Hi. I'm TGG. But not present TGG. I'm future TGG. I've time traveled from the end of this review to warn you to not watch this series. Or to even continue reading this review. Leave. Run. Escape with your sanity intact!


My ultimate but brief opinion of this series is… that it’s not worth watching. It’s not entertaining enough in a bad way and… it most certainly isn’t good.

Overall, it just kind of made me feel sad. And bored. And frustrated.

This will be a slow burn as I gradually break it down entirely and again, I will end up spoiling the entire show if you still are considering actually watching it.

Yoshitoshi ABe’s Return to Anime

He's finally back!

Serial Experiments Lain!

NieA Under 7!

Haibane Renmei!


Although only the character designs for Texhnolyze…


...Nope, just kidding!

Over fifteen years and ABe has finally gotten involved in an anime again.


Probably a bunch of people approached this show as a result of his involvement in it. I am most certainly one of those people. Certainly with what the show ended up being, you could immediately assume I’m going to be horrifically negative towards this series in this review as a direct result of being disappointed because I let myself think that this might be good because of ABe’s involvement.

Well, no. I believe this series deserves everything I’m gonna give it. But more importantly I need to stress that even though ABe’s involvement was the primary reason why I watched this series in the first place… there really isn’t much ABe in this at all.

There’s like a handful of things apart from like what’s in the OP, ED, and the preview images for this that are in the actual show that seem to be from ABe. But other than that, that’s basically it. In an interview with him, he basically stated that he mostly just did designs for this series, and he would give his drafts to the actual character designer for the anime, and then they would do their designs and of course they ended up looking different. And that was basically the end of it because ABe figured they would end up in an endless loop of them exchanging drafts if he presented criticisms or suggestions beyond what he originally gave to the designer.

ABe also said he played a part in writing the screenplay and some of the story somewhere between when it was originally just going to be a straight adaptation of someone’s time travel novel to a full original series.

...I really want to personally believe however, again, given what we were presented, that his involvement in that aspect of the show was as minimal as possible.

A Worrying Start

This show essentially went fully down the drain for me by the end of the very first episode. What followed was a Frankeinstein monster shambling about aimlessly, and I just had to watch until it reached the end of its journey… all while pondering why apparently nobody involved in its creation realized the mess they were shaping with their own two hands.

The first episode seemed simple enough when I first watched it but now having seen the whole thing and am rewatching it… I see now that the whole thing was rotten from the very start. It wasn’t some sudden or drastic turn. This was planned from the very beginning. And that is just so baffling to me.

Like it’s supposed to feel like at the end of the show, everything is... wrapped up in a bow and satisfactorily concluded. They're making robots, but a bug happens and isn't fixed, and then ten years in the future the world is basically suffering a semi-robot apocalypse. But there's also time travel stuff, so let's go back into the past and... fix it! That's what this show is or should be but there's just... so much...

It's just handled so goddamned poorly. Like the only two episodes of the entire show that actually matter is the very first one and the last one. Almost everything in between is just nonsensical, basically filler, and bad action. Like the reason I put a full spoilers warning for this review in particular is because...

The way the main character Derrida fixes the semi-robot apocalypse which in turn was leading to a full on nuclear apocalypse is he goes back in time and says one thing different in a single conversation. And that alone completely prevents everything from happening.

Every single time he jumped to the past before the final one was completely and utterly meaningless. It honestly felt like "okay, we're at twelve episodes, it's time to end the series."

My mouth was literally agape. Because it would have been one thing if like the actual meat of the show which is Derrida struggling in the apocalyptic future with his companions was like a meaningful or entertaining adventure that they were undoing to save the world, but it wasn't.

And it really gave the impression that they believed that it was. That the viewer would want to see where everybody would end up in the new future. You can't... like the reason I'm talking about the ending in the section that's supposed to be about the start of the show, is that like the very first minute of the entire series is actually of the fixed timeline... and then it switches over to the robot apocalypse timeline...

Granted, you have absolutely no way of knowing that's what the start of the series is unless you go back to it after you finish watching it but... like that's actually the worst possible way I can imagine starting a time travel show.

You start the show after the problem solving retcon takes place, immediately go back to the timeline with the problem where the majority of the show takes place in, then the retcon happens that saves the day, and the timeline is fixed and the poor and vague start of the show actually finally makes sense.

