Tokyo ESP Episode 1 Recap – “White Girl”
I don’t usually do this, but let me copy the description from the FUNimation website. There’s a point to it, trust me. “Rinka is a high school student in Tokyo trying to make ends meet while supporting herself and her father. Her ordinary life takes a turn for the extraordinary when she witnesses a penguin and a school of fish flying through the air. After catching up to one of the fish, she passes out and wakes up to find herself suddenly granted supernatural powers. With her newfound ability to walk through solid objects, Rinka is about to learn just how transparent the world can be. From the creator of Ga-Rei-Zero comes an adventure that shows how out-of-the-ordinary abilities of high school students can send a powerful message to evildoers the world over.”
What happens this episode:
Nothing of what that description says. I think we meet Rinka? But other than that it’s not even close – just confusing as freaking hell. I get that a group of evil espers takes over Japan, and that they have an extreme hatred for natural humans. While their boss sits in parliament (which they have magically floating in air), his flunkies systematically take out the humans attempts to escape and/or fight back. That is until the last 5 minutes, when we learn that there are good espers too, and they are ready to fight. Including a mysterious figure who goes by the name of White Girl…
What the hell is going on here? This is horrid storytelling to say the least. It’s missing the 5 w’s of storytelling almost perfectly. Here’s my plethora of questions after this episode: Who is the main character? Or main characters? Which one is Rinka? Did we even meet her? Which side am I supposed to be cheering for? Who is on which side? Is it an ensemble piece? What are ANY of the characters named? Where in Japan are we? Where’s the penguin and fish talked about in the description? GAH!
In addition, the tone generated with the FUNimation description and the series poster wildly clashes with the actual show. Seeing those you think it would be along the lines of a regular girl with superpowers taking on corruption within the city, along with cute sidekicks. In reality, the show is a gory action series instead. The characters, at least the ones I can barely remember, are incredibly tropey. I get that some of them are supposed to be from a show called Ga Rei Zero, but this was marketed as a stand alone adventure. The action sequences were well done, but my investment is missing when I don’t know which characters are fighting, or which side they’re on.
The first episode did not leave the best impression on me. It’s a jumbled mess at the moment, and the villains don’t seem that interesting. It’s got to time to turn the ship around though. I’ll give it a chance until episode 3 at least.