Tokyo 24-ku Episode 7: Time Moves on But The Plot Seems To Be On Hold

Tokyo 24-Ku Episode 7

Tokyo 24-ku seems like it was running low on steam this week. Either that or it is a lull before a storm however when the characters are all dispersed the way episode 6 left them, a lot of the charm of this anime seems to be missing in action. Maybe it is a case where if I was able to binge watch and move straight to the next episode it wouldn’t be so obvious but really all I got out of this episode was that Shuta is pretty useless on his own (and we already knew that) and bread is apparently awesome.

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 7

Not that Shuta is actually on his own. None of the characters in Tokyo 24-ku are. Shuta has Mari and his mother to support him as well as his father returning at the end of the episode. Kouki has a whole organisation around him. Even Ran has a group on the run with him. The problem is, other than Mari, none of these supporting cast members have really done much to feel like more than background noise.

Tokyo 24-Ku felt a little underwhelming this week.

For an anime that has given us one trolley dilemma after another and life or death stakes every other week, an episode that just looks at the reality of growing up felt very flat. Yes, childhood friends grow apart. They connect with others and their goals move them down different paths and eventually they may no longer connect even if they want to.

And as much as Shuta seems to think there is, there’s no magic moment when you stop feeling like a kid and realise you are an adult. You just kind of keep going and one day you look back and wonder how it is you got where you ended up. Maybe that’s a really cynical way of looking at it but really Shuta seems to be agonising over his own lack of progress but he’s working in the bakery and improving his skills and still helping people out. Seems like he’s doing what he actually wanted to do.

His dream of being a hero isn’t so much squashed as taking a new form and finding ways to help people within his actual means.

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 7

Of course, I probably have another reason to feel down about this episode of Tokyo 24-Ku. For whatever reason they felt the need to nearly drown Shuta is the public bath after he took a bath while exhausted. I’ve mentioned before on this blog I have issues with drowning and here it felt like such a pointless scene. Not to mention both of the characters who went to perform CPR did so terribly.

First we get Kinako, Ran’s friend who has been left behind now that he’s on the run, who went for the usual cliche kiss approach to CPR and didn’t even try to hold his nose or literally anything that would actually make it effective. Fortunately she dithered so long Shuta’s father turns up. However he just goes for some super glowy mystical chest slam forcing the water out of Shuta’s lungs (though in reality probably cracking a rib in the process) and Shuta coughs himself awake. As usual, no ongoing effects from nearly drowning.

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 7

Honestly, I shouldn’t be annoyed at an anime for not accurately representing reality particularly in a show where magical phone calls increase abilities and give visions of the future. It isn’t like Tokyo 24-ku has tried to be particularly grounded. Still, poorly demonstrated CPR bothers me.

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 7

Anyway, the one actual plot point we get from this episode of Tokyo 24-ku is that the new phone alert system is spreading through the ward and arrests are up. Whether that ends up being a good thing or the next step toward the loss of freedom remains to be seen.

Images from: Tokyo 24-ku. Dir N Tsuda. Cloverworks. 2022

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Karandi James

Kanata no Astra Anime Series Review

Kanata no Astra Series Review

The School Trip That Will
Take Them Across The Galaxy

Kanata no Astra was an anime that seemingly came out of nowhere. I’d never heard of it and hadn’t seen any promotional videos or the like prior to the Summer 2019 season beginning. Turns out this was for the best because once this story got going it sucked me right in and was quite the enjoyable ride, more so because of walking into it absolutely blind. While it isn’t flawless, this was undeniably my favourite story of the Summer season and if it hadn’t been for the emotional connection I felt with Given, this anime would have walked away as my favourite anime of the season.

I know. High praise right off the bat.

That said, I will caution readers that though I’m going to avoid major plot spoilers as much as possible, given the nature of this story, with small bits of information revealed throughout each episode, pretty much anything I mention beyond the first episode would count as a spoiler. If you want to go in blind, just know this one is great and concludes its plot very nicely and that first double episode might start a bit slow but hang in their, it definitely finds its feet.


For everyone who is still with me, let’s talk about Astra Lost in Space.

This one is a fairly basic story following the voyage and return model where our kids, thinking they are going on a school camp, end up thrown to the other side of the galaxy though fortunately they find a functional space-ship (convenient that) and then they have to plot a route and make their way home. On the journey they learn a whole bunch of stuff about the world and themselves. Underlying this is the reason for them ending up in that situation which we will learn more about piece by piece as the journey progresses with all being revealed nicely by the end.

Still, it was really fun having a week in-between each episode to speculate.

We do need to start with that first episode though. Kanata no Astra begins and ends its run with a double length episode which adds to the overall cinematic feel this one seems to be striving for. Honestly, I probably could have done without the black bands that framed the screen for the majority of scenes however in key moments of drama, such as the rescue sequence at the end of that first double episode, that cinematic feeling really helps draw the viewer into the character’s situation and it works remarkably well.


