Tokko episode 4

May 31, 2006

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That Shindou. He's such a user. He agrees to go out with one of his sister's friends just so that he can gain access to the forensic labs as there are rumours that the evidence collected from the murders where the zombies are involved are there. There, his date – Yukino – shows him an ancient manuscript about alchemists who summon spirits. In that book, Shindou spots the very same bug-like creatures that created those zombies. But before he could go any further, Yukino's father, who also works in the lab, tells him to go away.

I suppose I can understand why Saya – Shindou's sister – tailed him on his date. Seriously. That guy needs to learn the fine art of getting a woman! Using them as sources for his work ain't the way.

Shindou explains to Yukino why he's so interested in that book, but Yukino although surprised, refused to divulge any more information. That's what you get from playing a girl, Shindou!

Shindou later finds out from Saya that Yukino's mother was murdered when she was a teenager. This perks his interest and he decides to visit her lab – she's doing the night shift.

And you know what people say about nights – that's when the denizens of evil appear. 😛 Shindou finds himself attacked by, not a zombie, but a guy with horns coming out from his back. Instinctively, he assumes a defensive position when the demon spews a truckload of bug monsters at him. (Eeew.) Then – to the surprise of the demon – something happens to Shindou's tattoo. A shield appears before Shindou and splatters the bugs.

The demon attacks, and Shindou, frozen by a flashback, can only stare. Lucky for him the Leather Squad (TOKKO) appears. Rokujou slashes the monster's hand off. And the demon runs away.

As Rokujou looks after a wounded Shindou, the Leather Squad contemplates how Shindou can survive a "No. 12" (presumably the bug-spewing demon). And one of them makes an ominous comment: "He's mixed."

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Thoughts: I noticed that Shinou's tattoo is no longer a faded grey but a stark black. Hmm, I wonder what does that signify? And does it have any similiarities to the tattoo Rokujou has?

Like I suspected, Shindou could very well be some kind of hybrid. But what does that mean? Could it mean that mummy or daddy is a demon? Could it mean that somehow, in the past, he was attacked, and somehow the monster's genes stayed in him because he survived?

So many questions.

After viewing the fourth episode of this series, I have to agree with some of the critics that there isn't anything very original about Tokko. But the story is well-told, and it keeps you intrigued about the whole mystery about what these creatures are and why Shindou is so important.


Tokko episode 2-3

May 30, 2006

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Summary: Things are getting really interesting for Shindou. Shindou and his fellow TOKKI officers stumble upon a bloody scene. As Shindou and his friend are told to pick up the 1000-part remains of the victims, they are suddenly alerted to a scream. Together with the chief, they arrive at the scene just in time to see a cop being literally shredded into pieces by some zombies. Gah.

They TOKKI officers try to stop them with their puny guns, but the zombies just keep on coming, all the while saying that they can "smell the blood". Then the mysterious TOKKO unit arrive, casually dismembering the zombies into itsy bitsy pieces.

Okay, after this scene, my file stopped working, and I couldn't wait any longer so I watched episode 3. 😉

Somehow Shindou has acquired a strange tatoo-like mark on his arm in episode 2. His sister is so worried about the mark that she sends him to the hospital. The doctor says that it's nothing much, but he takes a blood sample anyway. Later, we find the doctor very excited over what he saw under the microscope.

Shindou, meanwhile, has wandered off the hospital grounds. He sees an old brick building, and since he sees guards there he becomes overly curious and sneaks into the building. Funny, for such a heavily-guarded place, it's sure easy for Shindou to sneak in!

Inside, he sees a comatose guy, but his newly-acquired tattoo begins to hurt a lot and he begins to have visions of monsters – so much so that he passes out. When he comes to, the girl of his dreams – Rokujou – is there. Apparently, the comatose guy is her brother. Both, like Shindou and his sister, were survivors of the massacre that happened at their apartment complex years ago. Earlier we saw a flashback of a younger Shindou greeting a young Rokujou who is drawing on the pavement. Even when she was little, Rokujou was an odd duck.

Remember the excited doctor? Well, somehow bug-like creatures invaded his lab and began devouring Shindou's blood sample. Then they turn on the doc and his buddies and turn them into zombies. Shindou and Rokujou arrive just in time to save Shindou's sis, and Shindou wonders why in the world are suvivors of the massacre being targeted.

Despite this grimness, Shindou subjects himself to his sister's matchmaking efforts. The blind date of his friends and his sister's colleagues at a goukun turn out to be a wee bit of a disaster because she invited their Captain along for the fun!

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Thoughts: I really am starting to warm up to this show. 🙂 I've always been partial about "clueless would-be hero becomes savior" stories. Also, maybe it's the whole horror theme thing, but if Tokko were to appear in the stores I'd certainly grab it. Here's to hoping it appears!

So, there's something up with Shindou's blood eh? I'm starting to wonder if he's part monster or something. Maybe some kind of hybrid? Perhaps all survivors of the massacre are targeted by these bug creatures because they're hybrids and all need to be eliminated as they pose a threat.

Too bad we'll never find out what's in Shindou's blood as those blasted doctors were slashed to shreds by Rokujou.


Tokko episode 1

May 30, 2006

tokko.jpgBrief summary: Shindou Ranmaru is late for his graduation – he’s now a an investigator for TOKKI, The Special Mobile Investigation Force. We are informed from the very beginning that Shindou is no ordinary guy. He’s been having bloody dreams about the day his parents were ripped to shreds in their apartment, and he’s been dreaming about a half-naked blood soaked girl. Shindou lives with his rather uninhibited sister who walks around in her underwear when he’s around and flashes him her boobs casually. (Poor guy.) So much so that his best friend says that he is a “sister-con” (someone who has a sister complex). Being a rookie for Tokki means that they have to be ordered around by their chief and to be assigned wonderful duties like picking up shredded remains of murder victims. Yes, the bloody murders – the one that took their parents away – are still happening.

As Shindou is getting used to his new ‘station’ in life, he suddenly meets that half-naked girl and finds out that she’s part of this secretive unit called Tokko. Since he longs to solve the murders of his parents, he thinks that the girl holds the key to what happened in his town years ago.

Thoughts: Tokko has received a lot of criticisms because of its bad animation and cookie cutter-characters. But maybe I’m just less sensitive to bad art as I don’t understand what’s so bad about the animation. 😉 Sure, they take a lot of short cuts when it comes to the action scenes – splashes of blood to tell you that something violent is going on – but on the whole, it’s nothing as bad as Weiss Kreuz for example. Now, that’s bad animation.

Still, it’s not great animation as well. Low frame rates and all. But it can do.

I found the story intriguing – yes, something is up with Shindou. He immediately perks the interest of the Tokko people, especially the blonde who says that he has the “scent of the other side.” Not sure by the amount of decapitations, blood, exploding heads, severed limbs though. I’m not that affected by them, but it’s sure interesting how much blood is shed in this anime!

The last scene in the opening sequence got me really interested. It seems to hint that Shindou could be a potential enemy of Tokko. Hmm!

Apparently this is a 13-episode anime. I wonder how much ground can they cover? Better, I wonder if I am ever going to see it in the stores?? Tokko is not exactly popular in Malaysia, so I have doubts whether it’ll be brought over.

Ah well.

All in all, since not many are blogging this series, I’ll be blogging it.