Alan Smithee

Weeaboo Wednesday – Riding Bean

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Step into the wayback machine with me as I think back on one of the most bizarre anime I’ve ever watched.

Calling Riding Bean a strange movie is nothing short of calling George Lucas retarded, it’s too easy to do so. Yes I used the word retard, deal with it.

I’m unsure as to what came into existence first, the OVA or the manga, but considering video being the last step when it comes to the life of manga, it’s safe to say that the manga probably existed around the same time or before this ever showed up. The idea of the series comes from the mind of Kenichi Sonoda from the time before many of you reading this were born, 1989…when i was still in my single digits of living. Those of you more adept at manga and anime probably picked up on the Sonoda name because he’s the same man behind Gunsmith Cats (which will show up some time later on WeaWed).

The plot of the OVA is that of a highly skilled, aggressive, strong, and arguably insane courier named Bean Bandit (oh Japan, you so funny with names) getting wrapped up in a crime in which he didn’t commit, even though he wouldn’t be adverse to crime itself…I mean, he IS a professional courier with a car that has more gadgets than a Bond vehicle. Joining him along on most of his jobs is Rally (sometimes spelled Larry by racist ass whiteys) Vincent who is adeptly proficient with firearms. The two of them find themselves being pursued by Chicago’s Finest for the kidnapping of a very rich man’s daughter while they attempt to solve the caper and clear their names, with hilarious results.

While this OVA is mainly an action-porn with all of the gunfights, fast car scenes, destruction of Chicago police cruisers ala The Blues Brothers, and a very tense couple of minutes in a parking garage, the basic premise to the story is that of a whodunnit. The audience knows, but the fun is seeing Bean and Rally make the connections.

The movie is a whole ton of fun, but when the protagonist (Bean) tends to be more powerful than any human alive and seemingly unstoppable, you lose the worry of “will they or won’t they survive”. Case in point would be the one scene where Bean is shot at point blank range in the forehead with a pistol, instead of caving in his forehead and all grey matter behind it, it only makes him dizzy. After which, he’s repeatedly bumper crunched before he snaps back to normal and decides that he’s going to shoulder-charge a moving vehicle…AND WIN. It’s fun to watch, but you begin to wonder how he’s so powerful.

The one scene that stands out in my mind is when Bean is attempting to unlatch a trailer from a semi, only to have a grenade dropped onto his hood…followed by multiple others. Like a said, fun, but completely unreasonable and crazy.

By all means, Bean shouldn’t have even survived the beginning of the movie, right after nekkid Rally dresses for the camera (^O^), because in order to wake Bean up…she puts a 3rd degree burn inducing hot skillet onto his face! Seriously, he gets handed the business from the beginning to the very end of the movie as he’s being taunted by a detective rival who uses the entirety of the police force to join in on the taunt. It’s such good fun.

I loved this somewhat short OVA ever since I saw it in 1994 and miss the quality of the animation that we got in the late 80s, especially from companies like Artmic. By Crom’s beard i miss that company’s work. If you haven’t seen it yet, by all means run out and pick this one up, it’s worth having on your shelf, you won’t be disappointed.

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