What was a little less thrilling was the opening twenty minutes which is where the story lays its groundwork and introduces the characters. While the goofy comedy aspects on display in this part never go away, the rest of the story balances moments of tension with moments where the kids kick back and get to be kids. The opening sequence on the other hand feels like pure fluff despite the necessary introductions to the characters and the setting.

If I were to change anything in this series, it really would be this opening because I actually did pause the episode and contemplated walking away as my Summer watch list had been quite full. By the time I got to the end of episode one, all such thought were erased from my mind.

See, the characters in this story individually aren’t all that great or exceptional. In fact, most are pretty much characters we’ve seen many times before. The cast however is perfect together and as the group of kids face danger together, work together, clash with one another and then reconcile, they win the audience over and their plight becomes somehow more significant and interesting. Whether the story had ended up with a satisfactory ending or not wouldn’t change how fun the journey with this cast was even if individuals within the group annoyed me, they fit within the team.

The story also deftly introduced an additional character to the crew toward the end. Their integration only added to how solidly they had built these characters as the students we’d been travelling with interacted with, learned from, and responded to the new addition. There was some attempt at building up a few characters on Earth who were plot significant, though given the time frame this anime was working with, as well as the fact that the kid’s journey was by far the more interesting part of the story and the conspiracy was more interesting when the kids were speculating, this didn’t really go very far.


The one down side of all of this is the reveal of the traitor ended up being less of a reveal and more a confirmation of what you will have probably suspected for awhile. The character in question did feel off comparatively and there’s a lot of obvious flags along the way. I’d picked the traitor and then dismissed them because they seemed too obvious. While this isn’t the end of the world given their reveal is just one part of the mystery it is a point where more nuanced individual characters may have helped muddy the waters a bit more while still making this make sense.

Obvious red-herrings aside, there really weren’t any other candidates.

Still, it isn’t as though Kanata no Astra wants you to be perplexed. There are clues in the OP and a number of moments where characters tell us important information. While it is a slow drip-feed of info it never really stops coming and if you put the pieces together, by the time most revelations occur you’ve got a fair idea of what’s about to happen and then it is the satisfaction of having figured it out. Or in one case, being miffed that you went the wrong way with your speculation (well, I can’t get them all right).


Anyway, I loved the sense of tension this series managed to build up at key moments. I loved how when the kids had some down time they really felt like teenagers who were finding their way to a friendship. The music was fantastic and I liked that when a character changed her hair in the show they changed it in the opening as well. I also found it great the number of times Astra didn’t play the OP at all because it was using every minute of its episode time.

In less deft hands this story could have felt bloated, rushed, or meandering depending on how it was delivered. Yet here it feels like every step of the journey has been carefully plotted out and given just enough time without lingering past its welcome. Critical conversations are framed by comedy or short action sequences and everything balances nicely. In short, this series is a genuine joy to watch. It’s a space exploration story with a group of characters you can enjoy spending time with but it has ongoing drive throughout the series giving it a sense of direction and focus that helps pull everything together.

Kanata no Astra

Now I’ve actually watched the series twice already because I was watching the episodes alone to review them but about four episodes in I talked a friend into watching some of it and we soon caught up to where it had aired. After that I’d watch and review the episode and a day or two later we’d watch the episode together. It is amazing how many extra details you pull out of this on a second watch even if that watch is still with a weekly gap.

Kanata no Astra benefits from taking breaks and thinking things through.

On that note though, I don’t think I’d recommend binge watching more than two episodes of this at a time. This series seems to lend itself to that slower viewing experience of watching chunks of it and then contemplating before watching a bit more. Still, I’ll definitely buy this on DVD is it becomes available because this is one series I just had a blast with.


Just so it doesn’t sound like I’m heaping nothing but praise on this anime I will point out that it has a penchant for ending episodes on cliff-hangers, or building up to dramatic moments and then resolving them fairly quickly. In other anime I’ve found this can get quite annoying as it makes it feel like they are going for cheap TBC moments. For whatever reason I didn’t find the impact to be annoying in Astra and usually just happily waited for the resolution or accepted where the story went. That doesn’t mean it won’t be irritating if you find that particular narrative gimmick one that wears thin.

However, minor niggles aside, I’d strongly recommend giving Astra Lost in Space a go. Maybe it won’t work for you but I know I thoroughly enjoyed the story that was told here and there’s plenty of positives to take away from the series even if it ultimately doesn’t work for you.

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Karandi James

Want To Read More About Astra Lost in Space?

Images from: Kanata no Astra. Dir. M Andou. Lerche. 2019.

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 6: There’s Always A Girl In A Tube

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 6 Review

Why is it that in these super-sophisticated futuristic computers somehow it always comes down to a girl floating in a tube? Okay, sometimes the glass liquid filled tube isn’t powering a computer but we’ve seen this enough to have known exactly what was coming in the slow reveal of the mystery behind the computer system in Tokyo 24-ku as it embraces the cliché.

