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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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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