「満ちる時、動き出す少女達」 (Michiru Toki, Ugokidasu Shoujo-tachi)
“Fruition, Girls Set into Motion”

Ayumu’s mom is comical, but so are the villains. Or at least their ideas are.

Self-Centered Mother

Ayumu’s mother apparently doesn’t believe her anti-esper schtick as much as she wants to use it for political gain. That’s…refreshing, I guess? She’s not a bigot, just an opportunist. Yay? But without exploring that theme in greater detail, it seems crass. I’m not interested in her coming to terms with it and becoming a better mother to Ayumu because she’s such a cartoonishly one-dimensional character. Mostly I just want to see her kicked in the teeth. Needless to say, I’m not expecting much from this subplot.

Murder Test

The big question is still “What’s the professor’s goal?” Because everything he’s doing is making espers more and more hated. The murder test Minami is giving out to newly-minted espers is a sure-fire way to turn the public against them. Which can be useful if you’re trying to galvanize a force – nothing motivates your side like an enemy to be opposed to, something Ayumu’s mother knows all too well. But since we already know what they’re going to try to do – fly the diet away, rule the humans, etc – I can’t help thinking pissing everyone off is a bad way to go about it. Better to be a respected conqueror like Iskander than a hated one like all of the other ones. That does make me think that maybe “rule over the humans” might not be their end game though, which would be interesting. Or they’re going to try to kill all the humans. Or they’re just idiots. But at least my interest is piqued.

P.S. To all you esper idiots – you’re still human. Just because you have special powers doesn’t mean you’re a new species. Especially not when you get your powers from a glowing fish. At best you’re humans with a particularly useful parasites.

I Can’t Take These Villains Seriously

I’ve come to realize that I have a strange view of the modern world. To whit: the present is amazing! People keep talking about how the whole world is going down the drain, but I don’t get it. I paid attention during history class, so I know just how wonderful the present is. Even ignoring marvels like vaccines, super markets, cell phones, and the democratization of economic activity thanks to the internet, a lot fewer people die in wars and from preventable diseases than even a few decades ago. Yes, the world isn’t perfect, and the arc of history is long, but it does bend toward justice, peace, and prosperity.

That’s why I can’t take these villains seriously. If theirs was a world like Akame ga Kill, I could understand it; that seems like a shitty world. But the world of Tokyo ESP looks more or less like ours + espers. And they think the whole thing is so broken humanity can’t be saved? Hah! Even the simple fact that slavery doesn’t exist in their society – or its thinly veiled cousin in serfdom – means their present is a thousand times better than their past.

So if you find any sense in the terrorist espers’ message, I suggest you stop listening to the news and start reading history books. You may be worried about what’s happening in parts of Eastern Europe, the Middle East, or Africa, and fair enough. But where people are lobbing rockets right now, they used to wage all-out war. That’s twisted progress perhaps, but progress nonetheless. And the simple fact that I can watch this show minutes after it airs from half a world away, write a post about it, and publish it for all of you around the entire world to see is a marvel. Anyone who says there’s no hope only wants that to be the case. It has no basis in reality.

Looking Ahead – Free Kyoutarou, Doomed School

The curse of the spoiler premiere has haunted this entire season for me, and made me only really care about two things: what happens after that, and why wasn’t Kyoutarou there? For a while I thought it was going to be because he was locked up, but they let him go. Now they’re attacking the school, so maybe this is a death flag, though it’s as likely he didn’t appear during episode one to troll anime-only viewers, or because the Professor still has his power on lock down. (Minami did tell him to return to his mundane life.) I honestly just wish they would cut to the chase though, because the anime isn’t doing the small motions well enough for me to enjoy the buildup after that massive spoiler premiere.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Ayumu’s mom is one-dimensional, so are the terrorist espers, & Kyoutarou is free for reasons. Just get to the final battle already #東京ESP 08

Random thoughts:

  • I don’t remember if Kyoutarou mentioned the date he promised Rinka back when that scene actually happened, but it would have been a lot more powerful if so. If he did, it would have been more powerful if the details were being done well enough for me to remember that.
  • There’s not a lot of variation in the ESP powers here. Two main characters as teleporters was borderline, but a second wall phaser betrays a dangerous lack of creativity. I can understand the duality symbolism, but that could just as easily be done through personality, not just power.
  • It looks like the fish respond to strong emotions – Kyoutarou’s desire to save people, Murakami’s desire to do something, and all these mooks’ desire to kill people. I can understand I-don’t-want-to-be-raped girl – that was horrifying – but the lazy I-want-to-kill-everyone girl? Not as much. I hope there’s added depth there.
  • I wonder if the Professor is going to do a hope thing like Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, using the Shiroi Shoujo as the point of hope which, after its crushed, total despair follows. Use those spoiler tags if you want to comment, people.
  • She teleported part of herself. That’s…downright frightening. Eeee.

Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Just plain fun, Don’t have enough time, Work you love, and Completely unbiased.




  1. It could’ve gone differently, but well, that cliffie was a good one. ^^ Next week will be fun~ Or not.

    While Ayumu’s mom is opportunistic, she could’ve been more rational too. After all, Ayumu’s power isn’t so evident. Of course, it could’ve been because he was shot with the camera during that attack. But yeah, as a soon-to-be Diet member(?), she could’ve contemplated more? After all, a son who can see a bit into the future can be handy. Locking him up to study…lol. I do get her reasons, but I guess she’s not manipulative enough…

    Anyway, I have to say this ep is more dramatic. Quite a lot of fillers too—probably just to place the cliffie there. As to the fishes, it seems like any kind of will is all right for them. Still like the police letting themselves be aided by espers. Though they don’t have a choice. If only there were police people who got powers too! I mean, that could’ve been refreshing too.

    As to Kyoutarou’s promise date…Err that was really vague. I don’t remember him doing so. Show Spoiler ▼

    Minami smashing vases was…Idk. Then again, she’s loyal to her father…

  2. I will honestly say, this is the first time I had issues with the animation, especially with the fire and those pan-out shots they had. This has to be the bottom episode for me on what is shown so far. Though with the girl who lacks motivation, I will say this about her situation, it really irritates me to hear complete strangers say that to people with the whole “You have a future ahead of you, don’t wreak it!” etc, and then continue to persuade them to change. I mean sure they want the best of her in mind, but that’s just being too pushy on a complete stranger who’s doing nothing wrong except being out of curfew (though standing in the middle of nowhere writing “Die” over-and-over again isn’t helping her case)

    1. True, the police were being dicks there. It’s not their role to lecture someone about their life, only about the law (unless a personal relationship exists naturally, which it didn’t there).

  3. …Ok, now I’m really confused. I don’t know why whoever wrote the anime’s version of events chose to have Kyoutaro kidnapped after the tanker event just to let him go now of all times. I mean, it’s important for him to be here now, but it was important for him to be here before too, and they didn’t seem to care about screwing around with that, so what are they thinking?

    Particularly since Show Spoiler ▼

  4. Only one thing to say regarding this episode: Colonel Sanders. Nothing like a KFC reference 😛

    At this point I’ve abandoned looking for any serious substance in ESP’s adaptation, it’s playing out very similar to a superhero comic without the numerous arcs needed for substantial character development. Nowhere is the lack of character development better shown than in the Professor. Attempting to label ESP users as a new species is a feasible leap, if we had a few serious incidents, fights, and arcs in between the emergence of ESP and the Professor’s objective to give reason for it. Things are just moving too fast to make these critical plot points stick and possess the intensity that we are meant to feel regarding them. Overall there is just no weight to each new character introduced or event that occurs, they just “happen”; it is here where ESP falls apart.

    While ESP remains fun for what it is, it has IMO become one more in an increasingly long list of adaptations failing to meet the potential (whether due to allotted time or budget) of its source material. Hopefully the final battle will be awesome though.

  5. This episode, I swear… The amusement park scene was just pathetic, courtesy of the fact that Show Spoiler ▼

    At this point I’m just waiting for this adaptation to be over so anyone who was introduced to Tokyo ESP through it can go read the manga and find out how the story’s told without a repetitive streak of bad decisions.

    1. Oh wow sounds like they messed up the adaption in some ways in their hurry to close it out. So… I guess it is obvious they are gonna cliff us aren’t they? We are getting close to the end but there doesn’t seem to be a conclusion in sight

      I dont know why but I am missing ‘beyond the boundary’ right bout now. That show really took me by surprise! Was so good.

      Anyway! Still enjoying this show but after reading your post it sounds like it would be a good idea to check out the source material when I have time

      Rick Anime
    2. So it was an anime-only decision to have him captured…and a dumb one at that. Damn it! I really liked those Rinka & Kyoutarou moments and it would’ve been nice to see them in the anime.

  6. Yeah, this show has a nasty streak of having one-dimensional characters drive the plot forward. I was hoping there was going to be something more to Ayumu’s mom, but noooope! She’s just a harpy.

    The whole esper-persecution thing doesn’t really feel that convincing in the first place. It feels rather manufactured (in a storytelling way), and relies on people acting like idiots. Hence why the villains never struck a chord either, like they can do in, say, X-Men. Magneto at least has some good reasons to do what he does, even if he is an extremist. The Professor here? I’m still doubting the fact he’s got an actual smart plan behind it all and his ideology is standard cliché villain stuff.

    Also, I don’t remember the Kyoutaro’s date-promise either. Did that ever really happen beforehand? I certainly can’t recall.

    As an aside, I had to laugh at Rinka channeling Nozomu Itoshiki there {“What if I had died?!”). Especially because the girl throwing the molotovs had Kaere’s voice.

