Real Drive

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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The central characters from left to right: Holon, Minamo, Haru, Sota and Kushima

Real Drive is produced by Production I.G and Shirow Masamune, and aired 26 episodes during its run in 2008. It's one of those series that have remained relatively unknown to the anime community despite its high production values, heartwarming story and excellent music.

When he was 30, Masamichi Haru was involved in a diving accident, causing him to slip into a coma for fifty years. When he woke up, he was confined to the body of an 80-year old who was unable to travel without a wheelchair. Haru later recieves assistance from the 15-year old Minamo, who is assigned to take care of him as part of her school's extracirricular activities. Despite their age gap, Haru and Minamo form a very warm friendship, fueled by their mutual interest in the sea and nature in general. Minamo is one of the very few young people without cyber-enhancements, which doesn't hinder her in becoming Haru's "diver buddy".

It turns out that the experiment Haru was involved in led to the construction of the Artificial Island and the Network society, where people hook up to a global network using so-called cyber-brains. Since entering the inner workings of the network is very much like diving in the open sea, Haru finds he still has some purpose in life by becoming a virtual "diver". With Minamo, they undertake various missions into the Metal, where people's desires gradually lead to information leaks and instabilities. Together with Haru's friend Kushima, they also search for the answer in the sea, which shares an intimate link to the earth's biorhythm.

Tropes used in Real Drive include:

Production I.G: Talking about taking over Shirow's world, I heard Fujisaku-san initially created a new "post-Ghost in the Shell" World.
Fujisaku: Yes, we started with the idea, but a request from Director Kazuhiro Furuhashi changed that totally.

    • Also part of The Verse with Stand Alone Complex, as a nanotechnology that was developed from Kazundo Ghoda's "Japanese Miracle" Radiation Scrubber technology is mentioned as part of the plot later on.
  • The Stinger: The end of every episode has one. Watch the last one to find out what really happens with Haru.
  • Surprisingly Good English: While the small amount of text in the classroom mentioned above wasn't very well translated, in episode 12 there is an entire 9+ paragraph long letter detailing uses of the Meta-Real for treating patients with prosthetic eyes that is written in near-perfect English.
  • Sweet Tooth: Minamo and her two best friends are seen eating a lot of ice cream.
  • Tear Jerker: The "love letter" episode.
  • Techno Babble: Computing and network jargon is commonplace. At one point, great details are expressed when violin-playing techniques are discussed..
  • Theme Song Power Up: The fight in the fifth episode is set to the series' theme song.
  • Those Two Guys: Yukino and Sayaka, and the Dream Brothers.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Non-human intelligence is generally treated with respect.
  • Wind Turbine Power: This is used to provide emergency power to Artificial Island following a power outage takes out the main and backup power supplies.