OP Sequence

OP: 「東京ゼロハーツ」 (Tokyo Zero Hearts) by 飛蘭 (Faylan)

「ガールミーツボーイ」 (Gaaru Miitsu Booi)
“Girl Meets Boy”

This should have been the first episode. Just watch this episode, at least.

This Should Have Been The First Episode

One of the greatest feelings I think a storyteller can evoke is wonder. The feeling that you’re looking into a world you never imagined could exist is wonderful, and I got that when Rinka’s father was trying to get to her, but said “but I can’t seem to move forward!” This is the folly of trying to start with a bang, because often times a story started more gradually is more interesting. Last episode they didn’t give us any reason to feel attached to the characters, so I didn’t really care what was happening; this time they let us dive deeply into Urushiba Rinka’s (Kido Ibuki) story, so I was enraptured by the events that happened to her. Lesson: It’s the characters that matter. Flash and bang only matter when it’s happening to characters we care about. Last episode? A lot of noise and not much else. This episode? It begins to put that noise into perspective.

An Understated Power

One of the more interesting things about this story is that it stars a character whose powers are…well, have you ever told yourself “I wish Kitty Pryde was the star of an X-Men book/movie”? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean it can’t work. Rinka’s power is that she can go through objects, and having a protagonist with such an…understated power is fascinating. It’s not flashy, not even as much as Azuma Kyoutarou’s (Koumoto Keisuke) teleportation ability is. And that’s fascinating, because it feels like Rinka will need to be a lot more clever to best people than, say, Cyclops of Wolverine would need to be.

But Seriously, That’s Not ESP

While I’m continually making X-Men references, let’s get one thing clear – 90+% of the powers Tokyo ESP exhibits are not ESP. Extrasensory perception entirely involves information gained through means other than the recognized physical senses; that’s why it’s called extrasensory perception. I’m quibbling over details here, and you’re free to gripe at me for doing so, but it bears noting – this is not ESP. They’re mutants or quasi-magical power havers due to their interaction with the glowing fish. Words matter dammit! Moving on.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Rinka appears to be following a Spiderman arc, where her acquisition of powers leads her to, because she’s one of the few people who can stop espers, dedicating herself to protecting her city. And as far as tropes go, that’s a solid one, and I don’t dislike seeing it again. In this case, what I appreciated was how smoothly the idea was imparted on her. Uncle Ben telling Peter Parker “With great power comes great responsibility” always seemed arbitrary to me, because why would some random dude be saying that? But Azuma has great power, so him espousing this idea makes sense. And if she now takes it up as a mantra, it will make more sense, because she has already seen great power used improperly.

Looking Ahead

This was a much stronger episode than the first one, and in fact should have been the first episode. I guess they were trying to mirror Ga-Rei Zero, but as someone who has never seen it, the first episode was a confusing flop. This though, showed the strength of the source material everyone has been telling me about.

Series picked up. Let’s see where this sucker goes.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – After an uneven premiere, this second episode shows the strength of the source, & promotes wonder in a world of fantastical powers #東京ESP 02

Random thoughts:

  • I appreciate fanservice with a story purpose. This I can enjoy wholeheartedly. Rinka-chwan~!
  • Counter to the first episode, I liked them starting out with her falling through the floor and then backing up. This worked because it was a same-episode teaser, not a full-episode “What just happened?”
  • I like Rinka’s attitude. She starts off wanting to stop the thief to preserve her and her father’s secret, and only later decides (I assume) to assume that greater responsibility. That’s the arc I feel most people would take. That’s more believable.

Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Fast, easy, guaranteed, Starting off with a bang, & why you shouldn’t, Writer, author, full-time author, and Disorganized ≠ creative.

I’m looking for an artist for commission work. If you’re a talented illustrator, email me at stiltsoutloud(at)gmail(dot)com with samples. If I like what I see, I’ll tell you about the job. If you’ve already contacted me, please give me some time to respond. And yes, this is a paying gig.

Full-length images: 07.


ED Sequence

ED: 「救世Άργυρóϛ」 (Kyuusei Argyros) by 妖精帝國 (Yousei Teikoku)


  1. The flashback within the flashback made me wince. Otherwise, I’d agree that a slower intro into this world/characters might’ve worked better.

    The one thing I’ll admit I like about the in media res beginning is it begs the dramatic question: Why didn’t Crow Head appear at all in Ep 1? Makes you wonder if he’s even alive or not.

    1. I hope you can forgive me for my grammar nazi tendencies.
      It doesn’t beg the question. It raises the question.
      Spoiled for superfluous grammar lesson:
      Show Spoiler ▼

      1. The problem really is that the phrase is a poor representation of its meaning. What would you do if someone begs you for a question? Probably not something that has anything to do with circular reasoning. As your wiki link says, it’s a mistranslation from Latin, and I think an old mistranslation is a worse offense than using words as it is intended to be used. Even if the full phrase means something other than the sum of its parts.

        I wish the official “begs the question” meaning would die, and just let “circular reasoning” take it’s place.

      2. I beg your forgiveness for my momentary lapse in grammar, while I’d like to raise another issue that no one else seems to have brought up: Why’s the ED devoted to dark katana girl in her birthday suit?

    2. titus my friend, she isn’t wearing a birthday suit, she is stark naked (with some artistic license to make it not-so-explicit, or someone working on ESP used the “remove girls private parts” magic word from No game no life ep6)


      And from what we know she is the teleporter girl from episode one and she seems to have some important connection with Rinka and Crow-boy, i’m sure they will explain that soon in the series (it seems from the OP that she is being setup as Rinka’s nemesis/rival).

