Several years before Lisa and Lorna become éX-Drivers, there are two other girls at the throttle: Nina and Rei. These girls never fail to stop a runaway AI car, but remote control cars are another issue. There are several RC cars fully loaded with explosives being unleashed in the city, and they are all traced back to a dangerously obsessive fan of Nina’s who must be stopped before he takes things to the next level.
summary by Keitaro
Highs: Hilarious new characters; action and comedy that work well together
Lows: Dull music; ultimately, it’s just mindless action
This short movie was shown in theatres in conjunction with éX-Driver: The Movie and despite its short running time, it is easily the better of the two. In fact, this short is right on par with the movie when it comes to high-speed action, but crams a better plot into a mere twenty minutes than both its big-screen companion and OVA predecessor combined, although that doesn’t say a whole lot.
If you are looking for an introduction to the éX-Driver series, what better place is there to start than the beginning? This anime essentially serves as a prequel as it takes place several years earlier. It can be watched before the OVA or after, as it stars a new cast of characters and has a completely unrelated plot. Believe me, a new cast of characters is a very good thing in this case. Lisa, Lorna and Soichi were just too boring and shallow to keep me interested. Nina and Rei, on the other hand, are hilarious together. They truly succeed in adding a whole new dimension to this otherwise dull anime: comedy. The racing scenes are fast-paced, and so is everything else. Never once was I bored while watching it.
Before you run out and watch this anime, however, it should definitely be made clear that this thing has very limited appeal. The plot and comedy aren’t enough to carry the show, and without an interest in the high-speed car chases, there isn’t much value here. On a grand scale, the animation and plot are ultimately average, and the music is just awful. Additionally, with a short running time comes an inevitable shortcoming in respect to character development. There isn’t anything deep about this anime to speak of.
If for some reason you enjoyed éX-Driver or want to give it a chance, why not go with Danger Zone? It’s more of the same, but simply done a bit better.
éX-Driver Danger Zone can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.