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.
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.
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.
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.
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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