Catching up on Anime Series Reviews, first, we were looking for Revenge in the latest Zombie Land Saga Season Review, now we’re going to be looking at one of the overlooked series of 2021 (So Far!) With Odd Taxi. Also, by the time this review is over, we might owe Brazilian Capoeria an apology.
The Series begins in Tokyo, we find ourselves meeting an asocial walrus named Odokawa, 41 years old, and holds a job as a Taxi Driver. His parents abandoned him when he was in Elementary School which made him act the way he does today. While conducting his job he holds conversations with other animal inhabitants but one day things begin to get strange when a high school girl goes missing, things begin to unravel around Odokawa as the Taxi Driver’s life and his customer’s lives are taken down into a path of Mystery and Acts of Violence when the question is asked “What happened to Yuki Mitsuya?“
The series was produced by Studios OLM and P.I.C.S. and consists of thirteen episodes and a Manga series that is currently on Shogakukan’s Digital Manga Site, Superior Dalpana. Four weeks ago, a special project titled “Project Odd Taxi” was launched, if a certain number of orders (300 sets) are received, the release of the Blu-ray BOX set will be finalized (If the order doesn’t reach 300 sets, the release will be canceled). The goal was reached and pre-orders are currently available through Pony Canyon’s Website.
I might be reaching for the stars on this observation but bear with me on this, but it felt like there was influence from Satoshi Kon’s work, and here’s why I feel that way, Odd Taxi has a sense of Magical Realism to it. What is Magical Realism you might wonder? Magical Realism is a way to represent the mundane and real world, where it resembles our world in every aspect, yet has a magical and inexplicable oddity that drives the plot. That was played out in Paprika through the lens of dream invasion and Paranoia Agent with a Shounen Baseball Bat and mamori. Now with Kazuya Konomoto’s Odd Taxi, it is being told with anthropomorphic animals but with hints of the real world in it, you have the mention of certain things and people like the Yakuza, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Bollywood, and Donald Trump (through a random thought regarding Government).
What made this so memorable were these characters and a well-written story that invited the viewer to a well-crafted universe with characters that have compelling, intersected stories, and what makes them tick. By the end of the series, we felt like separating from old friends, and many of us related to Odokawa’s backstory, Shirakawa’s poor decisions, Yano’s commitment to being the best, or Shiho’s desire to escape a life of poverty. The Animation style stayed true up to the end, it was hilarious to view the characters as their Human Counterparts especially how Dobu looked like his Animal counterpart! The Series is available to watch on Crunchyroll, be sure to check out this amazing series.
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