Seb has been an anime fan since the late 90s and is particularly fond of anything post-apocalyptic, amusing, catgirly, ecchi or containing exquisite aerial battles. Living in Leeds with his cats and living up the bachelor life, Seb enjoys whiling the nights away deep in a book, game or a damn good series.
Tactics - Part 1
Distributor Manga Entertainment
Date 01 Jun 2007
Admittedly, when I watch a show about a person who dodges deadlines for his books and articles, I empathise. There is nothing worse than having an editor on your case. Kantaro, the hero of this show, always has his editor on his case; unfortunately getting his work in on time is not his only worry in life. In addition to being an author of popular literature mainly revolving around folklore he also specialises in the exorcism of evil demons. This job of his is made simple by his own unique ability which allows Kantaro to see and interact with demons and monsters, many of which provide him with the stories which he then publishes.
Now, with such a materialistic character in the story, you need a personality to counter it, an ego breaker so to speak. This role is fulfilled by the plucky and sarcastic Yoko who just happens to be a kitsune (for those not in the know, this is a fox demon with powers of transformation).
The initial storyline focuses on Kantaro’s release of the legendary demon-eating goblin which he quickly finds and names Haruka. These three, with the help of minor secondary characters (including the incredibly annoying loli Suzu who I positively detest), go around assisting those possessed by the wills of evil demons. Unfortunately, that’s about it.
Tactics can only be described as a "monster-of-the-week" style of show which relies on the pull of its cliché characters, high quality art style and the usual screaming fangirl power which a hunky bishonen brings to a show.
The show is dry. The lack of consistent storylines and character personalities (Haruka’s personality changes more often than can be healthily kept track of) makes the series a chore to follow. I rapidly discovered that the only pull to the show was in fact Yoko, whose antics and dialogue prove to be highly entertaining. She is the single ray of sunshine in an otherwise dull series. When I compare the series to the similarly named manga, Tactics, I find myself disappointed. The gags which are presented on the page work much better than the same gags on screen. The dialogue seems to be pushy and boring where it was clear and amusing in the manga.
The series has been split into two distinct parts of 13 episodes each spread over 3 discs. The final 13 episodes of the 26 episode series is provided in part 2. For your hard earned cash this gives you a whopping 5 hours of anime action, with both 5.1 English and Japanese dubs.
Neither of these versions had a strong story to begin with. The pull of the show is based entirely on the strengths of the characters and this strength has not survived the transfer from the manga that inspired it. Unfortunately without this strength the show is essentially boring and devoid of life (other than Yoko). The series reminds me of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise... plenty happens - you don’t know why and you simply don’t care as its still pretty cool - but regardless of the quality of the show you just want more of a single character. JOHNNY DEPP RULES! (You mean Yoko rules? - Ed) Enough said I think.
Mediocre - Let down by the poor plot and character design.