「雨と指輪と少女と」 (Ame to Yubiwa to Shoujo to)
“The Rain, Ring, and Girl”

As with most superheroes, there are a lot of missing parents to go around.

XEBEC Fantastic

I have a complicated relationship with XEBEC. Mostly negative, granted, but they do amazing things on occasion, your Nyaruko-san and Ladies vs Butlers and Rinne no Lagrange. The combat early in this episode screamed “XEBEC!” to me in the most mediocre of ways. Those weapon spins? Really? They seem to phone it in a lot of the time, and I felt it early on. It was the exchange between Rinka and the four thugs that really made me say that, while the rest of it was decent enough. When powers get mixed in it works well enough, but when it’s just natural human movement, XEBEC phones it in.

Clashing Powers, Stealing Powers

I’m all for a story where a penguin is an important character. I didn’t know the fish stayed in the espers – which is moderately horrifying, if you think about it too much – but Peggy’s ability to depower them is…I’m not sure how I feel about it. I liked it when it was happening, it was a sudden (but not unreasonable) reveal and it made the scene interesting. But going forward? Being the pragmatic chap I am, I’m now thinking of all the ways they can induce Peggy to depower their enemies. Does this become a Peggy-focused story? Is that a bad thing? That’s probably not a bad thing. All hail our penguin overlord!

Taming The Thief

I’m of two minds about fiesty thief Kobushi’s crush Wolverine Papa. On the one hand, it’s both genuinely funny, heartwarming, and squee-inducing. She’s cute when she’s in love! What I don’t know is if it’s a cheap way to turn her into a good guy. No–I think it probably is. I would have preferred it if Kobushi came over to Rinka’s side for her own reasons, not because she was crushing on her father. And to a certain degree, you could argue that maybe she is, but it’s undeniable that Wolverine Papa’s line about how nobody should commit crimes hit Kobushi hard. It feels like Wolverine Papa is driving her chance, and I don’t like that, as adorable as she is when she’s crushing on him.

I do wonder though, is she really crushing on him, or does she just want him to dote on her like the father she never had? I don’t understand daddy issues myself – no jokes please. Keep it civil, you lovable degenerates you – but early on it felt like she was crushing on him, while later she goes in from the father angle. Being male myself, I’m just going to completely ignore the whole angle for now and stick with “She’s cute when she’s in love.” That’s it for now.

Hero Rinka

Rinka, on the other hand, is exactly the kind of female main character love approaching a potential romance in exactly the kind of way I like to see. Rinka is still Rinka, always – she’s going to do what she’s going to do regardless of anyone else. That doesn’t mean she’s not worried about Azuma, doesn’t look for him, and she’s certainly willing to go out of her way to help him. Fair enough! We all do that, and in this Rinka’s sex does not matter. Whether male or female, I would respect her for acting like that, and that’s how it should be. She’s strong, but she also needs and wants others. I also love seeing the girl saving the boy for the once, and said boy being totally okay with it. Rock on, both of you. You’ll make beautiful esper babies. (That’s probably not how it works, but shush.)

A Beautiful Family

I was wondering what happened to Murasaki for most of the episode, but not much actually happened with her. She got her power, she was saved, she moved out for reasons. I feel like Tokyo ESP – the anime, at least – has consistent problems explaining why it’s doing the things it’s doing, likely due to adaptation problems. I feel the gaps, and it’s a little bewildering. Murasaki’s long absence is only one example.

What I liked though, was watching as Murasaki met her family for the first time. That was a beautiful moment, truly, and I very nearly misted up seeing it. Normally it takes CLANNAD-level of character commitment to turn on my waterworks, but the scene itself was beautiful enough to get me close. I tip my hat to thee.

Looking Ahead – Minami

The real question is, what is Minami up to? She wants to change the world, and then the illusion man shows up, but–oh, who am I kidding. We already saw where all of this is going. Now it’s all a matter of how they get there, and whether Kobushi-chan ends up as Rinka’s mother by then.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – It’s a heroines’ story, though Azuma & Wolverine Papa also have a say. Oh, and Peggy too. Peggy is pretty much a badass #東京ESP 04

Random thoughts:

  • Why is he naked?
  • Interesting to know that esper powers are always active unless suppressed. How would that work for Azuma and Minami? Not well, I imagine.
  • Butadon, is that you?
  • Leonidas Papa is so nice. A lot of parents might be missing, but the ones who are here are good ones. Good anime fathers are so sadly rare, they must be celebrated!
  • But seriously, why was he naked??

Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Control, Temporally unfocused, Fast, easy, guaranteed, and Starting off with a bang, & why you shouldn’t.