But you know, we need to back away from that sort of stuff for now. We have way more important things to talk about first before we truly tackle the... embarrassing time travel.

The Elephant in the Room

The main antagonist of this series... well, one of them... or... okay, the guy who originally causes the semi-robot apocalypse in this series is none other than...

...a poor and obvious caricature of the 45th president of the United States of America.

Donald J. Trump.

Nobody can watch this show and look at this character and say that's not what this character is. Like they didn't even try to mask it as anything else. That is 100% supposed to be Trump.

Let's not even go into how silly or lazy the idea of making your villain just be Donald Trump is. For that matter let's not even go into anything political about this at all. I swear to god I will steer the course of this review straight into a goddamned iceberg before that happens.

But like... putting aside who he's based on entirely... he's just an evil business man! Like can we just retire that type of villain? Evil business man who is evil because he is a rich business man and he wants to make more money! Greed! Bad! I'm gonna fucking release robots with a bug that will just cause them to start going on rampages and just killing people because I fucking love MONEY!

Oh no, there's like two of my scientists and they've found the bug and they want to patch it! Fuck that! How dare THEY! I WANT A ROBOT APOCALYPSE SO I WILL HAVE ALL OF THE MONEY.

Who even cares if this directly leads into a nuclear apocalypse because all of the major world powers just end up saying "well oh shit there's evil murderous robots everywhere, I guess let's just solve it with nukes", it doesn't matter as long as I GET MY MONEY. BECAUSE THAT IS 100% MY ENTIRE MOTIVATION TO BE DOING THE THINGS I'M DOING.

...In truth, you know what fucking bothers me about this the most? He's like an actual serious antagonist in the first episode. You know if they had actually tried to keep that up throughout the whole show, sure. Fuck it, man. Trump causes the apocalypse. Fine. It'd still be super goddamned silly, but okay. Instead, every single scene he's in from episode one and on, he's just a complete fucking buffoon.

It almost feels like partway through they decided it was like a mistake and they wanted to back off. Like someone said "alright no, this was a mistake, we gotta get rid of Trump" because he eventually just stops appearing or mattering to the point where some brown hair guy becomes the main guy who's after and causing trouble for Derrida's group.

And in the robot apocalypse timeline, Donald Trump just pointlessly gets killed by his own fucking mercenary who is just a complete batshit insane person for absolutely no reason.

Donald Trump hired her to kill Derrida in the first place. There was like no moment motivating this. Like sure we the viewer have been shown that Rebuild's experiment is what screwed her up in the head. Like Donna already knew that the Yvains were her "creators" and Donald Trump was the head of Rebuild which "created" her so...

Why did she suddenly decide to kill Donald Trump other than because the show needed Donald Trump to die? Also, now that I think about it, Donna's rampage there is probably like the goriest scene of the entire show.

And it's the scene of the murder of the character who is a caricature of the actual current president of the United States of America.

In the fixed timeline, they just oust him for originally wanting to actively cause a robot apocalypse for money.

If I were Donald Trump, I think I certainly would rather be in prison for wanting to bring about the complete global downfall of humanity rather than be brutally murdered by an actual insane person.

We've evaded the iceberg... for now.

Bland Characters

You know what's even worse than outright making your antagonist be Donald Trump?

The fact that he's basically the most interesting character of the entire show. Everybody else is just... either bad, or like they're about as generic as you can get. Like they're the characters you would expect there to be in a show like this.

Main protagonist Derrida, he's the guy from the past who awakes in the robot apocalypse not knowing what has transpired in the past ten years.

There's Vidaux, the mercenary who just happens to cross paths with Derrida and saves him and acts as his guide and protector in this new harsh world he's awakened to. Also, he makes it a point that he won't help Derrida without being paid but guess what, Derrida has no money throughout the entire show and Vidaux helps him through the whole thing.

He actively puts himself as well as his adopted daughter at risk numerous times for Derrida's sake based on a vague promise and the hope that Derrida isn't just some fucking insane person making all of this shit up.

"Hey, Vidaux! I need you to be the action hero this series needs again! I'm just the time travel guy, I can't do anything about these killer robots! What? Oh, just put it on my tab again! Because you know, that's exactly how mercenaries work!!!"

