-blown post-structuralist pseudo-babble might have made for a more interesting show than this dull thing. But I get what you mean, and as you say, a completely average show can indeed make for a decent comfort watch.


      1. The blueprint I had in mind was Ergo Proxy. The show was definitely more interesting than this, and could be breathtaking at times, but boy did the babble drag the show down (there were characters named Deleuze, Kristeva, and Lacan, IIRC). This never looked like it had much promise, to me, so I feared I’d get exactly the show we get, but with the babble. I doubt I could have taken that.


          1. I haven’t seen it, but it’s on my list. (I remember it being on TV, the entire series in one night, but I couldn’t watch it, because I had to be elsewhere. Interesting. My impression, so far, was that it was mostly a silent show. Maybe most people repress the memory.)


              1. I’ll get around to it one day. Problem is, it’s not a show you bring up to relax, so it’s not easy to find the time. But reading that review certainly renewed my interest (I think I may have actually read it back in 2015; it sounded sort of familiar.) I’m now quite curious what I’d make of the ending.



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