      1. @Hunter: While there are indeed clues that point it, his appearance was too abrupt; of course, the purpose was that in the anime. I guess, as I read the manga, it’s just me that thinks it’s an adaptation problem because before Rinka came, it was shown where he was while Black Fist talked to Minami. Thereby, there was a good foreshadowing. I couldn’t recall if it was shown in ep 3. But yeah, even if Stilts was not so sober (lol) watching it, some also can’t pick it up as easily just by showing a little (those are non-stop scenes after all) and somehow throws someone off for a moment. It’s irrelevant, but it’s because it is that’s why it must not seem like such a mystery for others. XD

  1. I think Kobushi had a genuine ‘mai hero’ moment with Wolv-Papa of appreciation, and only afterward seeing them at home, yearned for the family life she never had. Crush, then dote. Crush transformed into just being an excuse for her need of being family.

    I love the dere dere Kobushi, it works on multiple levels for me. Cute-sy and snarky fun at the same time of deeper longing. She wants that savior, to fulfill a role she never realized she wanted before (or maybe she has). It is a great dynamic to contrast her with Rinka, who as Kobushi noted has grown up being loved all her life whereas Kobushi has a distinct emptiness that’s shaped her.

    All and all character dynamics works and bounces off each other, and I am just eating it up.

  2. Re: Naked
    Notice next door was a bathroom? The tiles are the first clue, and if you listen closely there’s a shower running in the backround noise. It is easiest to hear when focused on the penguin around the 5:10 mark. At the 5:40 mark you can see water from the shower through the hole. He was either showering, getting ready to, or just done with… or just likes to be naked in the bathroom.

    I’m betting on shower though.

    Why there’s a shower over next to the jail cell, and why there’s a jail cell with an open toilet in a seemingly regular office building is a whole other matter. Buildings just don’t get designed this way normally…

    1. This was just an apartment building. The yakuza redesigned it to have a room to hold prisoners. Apparently it ended up next to the bathroom. Maybe putting it there made it easier to run plumbing between the toilet in the cell and the bathroom: less effort running new pipes.

      1. That’s still major reconstruction for the jail room toilet + metal reinforced walls. It certainly looks great for story, and no technical accuracy is needed in a show of super-powers, but I really doubt building codes, plumbers, etc would let these things slide. Even with corrupt yakuza influence, something that big does not go unnoticed. That’s why these things only exist in the realm of fiction.

        Also the bolted on metal walls would only be as strong as the drywall it is bolted onto . . . which makes the yakuza boss popping through more realistic.

  3. Interesting to know that esper powers are always active unless suppressed. How would that work for Azuma and Minami? Not well, I imagine.

    This was why Rinka kept falling through the floor in the beginning, and why her father made such a mess until he learned what he was doing. You have to concentrate in order to not use your power. In Rinka’s case she has to concentrate on deliberately touching the object she intends to touch. We’ve missed a lot of scenes (even in this episode they changed a scene) of her dripping stuff at work when startled because she loses concentration and it falls through her hands. Similarly, bullets can never affect her, because they move too fast for her to focus on them before they could hit her (not that that’s a bad thing).

    Azuma’s case was in one of the chapters that was cut out last time. He says he was unable to go home until he learned to control his powers (the images show him opening his door, then materializing on a street somewhere).

    1. I found it interesting because there’s a difference between having to consciously stop one’s self from doing something (especially all the time) and learning how to turn it off. One is a constant battle, the other a toggle. The former seems a lot more realistic for a biological creature though, so it makes sense.

      Also, yet more scenes I wish I had seen 🙁

      1. That, btw, is another reason why manga readers object to them altering Rinka’s haircolor “when she’s not using her powers.” Her powers are always “on.” There is no time where she’s not using them. The concept itself doesn’t make sense in regards to how the powers have been written.

      2. another reason why I reject the hair color is…only 2 people in the WHOLE series so far have been shown to change hair color. why? sure, it makes more sense in hiding identity and I may forgive them if it was her only (which still doesn’t make sense with respect to her powers anways) but they had to include her dad as well

  4. This show still feels as messy as ever (both in terms of animation and storytelling) but it’s entertaining enough. You’re right in saying they’re kind of phoning it in with the human movements – something felt really off about them, and that kind of hurts the momentum of those scenes. Storytelling-wise it also feels like you can see the seams between the scenes, instead of it flowing as a natural whole. It kind of reeks of either a lack of effort or talent. Come on, Xebec, don’t get lazy now.