Speaking of Vidaux's adopted daughter, the entire purpose of her character in the show is that they couldn't just have the grizzled and rough mercenary. No, there had to be somebody with the mercenary that's a bit lighter, a bit friendlier, and is willing to talk with and be friendly to Derrida until the reveal that Vidaux is actually the merc with a heart of gold because he's totally fine with doing all of this shit for Derrida for free.

Then there's Yuri who is one of two girls that Derrida knew in his old life and her entire character is the camera.

She has a camera with her and she takes pictures. That's her character.

Don't forget, you gotta have a bad mercenary for the good mercenary to fight! After all, Donald Trump isn't going to rely solely on the clunky and worthless killer robots to stop the good guys! He hired Donna! Who is totally just a cool badass evil mercenary character and there are no twists at all to her character!

There's a twist to her character.

Then there's the stand-in antagonist who of course replaces Donald Trump after a while bizarrely because again, we have no fucking idea who this guy even is. I think at a point he's actually even given a name but I don't think we ever find out what his actual position is. Like is he from the government? Is he a subordinate of Donald Trump? Is he actually in a position above Donald Trump in the crazy killer robot company???

I have no fucking idea and I don't give this series enough credit to say I'm confident that I'd find out with a rewatch.

And finally, the macguffin of the entire series, the second girl that Derrida knew in his old life. Mage.

In her ten years while Derrida was frozen, she lived throughout an entire version of this show herself. Wandering about the robot apocalypse while seeking the knowledge to perfect Derrida's time travel theory and put it to use and prevent the robot apocalypse from ever happening by preventing Derrida's death and instead somehow causing him to fall into a cryostasis chamber in a random cryostasis facility he just somehow wanders into. Then ten years later, he wakes up, follows Mage's path, time travels, and fixes the whole problem.

...I would have rather seen Mage's journey! That seemed like it would have been way more interesting and entertaining to watch. Seeing her trying to perfect time travel and trying to go back and fix the problems herself but failing to do so because her memories of those times have already aged ten years. Like the entire show would be about her ten years being in the robot apocalypse rather than Derrida's... week? Actually, I don't even really know how much time was supposed to have passed during Derrida's journey of fucking around in the robot apocalypse.

Then again, I guess it really doesn't matter!

Mage aside, they do actually try and give a backstory to Vidaux and his daughter but it's like the most generic shit that I don't think it's really even worth mentioning.

Like Vidaux is really into being a cop and he's away from his family, his family gets murdered as an act of revenge against him I guess, he's prevented from being on the case because he's related, so he goes full rogue and murders the guy who did it but oh no, that guy just happened to have a baby and... it's... way too late into the show for any of it to even remotely matter.

But you know what? The evil mercenary is actually way worse than Vidaux. I'm just going to skate entirely around the idea of how Vidaux just took the guy he killed's child and raised it as his own and he just got away with the murder because of the robot apocalypse... I wonder how Mayuka would react if she learned Vidaux murdered her actual father.

Donna used to be a researcher for the company that built the evil bad robots. On top of the evil bad robots, they were also trying to make robots that believed they were human and thought they had personality.

I don't really think you should muddy the waters. You're already doing the killer out of control type of robots. Does this evil corporation really need to have robots that can infiltrate humanity disguised as other human beings? Do we really need to actively push towards a robot apocalypse this hard?

"Look! We made our robots practically completely indistinguishable to humanity! You better have your entire life savings wired to our company by tomorrow unless you want to be replaced by one of our robots! Your family will never know you're gone, and then we can flip the switch to turn the robot into the convenient KILL EVERYTHING AROUND IT mode we already had installed into all units."

And Donna was in fact one of the researchers for this experiment. Back then, she was named Angelica. But then the experiment robot began to apparently evolve on its own (???) and started making itself (I think it was the company just fucking with her actually) resemble Angelica more and more. And for some reason this supposed researcher somehow lets this robot talk her into what the robot is saying.

That Angelica is not Angelica. The robot is Angelica. Angelica is Donna. The former Angelica who is now Donna is a robot. The robot who is now Angelica is human, and she's the researcher in this experiment.

