Tokyo ESP Ep. 10: What this anime needs is definitely more backstory

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I’m not hearing great things about this episode, but hey, let’s see for ourselves why it’s so bad.

— So things have gotten worse ever since the esper detainment law went into effect. Sure, a school got attacked, but I wonder what the politicians are thinking now. Do they think it’s okay for the entire city to go into chaos for some indeterminate amount of time if it means they can lock some espers up? The disappointing thing about these kinds of stories is that they rarely get into the mindset of these side characters even when it could lead to an interesting discussion. Some politician out there has to disapprove of what’s going on, right? Well, we’ll never know.

— Remember how Samurai Flamenco‘s Masayoshi also found himself on the lam? He encountered a homeless guy, who ended up giving our hero the inspiration he needed to fight on. Here, Rinka encounters a homeless guy of her own, but he just shoos her away. It’s interesting to see how similar scenes play out. Samurai Champloo never stopped championing the human spirit, though.

— So here I am, watching Rinka wander through a city and opining for her love. And oh yeah, we get a ton of flashbacks. Like a lot of flashbacks. This is not exactly the most compelling episode.

— We cut back to Kyotaro, and he’s back on that island again! Apparently, Minami had saved him. She then tells him that his teleportation powers aren’t strong enough to get him back to Tokyo, but how is she here? How did she get out here? And what? She was just staring at him teleporting the entire time, waiting to swoop in and save his life?

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— No, let’s not answer any of those questions. Let’s just have the girl take off her shirt instead. Cool! And even in this dire moment, Kyotaro has to look away and blush. ‘Cause not looking at the girl’s boobs is what’s truly important here.

— Minami tells Kyotaro she hasn’t killed people for nothing. After all, he doesn’t know the real reason that her mother and Kyotaro’s parents died! That reason alone will justify murder, folks! Boy, I can’t wait to hear it.

— Buuuut we cut back to Rinka, who has been taken prisoner. And this is lame because her dad had sacrificed himself so that she could get away. But instead of hiding out with Murasaki, she went and got herself captured. It’s really hard to sympathize with the girl right now since she deliberately screwed herself even after so many people had tried to help her.

— So the espers have been branded with both a number and a barcode. That’s not heavy-handed, guys!

— Roshi shows up to tell Rinka that this place is actually quite comfortable. Well, that’s nice. Except for people like Rinka’s father. They are apparently too powerful to control, so they “are forced into a medical sleep.” This makes Rinka’s actions even lamer than ever; her dad suffered for nothing.

— We finally return to Kyotaro, and we immediately jump into a flashback. On the bright side, this is at least a flashback we haven’t seen. This one involves both Kyotaro and Minami’s parents. They’re in some foreign country, looking for… well apparently, the Professor had found the Ark of the Covenant. No, really, the Ark of the Covenant.

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— And what’s inside? The two tablets that the ten commandments had been carved upon. Christ… Somehow, Butterfingers over here managed to drop one of the tablet even though they’re likely made out of stone and thus not slippery whatsoever. When the one tablet shattered, glowing fish began to pour out of the broken pieces.

— So everyone experimented with their new powers… Again, the Professor can create illusions. Remember Butterfingers, though? He’s apparently a general of whatever country they’re in. He wants to keep the powers of the Ark of the Covenant to himself. The Professor quickly realized that he, his wife, and their two friends must quickly leave the country before anything bad happens to them. Well, so much for that. They got lured into a trap, and a bunch of soldiers shot everyone to death. The Professor only survived ’cause his wife used her last remaining strength to save him.

— Finally, we hear the whole story about how it all went down. Except, well, nothing I’ve just seen really explains the bad guys’ motivations. I’m not saying that the villains should be justified in what they do, ’cause obviously, bad guys shouldn’t be justified. But at the very least, they should have compelling motivations. Instead, the Professor got fucked over in some foreign country, and now he wants to punish the rest of humanity for it? Really? Like I said in the previous post, Magneto saw millions of his own people die. Meanwhile, the Professor is fucking millions of people over because he lost his wife. Then blah blah blah, he returned to Japan just to find a cover-up. I’m not saying his life doesn’t suck, but for a supervillain, his story is lame.

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He’s just another petty thug, not someone with some grand but misguided vision. Even in Aldnoah.Zero, a show that has plenty of flaws, Saazbaum didn’t start a war simply because his betrothed died. There are other contributing factors like how the people of Mars are suffering from poverty.

— Minami: “Can you say from the bottom of your heart that revenge is wrong?” That’s not really that hard. Her story isn’t any better either. She saw her dad cry, almost got raped, and then it’s like, “Welp, time to murder everyone!” I mean, let’s not downplay the tanker incident. Plenty of people died. Rinka couldn’t save everyone. This is what the Professor and Minami have chosen to do. Great, expose the conspiracy. I’m not disagreeing with that part of the Professor’s plan. I just don’t see how dropping a tanker and killing a bunch of people will accomplish anything.

— And then the episode just ends. Kyotaro stretches, picks up a couple of sticks, then the show fades to black. Okay then… There can’t be very many episodes left, so I have a feeling we’re going to get a rushed ending. Oh well, just gotta watch and see, I guess.

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