Rail Wars! – 01 Review
Rail Wars! The New Series About Boobs Trains
To continue on our theme, “The B’s of Summer”, I bring you: Rail Wars! This series features our final B (and most important B to some), boobies!
And, before I forget, there are also some trains involved. 😉
Also known as RAIL WARS! (so as not to be outdone by any of the other exclamatory titles this summer), this is a series that I was initially looking forward to. I’ll admit that I was pretty excited about it – I even read up on the history of the Japanese railways and the privatization of those railways so that I could present you with informed reviews. I had a great time learning about Japanese rail history; where I’m from (and where I’m at now) we don’t really have trains, or any public transportation that deserves more respect than spitting on the ground after mentioning it in conversation.
“But why, Kelfio, did you bother with learning about Japanese rail history?” you may be asking. Well, simply because the premise of the series was (from ANN and AniDB), “In a Japan where the nationalized railway system was never privatized: Naohito Takayama is an ordinary high school student who aspires to a comfortable life working at Japanese National Railways.” Based on that, it certainly seems like the show would mention some of the history and politics behind privatization, doesn’t it?
See? There’s some train-stuff in this anime!
The Japanese National Railways (JNR) company was privatized in 1987; it was divided into 7 companies comprising the Japan Railways Group (JR). Upon privatization, JR inherited a fully-fledged, active rail system, with a yearly volume of 204.7 billion passenger-kilometers, as well as over ¥27 trillion in debt accumulated in JNR days. Clearly, not everyone favored privatization; union workers raged against the change, fearing job losses and pay cuts (which definitely happened). However, without the competition, profits, and subsequently lower ticket prices resulting from privatization, Japan probably wouldn’t have the spectacular trains (Shinkansen, Maglev, etc) that make the rest of the world so green with envy today.
Another fascinating thing I learned about was the “Three Big Mysteries” of the JNR. The highlight (for me) was when the dismembered body of JNR’s president was found on the train tracks. Now that is some awesome mystery-genre content! I’d like to see a series like that – where all these train-related murders happen, and it seems like it’s done by ghosts or demons, but it turns out it’s all the work of the evil CEO! 😉
Well, I’m here to tell you that Rail Wars! isn’t likely to delve into anything like that. If the first episode is at all indicative of what is to come, it seems that the only thing Rail Wars! will be diving into is….. boobies. Yes, boobies!
Don’t get me wrong; boobies are great. And while this series isn’t primarily an ecchi one, when I saw the sheer volume of the female characters’ breasts, I figured we weren’t going to get a deeply thought out, finely honed, superbly crafted story. As soon as our hero, Takayama, falls face first into his coworker’s enormous rack, with his knee conveniently positioned in her crotch, I was even more sure. It was immediately followed by profuse blushing, and I could literally hear the hammering of nails into the coffin.
I’m not saying that I disliked the series. There were some good parts. I appreciated the steam-locomotive exam, where they had to achieve a speed of 100 km/hr; it showed that you have to be physically tough, but also smart and quick-thinking to do the job well. I also liked how the team took down the purse-snatchers, which was once again about balancing brains and brawn. And Haruka’s H-cups are somewhat mitigated by the fact that she’s the smartest one of the bunch.
It’s combustion efficiency! – Doesn’t that sound like the punch line to a dirty joke?
On the negative side of things, the pacing felt off throughout the episode. Their month in training was over in just a few minutes. And of course, our group of heroes graduated number one their class and immediately saved the day the first time they were out in the field. I know it’s only the first episode, and the point of it is to set the stage for the series to come… But the overall feeling was really contrived and rushed.
Another troubling issue was that the characters were nothing more than stereotypes. There’s the naïve-but-ends-up-in-compromising-situations protagonist and the whopper-tits main female, who will clearly get romantically involved. And of course, the sporty-man-hating girl will fall for the idiotic-but-reliable-and-buff best guy friend. There’s a sadistic female teacher, a country bumpkin supervisor… How much more creative could this series have gotten, right?
Yep, so did I.
There are problems with this series, for sure. Also, this series probably doesn’t have a whole lot to do with mysteries, trains, evil CEO’s, or dismembered company presidents. Despite that, it’s probably going to be a fun slice-of-life with a little adventure and a little romance. I definitely enjoyed watching it enough to continue with it. I’ll check out the next few episodes, but if nothing crazy-amazing happens, I will probably end up marathoning the second half of it some weekend when I don’t have a ton of homework or nanoparticle-stuff to attend to. Safe to say, it’s unlikely that I will regularly blog this series, but I will post periodic reviews/updates.
What did you guys think of this series? Was it what you were expecting? What direction do you think it will go?
Episode Rating: 6.0/10.0