Sunday, 30 November 2008

Real Drive - Episode 26 (Completed)

So, Real Drive is over at last, and the world is safe from the threat of technology once again, all thanks to the powers and wonder of the sea.

I suppose this kind of climax was inevitable from the very start, but for a primarily science fiction show such as Real Drive it's actually rather surprising to see it take such a nature-centric end-view of itself. In essence, the damage caused by the weather nanomachines is stopped by switching off the Metal entirely (and causing the full beauty of the universe to be revealed thanks to the loss of light pollution), but in its place the sea reveals its powers to store memories and generate the energy needed for the world to survive and progress. If I'm honest, it's all a bit soppy as endings go (not to mention rather far-fetched, with Haru's ageing reversed entirely and Holon and fellow androids reactivated, all thanks to the power of the sea!), and the whole thing is a little difficult for me to get a handle on regarding my own opinion toward this ending. On the one hand, it certainly gains points for being different, and does fit in with some of the environmental topics covered by the series, but on the other it felt at odds with the science and technology angle to the point where its ending was almost spiritual.

Whatever your thoughts on the ending, I don't think this should detract from the fact that Real Drive simply went on for too long - As I've asserted before, it should only ever have been a thirteen episode series with much of its filler cut out, which would have created a far more compact and compelling storytelling unit. As it is, I have to admit that I really grew to like Minamo, and indeed many of the other main characters, but I would have done so without the needless filler which detracted from the real message of the series so much that I feel it's at least partly responsible for my conflicted emotions over its ending. Real Drive wasn't a bad series by any stretch of the imagination, but by the same token it wasn't what it should be, especially coming from the people who brought us Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.

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