Animation: Weak
Depth: Good
Design: Fair
Characters: Weak
Story: Fair

Type: TV   (25 episodes)

Vintage: 2004

Category:

» occult
Verdict: weak
Review:

Tactics


Summary: >

Ever since Kantarou was a kid, he's been able to see spirits and supernatural phenomena. Kantarou hears of the legend of a spirit eating demon more powerful than any other, and becomes determined to one day find it and form a pact with it. He eventually finds the demon sealed away, and releases it; naming it Haruka. Kantarou's day job is solving occult mysteries, and Haruka proves to be very useful. Haruka on the other hand is less than thrilled with the situation, but obligated to help. However Haruka isn't the same spirit he once was, and if he recalls his true past the bond will be broken and he may fall into uncontrollable madness.


Thoughts: >

Occult shows are one of the things I really enjoy about anime, and I haven't seen one I didn't like. Until now. My dislike of the show isn't due to any single bad factor, but a combination things not coming together, and poor execution. Designs are ok, but the animation is bad. The music is bad enough hinder the mood in spots. I do like the strangely funky background theme when Kantarou is chanting. I think deep down I wanted Tactics to live up to this theme: an anime version of Shaft with a Shinto priest. It's too bad it didn't because that sounds awesome now that I think about it. "Who's the cat that won't cop out, when there's demons all about? *Shaft* Ya daaamn right!"

The characters aren't original, but don't seem bad from outward appearances. Over time I soured on all of them (with one exception, the adorable daughter of Kantarou's sceptic rival). This is is bad news considering I also hated the two main characters. Kantarou (the Shinto priest) is a total jerk. He treats his resident fox spirit like dirt, he's a money grubber, and an all around lazy ass. His sidekick Haruka (often a girls name, but he's a guy) spends 90% of this show pouting. I found the relationship between these two completely unconvincing. I couldn't see much of a bond between them, and they don't mesh well as a team. I realize I'm not the target demographic fan girl these two were intended for, so perhaps I'm missing the point.

The story is mostly dull. A few episodes in the middle would almost pull me in, but then the resolution would end up lame! Some of the stories are stupid too. How is a ghost trolley even remotely threatening when it stays ON THE TRACKS with its lights on? How you can be dumb enough to be run over by that thing is a bigger mystery than the supernatural trolley itself. Tactics gets pretty good at the formula of "concept" to "dull development" to "lame resolution". I expected more of the "bigger picture" plot, but even that climax is gimped pretty bad. After the big drama, the last episode turns out to be pretty good - rescued by none other than Suzu; the girl introduced early on, appearing in every episode, yet irrelevant to the entire show! What the hell?! That's as close Tactics gets to a plot twist: it has an unexpectedly good last episode.

My recommendation is that you skip Tactics. It's not super bad, but I did find it boring. The strength of shows based around the mystery, the occult or period folklore lies in their edginess and/or good story. This one just doesn't have what it takes. At 25 episodes it's too big of a time investment to justify the occasionally decent story, or amusing situation.


Screen Caps: >

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reviewed by archen in 2011