    Still though, I’m growing quite fond of our heroine. She’s kind of got a Peter-Parker-everyday-hero vibe going on (except less whiny than he can be) and I find her growth as a reluctant hero to be rather interesting to watch (I hope the show will continue this development). As well as her relation to Azuma, both as the more down-to-earth foil and as her partner in heroïsm. That scene on the roof was actually pretty well done, and I liked how it seemed she was reading my mind in her words to him (was thinking she should tell him to stop running off on his own – and so she did). It’s stuff like this, more than the action, that keeps me coming back.

    Also, that Butadon joke was pretty dark, you heartless monster XD

  5. People thought Tokyo Ghoul was rushed, guess they haven’t seen ESP then because this was fast. Hell it was even faster than the previous episode’s pacing and that’s saying something. Although it was probably more noticeable this time around because we lacked any tasty new Western references (Rokujouma sadly has to suffice this week with its Blues Brothers parody).

    On the plus side at least Professor X the Professor now makes an appearance, but it’s going to take some serious work to save this incredibly rushed story. No amount of Wolverine or Leonidas papa skills can patch the vivid faults that lie within ESP’s presentation.

    1. The majority of manga are overly decompressed, a result of the desire to spin out stories for economic reasons, so it’s usually a good thing to pick up the pace.

      Of course, this can be jarring to manga readers, but the majority of viewers not conditioned to snail-like progression, it tends to improve things.

  6. I read all the currently available chapters during this week and I wholly agree with people saying the original is a lot better. While this anime stands on its own, the characters are nothing compared to the manga. Azuma gets hit pretty hard with this – in the manga he’s charmingly goofy (in fact he’s my favorite character besides Wolverine Papa) but here he comes off as bland.
    Who the hell decided to adapt 26 chapters of manga into 12 episodes?…

    Seriously, I wish the anime would do its source material justice, since a lot of chapters aren’t translated yet and it seems no group wants to pick the series up (I wonder why?). The anime’ll probably fail to bring many new fans. Seriously, this manga needs more love.

    Still, some parts were pretty sweet and I really dig the OST. And teleportation visual effects.

  7. I think Kobushi had a “knight in shinning armor” moment when Wolverine-Papa saved her. Seems like it’s evolved into her wanting to be adopted by him since she never had a father of her own. Maybe a bit of an Electra complex by adoption. Sounds like everything is being sped up in the anime. I would have expected it to be spread out over a longer period of time.

    Overall I thought it was a good episode. I haven’t read the source material though. Frustrating isn’t it when they screw up the adaptation isn’t it?

  8. I’ve been really enjoying this series so far! Guess that is no surprise I’ve always loved comics and have enjoyed XEBEC’s previous work (Gai Rai Zero).

    I didn’t really notice any pacing issues. I do find it odd how they meet these new espers and they just immediately join. For instance, the thief character joined them no problem even though she beat up the Main character. Say What? And the newest member has actually just met them like a day ago or something and has already joined as well. Which is fine- but she has also apparently moved in with them!

    At least the show is still kind of rational. The cops didn’t arrest the thief based solely on the word of an esper hero (previous episodes).

    I am still enjoying the show. I actually think the ‘pace’ could be sped up a bit more. This show is shaping into something good but I don’t think it will take down “Tiger & Bunny” which was my favorite japanese-superhero style show.

    Rick Anime
    1. Then again, I guess what I just described is a pacing issue I suppose. It just feels weird seeing straight up strangers just up and decide to leave with each other. Hopefully in the source material they spent more time building up the relationships then this!

      Rick Anime
      1. You answered yourself: the things you described are indeed pacing issues. And yes, in the manga a good deal more time was spent developing relationships than was spent here. Although Black Fist’s choice to move in with them was nearly as abrupt as it was here, that’s played for humor. Also, Rinka and Kobushi tend to view things as: they both beat the other one up so they’re even, and they don’t really hold a grudge beyond that (they’ve decided to mostly blame the house-burning thing on the yakuza’s pyromancer), so they’re leaving well enough alone.

  9. “Family is a haven in a hearless world”

    Cristopher Lasch really knew his stuff when he came up with that phrase, at the end all that we really need is our family at our side to be truly happy because it´s the one and only irreplaceable treasure of this world.

  10. Oh, I almost forgot, Stilts, I agree with your disappointment regarding the combat in the beginning. I was particularly hoping for them to get that right, but instead they went the cheap route. This was the point where she revealed her training in Kali; the martial art commonly known as Escrima; and she decimated the thugs swiftly and brutally (if you’ll excuse the cliched phrase. It’s appropriate in this case).

