RS Keikaku: Rebirth Storage is a special one-episode anime that aired on Japanese streaming service FOD this past weekend. Short though it may have been, it was just long enough to grab my interest and make me want to see it turned into a full series.
RS Keikaku: Rebirth Storage basically pulls its setting right out of Evangelion: As alien creatures fall from the skies, a group of humans are sent out in man-made giant robots, reverse engineered from the invaders, to do battle. Of course, this is hardly an original plot at this point, but it’s the twists on the common formula that caught my interest.
The first twist is that the main mecha of the series, the newest prototype, requires two people to pilot it. One pilot is connected to the giant robot via a direct mental interface, which allows the mecha to move as if it were the pilot’s body. The co-pilot sits in a normal cockpit and monitors the battle from a broader perspective, passing information to the pilot.
Because of this partner system, it’s imperative that the pilot and co-pilot work well together–which, of course, they don’t in this anime. Young co-pilot Rin is paired with top-of-her-class pilot Yuzuru to maneuver the new mecha. While Rin prefers a cautious approach, Yuzuru is much more inclined to rush in, relying on her piloting skills and the power of the mecha instead of strategy.
Of course, 21 minutes is hardly enough time to flesh out their evolving relationship (one reason I would love a full series); but the anime does its best by using time jumps to build and develop their relationship in just a few scenes. And just when the two begin working on the same basic wavelength, we get the next big twist. There is a price to pay for using the neural interface: the pilot’s memories. And much like in 2013’s Valvrave the Liberator, the condition can be fatal.
From there, the anime goes a bit into information overload with Rin embarking on a clandestine mission to discover why he and Yuzuru were chosen to pilot the prototype mecha and the mystery behind the memory loss. And even though the revelations he discovers are interesting and meaningful, it just feels incredibly rushed.
As a proof of concept or pilot episode for something greater, RS Keikaku: Rebirth Storage does a decent job at leaving the viewer wanting more. It has characters you’d like to know more about, and seeing them grow closer over several episodes would be a treat. Likewise, the mystery of the memory loss and the reason Rin and Yuzuru are chosen as pilots would work much better if each issue were allowed to be uncovered naturally, little by little. So here’s hoping to see a full series somewhere down the line.
RS Keikaku: Rebirth Storage streams in Japan on FOD. It is not currently streaming outside of Japan.