Naoto is a student who is very passionate about trains, and is thus taking part in the training program for Japanese National Railways. As a part of this program he somehow ends up a trainee in the Railways Security Force despite his overall goal of eventually being a train driver. Still, he tries his best and becomes close friends with the rest of the trainees that make up K4: Sakurai, the daughter of a policeman that is very skilled in combat and who has for some reason come to hate all men; Koumi, a girl who is very kind though somewhat clumsy, but who is also quite intelligent with an extremely excellent memory; Iwaizumi, a man who tries to and is usually successful in solving all his problems through brute force, and who generally seems to have food on his mind. Through his tenure in K4, the team solves a multitude of problems such as helping Mari, Naoto’s childhood friend who is also a part of the training program and loves the sound of trains, help her find her missing friend; guarding Noa, an idol putting on a concert for JNR; riding an old abandoned line after the main lines go down due to a rock slide in order to deliver urgently needed organs; guarding and preventing a royal from being kidnapped; as well as numerous other issues with train issues, bombers and other criminals, imagined and real.
The problem with Rail Wars is that while there isn’t anything that is absolutely wrong with it, its that it’s still just overall pretty boring. If you’re looking for something incredibly laid back without much substance you may like it, but even then its only decent. There isn’t much character development, and none of the characters right off the bat are that interesting. The MC especially is incredibly flat. He’s not the strongest, smartest, most clever, or even the most courageous. His only major defining characteristic is that he loves trains, which also doesn’t manifest that well considering others clearly seem to know more about trains or be better with them than him. The plot overall is many completely separate events with no real coherence to them, so there isn’t much in the way of an overarching story, and each of the smaller plots aren’t that interesting either and felt off pacing wise. The descriptions of the anime describe a group that wants to privatize the railway system, but I’m assuming that’s from the novel as they don’t appear at all in the anime, which is unfortunate as something like that to tie everything together could have done wonders for the plot direction. Now that’s not to say it was awful; it was enjoyable at many points, and there wasn’t anything about it that I disliked. There just wasn’t much to like either. The fan service was pretty weak and really didn’t make much of its R+ rating. The action was decent enough for what it was, though not enough to be a highlight. The same applies to the comedy. The animation and art were reasonably good. The soundtrack was OK. The OP/ED were pretty good. And lastly, it doesn’t even make trains seem all that cool.
Overall an anime about trains that’s semi decent because its pretty flat in almost every way.