I think the most startling thing about that reveal was that Koki took so long to figure it out. That, and wondering why the tube was initially covered by blue scales which kind of magically disappeared to reveal the girl. It all seemed like there were a lot of unnecessary moving parts in this sequence. And no one in the audience was surprised to find that the deceased Asumi is at the centre of given she’s been making phone calls to the boys all season.

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 6

Tokyo 24-ku stepped its story up this week.

While the previous episodes of Tokyo 24-ku seemed to be settling into a rhythm of give boys a problem, deal with problem, then spend time dealing with the fallout, all with the ongoing mystery of the various political and corporate shenanigans in the background, episode 6 deals with the fallout of last week’s terrorist attack but shift the attention firmly onto the governor of the ward and his personal mission.

Between the terrorist’s released video and the governor himself, this episode is full of lines examining safety, privacy and freedom as the people in the ward are faced with the decision of whether to install the latest version of hazard cast onto their already quite invasive phones. If it wasn’t quite so ham-fisted, it would be an excellent opportunity to talk about internet privacy and freedom of speech though to be honest Tokyo 24-ku is nowhere near sophisticated enough to really get into the nuance of the issue and is rather just hoping that by at least referencing a topical debate they can gain additional emotional buy-in from the audience.

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 6

And they are right in that it works. The story unfolding in Tokyo 24-ku definitely makes you think of all those news headlines and current debates in parliaments over social media and other online issues. Not to mention it goes even further and directly has the governor declare one of the terrorists claims to be ‘fake news’. If you hadn’t already connected with topical issues and concerns there’s no way that phrase didn’t.

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 6

But where things get a little more interesting in Tokyo 24-ku is in the way the three boys at the centre have definitely fallen out and gone their own ways. Even Shuta notes that while Koki is working for SARG and Ran is with DoRed (now targeted by SARG because of the terrorist incident), he really doesn’t have any standing in the game anymore as the son of a baker with no job or real connections to anything.

This was something that became fairly clear in episode 5 as the other two acted with purpose and Shuta kind of bounced around the cruise ship and ultimately accomplished nothing.

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 6

For the other two, you might hope that friendship would win out but through Ran we see flashbacks to their childhood and Ran also directly states that he knows Koki will not stand with him. It doesn’t appear like Ran is particularly surprised or upset by this, which makes you realise that Ran and Koki were connected to Shuta and the three were only really held together by Asumi and Mari. Such fragile bonds were bound to break.

There’s still a chance the two will find a common ground to come together again but at the end of episode 6 it seems they’ve both made their choices. And as the childhood connection between RGB breaks, so does the school building start getting demolished. Yeah, the symbolism isn’t subtle but again it works.

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 6

We’re at the half-way mark of Tokyo 24-ku and quite clearly this episode marked a turning point. That kind of leaves me a little unsure about how the story will proceed from here but I do know I want to know where it is going and whether they can bring all the parts together.

Images from: Tokyo 24-ku. Dir N Tsuda. Cloverworks. 2022

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Karandi James

Dr Stone Anime Series Review (Season 1)

Dr Stone Series Review

Dr Stone Is An Upbeat Post Apocalyptic Story

There’s no denying that six months ago, when Dr Stone first rolled out its early episodes, I was somewhat less than impressed. It wasn’t until around six episodes in that Dr Stone really got my attention. There’s reasons for that and I’ll get into those soon but the important thing is that once Dr Stone got my attention, it didn’t lose momentum again. This is a story that continually builds on past events toward a future outcome and builds on the characters and generally gets more and more interesting. The only real and glaring issue with season one is that it builds up to a war that hasn’t happened yet and now we’re all waiting for a season two.

The first episode of this anime is decent enough and sets up the story introducing three characters: Senku, the high school genius, Taiju, his goofy friend, and Yuzuriha, Taiju’s love interest. Each of these characters work well enough and Taiju’s attempted confession just as the world gets turned to stone is entertaining enough, but nothing in the first episode really grabbed me. Watching the interactions in the next few episodes as Senku and Taiju took their first steps to reviving other characters was interesting enough but I could have easily walked away from Dr Stone at that point.

Dr Stone

Comparing these early episodes to later ones I can’t help but feel the issue is the chemistry within the cast itself. While I have no issue with any of the initial characters and find most of them interesting individually, though Yuzuriha being cast as damsel in distress a lot didn’t do much for her, as a group they weren’t really greater than the sum of their parts. They were just who they were on screen with the other characters.

While this doesn’t feel like a big deal early on, the contrast with the interactions between these early characters and the characters Senku meets later at Ishigami village is dramatic. Characters like Kohaku and Chrome, Kinro and Ginro have beautiful synergy bringing life to the story and it makes things so much more fun.


While that is definitely a personal opinion, there was a tangible improvement in the viewing experience once Senku left Taiju and Yuzuriha behind. The story also seemed to gain momentum as there was now a clear antagonist opposing Senku’s goal of building civilisation again. This gave Senku more of a goal than just surviving and building technology. He had to prepare to deal with immediate threats and also win over a village that distrusted outsiders. Overall, things definitely picked up and just kept getting better from that point.

