Tokyo ESP – Episode 3 Review – “Penguin and Girl”
Who the hell cares? Ok fine. 😛 We officially met Rinka, the White Girl, and were “treated” to her back story. We were also introduced to Azuma Kyotaro, an esper with teleportation powers. Apparently the show turned into a quirky love story with action and fantasy elements. You know, nothing like the first episode. Tone, what’s that? Azuma and Rinka worked together to find and capture the jewel thief Blackfist, and handed her over to the police.
Blackfist awakens in the hospital, making a quick escape after knocking out the police. On her way out, a shady organization of crooks invite her to join their group. Rinka and Azuma have decided to become quasi-superheroes and use their powers for good. Rinka hasn’t committed 100% as she is still concerned with supporting her deadbeat father. Her father Rindo also contracted esper powers – he attracts objects with a magnetic field.
Rinka and Azuma go on a search around Odaiba for that flying penguin (it’s name is Peggy >_<) that was with the school of fish. They find the creature being accosted by a group of people who look suspiciously like the Ghostbusters. I’m not sure the reference works out in this case. Before the Gustbusters can get away with Peggy, a teenage girl scoops him up and runs. Through the help of Azuma and Rinka, the girl and the penguin escape. Azuma gets hit though, and has to be dragged out of the water by Rinka. The show tries to fake us out with Azuma thinking he is going to drown, but really we all know he’s going to be fine. All of this melodrama makes it feels like the creators did not think much of their audience’s intelligence.
Murasaki (the girl with Peggy) has no friends, not because she looks like a nerd stereotype, but because her father is a yakuza. The group that brought in Blackfist kidnap Murasaki and lock her away. They are yakuza who have recently received esper powers, led by a man who can turn his skin to stone. Rinka, Azuma and Rindo independently set out to rescue her. Azuma displays a much darker side than he has previously, beating some yakuza savagely (possibly to death). There also appears to be a “guest” with the yakuza, who can control (to a certain extent) the flow of the goldfish. One of the fish begins to work it’s way into the room holding Murasaki…
I’m so not getting the draw of this show. The pacing is so horribly done that it’s distracting. Apparently between episode 2 and 3, half a year has already passed since Rinka and Azuma first met. Despite the fact there’s has been no interactions between the two that lends credence to that. Moreover, the show needs to slow down and explain things before just launching straight into an action sequence. I’m not asking for a 20 minute long exposition scene, just something to establish what the hell is going on. The result is me completely losing my investment in any of the storylines.
Having the episode twice fake us out with “I’m going to die” moments was frankly insulting. We know these characters aren’t going to die. It’s like the show is trying to tell us “hey hey! Look at me mom! My plotline is totally dark!” Goddamn – this show is the tryhard of the season.
The severely clashing tone just does not lend itself well to the show. Pick a tone, stick to it and develop it. Don’t jump all over the place and flip flop the tone willy-nilly. It really harms the believability of the darker moments and makes them far less emotional.
On a more personal complaint, having many of the characters look like pop culture references was just distracting. Two examples are Rindo = Wolverine and Murasaki’s dad = Leonidas from 300. The Ghostbusters cameo felt a bit forced to me, but I can understand if many people enjoyed it. It falls back into the whole try hard thing for me. I don’t believe a show should be noticed because it continually shouts at us for it to be noticed.
NO. SO MUCH NO. That ending theme song which is pretty much “hey boys look at these titties” is the cherry on top of this crap sandwich. Bye bye Tokyo ESP.