Perhaps it’s too early to talk about theme, but here is a girl, Rin Ogata, whose injury to her leg has rendered her dream as a ballerina ruined, finds unexpectedly another pair of legs that opens up to her an entirely new world larger than any she has ever dreamt of before. The image of her standing not with her own feet on the ground but rather on the wheels of the robot with her own legs merely hanging on the side suggests a picture a crippled person with her crippled part replaced with something far better, for a purpose far greater.
It wasn’t like Rin was really crippled physically. In fact, it was suggested that her injury wold heal and that her talent was still far greater than the norm. However, she was indeed crippled by another mean: the bar of excellence which she had set for herself against her mom who was a legend herself as a dancer. At such peak of competition, even the slightest aftermath left behind by the slightest injury could make the difference between hitting the mark or failing it. (Michael Phelps’s 0.01-second edge over the Serbian for his seventh gold medal at the Beijing’s games)
Of course, this raises the question if you should give up your dream the moment you realize you cannot hit the mark. Is your motivation in reaching a certain lofty goal or in simply doing what you love to do? Former is ambition, latter is passion. I don’t like Rin’s choice, but then again I have done something similar myself. Long and heartbreaking story. Don’t ask.
Anyway, the scene when Rin leaped off the cliff felt very liberating to me. Here was this girl who had thought she would never leap again but yet now found herself leaping higher than she had ever imagined she could. Her defunct talent turned out to be not so defunct after all since, as I suspect, her training as a ballerina enabled her the reflexes to manipulate the proper balance to control the bike. This whole idea of a failed dream taking a new form of hope almost brought a tear to my eyes. I can be sentimental that way sometimes. 🙂
With her new legs, Rin is moving toward a different stage, one that is far greater than any stage in theater. Now, her theater is the world with the backdrop of a global revolution and brewing instabilities. At this point, this show can go many directions: lost-dream recovery, new dream Initial-D style, new world order, or even mecha battles. But one thing I find refreshing is the lack of romance, at least for now.
Please, let the focus be on Rin and her new stage. I do yearn to see her dance anew.