Riding Bean: Cars, Crime, and Chins in the Windy City

crunchin' nuts“He’s a scoundrel at heart, but he dreams of being the good guy. So he watches at least two films a week with heroic things in them.”

Riding Bean is an action OVA from 1989, chuck full of blazing guns, souped-up cars, and delightful implausibility. It’s a pretty standard courier setup: we’ve got Bean Bandit, our hotheaded driver-for-hire with his custom car The Roadbuster and his gunslinging partner Irene Vincent, a pair who’ll take on any job for the right price. We’ve got Percy and Dick in their Shelby Cobra, the crazy cops who’ll stop at nothing to get Bean behind bars. We’ve got Carrie and Semmer, the double-crossing criminal duo who’ll stop at nothing to catch them all in their criminal scheme. Kidnappings, firefights, car chases, and thrills abound as everyone races for the 2-million-dollar ransom. For those familiar with Gunsmith Cats, this is essentially a prequel, and while I was not familiar with Gunsmith Cats before this, I am certainly going to give it a look now.

If this is what Gunsmith Cats is like, I have got to check it out.

If this is what Gunsmith Cats is like, I have got to check it out.

The character designs are very 80s, in that style of 80s character designs that I very much enjoy. Bean in particular stands out for his ridiculously enormous chin, which would not surprise me if it could be removed and used as an effective bludgeoning weapon.

DAT CHIN, MAN. DAT CHIN.

DAT CHIN, MAN. DAT CHIN.

There’s nothing particularly revolutionary story-wise, as it’s basically just a setup for the action, but it’s got plenty of twists and turns and never stops moving. As far as action movie plots go, Riding Bean delivers more than adequately, and it keeps the thrills coming from start to finish. There are a few raunchy moments in the middle that feel pretty out-of-place, but they’re brief and don’t get in the way too much. The ending also falls a little short, but again, it’s not really a deal-breaker.

Anyway, moving right along...

Anyway, moving right along…

If you’re looking for a good car chase in your anime, look no further than here. Riding Bean features among the best chase scenes anime has to offer, with stunning car animation, clever choreography, a pumpin’ 80s soundtrack, and some deliciously satisfying tire squeals and engine roars. The Roadbuster has a number of cool tricks up its sleeve that I’ll leave as a surprise, because it’s really awesome to see Bean suddenly bust them out in the heat of the moment (let’s just say that he’ll never have a problem with parallel parking). The Chicago setting leads to some busy streets and detailed backgrounds, with of course the iconic bumper-buster under the El that is a staple of the Chicago movie car chase, and Riding Bean pulls it off with an insanity reminiscent of the Blues Brothers. And when that final high-speed pursuit kicks in, the animation lets loose with more speed, smoke, and car-nage than just about anywhere else in anime. You won’t find many better ones than this.

I can just hear the police cars tumbling over each other in the background.

I can just hear the police cars tumbling over each other in the background.

All in all, if you’re looking for a high-speed, action-packed way to make 45 minutes breeze by, you’re can’t go wrong with Riding Bean.

This picture needs no caption.

This picture needs no caption.

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About BokuSatchii

Yoroshiku ne!
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4 Responses to Riding Bean: Cars, Crime, and Chins in the Windy City

  1. Shinmaru says:

    Obviously I HAVE to watch this now.

  2. Matt Wells says:

    Gunsmith Cats is awesome, but it is INCREDIBLY pervy. The whole series is like taking a peek at Kenichi Sonoda’s internet search history, and you will feel DIRTY. In the best possible way. It’s nothing but wall to wall Gun Porn, Muscle Car Porn, and the odd bit of actual Porn.

    The anime’s a scant thee OVA episodes, but the manga’s 12 volumes long. It is ridiculously hard to pull off a compelling car chase in a comic book, and Gunsmith Cats manages it with aplomb. Check it out, you won’t regret it.

    • BokuSatchii says:

      I’ve heard that about Gunsmith Cats, and now I want to watch it even more.

      I am pretty stoked to sit down and blow through the whole anime in one sitting, probably by this or next weekend sometime. I don’t read all that much manga, so while I may get to it eventually, the scant three episodes will have to do in the meantime.

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