  11. Is this show a parody?
    Or was somewhat picking fun at like…every anime cliche ever just an accident?
    Freeloader character
    The turned-good, former bad guy character
    Character with a super hero complex because of a troubled past
    Character with an unreasonably troubled past
    The incomprehensible lack of mothers in any anime ever (sometimes fathers…mostly mothers)

    I’m missing a lot…but this episode felt like I was watching every anime I’ve ever come across.

    1. Also…Peggy is my fave atm.
      And I don’t really understand what the hell is going on anymore…I’m kind of watching this with the same mind that I read Fairy Tail with…
      I’m just taking it all in….and not giving it any thought.

    2. The manga is loaded with parody and derpy humor, but despite that, it somehow has a storyline that gets engrossing. It’s sort of like “Slayers” in that regard, on the surface it seems sloppy and careless but in fact it’s fairly skillfully done. Lots more caricatures of western actors than in Slayers though!

      The anime… doesn’t really capture this so far. The pacing and rhythm seem actually sloppy and careless rather than merely affecting to be sloppy and careless. And lots of the derpy humor seems not to have come through.

  12. I though this episode was pretty good. Pacing at times was a bit quick, but overall I thought pacing was more fluid than previous episodes. Material cuts remain, though perhaps not quite as noticeable as in previous episodes. Have to admit, I forgot about the whole bath deal so like Stilts, I thought “why is the giant guy fighting naked?” BTW, does that count as fanservice? 😛 Still, like I said, pretty good EP IMO and an improvement if not a major one. Fairly certain that the material cuts and quick pacing are here to stay, but if the adaptation can minimize the resulting negative effects, the show can still be a fun, entertaining watch.


    @Stilts: “All hail our penguin overlord!”

    Thankfully, this penguin is not from Kenzen Robo Daimidaler 😛

  13. I thought this was a great episode,mostly because of the 2nd half(love dem Rinka x Koutarou moments!) The only major complaint I have,which would probably be a common one in the case of rushed adaptations,is that there isn’t enough time for any new developments to sink in before moving on the next. I read the manga chapters corresponding to this episode immediately after watching it and of course,there were no such issues.

    I should probably start getting used to this: that is,liking the anime a lot but liking the manga even more. There’s no doubt the latter’s better but I honestly think the anime can stand on it’s own as well,at least so far.

    Now,I still have to question what was up with that 1st episode. I know we got 2 eps like that in Ga-Rei Zero but it REALLY didn’t seem needed here,especially when you think about all the little bits of dialogues that could’ve been added with those extra 22 mins spread throughout the the entire show. Still,I hope they pull off the let’s-skip-the-ending stunt more often since they really need that extra time(even thought I like that ending 😀 ).

    1. Adaptation failure is either becoming more common, or I’m watching way more anime with a critical eye than I did in the past. (95% likely the answer is the latter.) It’s understandable, though – the source material was created specifically for the medium it originally inhabited, and translating it to another doesn’t always work out unless you have plenty of episodes to work with. Case in point: This show.

  14. I’m honestly a little pissed off that the red head girl got redeemed so easily this episode even though she’s been nothing but a self serving prick so far. The in love with her dad thing is a horrible reason to suddenly make her join them. I mean she even let Rinka’s house get burned down for heaven’s sake even though tons of people could have died if her Wolverine dad wasn’t there. Yet she simply joins the group with very little angst against her.
    It’s pretty stupid.

    That said I thought the pacing was better this episode though still off at times. I like how the fire guy shows up for ten seconds, gets beat and boom! On to the next scene. Felt really pointless. I also have problems with Murasaki’s reasons for moving out. It’s pretty dang obvious that her father loves her and would never treat her as a monster. There wasn’t anything wrong with the line he said. He was just as surprised as anyone else would be if they saw what he saw (plus the last person he saw with powers stole his daughter away so he has reasonable angst against them imo). Sure the business he does is shady, but he does everything in his power to make sure his daughter isn’t involved. He isn’t the best dad but he isn’t a bad one either in my opinion. It really feels like she just moved out on a whim and nothing more.

    1. I scrolled to the comments section for this very reason. Kobushi beat the shit out of Rinka and then almost murdered Rinka’s dad and everyone in the complex. She stood there cackling and ready to enjoy the needless death and destruction by fire. She seemed remorseless and hardened, with no chance of being on the “good” side. After all of that happened, I was thinking, “Okay, so there better be a very good reason for her redemption, especially for her and Rinka to be friends.” NOPE! Suddenly, she’s on their side and they conveniently forget her misdeeds. ಠ_ಠ

  15. Wolverine Papa is the best part of this show.

    THey arent even subtle with the reference later when he uses his magnetism powers (ironic, as Wolverine can never beat Magneto lol).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *