For those of you who didn't read my summer preview post from a few weeks ago and don't understand the apprehension, I was basically trolled into watching Rail Wars! and was more than certain it was going to tank.
Well, I've gotten the first episode under my belt...and it held water.
Originally a light novel series by Takumi Toyoda, Rail Wars! (full title: Rail Wars! Japanese National Railway Security Force) is, apparently, pretty popular in Japan, as it has its own manga adaptation, an anime series (of which I am thusly reviewing), and a PS Vita game to be released in Japan this November. Japan...really likes trains.
Granted, the premise is still laughably ridiculous when you first look at it, a show about train security officers. It's just a short step away from a series about mall cops, kinda. But then you watch it for a half hour, and it's basically a cop show...that happens to take place on and around trains.
What I found while watching the first episode of Rail Wars! is that it's actually quite a fun show, so long as you're more invested in the characters and their zany misadventures than the trains and plot (so far...it's a lot of train crap which I don't find terribly interesting). At least...that worked for me, I'm sure there are some train enthusiasts out there who think I'm being closed minded and don't have good taste. To those people, I say don't judge me and go back to playing Ticket to Ride.
What I mean to say is that the characters are quirky and fun and watching them interact is enough to give this show a passing grade for me. There are four main characters who get together early on at their...train school, and through a series of montages we see that each one has their own strengths and they all balance each other out into a well-rounded team. One's good at running, CQC, athletic type stuff ; one can recite train facts and rule ordinances off the top of her head; one is a like a female John McClane, good at guns and fighting but kind of a loose cannon; and the main character has the leadership and decisive thinking to bring them all together.
While not exactly the same, it reminded me a lot of the scene in 21 Jump Street where Schmidt and Jenko's relationship begins to blossom.
So they get together and bust a theft in the first episode, get fired from the academy and then join the railroad security. So my best guess as to what the rest of the show has in store is going to be a series of railroad based mysteries and whatnot. So, Rail Wars! didn't exactly set my world on fire, but it certainly exceeded my expectations