Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Real Drive - Episode 12

Real Drive's episode quality has been all over the place since the beginning of the series, quite literally varying from the ridiculous to the sublime. Thus, it's always a little difficult to predict what to expect from the show.

In all honesty, episode twelve as an entire entity is a rather sedate one, with Minamo befriending a blind girl who has recently been granted sight via optical implants while Haru searches for a unique Metal artist known as Iris. Really, the link between these two segments of the episode's plot scream out in a cacophony of predictability even in writing, and in the episode itself that link is even more blatant - Unless, of course, you happen to be a major character in the series itself.

Anyhow, while the episode itself is hardly either taxing or exciting, it does win some points for doing what a series of this ilk really should do - Pose some interesting questions. Scientifically, the episode provides some interesting little snippets about brain development for anyone who is congenitally blind, going on to posit the question as to how (and indeed if) someone who is blind from birth should be granted sight. As a wider point from this, it also questions whether it's really right to work towards and create a world without disability, particularly considering that many with those disabilities would consider their disadvantage to be anything but, as these things often build stronger personalities in other areas. As medical science improves by the week, it's a huge question that we may find ourself facing more and more often, so to see it asked here in this futuristic world makes for an interesting talking point.

With that in mind, this episode did redeem itself by providing some hugely interesting food for thought to go with the lavish and beautiful visuals of the series. It's a bit of a slow-burner, and it's certainly no Ghost in the Shell, but I have to heap some respect on any series that is willing to both do its homework about a given subject, and then raise some important moral and philosophical points that we may well find ourselves having for real in the near future. If that is the true aim of Real Drive (and I suspect it is), on this occasion at least it has succeeded.

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