10 Mar 2007
"The only way to kill them is to cut the little faces off..."
"Miramasa! Go get me a f**king tank!"
These are just some of the lines which I have heard in the first hour, and honest to God, have made me cry with laughter regardless of the situation on screen.
To put it in a simply, this series is the result of mixing hardcore police action, zombies and supernatural events (but not to the level of the X-Files) and good old fashioned 80's police stereotypes (think of the big angry chief inspector who likes his guns too much). This is by no means a bad thing, with the end result being a highly entertaining cop show with plenty of drama, history, character development and plot as well as hoardes of zombies, demons and general evil. Hoo-ray!
The main characters are Shindou Ranmaru and Rokujo Sakura who are connected by their history of being survivors of a demonic massacre at their apartment complex when they were children. Both lost almost their entire families in a slaughter that left hundreds dead. The demons rose through huge chasms in the ground and as quickly as they appeared, they vanished without a trace. Until now.
Several new attacks have occurred and Ranmaru, a new police recruit, is assigned to the section investigating the mysterious murders. It quickly becomes evident to the police that a secret operations team, Tokko, of which Sakura is a lead member, is in charge of the situation. As the attacks get worse the police rapidly discover that guns simply don’t work, and learn that the only way to kill these zombies is to kill the demons possessing the human bodies using a blade, preferably as big as possible. I will admit that I found those little demon faces truly creepy... It emerges later that Ranmaru and Sakura are connected to the demons and are destined to fight them together. Its quite cute actually, in a blood covered gory kind of way.
In addition to the core plot which aims to discover who is launching these attacks and what their final goal is, there are many sub-plots involving Sakura’s brother and Ranmaru’s sister, who are also both survivors. It is too early to tell what will happen in the first volume, but what has been revealed so far is more than enough to hook you into the story and make you want more.
Down to the technical stuff. The transfer from NTSC into the PAL format
Down to the technical stuff. The transfer from NTSC into the PAL format has caused some interlacing lines to be visible periodically and this is certainly noticeable during some of the more substantial action sequences. The art however is extremely crisp and the CGI is completely un-noticable throughout the series so far. It’s very well done indeed. The english dub is of high quality with some very familiar voices taking part in the cast. Overall the actors have done a damn good job, making sure that none of the emotion has been lost in the translation. The s
ubstitution of more western language, including several phrases borrowed from 80s cop simply enhances the atmosphere of the series.
I am also growing quite fond of the opening and closing songs, both of which are done by “dB”. Very catchy indeed!
It is no secret that I am a big fan of shows like The A Team, Starsky and Hutch and more modern series such as the X Files. I am now going to be a fan of Tokko, as it incorporates everything I enjoy with a strong storyline and highly enjoyable characters with plenty of life and spirit.
Although not perfect, it is by far a strong new addition to Manga’s catalogue and should do well.
Warning: The language used in the series is very strong, and is most definitely not suitable for children under the age of 15. The 18 certificate is perhaps a bit strong, but the subject matter is quite gory in places.