In the future, Automated Automobiles
are used by people to get around. Unfortunately, the cars end up going haywire at times
And that's when the eponymous force comes in.éX-Driver
(often abbreviated simply to éX-D
) is a six-episode OVA
series created by Kosuke Fujishima (You're Under Arrest!
, Ah! My Goddess
) and animated by Actas
, released early in the Turn of the Millennium
(whether it was 2000 or 2001, however, is a matter of debate between the OVAs and the internet). The series focused around three teens (Lisa Sakakino, Lorna Endou and Souichi Sugano) and their attempt to corral the out-of-control vehicles using manually-driven ones.
Had a movie in 2002, filled with Conspicuous CG
. Needs More Love
This series provides examples of:
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Pretty much the whole point of the series.
- Ambiguously Brown: Lisa has a slightly darker complexion than her teammates.
- Art Evolution: Inverted somewhat; the first episode is more detailed than the others. Played straight with the movie.
- Author Appeal: This is Kosuke Fujishima we're talking about here...
- Automated Automobiles: They technically serve as villains for the first four episodes, despite only malfunctioning (they do endanger the lives of bystanders and the people inside, even if unintentionally).
- Badass Driver
- Bare Your Midriff: Lisa
- Beach Episode: Episode 5, subverted in that it never happens for different reasons.
- Berserk Button: Do not dare tell Lisa that Souichi's a better driver.
- Biker Babe: Rei
- Butt Monkey: Lisa.
- Conspicuous CG: The Movie and Danger Zone. Episodes 3 and 5 also contain some CG (albeit through computer displays).
- Cool Car: An obvious trope.
- Cool Bike: Rei's Ducati 900 SS
- Darker and Edgier: Episodes 5 and 6, in which a former éX-Driver and his crew try to kill the three heroes (they only manage to injure two of them though). The Movie also.
- Drives Like Crazy: Largely intentional for the job. Lisa does play this straight on numerous occasions though. As do the AI cars when malfunctioning. Ditto the rivals in episodes 5 and 6.
- Eagleland: Appears in the movie as a mix between a Type 2 and a Mixed Flavor (mostly the former).
- Every Car Is a Pinto: Averted, when cars crash, they don't explode. The AI cars that do were rigged.
- Every Car Is Rear Wheel Drive: With the exception of Lisa's Subaru in the first episode and the Porsche 911 Turbo in the movie, this is largely played straight with the manually driven cars.
- Everything's Better with Plushies/Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Nina's workspace (and later revealed in Danger Zone, her apartment) has dozens of plushies.
- Expy: To an extent, Lisa and Lorna resemble the designs of Chihiro and Urd.
- Fingerless Gloves: Standard equipment for an éX-Driver.
- Free-Range Children: Their parents are never seen, but more than likely know about this.
- Foot Focus: Episodes 2 and 4. Though every episode has at least one clothed one.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Episode 4 has innuendos galore. Also ends up combining with Unfortunate Implications.
- It's also implied that motorcycle repair equals sex.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: In both English and Japanese:
- Japanese - The three teens are also Black Star, Miyu and Juri Katou (respectively). Also, Munakata is Jet Black, Nina's Rally Vincent and Cain is Treize Khushrenada. The movie has Chika Akatsuki, Eddie Steam, Lockon Stratos, Sailor Moon, Wataru Takagi, Majin Buu, Mint Blancmanche and Largo Potter.
- The English dub was by Bang Zoom. And as such, expect several of these throughout.
- JAM Project: Provided most of the music, it was one of their earlier projects.
- Limited Wardrobe: Played with. The main team have several outfits while all supporting cast members are only seen in one outfit.
- Merchandise Driven: Not to the extent of a more popular anime like Dragon Ball per se (nor was anything ever advertised within). But the series did have its fair share, including coffee mugs, art books, model kits and CDs.
- Motorcycle On The Coast Road: Episode 4 ends with this.
- The Movie
- Nose Bleed: Episode 4, after Souichi looks at a naked Rei (in the bathroom, of all places). He also went unconscious.
- Off Model: The designs take a slight decline between the first episode and the second episode on.
- Shower Scene: Episode 4, Played for Laughs.
- Shout Out: The AI Cars have a singular red eye, akin to that of Hal 9000.
- Duel gets this treatment twice - Once in episode six, and again in the movie.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Occurs in episode 5, The Movie and the Mini-Movie (with AI controlled vehicles).
- Tsundere: Lisa.
- Turn of the Millennium: Released sometime after Y2K-2001 (which may explain the AI is a Crapshoot trope above).
- Universal Driver's License: This might be one of the reasons that allows anyone (even as a child/early teen) to become an éX-Driver (the other being the ability to actually operate a manually controlled vehicle).
- Women Drivers: Heavily averted, as two-thirds of the main cast are female. Also, there are other female éX-Drivers, as the movie confirms.