I’ve been a fan of super-powered people learning how to use their abilities while teaming up with similar individuals for as long as I can remember. From X-Men to the recent Heroes tv show, I find it interesting to see how different people use their gifts in unique ways, whether it’s for good or evil. So what happens when you take this concept and place it into anime? You get one of Funimation’s latest releases, Tokyo ESP: The Complete Series, which spins the superhero genre throughout twelve episodes in a fun way that viewers will enjoy.
The story follows a young lady named Rinka Urushiba who is working her way through high school girl and as a waitress after school to help out her father with the rent, as his police job isn’t enough to keep them going. One day Rinka starts seeing some weird things such as fish in the sky along with a penguin and thinks she’s going crazy. After one of the fish passes into her body, she passes out and awakens later to learn her hair has turned white and that she now has the ability to pass through objects. It isn’t long before she meets another person with powers, a young man named Kyotaro Azuma who can teleport. The two decide to use their gifts to stop others who use theirs for evil. Like most anime, little do they know there’s a shady group of people who are watching everything behind the scenes and are looking to use these people and their powers for their own twisted goals. This sets the stage as Rinka and Kyotaro will make new friends and enemies as they get closer to stopping this shady organization or go out trying.
Watching the story play out here was a nice experience, even with the fanservice thrown about at odd times. The characters and their abilities are also used in pretty cool ways that will have action buffs cheering, but there’s enough interesting drama in the story to keep viewers watching when things cool down. What really got me was the weird comedic elements that are featured here, mainly with a ton of references to american pop culture. Don’t be surprised when you see some of the Ghostbusters, Steven Seagal, and more making their way through. Being able to see this in high definition is always a plus, as the visuals and audio come in nicely while serving to pull you into the show. There’s also some neat extras here such as original Japanese TV spots and trailers, clean opening and closing songs, and more.
The Tokyo ESP: The Complete Series is a nice set for those who like super ability users such as the X-Men. It might not be the best take on this genre, as there’s quite a few others that really go wild with it (S-Cry-Ed comes to mind), but it’s definitely worth a look. So go ahead and use whatever abilities you have to snag yourself a copy of this for your anime collection.