Short Synopsis: Munto continues to try and get Yumemi over to his world, while Yumemi has her own problems to take care of.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10 (Good)
Hehe, you were expecting Ride Back at this spot, no? To be honest, so did I before I watched Ride Back’s second episode, but then I started thinking: the show has 12 episodes, of which the first two were slow introductions that hardly did anything besides setting up the premise. It’s going to be a show about some teenagers riding motorbikes who somehow become involved in a huge war. How the heck are the creators going to get some good development in only 12 episodes? This is Madhouse we’re talking about: compared to some of its previous series Ride Back just isn’t as interesting.
Besides, the lack of realism really became jarring in that second episode: nobody finds it strange that these Ride Back things simply drive around INSIDE BUILDINGS? Nobody tries to complain about the noise that these machines cause? Nobody finds it strange that these machines tend to break down and crash a lot? Nah, I’d rather see a bunch of elves beating the hell out of each other.
So I’ve yet to see the Munto OVAs, but apparently I don’t need to do that anymore since the first episode copied about 80% of its content. That episode reminded me a lot of a poorer version of Noein’s first episode, with the big difference being that Noein spent lots of time in its first episode to flesh out the cast before diving into the action, while Munto dived straight into the action without letting the viewer get to know the characters.
Well, that problem was partially solved by this episode, which was very un-typical of your average second episode. Most of the second episodes after a huge eventful first episode are deliberately slow, in order to explain what the heck went on in the show’s start. Munto instead deliberately chooses to slow down the pacing, but doesn’t attempt to explain much. Instead, it starts fleshing out the lead characters. I especially was surprised that they immediately showed the story for one of Yumemi’s friends.
I also like that the creators are using the Noein approach. With most series where the lead character is transported into some sort of other world, the connection between these is really something sacred: it can only be crossed once, and the conditions for someone to cross are very vague and only serve as a plot device to get the lead character involved with the plot. In Munto instead that link is fleshed out a bit more, and it looks like it can be breached more often. Seeing as how Yumemi’s friends are going to be important characters in this series too, I expect that either the series will take place mostly in the real world with your occasional trips to the elf world, or Munto is somehow going to kidnap the three of them at the same time.
Now, about the lesser parts of this series… we have a delinquent who gets saved by a cute girl and they end up marrying. Am I the only one who was reminded of a certain other Kyoani series? I also fear that most of the elves are going to lack in personality: this episode hardly focused any attention on them.