RErideD is a terrible failure and I love it

Derrida, Absurd

Yes, to the man holding a coffee cup from the top.

Oh, how to review RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida (RErideD: Derrida Who Leaps Through Time)? The title alone makes no sense. What the heck does RErideD mean? Red… Ride… Ride again… D, past tense… an incomplete anagram of Derrida? The French philosopher? What?

I’m already off topic, but that’s okay because it’s a running theme in RErideD. The show is an absolute narrative disaster. But oh my god, it’s so funny, in the tradition of disasterpieces like The Room or Mirai Nikki. I don’t want to sound cruel mocking a bad thing though; I love RErideD. It’s a real diamond in the rough. Just a really, really ugly diamond. Despite the uncountable flaws though, it feels like genuine, earnest effort went into the series (and maybe even a touch of misguided inspiration). It tried. And wow, did it fail.

First, a quick plot teaser to establish the premise:

The implausibly young super-scientist Derrida Yvain discovers a bug in a new line of autonomous killing robots. Of course, his ~evil~ corporate employer wants to sell the robots (bad robber baron! bad!) and the ~evil~ conspiratorial government wants to start a war (bad shadowy cabal! bad!), so Derrida must flee from an arbitrary series of hitmen and assassins. He escapes to the future via cryofreezing, but discovers a post-apocalypse populated by the robots, now turned into rampant zombie husks that murder humans on sight. With the help of a childhood friend and a tough mercenary father-daughter pair with their loyal dog self-driving AI car in tow, Derrida sets off to find Mage, the one girl that holds the key to fixing the bug and restoring the world.

There’s also something about time travel. Remember, it’s a real mess.

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‘Tis the season of excessive jargon: technobabble in three fall 2018 sci-fi anime

They don’t just “sound” complicated, pal…

One of my biggest annoyances with science fiction is exposition-dump technobabble: meandering, meaningless jargon that seems to enjoy itself for its difficult sounds rather than its actual utility in the story. Technobabble doesn’t have to be bad: the most iconic example I can think of off the top of my head comes from Back to the Future, which lightly satirizes big science words by introducing a nuclear-powered “flux capacitor” that requires “one point twenty-one gigawatts of electricity” to induce time travel. It’s funny when blabbered out by Back to the Future’s kooky, mad-scientist parody, (especially because the old man came up with the idea after knocking himself unconscious by falling off a toilet) but only so because so much science fiction uses so much use-less jargon unironically. (Please, use less!)

I don’t really have an argument this week. However, I did notice a few interesting comparisons in the use of exposition technobabble in the three three science fiction anime I’ve picked up this fall 2018 season (Sword Art Online: Alicization, Akanesasu Shoujo, and RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida). With nothing better to do during some office downtime, I thought I would scribble down some spare impressions.

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