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Tokyo 24th Ward Series Review

There was a lot of extremely popular continuing anime in 2022, like My Hero Academia, Demon Slayer, and Overlord. None of those are really interesting to me, so I went looking for less popular series from 2022 with descriptions that sounded appealing. That's how I discovered Tokyo 24th Ward. Psychological and sci-fi with action and drama? Sign me up! Although the show ended up not being impressive, I'm still glad I watched it and experienced the unique flavor. What follows is my standard review of the 12 episode series.



 

Visuals: 7


The visual quality of Tokyo 24th Ward is highly variable and uneven. Sometimes, it looks amazing-- with smooth animation, bright colors, and very moving face expressions for the characters. But other times, it's painful to watch, mostly due to lack of detail or hastily drawn figures that don't look right. In general, there is little creativity with lighting and shot angles. The graffiti art included in some episodes was a nice touch. Because of the quality variety, I think 7 is a fair score for visuals. Despite some significant issues, this anime looks decent overall.


(The train scene in episode 1 looked amazing)

 

Story: 6


The story category, while not horrible, was highly disappointing to me. I had hoped for better. But before we get into the issues related to story, let's point out some positives. The starting premise was appealing and had a lot of potential. For example, it was an intriguing idea that the boys' brains were being hacked to show them a prediction of the future. Watching characters deal with stressful dilemmas that force them into tough decisions is also something I enjoy. Additionally, some of the sci-fi technology was interesting, especially once it was revealed how the Hazard Cast system works.


The themes explored in this story were other positives. They included hope, change, disillusionment, ideals, and most of all, grief. This is ultimately a story about three young adults trying to cope with a loss that deeply affected them all. Of course, I'm referring to the untimely demise of Asumi Suido. It isn't immediately apparent, but this is the true heart of the anime. Can they let go and continue their lives? Or will this cloud their hearts forever? I appreciate this good character psychology.


(Asumi Suido's preserved body)

Now about the story weaknesses, there are several to mention. Despite being marketed as a thriller, Tokyo 24th Ward generally has a slow-moving plot and is primarily a drama show. This was difficult for me since I expected violent sci-fi excitement and instead got family bakery troubles. In addition to not being thrilling, the plot is often predictable or a little tropey. It's easy to see a plot twist coming. Humorous moments are also easy to predict and not very funny.


While you can understand the technology and world-building by paying close attention and analyzing things, none of it was explained very clearly. There wasn't enough discussion of the technology or how it worked. Some things were simply never explained at all, such as the physical and mental power boosts the boys get after receiving Asumi's calls. In general, the writing for both plot and dialogue feels immature. I think the creators of this anime will be able to improve a lot with practice, but they seem inexperienced right now. To sum everything up, the story category was just "average," neither good nor bad.


(Shuuta's absurd strength was never explained)

 

Audio: 8


The music, songs, and voice acting were all good in Tokyo 24th Ward. Opening song "Papersky" by Survive Said The Prophet is upbeat and inspiring. It's easy to sing along to the English parts. The voice actors for the three main boys sang the ending song, which is called "255-255-255." I don't understand why the title is like that, but the song sounds pretty neat. The instrumental OST scores were composed by Hideyuki Fukasawa. They didn't stick in my head very much, but I listened to a few on YouTube to refresh my memory. Some of the music was really great. I'll probably use it for motivational BGM.


As for the voice-acting, it was excellent. I did not recognize most of the female seiyuus, but I knew the voices of the three main boys. Shuuta is played by Junya Enoki, who has an excellent "earnest main character" kind of voice. His big roles include Yuuji from Jujutsu Kaisen and Fugo from JoJo Part 5: Golden Wind. I'm not as familiar with Yuuma Uchida (voice of Ran), but I know he played Kyo in the new Fruits Basket. My personal favorite of the three is Kaito Ishikawa, who voiced Kouki. His biggest role in other anime series is probably Iida from My Hero Academia, but he's done a number of voices I know from 2012 to present. Everyone did well with their roles.



 

Characters: 5


None of the characters are particularly original. I wouldn't say they are completely one-dimensional, but their character types are basic. There's Shuuta, the brave and physically strong one who loves superheroes. There's Ran, the artistic and somewhat rebellious one who paints graffiti and wants to change the world with art. And lastly, there's Kouki, the smart and stern one who wants to impress his father and help the city using his logical thinking. Each of these three characters had at least a little bit of interesting development, but it really wasn't enough to satisfy me.


There were other problems with this category too. With the exception of Sakiko Tsuzuragawa, the female characters were disappointing. Mari and Kinako are boring and predictable. It definitely seems like they were written by a man with little experience creating and developing female characters. Asumi was alright, but she was a little too perfect to be optimally believable. Kouki's mother had a very good character concept, but since she only appears in a few flashbacks, there isn't much there. Even Sakiko's character wasn't explored as much as I had hoped for.


(Sakiko Tsuzuragawa)

Besides unoriginal, underdeveloped main characters and badly written female characters, the show was awkward at handling character deaths. Both the death of the Kaba during the hurricane and the shooting of Ran's friend Kudo could have been done more powerfully and convincingly. Last of all, I personally had trouble connecting to any of the characters on an emotional level. Overall, the characters in Tokyo 24th Ward were sadly below average.

 

Personal Enjoyment: 6


All things considered, I'm surprised I enjoyed Tokyo 24th Ward as much as I did. I think it's because I can see some potential in these creators. Maybe they will write more interesting sci-fi in the future, complete with better characters and a more engaging plot. They already have pretty solid sci-fi ideas, if only they were explored and presented to the audience in a way that made sense. I wouldn't put my enjoyment level as higher than 6 due to the weaknesses of the series explored in the categories above.


Now, I've already mentioned a few elements that I appreciated in this series, but I'll state them once more. The things I like were: 1) the face expressions for the characters, 2) the voice acting of the main cast, 3) the interesting sci-fi elements (such as Hazard Cast and Kudo's music "drug"), 4) the moral dilemmas and intense situations, and 5) the psychology, which mostly explored the experience of accepting loss. Other enjoyable elements included the occasionally well-written character interactions, the music, and the graffiti art.


(Ran's graffiti mural in honor of Asumi)
 

Overall Score: 6.4 / 10.0


The overall score is calculated by taking the average of the scores of the five categories we covered. While a score in the 6s range is not good, it also isn't what I would normally call bad. I think Tokyo 24th Ward is an average-quality anime. For once, my score aligns almost perfectly with the score on MyAnimeList.net, which is 6.35 at the present time.


I don't recommend watching Tokyo 24th ward unless you have time to kill and want to see some fresh content that's very rough around the edges. That being said, I don't regret watching this anime. If there's a season 2, I'll probably tune in.

 

Thank you for reading~


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