Five years ago there was a massacre around an apartment complex at Machida. Hundreds where killed, and only a handful survived; including Ranmaru and his sister. Both became police officers to hopefully get to the bottom of the mystery behind their parents deaths. Ranmaru takes the first step by being assigned to the Special Investigations unit, but finds it no more of a help then the rest of the police force. That's when he encounters members of section 2 - also known as Tokko. Clad in leather, bearing swords and tattoos; they look more like a biker gang than police officers. Their purpose is also shrouded in mystery.
Killings are becoming more frequent around the city. The official report is that people on drugs are violently killing each other, but the reality is that demon possessed people have to be destroyed by Tokko (as they're the only ones who can), and Special Investigations has to clean up the mess. Ranmaru starts to learn more and more about Tokko, and the more he uncovers, the more things point back to the massacre at Machida. The only way to avenge his parents and protect his sister may be by joining them.
I should get this out of the way first. The animation is absolutely terrible. It's bad enough to draw attention to itself even when little is happening, but it gets really bad when there's "action". On top of that, the artwork looks very crude. The characters look ok (aside from occasional odd poses), but there is a lot that looks awkward and out of place. If this plays a big part in why you watch anime, take this to heart.
Tokko is a weird blend of a cop show, and a "save the world from demons" anime. There's a fair amount of intrigue, suspicion and drama within the police department, as the cops try to figure out what's happening and who they can trust. It's not particularly original, but well thought out and blends the genres fairly well. It's predictable, but entertaining enough to where I didn't care. Keep in mind there is no conclusion, nor does it look like the sereis will ever be finished. I'd love to see a Tokko 2 though.
Like the story, the characters also show traits from the cop and demon show elements. On the cop side there is the ex-biker chief who is the stereo typical hard ass, the new recruits, the hot woman in forensics who gets involved, etc. The members of Tokko are more in the vein of super group fighting demons. Brooding guy, brooding girl, and one woman who is the most inappropriately dressed police officer since Armitage.
The dub brings some interesting things to the table with a LOT of profanity added to the dialog. This often backfires in most titles, but I was impressed by how much it livened things up in Tokko, making conversations far more amusing. A rare case where the dub enhances the show.
I liked Tokko, but found the art and animation to be huge detractors. Story and concept may not be original but it does well for this genre. This could have been one grade A bad ass anime with better visuals and a conclusion, but as it is here it's only average. If you're looking for a "save the world from demons" kind of story, give it a shot.
Saya: At the precinct, the rumors are flying.
Ranmaru: Rumors huh?
Saya: Big time. Like, "Have you seen Inspector Shindo rockin those honeys 24 to 7?"
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