      1. @Wanderer
        Yeah i didn’t know the term (and i’m glad i didn’t) just because it’s on Urban Dictionary and is used online that doesn’t mean it’s not a stupid term, just say “naked” or the other 100 alternatives that actually have a direct relation with actual nakedness not a roundabout term (birthday suit –> the “suit” you wear when you are born –> your skin –> nakedness) .. for the sake of all things reasonable who thought of that stupid term !!!?

      2. just because it’s on Urban Dictionary and is used online

        Not quite, though.

        birthday suit (n.)
        first attested 1730s, but probably much older. The notion is the suit of clothes one was born in, i.e., no clothes at all. Compare Middle English mother naked “naked as the day one was born;” Middle Dutch moeder naect, German mutternackt.

    3. Language is fluid my friends. What once meant a certain thing now means another, and that’s alright. As long as meaning is transmitted, it’s doing its job.

      Except when people misuse the word “literally”. That makes me weep.

      P.S. Birthday suit is definitely an old phrase, not internet lingo. I was hearing my mother say that before I even knew the internet was a thing.

  2. Ummm what was this? This second episode was ok but had a completely different tone than the first one. Everything about the first episode was serious and almost appeared cinematic. This episode seemed almost like one of those stock teenage girl hero series that have been around for decades. I’m not saying that this episode was bad but FELT like a totally different series than the first.

    1. Which was my concern when they started in medias res. It creates unnecessary mood whiplash. Just think of that as where we’re going, and that it’s time to go back, slow down, and introduce everything properly now.

    2. Epic first episode, funny character driven second episode… I’m hoping it keeps on going towards the dark vibe we saw in the first one, because that was just awesome :p

      Has for Black Crow, i’ve got the feeling that he will be killed at some point in the story, and maybe, that badass girl in the first episode, who is also a teleporter, will blame Rinka for that… Why? No, idea! Maybe they were family…
      Only time would tell if i’m right or wrong 🙂

      Jim Dean
  3. Was wondering about this since last episode … In the manga, Rinka’s hair is naturally whitish-blonde and she inherited the color from her gaijin mom. Having her hair color change with her powers is pretty interesting and can serve to hide her identity (because if you change your fashion style a little no one will ever recognize you *superhero logic*), but on the other hand they lost the chance to give Rinka some back-story there.

    Otherwise I enjoyed this episode a LOT more than the premiere. They botched that one up horribly, basically agree with everything Stilts said here.

    1. Well, having blonde hair would still work with the half-Japanese identity =3. In fact, it’s more believable than the idea of Rinka inheriting white hair; afaik, people that get white hair naturally are either albino, old or terribly stressed out =3

      Not bad for a should-have-been-first episode, but somehow I think it’s still missing something. Maybe it’s the Segawa brand of humor that endears me to his work, his tendency of not taking himself and his characters too seriously (which admittedly does not always work out as well as I would like it to). I feel that, unlike the manga, the adaptation is still too stiff and stuffy, and fails to deliver the story with the same goofy, self-deprecating, hahaha-let’s-use-this-since-it’s-lolfun way that the manga did.

      Random Comment
      1. Yeah, don’t disagree with anything you said. I don’t mind them changing her hair color at all, because it makes sense and seems interesting, just wanted to point out that they changed it :P.

        The humor on the other hand, I am a little dissapointed that that’s gone as well.

      2. @Random Comment
        I agree, I feel like the anime cut too much from the manga, in which Segawa was crazier than in Ga-Rei (which I found hilarious).

        On the other hand, I enjoyed the premiere a lot, because I felt that it captured the same crazy parody-everything-except-more-crazy that Segawa had going.

        I’m surprised that I wasn’t the only one who thought they were mirroring Ga-Rei:Zero a little too closely. Especially with the “flashback inside flashbacks”. Are they trying to parody it to a meta-extent?

      3. I don’t think they’re trying to parody Ga-Rei. I think they just wanted to capture fickle viewer’s attention, and they inadvertently harmed the story in the process. Hopefully not irreparably, though.

    2. while I’ll concede that white being not her natural color would be more realistic in the ways described, I dislike them adding all these inconsistent, anime-only stuff. all these power suits look awkward as hell and not even everyone uses them. all these ground fights also make no sense if you knew what their group’s objective was. the cameos made no sense (and you can’t back out saying they’re only cameos and not implied same world since the guy indirectly referenced spirits). and why do only 2 people’s hair change color while no one else does, why?

  4. Well at least we now know where that bloody flying penguin and magical glowing goldfish come into play; overall a much more consistent episode than the first in terms of plot. Only real annoyance was the double flashback at the beginning, IMO that could have been handled better and made less confusing. Cannot blame ESP for trying to rope viewers in quickly though.

    Either way I am still liking what I see here, even if the X-Men references are going to be impossibly hard to avoid (and some Kick A*s ones too considering the “protect the city” trope now playing out). After all Rinka’s father looks just like Wolverine, not to mention him and another person have shown clear Magneto power abilities. As long as ESP can manage good character development from here on out then it should turn into a pretty good superhero-esque show.

  5. Rinka is nude? Surprising that they added in more nudity compared to the manga.

    Some of the dialogue is different from the manga and is more confusing. For example, Azuma was wearing a uniform from Rinka’s school which is how she knew that he was from school. Also, the reason he knows her name is simply because she is cute.

    Azuma looks quite different from the manga. I honestly liked how he looked in the manga more.

    The manga had some more humor such as when she beats the shit out of Azuma or when Azuma is smashed by a car flying towards Wolverine Rinka’s father. In case it wasn’t clear, her father dotes on her quite a bit. Also, her father used to be a policeman and their family is dirt poor currently. They skip all of that!

    Also there are some characters here that are not in the manga. I just hope they don’t don’t change or add too many things.

