OP: 「ODD TAXI」byスカートとPUNPEE (Skirt to PUNPEE)
「エキセントリックドライバー 」 (Ekisentorikkudoraibā)
“The Eccentric Driver ”
A body wrapped up in a tarp, bricks hanging from its side, descending to the bottom of a seemingly endless void, the stage is set, the knife is cast, and a murder mystery has been set afoot.
Odokawa’s (Hanae Natsuki) job is to drive a privately owned taxi. His conversations with his passengers are what drives the story forwards, the connections Odokawa has to the people around him, and how those connections affect the ones that don’t seem to be wanted found out. An unseen person hides in his closet, not by his choice, but theirs. He tells them they are free to go, but they don’t show any indication of wanting to leave. Why? Because they want to hide. But from whom?
Odokawa seems like an unreliable narrator, having suffered trauma as a child, he now protects the veil over his eyes, by giving everyone anthropomorphic animal bodies and faces. Of course this is not yet known, as it is only speculation. Subtle hints that might point in that direction. But Odokawa is the weird type, and more and more of his personality is slowly shown throughout the episode. The ice breaks.
Odokawa listens to the radio, and an idol comes on named Reina (Kagura Chika) a bunny, the hosts read a hate letter before the song plays, all of this reeks to be bumping with the uncertain rhythm of high speed urban culture. Both taxi and metro, two forms of public transport, are a hodgepodge for people to mix in. First a 22-year-old university student named Kabasawa (Takashi) enters the fray, an aloof hippo no less. Then a nurse named Shirakawa (Iida Riho) a 28-year-old alpaca, both seemingly unimportant, but at the same time play a larger role in an unseen dance between the outside of Odokawa’s taxi and the inside of the city itself.
Crime and violence all mix between the daily life of these characters, each connected by threads they do not yet see. Dobu (Hamada Kenji) walks these streets, a monkey, he has secrets he’d rather keep in the dark. His first appearance on the show almost hinders on causality, the strings of singularities pulling at each other.
Yet those same strings are the ones that pull Odokawa in the right direction, he meets with a doctor, Gouriki (Kimura Ryouhei), working at a small health clinic. Odokawa has a friendly conversation, as he jokingly makes Gouriki waste time by occupying him in the mundane. Mentioning Bruce Springsteen several times, that name just rolls off their tongues.
Diamond Ani (Kousei) suddenly shows up, demanding to investigate Odokawa’s taxi, no search warrant or anything, He has no choice but to submit and ask questions – but quickly get shut down. Clearly suspicious. Ani takes the SD card from Odokawa’s camera, no motive, just pure hunches it seems. Right there and then, I knew Aniki was abusing his power. 2 weeks worth of footage, “she’ll be there”, the puzzle comes together, but is not yet complete. In the final scene, revealing why Aniki needed the SD card so much in the first place.
Diamond Ani just rubbed me the wrong way. Will he get away with it, or will Ani be punished for working under the law? This show has definitely garnered my attention. I like how it mixes new millennial sensitivities with the ever present concrete of the urban Tokyo jungle. It shows reality for what it is (as far as its setting allows), and doesn’t hinder from trying to show us a more mature story that involves characters of older ages. How will things develop? Who works for who, and who holds the hands of control?
Let’s keep watching to find out!
ED: 「シュガーレス・キッス」 (Sugarless Kiss) by (Mimori Suzuko)
Let’s just say I protest strongly against your suggestion that Odakawa is giving everyone anthropomorphic animal bodies and faces. Given that everybody is portrayed as animals even when Odakawa is not present, that shows that that line of thinking is quite possibly critically flawed.
Right… This is the main discourse about the show right now, I was simply following up on what other people are already saying about it. And as I mentioned in the post – it’s all speculation right now. Don’t take it to much to heart.
You mention everyone is portrayed as animals, even when Odokawa is not present, this might be exactly how they get us. You never know.
There is one instance however, that people are interpreting in different manners, the one scene after the Diamond brother’s question Odokawa about Dobu. Why did that flashback scene show the character’s in a more human like form? Is what everyone is trying to figure out.
Personally I don’t waver in any one direction, because they might be playing with our expectation’s or they might not. It’s all up in the air right now, this is definitely a show that might make people pick sides.
And you know opinions, theories and speculations is what gives flare to our conversation’s, personally I didn’t see it at first, but after reading some comment’s some of it made sense. Character’s dismissing Odokawa, as just another quirky trait of his, several times during the episode when he mentions what animal they are. And why go to that length anyway, why write lines for Odokawa that specifically make him mention what animal the person is.
It would also make sense if you think about the nihilist view Odokawa seems to posses, maybe he see’s the more common folk outside of his bubble as monkey’s, because that’s exactly what we all are, monkey’s going about our day’s, exchanging paper for food, and calling it a society.
A final note – there’s no one true logical way of thinking, the universe is constantly in flux, don’t close yourself off and other’s right off the bat, remember you can never step into the same river twice! 🙂
Just a bit of web page formatting feedback, I noticed there are breaks in the middle of paragraphs, causing a sentence to abruptly start from a new line. I first noticed it while on mobile but the same thing is showing up for me on a different browser on my laptop.