Scared Rider Xechs is very odd. It opens in a broken down school roof, with one character playing an unplugged electric guitar. We don’t find out his name until about halfway through the episode. We don’t find out ANY names until halfway through the episode. And even then we only find out 3 out of 10+ character names.
The episode eventually introduced new characters, and we find out that in this post-apocalyptic world there are Substances and Riders. These human/monster teams are like Power Rangers. They are used to protect the people from the Nightfly O’Note, an enemy of some sort. We don’t now where they come from or why they invade.
We find out that Yosuke is the person playing the guitar, and that he is unable to become a Rider. He cannot transform. Apparently he isn’t too broken up about it, and continues to play his guitar. The 4 other guys in his section write him off for being lazy and unmotivated, but still come back to make condescending remarks at him. The whole thing was kinda like a low budget Captain Earth.
Well after 4 years, the enemy attacks. Nightfly O’Note sounds really terrifying ne? Well the 4 Riders spring into action, attacking and defending equally. In a completely predictable and overused plot twist, Yosuke runs into the battlefield unarmed. He runs into the burning space ship to check for survivors. He finds the experiment the scientists were trying to hide, a beautiful girl. When he and the girl are caught in the enemy’s tractor beam of death Yosuke becomes motivated enough and is able to transform, leading the other Riders out of the battlefield with the girl in his arms. So Cliché.
The animation of the episode was very sharp, meaning the characters were very angular. The angles went well with they story they were going for I guess, with the dry conversation and tendency to go for a black or white solution instead of a grey one. The faces were not detailed, even when focussed on one face. Most of the effort went into the hair, from what I can tell. The hair is toned and shaded and styled very nicely. The faces are shaded minimally, but only if there is one person on the screen. When 2 or more enter, then its back to the basics.
What is detailed is the console screens in the command room. The computer screens have a nice light diffusion effect, illuminating the sharp angles in the characters faces even more. The color scheme for the command room is standard for corrupt/evil scientists, that means a lot of dark turquoise and black.
One major issue I had, besides the clichés, is that in one scene there was no way to tell who was talking. It was a wide shot, like from the back of a classroom, and 4 characters backs were to the camera. The other two were motionless, their lips were not moving so it was impossible to tell who was talking unless we knew their voices by now. This being one of the first scenes with the Riders, it is impossible to figure it out.
As for the music, it was Naruto meets X Files. The sound effects were very exaggerated, especially the motion sound effects. They were loud and extra swooshy.
So I don’t have high hopes for this series. It doesn’t seem to run on an original story. If they held out on Yosuke not being able to transform for longer than 12 minutes then maybe that would have been a good plotline, but its basic.