I guess believability isn’t one of Tokyo ESP‘s primary concerns. A few weeks ago, the bad guys scored a complete victory over Rinka and her friends. Minami and company stormed the school, beat Rinka up, recorded the beatdown to the whole world, and even stole Kyotaro away to some tropical island. Most importantly, Rinka lost her powers because she was actually clinically dead at one point. Wow, you guys, this looks bad. I sure am curious how our heroes will navigate themselves out of this mess! I mean, that was what I thought. I thought we’d have one of those situations where things have to turn to shit before they improve, i.e. “The darkest hour is before the dawn.” And even though this minor narrative twist is a bit of cliche, I was fine with it. I was fine with the thought of the story heading in this direction, because let’s face it, Tokyo ESP isn’t exactly a world beater. As long as the execution is solid, the anime will have done its job. What I didn’t expect, however, was the steps the story took for the situation to “improve.”
This week, the narrative comes full circle. The Professor and his cronies take over the Diet, levitate it into the air, announce to Japan that they are now the rulers, blah blah blah. I don’t need to go into too much detail about all of this, since we’ve already seen most of this part of the story in the very first episode. So instead, much of this week’s episode focuses on how the good guys turn things around. Murasaki and others manage to save Peggi, and Rinka regains her resolve to fight back against the bad guys. She even convinces her dad to help her even though the guy is super protective of his daughter. And gosh, it just brings a tear to my eye when humans and espers team up to stop the Professor. On paper, this all sounds like a solid direction for the story to take. Again, it’s not a world-beating direction, but it’s Tokyo ESP, which is already a poor man’s X-Men to begin with. I’m just saying you can’t expect much. In any case, I thought the good guys’ comeback would involve Rinka somehow regaining her powers. I mean, isn’t that just common sense? If she got beaten up at her school even though she had her powers. how the hell is she going to win now without her powers?
Well, as it turns out, Rinka just does. Our heroine runs into those two girls at the Esper Detainment Center. You know those two girls. One of them can mind-control people by looking into their eyes. The other one wears a Chinese-style dress and has no whites to her eyes. Yeah, they were the ones who beat Rinka up. Right off the bat, I have no problems with Rinka defeating the mind-control girl. Sure, just close your eyes and you can avoid her mind-controlling you. Then afterwards, she’s a sitting duck. Okay, I can buy that. On the other hand, I don’t particularly like the way Rinka manages to win her next fight. There was almost nothing to it! She does a flying jump kick, forward flips over the girl, then kicks her in the head. And uh, that’s it. Not only is the fight way too short, it is also way too easy. If Rinka’s going to fight without her ESP abilities, at least throw some ingenuity in there. Since she has a disadvantage without any ESP abilities, let Rinka win with her brains or something. Instead, the girl proceeds to flat-out stomp her next few opponents with her brawn and her brawn alone. This just makes me wonder why she even needed her ESP powers to begin with! Hell, why does anyone need them!
But that’s not even the dumbest part about the episode. Remember Kyotaro? Yeah, Minami stranded him on some island. Somehow, she can teleport him all the way out there, but he can’t teleport himself back to Japan. What’s the deal with that? Is Minami really just that much stronger than him in the teleportation department? But more importantly, we know Kyotaro’s going to escape. He’s one of the heroes, after all. Like Rinka, this episode is also about how Kyotaro can pick up the pieces and make a triumphant comeback. So how does our hero go about this? Oh, it’s easy! He’ll just run into a talking pelican! Yeah, a fucking talking pelican. Uh-huh, the pelican flew through the school of glowing fish, y’see, so now the pelican has the ability to communicate with humans. Sure, Kyotaro is smart enough to make a raft, but still, he has no clue how to get back to Tokyo. Therefore, the pelican will lead Kyotoro back home, because its a migrant bird. See? It’s so easy! It simply wants one thing in return: uguu, won’t Kyotaro help this bird find true love?
What the fuck, man? What the fuck? First, Rinka plays heroine anyway even though she’s lost all her powers. And now, Kyotaro is being saved by a goddamn pelican. Why even bother putting the main characters through the wringer if you can’t gracefully help them back up to their feet? Why resort to these ridiculous asspulls? The Rinka thing is not as egregious, because you can just argue that she’s put in the hard work with her training, and what you see in this week’s episode are the fruits of her labor. Still, I question why she was so weak before if she can suddenly beat everyone up now. Why did she lose so badly at the school if she’s not even taking any damage now? What’s the deal with that? Did she get an invincibility star or what? One minute, I see her naked in the shower, the next minute, she’s beating up the bad guys as if she had never lost her powers. As for the Kyotaro thing, it’s just flat-out dumb. Whereas Rinka at least trained hard to become a strong fighter with or without her ESP powers, Kyotaro’s not even succeeding through his own abilities. He just lucky enough to meet a talking bird. Meh, I’m ready for Tokyo ESP to end. It’s been such a forgettable series.