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AKA: エクスドライバー, eX-D
Genre: Sci-fi driving
Length: OAV, 6 episodes, 24 minutes each
Distributor: R1 DVD from Media Blasters / AnimeWorks out of print
Content Rating: PG (mild violence, fan service)
Related Series: eX-Driver: Danger Zone, eX-Driver: The Movie
Also Recommended: Gunsmith Cats, You're Under Arrest
Notes:
Rating:
 

eX-Driver

Synopsis

In the future, people will get by with the help of transportation known as "AI Cars". Only a select few are capable of driving gasoline cars manually, of which has become a lost knowledge to society in itself. Enter Lisa and Lorna. They are called the "eX-Drivers". Their mission: to stop AI cars gone wild.

Review

In the future, people will also apparently be incompetent.

This show has introduced me to a relatively new concept of the future in which people are so lazy that they don't even know how to drive and have to rely on a highly flawed automatic AI driving system to go through daily life.

In any event, I can see the derived benefits of having an automatic driving system, mainly for people that are handicapped. But for some obscure reason, just about no one in the immediate public knows how to drive. And because of that, everyone is forced to adapt to an obviously faulty AI driving system. And since everyone adapted to that system, chances of disaster are rather large. One wonders why there wouldn't be some kind of manual override or even an OFF switch found conveniently inside any of the AI cars, but I digress.

Anyway, when the people in charge went about solving the problem, they decided to use taxpayer's money or money from large corporations to employ individuals known as "eX-Drivers" to put a stop to the "AI cars gone wild".

So, instead of developing a more sophisticated program that would have a lower probability of screwing up or devising a more practical and economical solution, you get "eX-Drivers". You have a bunch of people driving around in supposedly very expensive cars and with the latest tracking technology just for the sake of shooting these little sensors found on all of the runaway AI cars.

Even a monkey with half - -brain would know that the approach taken is stupid. Unfortunately, the people that willingly use the system in the series aren't even at that level of complex thought.

It could very well be that the government and corporations are profiting from all this somehow, although this is never really made clear in the series. But even if they were given more time to develop the story, I'm still quite sure it wouldn't end up that way.

Finally, I was completely dismayed by the fact that the foundation of a society such as this literally crumbles in the face of adversity when a bunch of thugs go around harassing people with superior non-AI cars. It's so bad that mass starvation could actually happen since the trucks delivering food wouldn't be able to get to the destinations they needed to go to. The fact that such a thing can even be considered to the level of terrorism is simply pathetic.

But in essence, a show like this is not to be taken very seriously at all ... although sometimes it begs to be. In an effort to up the drama, they have the characters contemplate the idea of their team being disbanded and its members going their separate ways. But then, it really just makes you want to ask, "Who cares?"

These very large and difficult concept problems aside, I found exactly ONE redeeming value to it all: The excellent driving sequences. While they may be exaggerated here and there, it's not very common to find car scenes as great as the ones found on this OAV. I guess I also enjoyed the light nature of the show, but I have to say that the characterization just feels uninspired. You have the standard two sexy female leads with contrasting personalities and some snot-nosed punk kid that knows too much for his own good. Brilliant.

Overall, I found this to be an entertaining, albeit mediocre, experience. I don't suggest buying the DVD or anything, but if you ever have the opportunity to sit through this, you should. If only for the slick driving scenes since that's about the only thing that really works outside of the thoughtlessly conceived plot.

I can't think of a reason to deduct any further. Still, two stars. — Dominic Laeno

Recommended Audience: There is fan service, but it's nothing too out there. All you get are somewhat harmless crazy antics involving driving.



Version(s) Viewed: R1 DVD
Review Status: Full (6/6)
eX-Driver © 2002 A-Line / ACTAS