Now, the basis of the story is that Senku is trying to bring back science and there is plenty of discussion about how things work and how to make various bits of technology. By and large this is pretty accurate though some of it is overly simplistic and they most definitely improve in leaps and bounds without anywhere near enough set-backs given the scale of what they create. Particularly in the final episodes where there is a flurry of activity and invention after invention is churned out on the path to creating Senku’s ultimate ‘weapon’ for dealing with the upcoming war.


Still, it is exciting watching characters respond to innovations like glasses or even simple foods. Again, it is a little simplified with a lot of positivity and many pitfalls of the modern world kind of overlooked for the sake of narrative convenience, but the tone is consistent through the show and to be honest the enthusiasm for science that the characters have is kind of infectious.


Visually Dr Stone is a nicely made anime. Early episodes rely heavily on natural backgrounds that while beautifully drawn all look much the same and so it isn’t the most visually interesting anime to look at with one pile of rocks and group of trees looking much like another, yet the visual quality is solid. Movement is also pretty fluid and as the characters begin moving about there are some fairly interesting scenes that come along. My favourite was the personification of poisonous gas and ultimately it is those moments that stick with you once you are done viewing.


The character designs are all very nicely done. I’m still wondering where the villagers get their blue dye for their clothing but the characters are distinct and fun enough to look at. I still think Senku looks like a Velociraptor from Jurassic Park when he smiles but his design is fine. However this anime does like its exaggerated character reactions and you will some of the most ridiculous face and body contortions ever at times. It works and it is consistently used throughout the season with most the characters having moments of eye-popping, jaw-dropping, or withered looking appearance. It conveys the tone of the scene well even if reality is kicked far away.

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Ultimately, Dr Stone is just a lot of fun. It delivers a lot of familiar sequences and puts its own spin on it or just embraces what it is. The science is pushed to absurd levels and speeds and the show just gives you a smile and dares you to criticise. The fighting tournament is over within episodes with each fight delivering an unexpected outcome (or at least gets to the expected outcome in an unexpected way).

The cast continues to grow and each character contributes a different skill to the overall group in a way that feels perfectly natural even while it seems fairly unrealistic in reality that they would have exactly the people they need altogether. It all makes sense but doesn’t and you either embrace what Dr Stone does and enjoy it, or you could pick it apart but I think you’d miss out on a lot of fun.

A second season has aired. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the second cour of season one and feel this is an anime that took a little bit of time to set itself up but it was worth waiting through those slower opening episodes. Whether or not this anime continues to build on these successes in season two remains to be seen but there’s more than enough promise in the story and the characters to suggest that it will be worth waiting for.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
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Karandi James

Deep Insanity: The Lost Child Review – Was There Anything Not Wrong With This Anime?

Deep Insanity: The Lost Child Review

I normally go out of my way in an anime review to find something positive to say about a story even when I didn’t much like it. I consider who in the audience may have been watching a show like Deep Insanity: The Lost Child and got really caught up in it or maybe developed some empathy for any of the cast along the way. Only, when it comes to Deep Insanity: The Inane Waste of Time, I just can’t find anything particularly good to say other than, at least it wasn’t worse.

Deep Insanity Episode 8

The last anime that left me feeling so disappointed that I’d actually finished it was Full Dive and that was largely because it was just full of unpleasant characters who made poor choices but at least that anime remained true to its overall premise of a guy playing a game because he got tricked into buying it and because he was too stubborn to just cut his losses and quit.

Deep Insanity: The Dull Progression can’t even manage to figure out what its actually about.

The synopsis and first episode set up the possibility of exploration of a brave new environment. There’s a huge underground world that has appeared in Antarctica and been called Asylum for reasons that are never made clear. Only exploration is difficult and risky and only certain people are actually compatible. Those that do explore it are called Sleepers (again for reasons that don’t actually become clear). It has all the makings of a less moe Made in Abyss from that set-up.

Deep Insanity Episode 1

Throw in a mysterious disease that is sweeping through humanity and the many organisations manipulating situations for power and wealth and there’s a near endless array of interesting plots Deep Insanity: The Meandering Heap could have followed and been half-way decent.

Deep Insanity: The Lost Child was a confused mess of a narrative with dull characters and zero joy.

Unfortunately none of these plot points really come to fruition or even really get much in the way of a mention after their initial set-up. The disease, Randolph Syndrome, doesn’t even get mentioned in the entire second half of the series and we never learn anything about it or even if it is actually connected to Asylum. So the plot thread that appears in the synopsis and is introduced to us straight up in the first episode just vanishes and never really seemed to make any impact on any of the story anyway.

What does Deep Insanity: The Lost Cause focus on instead?

