Real Drive: Virtual Sexual Depravation

Nooooo, Minamo! Don’t think about what the word “orgasm” means! That way lies madness!

So Real Drive seems to be settling down into a kind-of episodically serial format, where each individual story takes up an episode or two, but characters progress along the way. I also couldn’t help but notice that a lot of the focus is on Minamo’s character more so than Haru, a fact which I probably shouldn’t like but which I don’t really mind. And it could be that they’re just holding back the Haru-plosion for later in the series. At any rate, the interaction between the two is lovely. They’re a perfect pair–Haru’s doubts and fears are removed simply by being in the energetic presence of Minamo, making them excellent partners in this diving detective business.

And what a business it is. Real Drive wastes no time getting to the seedier side of technological progress, smacking the viewer full-on with a laundry list of bizarre sexual fetishes (having an extended female orgasm while also having a death experience? I don’t think there’s a proper paraphilia term for that!) made possible through the advent of the Metal. Like Dennou Coil before it, it explores aspects of the virtual as they apply to the real world. Whereas Dennou Coil explored the more philisophical side of virtual reality (yes, I’m shamelessly self-whoring; sorry about that), Real Drive seems to be intent on exploring instead how humans use or abuse this technology.

In episode 4, the first “case” for Haru, he gets to rescue a lost diver from the “torments” of his own personal sexual pleasure. A sexual pleasure so intense, that even Haru, who at his age should have no sex drive to speak of, finds himself caught in the allure of it. Minamo, meanwhile, has no idea what an orgasm is, let alone the whole complex act of copulation itself, and it’s her simple, childish devotion to Haru that pulls him out of the erotic grip of the siren. I found that strangely touching, in a way, both that Minamo was that devoted to Haru, and that Haru recongized the difference between reality and fantasy, the latter amplified by technology. The power of actual love (which I guess is the best way to explain the relationship between Minamo and Haru) conquers fantasy and all that jazz.

Whether or not MInamo was tacked onto the series due to the demands of the anime market or not, as mentioned last time, doesn’t seem to apply much here anymore, neither does it apply to many other series. Most writers of most series have the skill to pull off a convincing character, regardless of whether or not they were tacked on there to be nearly superfluous in the first place. The focus on Minamo tells me that maybe Shirow had her in mind for the protagonist/”narrator” all along, which is fitting: she’s an innocent 15-year-old with no cyberbrain, so she’s literally looking at the world of Real Drive with similar eyes to the viewer. And, in the end, it doesn’t matter for what reason a character is in a series for, as long as that character contributes in some way, small or large to the story, the setting, or the overall appeal of the series.

And I still maintain that Minamo is quite cute, thunder thighs and all. It’s nice to see a different-yet-attractive character design in anime!

1 Response to “Real Drive: Virtual Sexual Depravation”

  1. 1 TheBigN 12 May 2008 at 10:07 am

    And I still maintain that Minamo is quite cute, thunder thighs and all. It’s nice to see a different-yet-attractive character design in anime!

    You heard it hear first: She’s bringing healthy back. :P

    It’s definitely an interesting pairing, or something that I think we wouldn’t expect to be in one of Shirow’s works, but I think that might have been the point, as you’ve said. I won’t mind if the format keeps like it is either. I guess what I’m wondering is how does Kishima still look so fresh at 82? :P

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I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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May 2008

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