    ***I agree with An Understated Power bits. But actually speaking with powers like rinka it would be very easy to beat the crap out of people like magneto or ironman. The Type she would have trouble against are something like ‘hulk’.

    So don’t worry about it Rinka is an awesome MC and she keep being awesome especially in act 2.

    1. Rika’s Father could not pay the Bills at the Bar. And from the looks like, he has Magneto’s Powers, where he can not control it. Of course, they happen in an instant. Perhaps we get the see, how Rika learn to fight in this flashback. That is not just School gymnastics

    2. Also they also left out black fist reason for stealing…she come from a long line of thieves and what she want is a name not money. So she was quite pissed at azuma for stealing what she want. It also meant she was going to steal even if she don’t have powers. I suppose having that power make her job easier.

      1. dont walk to far ahead.

        We saw Black Fist together with the “good” guys in the OP. Perhaps we will see her background. Please restrain yourself, i know how hot the flame is burning inside you. But with your passion you burn your friends on the outside 🙂

      2. Err ….I was just comparing this with manga chapter 1 and 2…she said that out right in ch2.
        Humm…you are right they could still add those parts later, must calm down.
        Sorry about the out burst.

    3. I was wondering this since the fight scene, why doesn’t Rinka just phase through her opponents fists? If she were against someone like the hulk, couldn’t she just phase through any attacks such as bullets, fists, or thrown objects like cars?

      1. Show Spoiler ▼

    4. @noir

      It’s understated not because it’s weak, but because it isn’t flashy. People like to see Cyclops zap things even though all he can do is hurt people. Being able to walk through walls doesn’t seem as impressive, but used cleverly, it can be really powerful.

      Teleportation is actually the same, but it’s cooler (and we’re all lazy and would love to teleport), so it gets used cleverly in more mutant/esper series (here, X-men, Raildex, etc).

  6. I was a big fan of comic books, X-Men, etc growing up. So I was totally thrilled to see this show would be airing this summer. This second episode totally blew the first one away. Luckily, I did watch Gai Rei Zero back in the day so I knew it was going to get much better.

    Hopefully a lot of people would apply the three-episode rule and come back for this episode. This was a worthy watch. Is this series just 12 episodes? I am already hoping for at least two seasons!

    Rick Anime
    1. I suppose everyone is making Gai-rei Zero refrences becasue of the way they introduced the series with an action-packed first episdoe then went back to the beginning to explain everything in ep2 … but what about the orange jump suits in ep1 .. they screamed Gai-rei Zero to me as if the makers of the show were paying an intentional homage, like the many other homages to Marvel (which they are doing with how Rinka’s father looks = Wolverine and many other little touches).

      Gai-Rei Zero

      Tokyo ESP

      Gai-Rei Zero

      Tokyo ESP

      Gai-Rei Zero

      Tokyo ESP

      Oh .. hold on a sec, are those shows related somehow .. it’s not just the orange jump suits and character looks .. that’s just weird (and i felt like i had a strange case of Deja-Vu happening XD), the motorbike scene and the dual-guns are exactly like they were in Gai-Rei Zero .. am i missing something here !!!!!

      Ok, hold on a sec (again) … it’s the same characters !!!! and also the same mangaka (Segawa Hajime) and script writer for both series (Gai-Rei Zero and Tokyo ESP) … so it’s Marvel cross-overs all over again (at least we didn’t get a shared Segawa Hajime universe here XD) .. Case closed.

      1. I sometimes wish that we’d one day get a story about those orange suits from division 4,Natsuki & Tooru I believe.

        I’m more than happy with this series though 😛

      2. Rinka’s old man is a Wolverine parody all along from the moment he appears in the manga. Or to folks who have read/watched Ga-Rei, Iwahata-san with Wolverine’s hairstyle =D

        Spoofs of all sorts are rampant in the manga, really. The bar owner that we see in this episode? Steven Seagal XD

        Random Comment
  7. Well, it was better than the first ep, which pretty much spoiled any ep you’ll see after it. You’ll see what I mean as the episodes go on. If you go back to the first ep, you might engage in some dangerous facepalming. (“Why did they do that??? Aaaagh!”)

    I’ll give you a good example from this week’s episode (in spoiler tags):

    Show Spoiler ▼

    In spite of that, it’s still a great manga. We’ll see if the anime can keep up with it. It’d be nice if they kept some of the bits that made the manga enjoyable, but at this point, I’m not going to bet on anything. Fingers are crossed, but expectations are held in check anyway.

  8. Completely disagree. The first episode is called the hook. You try to watch SAOII episode 1 without seeing the first season, you’ll be bored to tears. Unusual as it may seem, anime fans are actually very generous to ever offer shows 3 episodes before they get good, meaning they’ll allow 2 episodes of crap if the 3rd one was really good. That’s oftentimes 1/4 of the series. That doesn’t usually happen for other mediums of entertainment. I can say from personal experience that I drop shows within 15 minutes of the pilot if it doesn’t catch my attention (mahou sensou comes to mind)

    1. ofc, it’s your opinion as well but the point Stilts was trying to make (which I agree with) is the hook needs to be done right. if there’s only action with no reason for us to empathize or connect to the story or characters will instead leave it hollow and/or short lived excitement.

      1. While I tend to agree in general to that sentiment, I don’t believe that has to apply to first episodes. I mean, the first fifteen minutes of Saving Private Ryan or Star Wars, we weren’t giving much context to story or characters, only what’s happening, who’s good, who’s bad. Plus, it didn’t feel like the first episode was even attempting to put the story or the characters into context. They worst they could have done was attempt to introduce characters and half-ass a reason why we should care about them before the action starts – see Guilty Crown. Bookmarking it seems more refreshing from a storytelling perspective than the boring linear progression, especially since the first few chapters of shounen action are always so episodic. Doing it this way tells us where the show’s heading, and more importantly, that there is a clear stopping point (which is becoming a really disturbing trend in anime)

    2. As GoXDS rightly noted, I’m not saying hooks are bad. I understand the reason for them, and they can be effective. Even this flash-forward hook wasn’t necessarily a bad idea, but since they went so far with it, it devolved into flash and noise with no context.