...I really feel like they thought this was a super cool episode and character. But I was just completely fucking baffled in trying to make sense of it. Like she just basically lets a robot talk her out of her own fucking identity and humanity, completely fucking snaps, burns down the laboratory, and becomes Donald Trump's psuedo robot badass mercenary...?

And like she snaps a second time, kills Donald Trump, and goes after Derrida again but rather than because it's her target, it's because she resents him for creating her because she thinks she's a robot.

...Like so much of this show just makes you want to throw your hands up in the air and say fuck it. It's not even worth it at this point, right?

Even so, we continue on...

Oh, by the way... I forgot a character.

That's right. Graham the Car AI. Best character of RErideD hands down. I will fight you.


...So of course he's one of the only characters throughout the entire show to actually die.

Muddled and Terrible Writing

The setting is a completely and utter fucking mess. And the writing is just generally unfathomably bad as well.

So hold on. A company builds robots and their robots go out of control on a massive scale destroying and killing whatever is around them. The government who paid this company... rather than taking action against them or even telling them to fix their dysfunctional products which are actively killing people... not only do they turn a blind eye to this because they don't want to shoulder their portion of blame for causing the robot apocalypse, but they continue to pay and fund this company...? Even several years into the robot apocalypse???



...I used up my one brain aneurysm per review too early. Shit.

Anyways, when Derrida initially wakes up from being frozen for ten years, he's immediately tossed into some shit because he almost immediately encounters some of the killer robots. And we, the viewers, are immediately led to believe that "oh okay, so the entire world is now full swing into a robot apocalypse and these things are everywhere."

Except, there's not. There's entire functioning cities and settlements that are completely okay and make it look like a robot apocalypse never even fucking happened. As a matter of fact, there is like an entire stretch of episodes where there's like no killer robots whatsoever. They start almost ENTIRELY appearing only when the plot really needs there to be killer robots.

"We gotta go through this old abandoned tunnel to sneak into--OH FUCK THERE'S SOME ROBOTS IN OUR WAY. DAMN IT."

But you know despite how actual few killer robots are throughout the majority of the show, they just had to have an ENTIRE ARMY OF THEM in the very last episode. But hey, there being an entire concentration of killer robots somewhere explains why it seemed like there were so little of them anywhere else. It's because they all just happened to be hanging around where the Derrida would eventually end up needing to go to fix the apocalypse!!

Hell, on top of this insane and massive army of killer robots, the brown hair guy stops by and lets like a new drone version of the killer robots loose and it's just complete and utter schlock because like Vidaux is just suddenly required to fight off an entire robot apocalypse BY HIMSELF.

And you know what? This lone man who stayed behind so his friends could go on, therefore sacrificing himself... against all odds against an entire army of the evil robots...


Like these robots are so bad they have to time travel rather than use the stupid patch file they also still have in the robot apocalypse timeline, but they can't even kill one cop gone mercenary? There's like a billion of them and even the new ones that can fly, but it's just not enough. But weren't these robots being sold for combat purposes as well? And yet they can't kill one person whose role in the script for the final episode could have just been summed up in two words: HEROIC SACRIFICE.

It becomes even worse when you add in the fact that the country is bombing itself.

Like the solution they've come to ten years into the robot apocalypse is to just bomb entire communities and stretches of land indiscriminately and randomly. What in the possible fuck is that going to solve. The company that caused all of this nonsense STILL EXISTS AND IS FUNCTIONING. THE GOVERNMENT IS STILL GIVING THEM FUNDING.

In this universe, does nobody have a functioning brain? Randomly bombing your own country isn't going to solve anything! It's just gonna raise the death toll! And the other countries I guess apparently bought this company's robots too and they're fucked so in the final episode I guess everybody just collectively agrees to throw in the towel and push the big red button.

If we all decide to launch our nukes at the same exact time, we won't have to worry about the robots anymore! And like in the actual show, the fucking brown hair antagonist is saying something along the lines of:


...I really wish I hadn't read that interview and learned that ABe apparently was involved at least partially at point in the story and writing of this series. Like I really wish I did not learn that knowledge. Maybe he was only involved in the writing when it was still supposed to be an adaptation of whatever time travel novel. I'm gonna force myself to make myself believe that.

...Like it's honestly astonishing that as I go look back through it all, I keep on finding more stuff. When Derrida first wakes up and meets Vidaux and Mayuka, they have like a device to check for a chip or something that apparently all the survivors in the robot apocalypse have to identify them by.

