Ranmaru is a young cop with a dark past. As one of the few survivors of a mindless slaughter in his apartment block, he joins a special unit called TOKKI to avenge his parents. In his first case, the already ghastly murder scene turns to one of terror, as the inhuman killers start to massacre the police. After being saved at the last minute by a secret unit named TOKKO who wield swords instead of guns, Ranmaru's mind is filled with questions and he is determined to find out the answers, no matter what it takes. What are these monsters, and why did they recognize him?
Like many other of the better grade of anime, this one didn't get enough seasons or episodes to truly tell the whole story. It will leave you hanging but it is one heck of a ride until you get to the end. Think Tokyo Ghoul and Seraph of the End crossed and you will have some idea of what this series entails. I am a bit shall we say disturbed and not fully satisfied with the ending and what happens to Sakura. However, this series did one hell of a job through out the show. At times the pacing might be a bit too slow or others too fast, but overall it works out pretty well. As far as all the basics of story telling goes, it might not be absolutely perfect but it comes damn close compared to other animes. The story does such a solid job of grabbing attention that like a good book, it will be hard to put down or more specifically, it will be hard to stop watching it until the very last episode. It hits it's stride with a terrific show of foreshadowing in a very dramatic way. Ranmaru has been having nightmares frequently and repeatedly ever since the tragedy that left his family devastated. Drama ah ha moment, the main thing he remembers about the dreams are a half naked girl who shows up in every one of them. Is it destiny or fate or some sign of himself, his future, or his past? Such seemingly little things are nice touches that keep sucking you in deeper into the story. There is a mystery as to who or what is behind a series of gruesome murders. The cases smell of the same kind of bloodlust that befell Ranmaru and all the survivors many years prior. There are subtle clues that these criminals might not be the only ones with secrets and rumors swell about there being monsters behind them. You get glimpses of what's going on every so gradually and that pace over time increases in speed as more and more events congeal around the main characters and more of the hidden becomes exposed. The way the story progresses might very well remind you of classic horror stories, thrillers, or mysteries. Fear may not ever be it's strong point expression but even if the viewer can not solidly sense it, you can feel that fear in many of the characters. Greater fear may well come from who and how many are behind what and how many different sides oppose one another in acheiving their own agendas. There are some excellent villains to contend with as well as good twists and suprises. Though some of those surprises may not be all that shocking if you can pick up the well placed clues done through excellent foreshadowing. The core characters with a couple exceptions are pretty well developed but even the exceptions get more story background and screen time than most side or support characters in other animes which have had more seasons and episodes. Kudos for this show to surpass the efforts of many a show with more resources. Finding a show this good, satisfying, and well written is a rare gem indeed. It is rather sad that some of the best animes ever made have so little chance, so few resources, and so few episodes created. I am sure there are a few cliches here and there but the good pacing of the show do much to make that much more difficult to pinpoint. In addition, subtle elements are so seemlessly blended into the story it maybe hard to separate them into their individual pieces like say cliches so apparent in many other animes. The characters look more like collages of bits from different typical and a few nontypical character templates than any singular or solid character cliches. The anime falls just shy of the highest rating due to a character art not falling as solidly into the same apex quality that the backdrops and even many of the creatures seen in it possess. They come close but a few characters still suffer from older lower quality style standard anime looks than the rest of this anime achieves. Sound is pretty solid with excellent work on English voice dubbing and good matches for the characters to the right kinds of voices you would expect. No character suffers from those annoying over used voices such as the squeaky chipmunk female voices or the faux fallsetto wimpy guy voices such as Kazume's brother had in Kaze no Stigma. So solid job there. Sound effects are pretty seemless and blend well to totally immerse you into the world that is Tokko. Characters and story were already discussed but they are all fairly solid with only a few minor issues. The story is probaby it's strongest point. Though it looks similar in many ways to several other animes it is unique, well fleshed out, detailed, solid, fresh, and original enough to stand on it's own apart from virtually any other tale. This is not a show for anyone under 17 though because of extreme gore, violence, and gratiutous exposure of nudity. So parents be warned. None of them however quite fall into the "nude" for "nude" sake fanservice porno pervy ways of thinking you might find in hentai, porn, or seinen anime and manga.
Short and sweet cause 1. I'm not one for writing reviews 2. I'm lazy and don't feel like typing a 3000 word essay. My take on the anime: The ending was really rushed (kinda anti-climatic), the series would have benifited if it had been exteneded, there were a lot of things that were rushed story wise, the action scenes are really mostly just pictures with that speed lines effect added, left out a few things unanswered. Apart from that I believe it has a good story (even if it was rushed), and the characters were descent enough (even though they ultimately have the same background story). I give 6/10 overall (maybe 5/10), it's not unbearable otherwise I would have dropped it.
While the animation is sorely lacking it makes up with a decent plot line. Though if you've actually ever read the manga counterpart, it has totally divergent paths that lead to the same ending, which is like wtf? Seeing as I watched the anime without knowing it was a manga first, I actually like the events that played out in the anime better. It wasn't rushed, it felt far more fleshed out and has a better pace than as a manga. This is prolly one of the few rare cases where the anime is actually better than the manga in all honesty. It really left me curious about the end though as they really built up everything to a critical level of interest. I figure there'll never be a season 2 but I think if anyone would pick it up, it would go far. I was kinda lost as to the markings at first (as they're sometimes irregular and look like 90's tribal tatts) but their designs eventually grew on me. I cannot quite place where the demon of the main character's reminds me of but it's creepy pasta and I like it that way. Over all, it's worth a watch if you want to feel both parts funny and annoying. If you can look past the err, low quality, it is rather good. It's totally got a 90's vibe to it, but I don't really mind in the end. Sort of feels like it belongs in that era anyways. I also like the fact they HAVE to use swords to kill the demons despite there being guns. Some anime give the option of being able to kill with either, but here it's swords only. So that's a curious twist. Regardless, I loved the character development and I think it is severely under appreciated. I can see this anime going further with the right nudge.
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