      Let’s do a thought experiment. What if the hook had only gone up to when we see the parliament building floating in Episode 1? Or perhaps re-mix a few of the events, show the invasion by teleport girl and illusion man, maybe them standing in front of the (largely dead now) parliament, and then showed the building floating.

      Either way, I found a building floating through the air to be interesting enough to make me want to learn more. That’s enough of a hook. Going for a full episode of “hook” became confusing.

      Likewise, this episode had an early hook – Rinka falling through the floor naked. Then it backed up to show people how we got there, and that’s fine. Anyone who read the synopsis knew that Rinka was going to become and esper, so it’s not like they spoiled anything that hadn’t already been spoiled.

      My point wasn’t that including a hook is bad. My point is that an excessively long hook is usually bad, and more importantly, that this episode was interesting enough to stand on its own. They didn’t need to hook us more than they did this episode because that was interesting enough. Instead they harmed the story to make sure (hopefully) (maybe) they would have butts in the seats, which is not something I think storytellers should do, even if I can understand the desire.

  9. So basically the “first” episode was pointless imo. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the idea of having an action packed first episode to draw in viewers, but that episode left me more confused than anything. I also found the fights in the second episode to just overall be more interesting than the ones in the first. I also cared about them more, b/c I knew what was going on, and actually cared about the characters. It really felt like they should’ve just started here. So, as far as I’m concerned “this” is the first episode, and I’m just going to label last week’s episode as episode 0 in my head.

  10. Oh, and, just for laughs,

    So here police, I am going to tell you that this girl, is the actual thief. You are to accept this fully at face value, despite the fact that I was the one caught on camera, at the scene of the crime, and despite you having just witnessed me performing physical violence on this woman. I will also leave her here with you, with zero evidence, and without letting you know, the seemingly very important fact, that she can turn invisible. I’m sure that will, in no way, help her to escape your custody, if you decided to believe my proclamation that she is the thief for some reason.

    Crow head away….

    1. Oh, OBJECTION !!! .. try to imagine the police catching a guy that can teleport and a girl that can pass through stuff .. yeah .. won’t ever work, they have a way much better chance catching a knocked out cold woman that can go invisible and blaming her for all the thefts (and maybe one of the cameras wasn’t broken and caught her fight with them) .. i rest my case .. CASE CLOSED XD

  11. I’ll have to agree with everyone, this should have been the first episode, at least they could have started with the terrorist espers attack and then switched to Rinka’s back story as soon as they started talking about the white haired girl in the first episode.

    That said, i did enjoy the episode .. there is only one problem i had with is it (aside from it not being the first episode) is that it’s tone was dramatically different from the first episode … i just hope the show settles down and continues with a more coherent tone in the next few episodes, i was also surprised by the amount of fanservice here when the first episode showed no hints of it, not only the first scene has Rinka dropping naked from her bathtub into her neighbors living room (and her newspaper-towel antics) but the episode ending sequence -revealed this episode- has Minami Azuma (the short haired teleporter ESP katana wielding terrorist from ep1) running around and waving her sword while 100% naked .. i really don’t know why? but who am i kidding .. fanservice is always welcome as long as they keep it classy and with little impact on the story.


    The difference of tone between ep1 and ep2 leaves me really excited and also skeptical about ep3, it’s not really clear whether we will continue with the flashbacks or we will return to the present day ESP terrorist attack !!! i can only wait and see, but despite everything .. i still like the show and don’t think i will drop it any time soon (unless something goes horribly wrong).

    And check this lovely poster of the show, i didn’t realize it has so many characters XD

  12. I think Ga-rei also suffered from a contrast between the climatic opening episode and the sudden transition to slice of ESP life. So it’s understandable that this series doing the same thing has the same problem.

    However, just looking at this episode by itself, I still didn’t really like the pacing. I forgot how awkward Crow Head boy’s speeches were and how random his thought are. I thought everything could be more fluid.

  13. Can someone tell me what the point of the first episode was again? I mean they spent an entire episode having random people getting into random fights giving us no real explanation on who they were only to for some reason resort to a flashback telling us what happened prior to ESP even existing?

    What’s the point of that? It doesn’t make for a good narrative setup imo. The first episode builds up the white haired girls return which means all the stuff leading up to that event is supposed to have some meaningful impact. But now that they’ve spoiled that part any sense of value is lost. It would have been better if they just started the series from here.

    Though i suppose they wanted people to enticed using the hook “LOOK AT ALL THESE SUPERPOWERED PEOPLE FIGHTING EACH OTHER!”.

    Other than that……….eh this show is kind of dumb. But i suppose it doesn’t take itself that seriously so it’s whatever.

    The bank robbery was especially ridiculous. I mean Rinka sunk in to stop Azuma but didn’t she ever think about what police were going to think if they caught her attempting to apprehend the culprit? They never saw her entering the building. So there would be a lot of suspicion of her if they broke in and saw her since she would have been illegally trespassing. Plus wasn’t there be people RIGHT OUTSIDE the door? Your telling me they didn’t hear any of the noise being made in that room? Plus where the hell are the security cameras? If they were actually on I’m sure they would have alerted everyone. Security censors? Didn’t see any of that either. To add to this silly scenerio why does Rinka need to even worry about hand to hand combat? She can pass through things. Her power is pretty much the same as Tobi’s from Naruto. Couldn’t she have just phased through all her attacks? I don’t get it….