Deep Insanity Episode 2

That’s kind of hard to say. We’re introduced to main character Shigure Daniel Kai as he enslists to explore Asylum as a Sleeper. He’s taken into a squad run by the laconic (and almost always seen sitting in an empty room in front of an empty desk) Vera Rustamova. The squad’s executive officer, Leslie is fortunately quite verbose but doesn’t actually answer questions or ensure Shigure gets any training before they all go for a few forays into Asylum where the untrained Shigure makes numerous mistakes.

Go figure that sending an untrained person with minimal explanation into a hostile environment wouldn’t work out so well.

The objectives of this squad are never really made clear other than they are ‘investigating’. But investigating seems to consist of walking to a spot, getting attacked, shooting the thing that attacked them which seems to have no impact, until the XO draws a sword and cuts the thing in two. Then they return back to base.

Deep Insanity Episode 4

And I guess having characters carry out vague missions could have been interesting enough had Deep Insanity: The Empty Shell bothered to make the core case more than just one note characters.

Shigure is just hopeless as a lead, not so much because he’s not good at the job he just started and wasn’t trained for, but because he is incredibly boring. From his blank expression to stilted movements and his tendency to simply repeat dialogue back to people, even in his more passionate moments the lines he uses are just echoes of things other people have said, there’s nothing vaguely interesting about this lump of generic average male lead.

Deep Insanity Episode 7

The rest of the squad is made up of Larry who apparently doesn’t feel fear or pain except when he does and Reika who doesn’t talk much but likes to draw in her spare time. They are also supported by a formal idol who doesn’t enter Asylum but communicates with them from the base and likes to bounce around the base in bright revealing clothes probably because someone realised this anime was duller than dishwater to look at.

I’m not even kidding about that. Deep Insanity: The Murky Mess is a very grey anime when they are on the base and when they enter Asylum it is more a pea-green murkiness. It isn’t attractive to look at and the monsters Asylum throws at our characters are not only ugly in form but their animation is pretty horrendous to look at as well. Which doesn’t allow the few action sequences to really come across as anything more than a visual mess upon the screen.

Deep Insanity Episode 3

Anyway, the ‘story’ such as it is for Deep Insanity: The Desperately Reaching really kind of kicks off when Shigure is tasked by Vera with assassinating someone who is living inside Asylum. Why there are people there is also never explained. Just don’t ask.

Anyway, turns out the person he’s to kill is a child and one he met randomly when he snuck into Asylum with Larry when they were off-duty.

The remainder of the series is the various assassination attempts with the different factions trying to abduct or save the child for their own ends only we don’t know what any of their end-goals are or even what their intention is for the child so there’s little reason to become invested. By the time they throw time-loops into this story you may as well just toss your hands up in despair if you are expecting anything to get an explanation or be in any way satisfying.

Deep Insanity Episode 6

From start to finish Deep Insanity: The Most Disappointing didn’t manage to engage. The best thing about the entire series is the promotional video that suggests a much more serious and methodical story and one that has some tension and drama. Instead you can watch the squad in Deep Insanity plan BBQ’s and get beaten by a pair of grey rabbits, more than once.

If it isn’t clear let me sum it all up; don’t waste you time watching Deep Insanity: The Lost Child because I can almost guarantee any other anime would be a more satisfying watch. This one isn’t even so bad it is good. It’s just dull and lazy and ultimately pointless.

Images from: Deep Insanity: The Lost Child. Dir. S. Oonuma. Silver Link. 2021

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Karandi James

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 5: No Room For Compromise

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 5 Review

Tokyo 24-ku might risk starting to feel repetitive if the boys receive missions that are all just slight variations on the trolley dilemma and yet we see in this fifth episode that there’s still some room for them to explore. While the first dilemma they faced was easily overcome by finding a third option, the second problem that floated their way ended in failure due to a lack of communication (and the scale of the disaster they were up against).

In this fifth episode we see again the boys having been posed a variation on this question. The options given to have a terrorist shot dead or have a boat full of people blown up. Even learning that the boat is full of the wealthy and probably corrupt who are the cause of numerous problems in the district doesn’t really make blowing up the boat seem like an actually viable solution and Kouki, the most rational of the team, more or less draws a line on this one. He’s going to use Sarg to take down the terrorist and that isn’t up for debate.

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 5

Tokyo 24-ku divides its lead characters this episode, both physically and morally.

Where Shuta boards the boat, ambitiously hoping to find the explosives themselves and neutralise them, his role this episode is considerably diminished as the main drama focuses on Ran and his allegiances as well as Kouki’s determination and black and white view of the world.

Sure, Shuta gets a brief action sequence where he gets to hop about and avoid gunfire but ultimately he doesn’t manage to retrieve the explosives or have much impact on anything and is actually so in the dark about everything else that has transpired he doesn’t even know why after the events are resolved he cannot contact either Ran or Kouki.

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 5

This really is Ran’s episode though with Kouki merely providing the contrasting perspective this week in Tokyo 24-ku. Unlike the other two, Ran recognised the terrorist in the vision and through a series of flashbacks we learn about Ran’s childhood and growing up as well as the formation of DoRed with his partner in crime (or I guess partner in art would be more appropriate).

