Anime / Real Drive

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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.

Masamichi Haru was involved in a diving accident when he was 30, causing him to slip into a coma for fifty years. Upon awakening, he found himself confined in the body of an 80-year old, unable to travel without a wheelchair. Haru later receives assistance from the 15-year old Minamo, who is assigned to take care of him as part of her school's extracurricular activities. Despite their age gap, Haru and Minamo form a close friendship; fuelled by their mutual interest in the sea and nature's splendour, Minamo becomes Haru's "diver buddy" despite lacking cyber-enhancements.

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.


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