    Furthermore I won’t know what to think if Azuma ACTUALLY gets let off the hook by the police. He leaves an unconscious women who the police have never seen on a police car expecting them to suddenly believe him with no evidence when he was the ONLY one seen at the last crime scene? Just……….uh.

    Anyway I really hope they explain that goldfish thing that is just casually handing out super powers otherwise I’ll have to chalk it up as being one of the laziest explanations for normal people acquiring power next to Magical Warfare.

    1. I have no idea about most of this (I’m completely new to this series) but…

      Plus wasn’t there be people RIGHT OUTSIDE the door? Your telling me they didn’t hear any of the noise being made in that room? Plus where the hell are the security cameras? If they were actually on I’m sure they would have alerted everyone. Security censors?

      I did notice that Black Fist had knocked out the guards inside the building, and broken the security cameras. I’ve got nothing on why the various museum displays and such didn’t have alarms on them, like when she smashed the glass around that crown, though.

      1. Yeah the guards in the room were knocked out but there were guards standing very close to the door leading to room (we see them right before Azuma sneaks into the room herself). That being the case they would have definitely been able to hear what was going on considering the black fist girl was smashing a bunch of stuff. Plus with such heavy security i think you’d have someone watching the security cameras right? So if they went out that should have alerted everybody that someone broke in. If no one was in that room where you watch the footage on the cameras i guess that would make sense but again that’s some flimsy security if that’s the case.

  14. They probably could have condensed the first episode into a five minute scene at the beginning of this one. I very much enjoyed it, but a lot of it was inconsequential and unnecessary. I’d still rather it have been there in some form though. It still worked as a good build up to Rinkas introduction, and I do think this episode was still made better because of(some of) what we saw in the first.

  15. I liked this episode much more then the first one so I think they made a mistake going for the big action start.

    However Stilts you should watch Ga-Rei Zero. It really used this switched up first episode thing much better. And it is a very good show.

  16. I’ll probably be in the minority here, but I *really* liked the premiere, whereas I was yawning all the time during the second episode. Last week, you had several action-pumped scenes with some nice, catchy soundtrack and an insert song (sort of) nonetheless. Now? The so-standard-it-is-painful-to-watch introduction to the main character with plenty of boring tropes. They should have just rolled with the action, insert a few short flashbacks to give us the basics – though of course I doubt this would be doable with the source material as it is.

    The first episode was an excellent hook (at least for me) which got me excited for this series, but now I’m considering dropping it or just waiting it out until the good stuff begins.

    1. I tend to agree with you about the first vrs 2nd episode. The action in this series is fun but as soon as any character opens their mouth standard anime clique speeches emerge. Crow boy was particularly bad. It was like watching a Spiderman synopsis. I know that “with great power comes great responsibility” is a classic but can’t they come up with something different? Also no one really speaks like that.

      Basically I think the characters are letting the action down, especially in this 2nd episode.

    2. Here’s the problem though – if this is how it’s going to proceed for several episodes, you’re going to be bored. Better to start like that so you can (perhaps correctly) decide not to watch it if you don’t like that kind of thing rather than end up sitting through a bunch of stuff that makes you yawn to get to the action.

      Better for you. It’s better for the studio if you keep watching and maybe buy the DVD/BDs, of course. I just prefer to focus on telling the best story possible and not bend it to business considerations too much. Bend a little bit, not twist it into painful positions.

  17. OK, that was better. Pretty much agree with Stilts’ down the line including the mutant vs ESP part. Using “mutant” powers rather than ESP below ’cause that’s what they are to me.

    Some random thoughts/commments on EP 02:

    – I thought the 1st half or so was kind of chaotic, but things settled down in the 2nd half of the episode. However, IMO the shift in pacing between the two was a bit jarring and too noticeable – especially after an action-filled, mostly fast paced EP 01.

    – I’m usually not one to focus on anime hair, but I have to agree with “ecani” and others about Rinka’s hair. When reading the manga, I also thought her hair was naturally whitish-blonde. I prefer the manga’s version since it made it harder for Rinka to keep her “secret identity”, but I suppose the anime’s version with her hair (and eyes) changing color upon mutant power activation is OK. Not a huge deal.

    – However, I did not like Rinka’s dad (or “Wolverine Dad” as I think of him) glowing, blinking hair when his powers were in use (e.g. 14:00min mark for Horrible subs). LOL’d at that. Struck me as some cheesy warning signal: “Warning! Mutant powers in use!” Might as well add that beeping sound trucks make when backing up. Maybe I missed it, but I don’t recall other mutant “espers” hair glowing/blinking/changing color in EP 01 when their powers were used. Sorry, but that was just silly-bad IMO.

    – Agree with “noir’s” comment above. Anime still isn’t up to the source material’s standards IMO. One issue I have is that the anime tends to take already over-the-top (“OTT”) flashy scenes and make them even more OTT flashy. For example, in the manga, after a while Rinka’s dad just stopped moving since, well, he had a bunch of cars (and a lot of other stuff) piled on top of him. That’s it. Rinka then rescued him as we saw. JMO, but I liked the manga’s version more than watching Rinka’s dad repeatedly rolling some giant “hamster ball” made from cars. >_>

    – Overall good enough. I’m in for the season though I still think there is room for improvement with the adaptation. Like I previously stated, this is a pretty easy adaptation as these things go. Just stick to the source material and the adaptation will be fine.


    @Stilts: This Should Have Been The First Episode

    Yep, totally agree here. Never liked in medias res much, but a short 2-3 minute or so “action” teaser can work well if done right. An entire episode worth!? Completely different matter. I hope we don’t run into pacing issues or egregious material cuts later in the adaptation because the anime spent 21 minutes or so on a “hook”.