But, disillusioned by his lack of artistic talent compared to Ran, he delved into hacking, at least until Ran surpassed him there as well. Still, he developed an App that if used correctly could have been an amazing thing for so many people and yet, as Ran had cautioned while his friend was developing it, if used incorrectly things could go badly wrong.

And so the mystery behind the mind-altering drug in the slums is finally revealed.

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 5

Where the audience of Tokyo 24-ku can really get drawn into this episode is in seeing the sequence of steps, mostly innocent ones, that ended up leading a character to such a dark place. A simple feeling of inadequacy as well as being broke and having little power or ability to protect his family, an app developed with the optimistic goal of making people’s lives better and selling it in order to reap immediate rewards, and then the ugly spiral downward after realising just what had resulted from actions that were never intended to harm.

Even though he is ultimately painted very clearly as a terrorist and his actions are clearly no longer driven by that optimism or hope to change the world for the better, you can’t help but wonder how things might have been different if the world hadn’t failed this character so completely.

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 5

Though ultimately what this episode of Tokyo 24-ku leaves me wondering the most is how will Ran choose to deal with this. In the moment he very nearly made an irrevocable and incredibly poor choice but was stopped, weirdly by the guy who had been about to make the same choice.

Will Ran be able to work with Kouki or Shuta again? Or is this the catalyst that takes Ran from being someone who wants to change people through art to someone who wants to take more drastic actions and will this see him at odds with the other two?

As I said at the start of this post, Tokyo 24-ku could fall into too familiar patterns if it just set up a trolley dilemma and had the boys resolve it but so far each incident has highlighted different aspects of the political and social situation within the ward as well as the personalities of the boys themselves. I am curious to see where this will go.

Images from: Tokyo 24-ku. Dir N Tsuda. Cloverworks. 2022

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Karandi James

Deep Insanity: The Lost Child Episodes 11 + 12 – Do It Again But Better

Deep Insanity Episodes 11 + 12 Review

Deep Insanity well and truly earned its place as the anime I was most disappointed by after feeling somewhat excited for it prior to the season beginning. I blame a solidly intriguing promotional video that is absolutely nothing like what you will get in any episode of the show.

But I’ll save the full rant for when I’m reviewing the whole anime. For now I’m supposed to be talking about the train-wreck that makes up the final two episodes of Deep Insanity only I’m going to struggle with this. Largely because with Shigure now in the time loop because of the magic and unexplained gizmo a lot of episode 11 is a repeat of what we’ve seen before and it wasn’t that interesting to begin with. When they do change the script it is only to throw in some baffling revelations before the whole anime ends in a monster fight and I genuinely have no clue how that resolves anything.

Deep Insanity Episode 11

Deep Insanity: The Lost Child remains ridiculous to the end.

Because I am almost certain no one is going to watch this anime after the season has finished airing I am going to throw a number of spoilers in here so be warned.

You know that weird disease they mentioned way back at the start of episode 1 and how some guy exploring the Abyss turned into a monster and all of those other intriguing things that were happening back when there was still hope for this series? Yeah, turns out none of the writers of Deep Insanity remembered any of that either and so they just didn’t address it. Not a single mention of it in the entire final episode and no explanation. So if you held on for twelve episodes hoping somehow it would all make sense you have tragically wasted your time.

Deep Insanity Episode 11

Also, the revelations we do get in the final two episodes here don’t explain any of the real questions. For instance why could Vera go back in time. Sure, she had the mystic what-sit thing that she gave to Shigure but what is it and why did it allow her to turn back time? And where did it come from?

More importantly, we learn that Vera is actually El-Cee so her whole plan has been to kill herself but even if she’s in a time loop how does that explain her being a child and an adult in the same time line? I get why Vera couldn’t kill El-Cee but none of the rest of it makes any sense.

And after Shigure does his whole hero thing, where is El-Cee?

Deep Insanity Episode 12

Seriously, about the only part of these final two episodes for Deep Insanity that you can really kind of get behind is Shigure gives himself a new hair-cut. Yep, its the standard I’m now resolved so I need to cut my hair trope only I’m not sure how he managed to cut it like that by himself or why you would bother when you are in a time loop and in all likely-hood your locks are just going to revert to the way they were on failure. Still, he looks better.

The overall motive of the villains, other than destruction and ending the world, is also not really explained or explored and in fairness I couldn’t care less anyway. Deep Insanity has proven it has no interest in its own premise and stuff is just going to happen so let stuff happen and let it end.

Deep Insanity Episode 11

With that the final two episodes of Deep Insanity end with the not-so-tragic death of a character we never really began to care about because he is the single most forgettable entity anime has every thrown force as a protagonist. You can read the full review here.

