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And that's when the eponymous force comes in.
éX-Driver (often abbreviated simply to éX-D) is a six-episode OVA series, based on a manga created by Kosuke Fujishima (You're Under Arrest, Ah! My Goddess, Piano) and animated by Actas, A-Line and Xebec, released early in the Turn of the Millennium. The series focused around three teens (Lisa Sakakino, Lorna Endou and Souichi Sugano) and their attempt to corral the out-of-control vehicles using manually-driven ones.
Had a movie in 2002, filled with Conspicuous CG.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Pretty much the whole point of the series.
- Ambiguously Brown: Lisa has a slightly darker complexion than her teammates.
- Art Evolution: Inverted somewhat; the first episode is more detailed than the others. Played straight with the movie.
- Author Appeal: This is Kosuke Fujishima we're talking about here - this is not the first story that he put a
LotusCaterham Super 7 into. You'll see more Cool Cars than you thought possible to animate in a single show without CG.
- Automated Automobiles: They technically serve as villains for the first four episodes, despite only malfunctioning (they do endanger the lives of bystanders and the people inside, even if unintentionally).
- Badass Driver: Anyone with an actual driver's license, except for Badass Biker Rei.
- Bare Your Midriff: Lisa
- Beach Episode: Episode 5, subverted in that it never happens for different reasons.
- Berserk Button: Do not dare tell Lisa that Souichi's a better driver.
- Biker Babe: Rei
- Butt Monkey: Lisa.
- Child Prodigy: Souichi is years younger than Lisa and Lorna ... and he's still the best driver on the team.
- Conspicuous CG: The Movie and Danger Zone. Episodes 3 and 5 also contain some CG (albeit through computer displays).
- Cool Car: An obvious trope.
- Cool Bike: Rei's Ducati 900 SS
- Darker and Edgier: Episodes 5 and 6, in which a former éX-Driver and his crew try to kill the three heroes (they only manage to injure two of them though). The Movie also.
- Drives Like Crazy: Largely intentional for the job. Lisa does play this straight on numerous occasions, though, as do the AI cars when malfunctioning. Ditto the rivals in episodes 5 and 6.
- Eagle Land: Appears in the movie as a mix between a Type 2 and a Mixed Flavor (mostly the former).
- Every Car Is a Pinto: Averted, when cars crash, they don't explode. The AI cars that do were rigged.
- Every Car Is Rear Wheel Drive: With the exception of Lisa's Subaru in the first episode, this is largely played straight with the manually driven cars.
- Everything's Better with Plushies/Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Nina's workspace (and later revealed in Danger Zone, her apartment) has dozens of plushies. A bonus: Count the plushies on Nina's desk - that's the episode number.
- Expy: To an extent, Lisa and Lorna resemble the designs of Chihiro and Urd.
- Fingerless Gloves: Standard equipment for an éX-Driver.
- Free-Range Children: Their parents are never seen, but more than likely know about this.
- Foot Focus: Episodes 2 and 4. Though every episode has at least one clothed one.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Episode 4 has innuendos galore. Also ends up combining with Unfortunate Implications.
- It's also implied that motorcycle repair equals sex.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: In both English and Japanese:
- Japanese - The three teens are also Black Star, Miyu and Juri Katou (respectively). Also, Munakata is Jet Black, Nina's Rally Vincent and Cain is Treize Khushrenada. The movie has Chika Akatsuki, Eddie Steam, Lockon Stratos, Sailor Moon, Wataru Takagi, Majin Buu, Mint Blancmanche and Largo Potter.
- The English dub was by Bang Zoom. And as such, expect several of these throughout.
- JAM Project: Provided most of the music, it was one of their earlier projects.
- Limited Wardrobe: Played with. The main team have several outfits while all supporting cast members are only seen in one outfit.
- Merchandise-Driven: Not to the extent of a more popular anime like Dragon Ball per se (nor was anything ever advertised within). But the series did have its fair share, including coffee mugs, art books, model kits and CDs.
- Motorcycle on the Coast Road: Episode 4 ends with this.
- The Movie: With Conspicuous CG!
- Nosebleed: Episode 4, after Souichi looks at a naked Rei (in the men's shower room, of all places). He also fell unconscious.
- Off-Model: The designs take a slight decline between the first episode and the second episode on.
- Shower Scene: Episode 4, Played for Laughs.
- Shout-Out: The AI Cars have a singular red eye, akin to that of Hal 9000.
- Duel gets this treatment twice - Once in episode six, and again in the movie.
- Shown Their Work: Lorna's descriptions of her advanced driving maneuvers in episode 3. One of the extras on the North American release shows the animation team going to a track and watching drivers of real-world cars of the same make and model (and colour!) as the cars in the anime performing the same advanced maneuvers.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Occurs in episode 5, The Movie and the Mini-Movie (with AI-controlled vehicles).
- Turn of the Millennium: Released July 25, 2000 through April 20, 2002 (which may explain the A.I. Is a Crapshoot trope above).
- Universal Driver's License: This might be one of the reasons that allows anyone (even as a child/early teen) to become an éX-Driver (the other being the ability to actually operate a manually-controlled vehicle).
- Women Drivers: Heavily averted, as two-thirds of the main cast are female. Also, there are other female éX-Drivers, as the movie confirms.