    I appreciate fanservice with a story purpose. This I can enjoy wholeheartedly. Rinka-chwan~!

    Fixed that for you (inb4 “Stilts is the ecchi blogger”) 😛 Just joking Stilts. FYI – There’s a funny (IMO) anecdote about that scene in manga vol 03’s “mangaka afterword” section. See 4th panel of this page. (NO spoilers at all on the entire page).

  18. Personally I believe the fanservice ruins it. I know a lot of guys like this kind of stuff, but Tokyo ESP isn’t Highschool DxD. Always having a female naked is really inappropriate (especially for this series, manga readers know what I mean). This isn’t a story about girls turning naked or crap, even though there is some fanservice. It mocks Rinka as a character and makes it unfair for both her and Azuma (you guys know what I mean). People who disagree and love ecchi/fanservice shots should watch shows that are specifically for them. I know there will definitely be people who think I’m inflexible and a killjoy, but manga readers know that the author empowers women in his mangas. That is why Rinka is the MC and NOT Azuma. You can down vote me, hate me for dissing on fanservice because it is entertainment for you, but you can’t disregard the author’s direction. The anime isn’t doing a very good job to be honest and Azuma looks quite different. I read this, Tokyo Ghoul and Akame Ga Kill. If I have to rank them in terms of Anime adaptation, it would be:
    1. Tokyo Ghoul
    2. Akame Ga Kill
    3. Tokyo ESP

    Note that I didn’t even include other Anime in the list or it’ll be even worst for Tokyo ESP. While Ghoul has done a remarkable good job in moving around the manga sequences to make the story flow better, ESP has done the opposite so far. I’m not the type to nitpick when an adaptation is bad, but this really kills what I enjoyed about it. Not just fanservice, I mean the direction and art as well. This is just me ranting, but I hope the anime-only watchers enjoy this series and hopefully give the manga a try in the future. 🙂

    1. while you might dislike the use of fanservice here, being in just underwear is just the same. and well, it makes more sense that she was actually completely naked. if anything, the manga was a censorship.

    2. The author empowers women in his manga but there is no mistake that the fanservice gets heavy after chp26; I dont know where you are in the manga but trust me, the fanservice gets heavy. To be honest, the fanservice in this ep wasnt bad; It happened for a moment and that was it. The fanservice would have been tasteless if we got panty shots every time rinka threw a kick or jumped in the air, which this ep clearly avoided.

    3. Listened to too many feminist ramblings?Let’s see if I got this right, you’re watching a show where people beat each other up, kill each other, blow up things and the thing you find ‘inappropriate’ is a naked female character?I’ve no idea how these people who grow a very twisted moral compass when it comes to women, not realize how insane they sound.

      First of all there’s nothing inappropriate/mocking/degrading about nudity or sexually appealing characters, unless you view sexuality itself in a negative light it doesn’t make any sense.Second that’s not a ‘woman’ that’s a female character in a fictional story and authors of fictional stories can use their female characters in whatever manner they please, which coincidentally isn’t related in anyway to women as a class or author’s views on women as a class, it’s just a specific,single female character.

    4. In this case, I don’t think it’s degrading. Nudity happens, and it’s reasonable to think that someone who suddenly gained the ability to phase through solid objects wouldn’t be able to control it initially.

      Now, if Rinka were to have been flashing her panties all episode, you could certainly argue that it would have been degrading. You could argue that for the ED, which does not have a story purpose. The opening scene did.

      Side note: Nudity can actually be empowering. It’s when women (or men, though that’s not nearly as common) are treated as objects of lust rather than as people that it’s degrading. When they’re treated as people who may choose to be naked and may look damn nice when they are, that’s fine.

      1. Why is it ‘degrading’ when women are treated as objects of lust?By which I assume you mean appealing in a sexual context, wording it as ‘objects of lust’ is just bending over backwards to make it sound bad, do you think it’s degrading when characters are treated as ‘objects of comedy’ or ‘objects of badassness’ or ‘objects of drama’?Heck, let’s take it step further, do you think it’s degrading that the entire anime industry uses it’s characters as ‘objects of entertainment’?

  19. This was a much stronger episode than the first one, and in fact should have been the first episode.

    That’s a strong assertion. I dare to disagree though.

    I guess they were trying to mirror Ga-Rei Zero, but as someone who has never seen it, the first episode was a confusing flop.

    I can understand your point of view, and would agree if it was written in the first ep review. But I’m raising an eyebrow reading it after the second episode aired.
    Let me explain.

    The fact that the show was going the same way as Ga-Rei Zero was never a subtle hint, it was as explicit as it could be (and some commenters did point that out in details for everyone in the first ep review), showing the Ga-Rei characters and clear references to Ga-Rei Zero’s VERY controversial first episode.
    Thus, the director was telling a lot in this first ep, only NOT to everyone. I mean, for the many people who have seen Ga-Rei Zero, it was obvious that the events showed HAD to remain unexplained (at a certain degree), and that the subsequent episode would properly start the story. For these people, it wasn’t a confusing flop.

    The rest of the people though could surely have been disappointed after watching it, being thrown in the middle of the action with missing background. But now everyone can look at it in retrospect, and understand that what’s happened was intentionally confusing and has to be put on hold, until we reach that point again.
    So, if the first ep was a flop or not, remains a debatable question. I’d say that it wasn’t as solid as the first ep of Ga-Rei Zero, but not that bad either. In retrospect.

    (also, I’d suggest to anyone who didn’t see Ga-Rei Zero and has 20 min of spare time, to watch the first episode, for reference. I surely was like o_O after watching it).

    I’m enjoying this show so far, I’m glad you’ll be the one covering it 🙂

    1. I whole-heatedly agree. This is clearly what the director wanted to do. If it worked in the end or not is up to debate (The Ga-Rei Zero one was better executed though), but people really need to just get over the fact that the first episode went in that direction and just focus on the rest of it. Because going on youtube and watching reivews/live recations, there’s actually a lot more people who enjoyed the first episode for what it was and said they wanted to watch the next ep, and by no means are these people simple-minded action addicts. The first episode did its job and caught people’s attention (not everyone liked it obviously) Of course I can’t really be too hard as I watched Ga-Rei and we all know those who watched that previously didn’t really have an issue with this. IMO, they kind of had to throw in the pointless action just to show us down the lines what this series would turn into….because from what I’m gathering from other people, its really slice-of-life for a while, or at least not as serious. So unless we knew Sh*t would go down, I would see people losing interest. We can defend our own viewpoints as much as we want or claim we’re experts on this subject, but in the end, we all know now the first episode was intentional. So lets just enjoy the rest of it.

      1. Here is the thing. I would agree with that point if they did to make things less confusing later. But having action to get viewers hooked doesn’t seem right to me if that’s really why they did. Wouldn’t that show they had very little confidence in beginning of the first arc? That’s basically like saying “we don’t want people to get bored or off put by the heart of the story so here is some action for them instead.” That seems more like an insult to me. A writer should be confident enough in their material to believe viewers are going to stick around for things to get to that point. If they have resort to such tactics that shows they clearly don’t see that as being the case here and wanted to rope in the action junkies.

      2. The director may have considered that an action based episode could hook up more viewers, but I think it’s simply the way they decided to start the series (and a tributeto Ga-Rei Zero).
        It’s an established method too, a lot of movies do the same, think for instance to “Fight Club” that starts with the protagonist having a gun in his mouth …
        I don’t think you should feel “insulted” by that.

        But well, I acknowledge that it didn’t work for a part of the audience. I still believe it’s the minority though.

      3. @leatherhead333
        There is nothing insulting about it, i suppose you aren’t familiar with the literary term in-medias-res (starting the story from the middle point then going back to the beginning).. it’s a very well known and often used to good effect .. becasue it works as a perfect hook to attract the viewer and show them a glimpse of what’s to come .. it has nothing to do with insults and nothing to do with confidence, and while it is a great tool not everyone can use it equally well .. Tokyo ESP used it alright but could have done it better.

    2. @Voyager

      If this were a sequel, then them doing a large tribute would be more understandable. Throwing out the Yomi and whoever cameos at the beginning of episode one was awkwardly placed, but I let that go because it took all of a few minutes. With sequels, you can largely afford to give the middle finger to new fans and get by on your existing ones. But because this was not a sequel, risking alienation of all the people who hadn’t seen Ga-Rei wasn’t what I would call a great idea.

      Oh, and I didn’t note that in the first episode’s post because I haven’t seen Ga-Rei, so I didn’t know it was mirroring or referencing or giving tribute to anything. I was just a bit unimpressed.


      …people really need to just get over the fact that the first episode went in that direction and just focus on the rest of it.

      Most people will after this, but when there’s huge whiplash between episodes, people are bound to compare. Let everyone discuss it now.

  20. Yep,the Ga Rei Zero vibes are definitely strong here. I didn’t read the Tokyo ESP manga or anything but I’m gonna assume it’ll keep this somewhat light,often humorous tone and get darker as it goes – though,probably not as much as Ga Rei Zero did. Like,if that series didn’t start off the way it did in it’s first two episodes,there’s a good chance you wouldn’t expect how much it would change it’s tone towards the end. Tokyo ESP seems somewhat lighter,but loads of fun nevertheless.

    The only thing I’m gonna nitpick is that the opening is really out of place – especially after that premiere. But maybe it’s like this to be in contrast with the ending in order to hint that the show can be both humorous and dark(although not too dark compared to other series,since it focuses more on action). This is just speculation on my part though,based on what I know from an anime & manga sharing the same universe.

    Above all,it’s most likely gonna be a really fun show and even more fun with Stilts here at the helm. Next week can’t come sooner!

  21. So its like the Ga Rei Zero premier where the whole of Section 4 dies whilst the 2nd episode starts with a flashback, gradually leading to the events of the first. The crow guy not appearing in the first episode/a girl with teleporting powers too bodes badly for crow guy. Sad to say he might not make it.

  22. @Stilts: I think that the powers in this show and the manga were more like either ESP, PK, or the “beyond”/mutant variety. ^^
    Murasaki and the glasses guy in ep 1 exhibit branches of ESP (psychometry and precognition), I think. While a few others are PK. Going all Ghost Hunt and real-world parapsych terminology on this, PK (psychokinesis) has three kinds: PK-LT, PK-ST, PK-MT. PK-LT is PK on living targets; PK-ST is PK on static or stationary targets, and PK-MT is PK on moving targets. Rinka’s father and Kuroi will be out of the ESP and PK branches though, so they will be in the mutant kinds.

    In the manga, ESP was defined as an umbrella term. Perhaps, its usage here and in the manga is more like subjective for the mangaka/Hajime. I think it’s more like him using it to mean something else, even though in the real world it’s not supposed to be so. Trust me, it’ll make sense if you see the other characters in the next episodes. Even Rinka’s dad who looks like Wolverine is not Wolverine. (Dunno if that makes sense lol).

    Anyway, I love Rinka. (I’m a straight girl, but I still have a girl-crush on her lol). I love her attitude too, and she’ll only get more lovable if the anime brings out the charm of the source in the next eps.