Images from: Deep Insanity: The Lost Child. Dir. S. Oonuma. Silver Link. 2021

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Karandi James

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 4: A Funeral, Some Graffiti and a Potential Terrorist Plot

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 4 Review

Tokyo 24-ku seems to be going for a pattern of having an episode full of action as the boys attempt to prevent some disaster followed by an episode of contemplation, decision making and a few titbits of conspiracy thrown in for good measure. Though I’m not entirely sure why I keep thinking of the main characters as ‘boys’ when they are all graduated from high-school but potentially it is because the overall tone here feels like they could be middle-schoolers at times.

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 4

Actually, as much as I have enjoyed what Tokyo 24-ku has delivered so far, I must admit the three boys at the heart of it, RBG themselves, feel kind of out of place for the underlying issues and larger scale political manoeuvring that seem to be going on. Even with Kouki’s connection to law enforcement through his internship as well as his father’s position giving him access to information he should have, it really doesn’t help the group feel like they have a place in the events actually going on and yet there they are in the centre of everything.

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 4

I wonder if that will fade as the story goes on or whether this is just the result of some adolescent wish fulfilment where of course the problems must be solved by the innovative younger generation and people in older established positions must either be irrelevant, useless, or actually the cause of the problem.

Tokyo 24-ku continues to be interesting but isn’t really able to carry some of the dramatic themes it seems to be introducing.

For episode 4 of Tokyo 24-ku we dive right into the funeral of the teacher, Kaba who died in the botched attempt at rescuing people from the tornado, and see the characters once again mourning the loss of someone they cared for as well as understanding their own sense of failure. Kouki and Ran aren’t taking it quite as hard as Shuuta but that is because they are each continuing to fight injustices in their own ways day to day.

Ran continues his street art campaign and even begins a series devoted to Kaba to remember his life even if only briefly before someone paints over his work. Kouki has thrown himself into the investigation as an intern and has buried himself under paperwork. It is only really Shuuta who as no real direction as helping his parents in the bakery is nice and all but doesn’t give his inner desire to be a hero an outlet, and like with the disaster that killed Asumi, Shuuta’s confidence has taken a major hit with the death of his former teacher.

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 4

However I was wrong in my prediction last week when I suggested that Kozue wouldn’t leave her house again after the tragedy. Instead she instigates most of the second act when Shuuta spies her walking around alone at night and follows her only to lose her in shanty-town. During the course of his search for her he gets caught up in a drug bust that Kouki is a part of and then runs into Ran who uses his network to locate her. Turns out, despite all the half-hints that maybe she’s into drugs or something shady, Kozue is actually just looking for the art that is appearing around town remembering Kaba.

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 4

While the boys of Tokyo 24-ku are involved in this there’s also some background noise. We know the drug D is spreading and causing violent incidents and there’s also the mysterious hacking incident that took place after the tornado. Throw in the desire of some of the higher ups to ‘redevelop’ the 24th ward including the building of a casino, and there’s more than enough intrigue going on.

After a relatively quiet and reflecting episode, Tokyo 24-ku does give the boys another phone call from Asumi only this time the message is very personal for Ran. The choice, take out a terrorist before he denotates a bomb or let a boat full of wealthy people die. Only, unlike the last two questions, this one seems like it isn’t as time pressed and it also seems like there are plenty of other options. I guess we’ll have to see how it plays out in episode 5.

Images from: Tokyo 24-ku. Dir N Tsuda. Cloverworks. 2022

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Karandi James

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 3: Small Crisis To Major Disaster in Twenty Minutes

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 3 Review

Tokyo 24-ku does a good job in episode 3 of lulling you into thinking we’re going to focus entirely on the cooking competition and that the danger is going to come from standing up to the developers. And certainly the early stages of the episode that is exactly what the anime focuses on as the boys and Marin find out that all the cabbages have been purchased prior to the competition leaving them short of a critical ingredient.

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 3

The cabbage crisis however is a bit of a red-herring and fairly easily resolved when their former teacher comes to the rescue having secured supplies for them. However that is also a bit of a misleading moment because then I was waiting for some other problem to develop or for the yakuza-like thugs of the opposition to prevent the stand from operating. Mostly though things are peaceful largely because the owner of the competition is convinced he’s already won.

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 3

Tokyo 24-ku fills this episode with potential threats that don’t quite develop, until a really big disaster emerges.

There’s one thing I have been wondering through episode 1 and episode 2 of Tokyo 24-ku that really has nothing to do with the plot or general enjoyment. It is more I’m wondering why the three boys are referred to as RGB when RBG seems easier to say to me. Maybe I’m nit-picking but RGB doesn’t sit comfortably with me and every time I hear it in the anime or read it in the subs my brain tries to rearrange it into the more comfortable acronym. Okay, I’ll just accept I’m fixating on something utterly unimportant and get back to reviewing this episode.

Anyway, while most of the characters are enjoying selling the food or eating, there is a parallel story with the teacher’s daughter, who is more or less shut in her room and still traumatised from the death of her friend in the fire. See he asked her to come to the food festival and after going through the social media of her friends’ there decides to venture outside.