  7. Crap man I was really digging this show earlier on but as noted in the blog by Stilts, these villains are fairly one dimensional. And yeah, I am baffled why they let Kyoutaro get kidnapped. Well, only a few episodes left. I still enjoy it somehow.

    At least Rinka beatdown a ‘bad guy’. Haven’t seen her do that in quite awhile.

    Rick Anime
  8. Actually Stilts I thought The mom reacted with a lot more tact than I first thought she would. I figured that she would try to disown him or something but she wasn’t outright calling him a monster or something like that. She didn’t handle the situation well but I still think there is an indication she will change in the future. It’s a subplot that I’m somewhat interested in because I for one have seen way to many shows lately where the parents are treated as bad nonsupporting people(this season examples: Free!, Hanayamata, The irregular). Hell sometimes they don’t even exist (since dead parents are a typical backstory for shows of this nature). It would be nice if she were to change her position to a Esper supporter by the end of the series but I know I’m probably expecting to much from a minor character :I.

    As for everything else…….yeah stuff is happening……..i guess 😛

    1. I don’t disagree. What the exchanged was the expected cartoonishly bad facepalm disowning scene for a cartoonishly bad craven opportunist scene. True, I wasn’t disgusted after that scene like I would have been if she disowned him, but it wasn’t good. It was just better than totally bad. Which is progress, of a sort?

  9. Honestly my issue with these villains is that I also can’t take them seriously. The Professor and Minami are acting like they are the bad guys in the X-Men universe.

    These aren’t a new species or a genetic mutation. They are just people who had magic fish fly into them. Their powers can be sucked up by a penguin that acts like a vacuume cleaner. This is like saying professional athletes should rules the world because they are in good shape. It’s just stupid.

  10. Another one of those adaptations which changes things for… “reasons”. The whole kidnapping thing is anime only. I suppose it was an attempt to give Minami some character depth (not really development), or … IDK. Really not sure what the anime was going for there. Problem for me is that these anime only changes add nothing, and worse, remove something I liked about the manga.

    One thing I liked about the manga was the growing relationship between Rinka and Kyōtarō. It was done the old-fashioned way. They simply spend a lot of time together. For me that was a nice, realistic change of pace from the far too common “insta-relationship” because the ML/FL is so cool/hot/hax/whatever. Instead, the anime gives us Kyōtarō’s kidnapping which added… what again exactly? Given comments, evidently for some a WTF moment upon him simply being let go. I think sticking with the manga would have been the better way to go. Actually, I would say that’s a good rule in general for this series. :/

    Another thing I find lacking from this adaptation is the manga’s humor. Like all humor, it can be hit and miss, but there were definitely some moments I found funny in the manga which have been left out in the anime. Overall, I get a sense of the anime trying (and failing) to be more serious than it should be. Tokyo ESP manga does have some serious, somewhat grimdark moments, but it also has lighter, humorous moments as well which IMO help to balance the overall tone. I don’t think the story is one you can present as super serious nor do I think it was intended to be. The manga’s kind of a fun ride, but I find myself missing a lot of the “fun” with the anime’s presentation.

    @Stilt’s “She teleported part of herself. That’s…downright frightening. Eeee.

    Guess we have a different take on that. Rather than “frightening”, my reaction was “LOLWAT!?” Waaaaay too “over-the-top”/breaking “in-universe” credibility. Teleporting yourself in half should pretty much = death, not “Cool! I can attack from front and back!” >_>

    1. On the teleporting half of herself, that’s what I was saying. It’s frightening because I feel like it should result in instant death and/or some weird trauma. It’s not cool at all, just strange. A very weird decision.

    2. Another one of those adaptations which changes things for… “reasons”. The whole kidnapping thing is anime only. I suppose it was an attempt to give Minami some character depth (not really development), or … IDK. Really not sure what the anime was going for there. Problem for me is that these anime only changes add nothing, and worse, remove something I liked about the manga.

      Yep…Despite the fact that I really liked seeing the growing relationship between Rinka & Kyoutarou,I would’ve been fine with this anime-only decision of having him captured if it added more to his & Minami’s character and maybe their relationship,even though I personally would’ve preferred the former. But it didn’t,and it was a lousy attempt too. Like really,nothing good came out of this decision.

  11. https://randomc.net/image/Tokyo%20ESP/Tokyo%20ESP%20-%2008%20-%20Large%2029.jpg
    “the murder test is so stupid I don’t know what else to say.”

    “why’s that mom?”

    “because you’re just gonna get a bunch of…”

    “psychotic idiots that want to join”.

    “or the random apathetic youth who couldn’t care less, but will for some reason kill someone.”

    “and let’s not forget the exploitative trope character.”

    “so what you’re saying is, it’s such a random mash of a group, it doesn’t make a lick of sense.”

    “did you guys say something?”

    “I know I heard something.”
    ‘me too.”

    “mm mm.”

    “I made you some candy.”

    “we want candy too.”

    (roll credits)

    Impel Down Hippo

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