RS Project -Rebirth Storage- (RS計画 -Rebirth Storage-) is a TV special mecha anime that aired on Fuji TV on June 26th. On March 31st, 2015, the winner of the Mecha-Tsuku (http://manga.tokyo/anime-seasons/spring2016/rs-project-special-show-will-be-on-air-in-june/) contest was announced. RS Project was the winner of this contest and we’ve been really eager to check it out. After the long wait, it’s finally here – so let’s just jump right in!
RS Project -Rebirth Storage- takes place in the year 2035, roughly 9 years after a mysterious race of technologically advanced monsters began their attack on the planet. These monsters, called Kikou, destroy several major cities around the world and push humanity into a few last strongholds. In order to stop these monsters, humanity decides its best bet for survival is to “fight fire with fire”. They salvage a destroyed Kikou and reverse-engineer it. This allows humanity to begin produce their ultimate weapon, called Muttsu, a mech that is capable of destroying their fearsome foes. There’s a price to pay for such power, however.
Since this is a TV special and only one episode, I am going to keep this review as spoiler free as possible, so that you – dear reader – can enjoy the story.
After a countdown “3, 2, 1!”, the scene opens with one of our main protagonists, Yuzuro Mido piloting the Muttsu mech. She is breathing heavily, most likely from a battle that’s been waging on for hours. From her pilot’s seat, we see three of the Kikou shown on her pilot screen. She’s immediately knocked back by an energy blast and crashes through several skyscrapers. Her damage is assessed by a team at the East Unit of Tokyo’s Muttsu Institute, where we meet the tactical commander Yuichiro Sawatari. Despite the Muttsu’s damage, Mido bravely charges into the group of Kikuo as they fire a drill-like energy attack at her. She jumps into the sky and delivers a “Flying Kick” which destroys the Kikou. However, without a moments rest, many more begin to surround her and a flashback begins.
The story of RS Project is told through a series of flashbacks and time skips which weave the narrative of the “present time” together and offer an explanation of why Yuzuro Mido is facing these Kikou alone. The first flashback features our second protagonist, Sagami Rin. We find out that he will be partnered up with Yuzuro Mido (who is an all-A’s prodigy at the Institute), and that he will train with her to pilot the Muttsu. We also learn that due to the taxing mental strain of piloting the Muttsu, it requires two pilots with a strong willpower. Yuzuro is initially cold towards Sagami, but eventually the two make a breakthrough. However, to Sagami’s disappointment, the Institute eventually determines the two pilots to be incompatible partners. This is why we see her piloting Muttsu alone in the opening.
As the story continues, he discovers the actual terrible cost of piloting the Muttsu, though I don’t want to spoil that here!
As Sagami learns more about the history of the RS Project, there is a major plot twist. This twist kickstarts the second highlight of the special. I won’t reveal the twist here, but the aftermath is awesome. The action in RS Project -Rebirth Storage- is definitely the highlight of the show. While learning the backstory of the world the characters live in draws you in, the action makes it worth re-watching. The final battle takes place in the present when things are looking dim for the human forces. They turn off the Muttsu’s ‘limiter’ and well… you’ll just have to see. (Spoiler: There’s a fantastic giant sword.)
Conclusion (might contain spoilers)
Overall, I really enjoyed the design of the show. The characters were really well designed and the mechs drew a lot of inspiration from historic anime like Appleseed. I hope the special encourages the production of a series, as I would like to see where they take the story from here. My only complaint would be that it was too short! There was a lot of great mecha design and world building, but since it was so short – we didn’t get much more than a taste of it all. I’d hope a series would delve more into the past, the training, the research and the team building of all of the characters. Certain characters like George were interesting, but only served a minor supporting role – but in a lengthier series he could very easily be one of my favorites.
RS Project -Rebirth Storage- is a high-octane story of self-sacrifice and perseverance. The action is great and it tries to accomplish some story depth with the limited air time. If you’re feeling a lull in your mecha anime diet, definitely check it out! It’s a feast for the eyes. This summer anime season is shaping up to be pretty great.