Sunday, January 4, 2015

Tokyo ESP

Over winter break, the best way to spend it is to indulge in video games and anime. Now you might be thinking that is a waste of time and to that I say "to each his own." The first anime I sat down to watch was from the creators of Ga-Rei Zero, called Tokyo ESP. I admit, I didn't like Ga-Rei, but the premise of Tokyo ESP seemed rather interesting, I decided to give it a shot.

The story of Tokyo ESP follows a young high school girl named Rinka who lives with her father and struggles financially. One day, on the way to school, she meets a glowing yellow fish, which swims into her body and knocks her out. The next morning however, she wakes up on the first floor of her apartment complex with snow-white hair, and as soon as she gathers her self, she starts sinking through the floor again. As it turns out, the magical fish has given her the ESP to pass through objects, and her friend, Azuma Kyoutarou, has the ESP to teleport. Together, they meet a variety of other of ESP users and try to bring justice to the world. However, a select group of ESPers have decided that they want to take over the world, and install a new world order that puts normal humans at the bottom of the food chain. As they make their motives known, this causes tension between the normal humans and ESPers, even to the point of making a separate zone for the ESPers. As tensions rise, it is up to the "White Girl" Rinka to ease tensions between the two groups and bring order to Tokyo.

The story line was solid on concept, but I do feel like they missed a lot of opportunities to develop the characters. At the start of the series Rinka is your average girl that has money issues, but as the series goes on, she develops into a hero of justice, but that is about it. Her dad is hinted at to be a former cop, but we don't really get to know him that well either. The list goes on and on for all the characters, and I believe if this series had been twenty-two episodes rather than 12, I think they would have gotten a lot more chances to develop the characters and the plot its self. They did adopt a training episode, which was needed to see that she was training to get stronger, but with the anime being only twelve episodes, I think that they could have devoted more time of this one episode to character development. We do get to see a bit of Ayumu's story in that episode, but I just think it took up time they could have been using to get on with the plot.There is also a gap in between episodes four and five that felt like they were in a hurry to introduce the villain, which needed to be done, but I wish they could have done that a bit more smoothly.The ending felt rushed, and it irritated me that they had a deus ex machina ending where Rinka was able to kill the Professor.

The characters, on the other hand, tended to annoy me to no end. Like I said before, Rinka is your goody two-shoes that saves the day, but she does get beaten to a pulp multiple times and still is able to fight decently, where any other person would have black out. Her friend, Azuma Kyoutarou, goes missing mid-way through the series due to be kidnapped by his adopted sister, Minami, and even though we learn a bit about his past, it felt like the anime just kind of halted his character development. Along the way Rinka and Kyoutarou meet a theif by the name of Kobushi, whohas the power to turn invisible. She seemed like a fun character to develop, even crushing on Rinka's dad because she wish she had a father like that. Do we find out anything about her past? No. The villain, Azuma Hokusai, irritated me because he had the power of illusions and he was the one that started the war of humans vs. ESPers, and to boot, he just had a cocky attitude that just made me want to strangle him. I am ok with having a powerful villain, but I not ok with having an all powerful villain, with a dick personality and endless supply of resources. The list goes on and on about characters that were underdeveloped.

The music and audio for this series was actually pretty decent. The opening theme "Tokyo Zero Hearts," had a fun techno vibe to, and along with the animation that went along with it, it felt amazing. The animation for the show was decent, but not as fluid as the opening theme regrettably. I did like the fact they tried to make the animation more pronounced when a character was using their ESP powers, such as Rinka's hair turning white or Kyoutarou's and Minami's teleportation had a fade effect to them. The voice actors also fit the character's nicely too, and nothing felt out of place voice acting wise.

Overall, despite its many, many flaws, I found my self rather enjoying this anime. If anything, this anime has made me want to pick up the manga on my spare time to find out if they tie any loose ends that anime had left me with. In some ways I hope that there is a season two because it felt as if the series left things a bit open ended to make a second season.

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