It happens so quickly and it's never brought up again so I forgot about this, but... the sole purpose of this moment is so Vidaux and Mayuka will actually believe that Derrida isn't some insane person lying about being asleep for ten years in a pod. Just think about it. Survivor IDs...???

So like you survive the robot apocalypse, but your family doesn't. Your family's dead. You turn to the government hoping that they'll either offer you reparations for your loss which they are more or less directly responsible for or at the very least, that they'll do something about these fucking robots that killed your family.

Instead, they look at you and say, "okay, you survived? Please step into that line so we can insert a chip into your arm so we can easily identify you as a person who survived this ordeal."

Like did they just not think about any of this? I just don't... understand...

The Time Travel

Finally, we’re at the meat of the series. The robots never were the focus of this show. From the very beginning, it was the time travel.

So that brings us to the grand question… how does the time travel exactly work?

Well unfortunately before we even open that gigantic bag of worms, we have to discuss how Derrida ends up in the future in the first place. The first episode ends with Derrida fleeing through a forest as Donald Trump wants him dead so nobody knows about the impending robot apocalypse he wishes to throw the country into.

And then as he’s running through the woods, he ends up falling into a random cryostasis facility?

He stumbles around and then ends up sitting in a cryostasis pod which immediately activated upon him sitting down into it. That is a fucking huge design flaw.

It’s revealed at the end of the show that when Mage already used her time traveling once at this point to go back and somehow prevent Derrida from being killed by Donald Trump. But we’re shown that the time rides are basically you go back in time to an important memory and you’re basically that version of yourself again at that point of time.

But Mage was nowhere near there. At that point in time, she was in the hospital because she tried a time travel experiment and collapsed as a result of it. Yet she somehow went back in time and caused Derrida to fall into a random cryostasis facility…? The cryostasis facility is literally never fucking explained. Why is it there, who built it, how is it still functioning when it looked entirely abandoned…? There are so many questions and so many of them are never answered.

I mean, I guess it just comes down to… “we need the protagonist to jump ten years into the future so THAT’S why a cryostasis facility is there and he just happened to fall into it.”

But anyway… the time rides.

They just start happening at a point in the show completely randomly. At the time, you don’t know that he’s actually full on going into the past. Like his head starts hurting and smoke just appears and bam he’s in the past. It’s later revealed that this is apparently triggered by meaningful or powerful memories, and Derrida basically realizes that all that’s really needed to time travel is to just think really hard.

If you think about time traveling super hard, you will time travel. Because that’s how time travel works. Because nobody ever thought of trying that. Like oh, I built this super fucking complex time travel machine, took years to make, but oh okay, what I really needed to do was to BELIEVE that I could time travel.

But oh hey, it does turn out that you do need time travel equipment to actually do time rides. Yet, that’s pretty weird, isn’t it? How come Derrida can just fucking randomly waltz into the past while they’re out doing other shit if he actually needs equipment? Well you see... that’s because Mage is actually in a pod somewhere with the time travel stuff Derrida needed...

...and she worked it to where the time travel equipment was linked to the watch Derrida gave to her as a birthday present ten years ago which she left for him on his cryostasis pod at the very beginning of the show and…

...How… how does this work exactly? Like apparently when you time ride, it eats your memories as fuel (???) the more you do it.

Also, the young time travel magic version of Mage says that you can’t apparently time ride to the same moment twice. So almost all of Derrida’s time rides are to completely random points and he is always unable to make any meaningful change.

So while he’s doing all of this worthless time traveling that doesn’t solve anything, Mage is in a pod somewhere losing her memories because Derrida is unknowingly using them for fuel…

It genuinely almost feels like they were aware of… you know, when you do a time travel thing, there’s always gonna be that one guy who stands up and goes:

“Yeah, but uh, if they fixed the problem they went back in time to fix, then wouldn’t they not go back into the past in the first place because the problem would be fixed in the future? Paradox!”

So they just said fuck it, and made it as nonsensical as possible as if challenging those people to try and make sense of any of this. Like one of Derrida’s time rides, I don’t even remember what it was he actually went back in time and changed, but it for no reason undid Yuri breaking her camera which survived ten years into the robot apocalypse yet broke when she fell one time.

Yeah, okay. The camera has survived ten entire years including a robot apocalypse, but it breaks immediately when she falls ONCE.

There’s no real link to whatever Derrida did differently in the past to Yuri breaking her camera. And if it’s like the “if you change something in the past, the entire future is different” idea, then why is the camera being broken the ONLY thing that is different?

And you know what, that’s actually one of his most impactful time rides. He saved Yuri’s camera. Good thing he did too, because that’s her entire character!


The Ending

The ending of this show or rather the final time ride Derrida makes was a fucking slap to the face. Because it’s at this point that is very bluntly revealed that pretty much nothing mattered. It’s not like all those random time rides he made in the past like eventually added up and he cleverly prevented Donald Trump from ushering in the robot apocalypse.

No, they find Mage, and he time rides back into episode one and specifically at the point where Derrida told young Mage that time travel was impossible and he wasn’t going to continue that research. He tells Mage that he will continue researching time travel, and that appeases Mage and she doesn’t proceed to do the experiment that sends her to a hospital, and from that, eventually, it leads to Donald Trump being ousted for the clever and evil villain he is.

...One conversation prevented the entire apocalypse, and it was Derrida swearing that he wouldn’t give up on researching time travel. Not only does it undo the apocalypse, but the new future is actually 100% perfect. Vidaux is still a cop and his wife wasn’t murdered, Mayuka’s (Vidaux’s adopted daughter) parents are apparently somehow a happy couple, Yuri’s doing her photography, Angelica/Donna isn’t a fucking insane person, Mage and Derrida are apparently together (???), and… and this is the bow on top…

...the AI of Vidaux and Mayuka’s talking car who at the end of the robot apocalypse timeline heroically sacrifices himself by launching himself into the secondary bad guy’s airship and self-detonating in it is reborn in this new future as a small friendly happy robot.


...It’s just embarrassing. Like this ending that is happy for all of the characters (well I guess except for Yuri since she loved Derrida too…) feels just completely undeserved.

Yes, I know it’s a time travel thing and there’s plenty of things where the catastrophe or whatever is prevented and therefore a bunch of stuff is just made to have never happened at all, but the key is that…

The time travel/journey has to be either entertaining or meaningful. There has to be weight to the characters if I’m supposed to care about one of them in tears swearing that they wouldn’t forget the journey that led to the time travel that would retcon pretty much everything. But again the show was aimless, bad, and at its worst, boring and dull as all hell.

So I just sighed at the ending. Suddenly, it was just over as quickly as it had began. And for that, I am genuinely thankful.


With terrible writing and horrifically bland/undeveloped characters, really the only hope there was for this was if the action scenes were really good. But they're not. They're a mix of CG car, terrible sound effects, and explosions. And the story is just after eleven episodes of wandering aimlessly in a vaguely dystopian future, they manage to fix time and Donald Trump is stopped with no consequences at all whatsoever.

Not to sink even further into time travel shenanigans, but the ending is actually complete bullshit anyways because how in the fuck would Derrida's change actually result in some of the differences shown? Like the whole thing with Vidaux and Mayuka happened before the robot apocalypse. Yet Derrida prevented the robot apocalypse so that meant Mayuka's parents were somehow happy together and her father didn't kill Vidaux's wife...? Again, the only explanation you can really go with is "change one thing in the past and dozens of things will change" but that's just fucking lazy.

Absolutely nothing is lost and everybody but Donald Trump and the evil people supporting him get a happy ending. The happy ending is not there because the characters earned it through struggling or fixing the problem with time travel CLEVERLY. The happy ending is there because it SHOULD be there. It NEEDS to be there.

...So, in conclusion, my opinion of this show is that... maybe they should have stuck with the original plan of making an adaptation of an actual time travel novel. Perhaps this disaster maybe would have been averted if they had. All I know is if I was Yoshitoshi ABe and I was shown the final result, I would have asked to have my name stricken from the project entirely.

A 5 out of 100.



...You know what, this isn't right.

This long of a review... for this? No. I can't get my time writing this review or watching this series back, but maybe I can warn others to just not bother whatsoever! Time travel will fix the problem as it fixes all problems as this show has taught me!

And all I need to do is think really really hard and I will go back in time!

Let's go!

5 /100
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