    Thanks for the review~

    1. The technobable got a bit intense for me there, but my point (which was nitpicky, to be honest) was that ESP = extra sensory perception, which I would assume always has to do with, well, sensing. In Japan it seems like the term “esper” is used as a sort of catch-all for non-magical special powers, such as in Raildex (also definitely not ESP) and even Haruhi. A minor complaint I’ve had for a while, nothing more.

  23. I was extremely confused while watching the 1st episode. If any of you have watched Ga-Rei Zero, you will notice that the two main characters in that show (Kagura and Yomi) make a cameo appearance here, but don’t have any relevance to the story whatsoever. I haven’t finished Ga-Rei Zero, but I thought I had downloaded the wrong episode.

  24. Am I the only one who thought this episode was not that good?
    I just felt like the explanations for what was happening were limp and just conventional and that they made learning how to control these powers seem like such a big deal in the beginning only to then make then practically masters at the end….
    I mean..
    I guess it was better than the first episode? Nah, I say the 1st episode was better. I didn’t feel like they explained the phenomenon well enough…or just thought it would suffice to leave it as “a miracle” and expect no questions to be asked.
    I would have been happier if they just made espers a common part of society already int he first place. But then I guess the premise would be too similar to tokyo ghoul.

    1. Agreed. This episode was majorly weak imo. I think they rushed this to fill in as many of the gaps that the first episode had. Maybe it’s because I am comparing it to all the other amazing shows this season, but the characters in this series don’t resonate at all with me and especially the way that both leads have such simple ideologies.

  25. quick thought on the ESP issue, I noticed other animes also use ESP incorrectly, like in Haruhi Suzumiya, Kazumi was an ESPer, but he like flew around and stuff. I wonder if that’s just their go to term for someone with special powers. Mutants are a little different, at least in the X-Men universe, you have to be born with the powers (ie. Spiderman not a mutant), and apparently, FOX has the rights to that term since they own the rights to the X-Men currently (or sth like that), so in shows like Agents of Shield (the Avengers universe), they can’t use the word “mutants”/don’t acknowledge the existence of telepaths et al., and I wonder if that has some influence over what they call super powered characters in anime. though do they really have that sort of reach? I guess in terms of legality and copyright, you can never doubt the “superpower” of a lawyer.

    Impel Down Hippo
  26. ESP and Esper are Engrish adapted words; the meaning has shifted somewhat from the original English. In Japanese, they refer to inherent super powers not based on magic (ie not based on technological devices, although technological amplification of ESP still counts). The x-men would be considered Espers in the Japanese context.

      1. You know they call everyone in Index/Railgun with superpowers espers so I don’t know why everyone is complaining about it with this show. Maybe because it’s in the title?

      2. Probably to use a more commonly used word, rather than make his own…That or psychics just sound like someone with inborn powers. Lol We’d never know unless Hajime Segawa was asked and has answered this question.

        @sealouse: I forgot about the anime, but in the manga where the chapter for this ep was adapted, the term ESP was explained. It’s an overgeneralization, of course, that has been rampant for many years.

  27. Btw, this is the reason why Segawa wanted a strong female lead is that, to quote from the author’s notes in volume two:

    “But if the girl is helpless and always being protected… her role will become less and less important as the story progresses, until she all but disappears.”

    Methinks more storytellers should take this into consideration.

    Random Comment
  28. I disagree that this should have been the first episode. The first episode was perfect. In my humble opinion, that was brilliant beginnings 101. You have an action story. How do you world build? With action, of course! They blew up action in your face. None of it happened without a purpose.

    And that’s where my second point goes to- you were trying to feel something for the characters. You misplaced your feelings.

    I think a lot of people were staring at the trees when they were meant to stare at the forest. You have a bunch of terrorists taking over Tokyo. I didn’t just get a sense of terror, I had a sense of hopelessness. Even the supposed guys who were good at killing the espers couldn’t get it done. I didn’t feel anything for the characters. I felt everything for the situation. The people had given up and were cursing their new overlords, if they were still alive.

    All while this was happening, we were given hints here and there that there was some hope. There was some person who actually took these guys on once and won. And then some of the supporting good guys started to do something about this. They saved some people, but they only did something small. Maybe the situation will get better… But, wait, WHAT’S THIS? IT’S THE BIG DAMN HERO AND HERE SHE COMES TO SAVE THE DAY!

    This is an action show, and Tokyo ESP started out as only it could have- an Action Prologue!

    It was only a more than appropriate use of In Medias Res. It showed me what kind of world this is. It showed me who the characters of interest were. It dropped me right in the middle of what’s happening. It teased me with a little background story, making me want more. It did all of this with the medium of Action. I give the opening two thumbs up.

    As for this episode… We’ll see where it goes. I like how they’re going back to thouroughly introduce us to the main characters and the support cast (Personally, I think this would look better as a sequel-prequal, but I know nothing of the source material. Ergo, I have no right to complain.) All in all, my attention has been had.

  29. Preface: I haven’t read the manga.

    Huh… again, I must be in the minority when I say I thoroughly enjoyed the first episode. Whilst you’re right to say that it threw the characters aside, it offered us a phenomenal spectacle, brilliant world-building and set the tone for what’s to come, getting us hyped for what the show will lead up to. Instead of wondering where it will go, we are now focusing on how it gets to the state that the world is in in the first episode.

    I don’t disagree that characters are important, but sometimes, it’s good to sit back, relax and enjoy the action, for the action.

    (…and yes, being a die-hard fan of Ga-Rei, I’ll admit that I lapped up all those cameos.)

  30. I think I am lucky cuz I watched this episode before the first one cuz of the thumbnail and then I watched 2 more episodes and after those episodes I started to watch the first one


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