Tokko Anime | My Reviews 27 AUG 2007

TokkoThe latest anime series on which I cast my beady eye was Tokko, and quite frankly, my eye should have been cast elsewhere – but not to far mind you. The optic nerve doesnt stretch very well. Any way, back to the anime.

Shindou Ranmaru has just graduated from police academy and assigned to TOKKI the: Special Mobile Investigation Force. On the day of his graduation however, he meets the blood-soaked, katana-wielding girl that he has been seeing in his dreams, the one haunting him ever since the nightmarish Machida incident five years ago in which he and his sister lost both their parents in Japans worst (and bloodiest) ever unsolved mass murder case.

It would seem that there is a second, secret division operating alongside TOKKI known as TOKKO, its principle mission: dealing with the numerous mass murder, body part scattering incidents that seem to be occurring all over Tokyo. But it is only when Ranmaru inadvertently witnesses them in action that he realises just what it is that they are up against. Otherworldly demons emerging from pits in the ground, face-hugging bugs that turn humans into zombie killing machines and a lot of blood splattered body parts flying around, all of which stems from some artefact know simply as the Box of Dirge.

To solve the mystery surrounding the deaths of his parents and all those others living at the Machida complex, it is going to be up to an awakened Ranmaru to carve his way right down to the bottom of all the answers.

TOKKO is a mature anime title featuring a lot of bloody violence. The story is definitely mature in nature it is just a pity that the animation couldnt depict that a little better. Storywise, TOKKO is disappointing. While the concepts and general story line is in fact not half bad and could have been made into something so much better, this anime has manages to squeeze out some of the worst crap I’ve seen in ages. Trying to mix comedy, drama and violence into one package can be done if handled correctly, but the writers of TOKKO don’t have a clue on doing this right. In fact, you will be far more annoyed than entertained when watching this rubbish.

It is a 13 episode long series, and to be quite honest, I’m glad that it was so short. Attempts are made at fleshing some of the principle characters out, but the work is so clichd and poorly done that you end up not caring for a single one of the characters. The situational comedy that is forced in comes across so out of place that it jars your watching experience so badly that you cringe, waiting for it to pass and hoping that it was all a delusion on your part.

In an effort to make it more horrific, the director went for showing all the body chopping action in its full glory its just too bad that the animation is something that comes out of a cheap Korean sweat studio and is better suited to a little girls bunny rabbit-loving show than to a mature title. Flat, flat imagery, poor animation and character design, complete lack of detail or any decent colouring whatsoever leads you to wonder just how the director intended to merge the adult fair of this title with the almost pokemon level of animation (actually thats not fair. Pokemon was better animated than this one).

Just wait until you get a load of the physics, particularly the blade on body effects which sees body parts flying all over the screen in a most ridiculous child like way you can imagine. Even the demonic face-hugger bugs are pathetic, looking more like that green goo ghost from Ghostbusters than anything remotely demonic, let alone dangerous.

The sound matches the animation in that it is rather simplistic, not achieving any noteworthy enough to be mentioned here. At least they bought an okay opening song to try and salvage some reputation for the show. Thank goodness that most of the voice acting isnt all that bad though, even if Saya is going to get on your nerves every time she opens her mouth.

Look, the show gets better towards the end as the story tightens to an okayish conclusion (I lie a little here: the story doesnt properly conclude at all it is better to say that the story arc concludes), but the really poor animation and style complete chops the hamstrings off of this title. It is a waste of time, plain and simple. Even if you do like the sound/view/experience of body parts flying around the screen and perhaps the occasional nipple shot, believe me, you are better off picking up some other, more deserving title (like Berserk perhaps).

Note that even though this is crap, it is still a mature title and not intended for kids.

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.