Tokyo ESP is a new sci-fi action series that aired last week, and it has the potential to become one of the best series of the year. Tokyo ESP's premise is that our world is inhabited by people with extraordinary powers ranging from teleportation to force field generation, and these people call themselves Espers, which is a term that is derived from ESP (Extrasensory perception). A world with people that have extraordinary powers might remind you of a certain group of superheroes named the X-Men. So, if you are interested in X-Men or Marvel in general, you need to watch the first episode! Despite the heavy similarities with the X-Men, I believe Tokyo ESP will likely have plenty of new content to offer fans of science fiction, action, and even superheroes, although, the Espers are more often evil than good thus far.
Episode 1 mostly features the Espers’ terrorist attack on Tokyo and takeover of the Parliament building. However, the later part of the episode shows that not all Espers are bad as some start to fight back against the other Espers. Also, people talk about how "The White Girl," an Esper, saved the city in the past with the people wondering why she has not returned.
Despite my comparison to comic book superheroes, Tokyo ESP is anything but lighthearted (although if you have seen or read a modern X-Men movie/comic you would know that it is just as dark). Thus far, it is a dark and somewhat violent series with a lot of potential. As with the X-Men and mutants, the Espers in Tokyo ESP present a similar sense of social commentary with some general prejudice against the Espers, although it is more hinted at in the first episode considering the time constraint.
Studio Xebec's animation is often quite stunning, especially with the wintery Christmas setting against the scenes of destruction. The Espers' powers are well portrayed by the animation, particularly the teleporter, whose powers are similar to that of Nightcrawler (X-Men character), especially the teleporting action scenes that remind me of the opening White House scene in X2: X-Men United.
After watching the episode, I immediately headed off to read the manga, which was significantly different. I have never wanted to read the manga like this right after watching a series, so that should be a testament to much the series intrigued me. The tone was more comedic and what it covered was completely different. After doing some research, the series starts around chapter 20 of the manga, which means that the series will likely flashback to the beginning in the next two episodes.
Overall: 9.4/10- While my personal love of the concept does affect my enjoyment of it, as far as pilot episodes go, there are not many more intriguing than Tokyo ESP. This, along with Aldnoah.Zero, are my must watch series of the season.
After writing this review, I discovered that the series Ga-Rei Zero is set in the same universe as Tokyo ESP, and the first episode of Tokyo ESP features several cameos from Ga-Rei Zero’s cast. As for the quality of Ga-Rei Zero, I marathoned the entire series in two days, and I highly recommend it to mature viewers looking for a solid supernatural action series with strong characters and female leads.
|Oh Yomi, you were so innocent then (Ga-Rei Zero character cameo).|
And if anyone is wondering, yes, I typed this with one hand. It took twice as long, but it was totally worth it! Now I can confidently say that I can blog with one hand tied behind my back (sorry I had to make that joke). Also, it is surprisingly tiring.
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