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 3

And now Tokyo 24-ku really has set the stage for the disaster. During the judging the teacher reveals the cheap ploy being used by one group to win the competition more or less assuring that Marin will be victorious but then the boy’s receive a call. Yes, one of those calls. And unlike the first mission they were given this one is going to cost multiple lives regardless of the outcome they choose with a tornado about to bear down on the festival.

I’m going to admit, I wasn’t expecting natural disasters to be thrown their way. Man-made concerns like speeding trains are one thing and there are options but the only real option with a tornado is to get out of its way and they really haven’t been given enough time.

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 3

Now Tokyo 24-ku more or less has you where it wants you. Part of your brain is thinking the boys will pull off some super insane rescue and manage to evacuate or protect everyone, much as they managed to save Marin and the train in the first double episode.

However, the other part of you looks at the situation and realises that there is no chance of evacuating that whole area and nowhere near enough shelter.

Throw in some poor communication between the boys themselves and while they certainly saved some people this was not a flawless victory.

Tokyo 24-ku Episode 3

Oh yeah, the girl who was coming to the festival, leaving her house really for the first time since the fire tragedy… Well I don’t think she’s leaving her house again after this effort.

Anyway, Tokyo 24-ku remains solidly watchable with enough decent moments of tension and character work even if for the most part it isn’t quite hitting the solid emotional notes it feels like should be. In episode 3, while the interesting scene transitions remain, the visuals feel like they’ve become a lot more conventional and less interesting and the rescue sequence toward the end has nowhere near the visual excitement of the train rescue. It isn’t bad but its definitely not blowing the viewers away.

Images from: Tokyo 24-ku. Dir N Tsuda. Cloverworks. 2022

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Karandi James

Deep Insanity: The Lost Child Episodes 9 + 10 – Apparently They Have 3 Chances And Have Done This More Than Once

Deep Insanity Episode 9 + 10 Review

Deep Insanity seemed to change its mind about having one chance to assassinate El-Cee. Or maybe it didn’t and they’ve now just clarified. Apparently Vera’s information gave them three opportunities to assassinate the girl. Too bad it didn’t tell her that Shigure was going to be hanging out with her in asylum before the mission even began because that could have saved them a lot of trouble. Assuming of course that Shigure could ever pull the trigger.

And that’s what really makes me wonder about the entire plot of Deep Insanity. We now know the Commander has tried again and again, with three chances in each time line, to kill El-Cee and yet apparently this many repetitions in and she’s still allowing Leslie to be killed on a failed mission and she’s still entrusting the actual sniping to Shigure even though it is clear that even when he has a shot he’s not going to take it.

Deep Insanity Episode 9

I’m really failing to see Vera’s logic on this one.

Just a heads up, in case anyone cares, there are spoilers below.

Deep Insanity has bigger issues than plot holes.

Then again, it probably doesn’t matter whether Vera’s plans and motives make sense or not at this point. These two episodes of Deep Insanity were deeply boring and even with potential assassinations, magic gizmos, betrayals and conspiracies, we spend a large part of one of these episodes with the three stooges (Shigure’s platoon mates) planning a BBQ (another one) and blocking their commander from assigning anything that would get in the way of meat and fireworks.

Deep Insanity Episode 10

It’s all just so inane and even though Shigure uses the cover of buying ingredients for the BBQ to sneak back into Asylum, again, nothing particularly interesting happens.

And then, weirdly in episode 10, Shigure is actually given a consequence for illegally sneaking into Asylum, something that all of the characters seem to do regularly. Deep Insanity finally removes him from his platoon which of course means the rest of the platoon members now need to take him for a drinking party…

Wait, is Deep Insanity’s entire plot just an excuse to watch boring characters eat and drink?

Anyway, when Shigure steps out of the bar for air he hears gunshots and rather than alert his team mates, or anyone, he runs unarmed toward the sound and finds a wounded man who essentially tells him to warn his commander.

Deep Insanity Episode 10

By the end of the episode the commander has led the last of the team down into Asylum and gotten them all killed or severely injured and Shigure turns up just in time for the whole thing to be too late and then gets shot through. Then he wakes up. I’m assuming the implication is he’s now gone back in time though why and how I guess is due to the magic gizmo his commander gave him earlier though there’s no clarity on this and more to the point, I was kind of happier that these characters were all done with because they really are just dull.

Deep Insanity Episode 10

So there are two episodes left and I still don’t know who is plotting what or why and I’m not even sure what El-Cee is other than a great plot device. None of their missions have made any sense and the entire set-up with the exploration of Asylum because of some disease spreading around seems to have been utterly abandoned. Deep Insanity is probably an apt title. I really should have dropped this one much earlier in the season and yet now I’m kind of committed to seeing it through to the end.

You can read the full review here.

Images from: Deep Insanity: The Lost Child. Dir. S. Oonuma. Silver Link. 2021

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James