Review Odd Taxi review

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Review

Odd Taxi is a mystery series and I would say a surprise hit for the spring season. When observing the promotional picture of this anime one could easily be mistaken that this series was catered for kids seeing as the show is filled with anthropomorphic animals. Not only that but the studio OLM most extensive works include the Pokémon franchise. However, if one were to take even a cursory glance at any single episode you will quickly discover it is anything but a simple child’s story.

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Odd Taxi starts simply enough as we follow our main protagonist Hiroshi Odokawa who is a taxi driver who carts people around town. What is notable in this series is that any character or event always has a purpose. Every dialogue you hear, every object you see has meaning and often what is said or done has future implications later on in the series.

It pays to keep attention as doing so will allow you to gain the most out of Odd Taxi. You see Odd Taxi deploys the Chekhov’s gun trope extensively. Anything you see or hear no matter how small or innocuous has a future impact and if the series pays any undue attention to any one thing, then you need to make a mental note of it. It WILL come back later to haunt you! This point is key because while the series starts with relatively simple passages as it explores individual character arcs and their expositions it is not long before those stories begin to converge. It is these links and the numerous foreshadowing events that make the stories not only captivating but also allows this series to be watched again.

As we progress through the plot, we find that more of these individual character stories begin to intertwine. This dynamic is great because it serves a dual purpose; not only does it develop and enhance the main overarching plotline but we also learn more about the individual characters and their motivations adding a lot of substance to the various cast members.

The links, the chance occurrences all leads to a crescendo where it all comes together and what we get are multiple climatic scenes with major events happening not just in episode 12 (which could have been an ending in and of itself) but the even more dramatic plot twist in the season finale that was simply stunning… Stunning in a good way and in fact I would consider the ending to be one of the strongest points of Odd Taxi.

Character development as hinted before is good across the board and whilst the characters may not experience a whole lot of growth (there is some though) what we do get is a series that goes out of its way to delve into the minds and motivations of everyone in the entire cast; both main and even secondary characters get significant screen time to develop. And whilst we may not necessarily agree with what the characters do, we understand why they do it. Nothing is left unexplained.

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To add to this our main man Odokawa is an interesting and complex character. He may appear, on service to be a cynical old git who is on the verge of a midlife crisis but as we progress through the series, we soon discover that beyond the indifferent stoic exterior; lies a wit and intelligence that permeates throughout the series. These traits of Odokawa are consistent and whilst the numerous side-stories and characters are good in itself he is the clue that holds everyone and everything together not just by his story arc but the strength of his character.

In terms of animation and other technical aspects of Odd Taxi the overall direction and animation is strong and good. Quality is consistent and the only thing I would say is some of the character representation did seem a bit funky right at the end. I suppose it maybe a deliberate artistic direction taken or it could be I was simply used to what I saw before. The opening and ending tracks are good and another thing worth mentioning is the song for the idol singers was pretty catchy and it was enjoyable to hear them sing even when the same songs were shown multiple times in the show.

Overall, I would say this series scores very highly both in plot and character development. Whilst most characters are not super developed what makes Odd Taxi stand out is that the entire cast is given a good amount of screen time to develop. It is strength in numbers. The interwoven nature of the storyline is done with finesse with no clear plot holes and the story is well paced never feeling like the series dragged at any particular point.

Saying that, there was some events and connections that left me feeling incredulous as while one miracle can be excused there was a string of events that me think no way. Then again with further thought it made me think the prevailing theme of Odd Taxi was the idea of synchronicity; that is the idea of a list of chance events that all lead to an occurrence of deep meaningful impact. And that is what Odd Taxi is really about, the idea of synchronicity. It is a great series and is something I could recommend to most anime viewers no matter what your experience or your genres you prefer.

Story 8.5 – Odd Taxi starts simply enough but the plot quickly develops significantly when various sub-stories are introduced and then developed. What is more, all these side-stories have relevance to the overall main plot. All those tangents come together in dramatic fashion in the penultimate and final episodes of the series.

Characters 8.5 – Another strong point. Odd Taxi does well here due to the fact that nearly every member of the entire cast gaining significant screen time. As a result, we get an intimate understanding of all our characters motivations and individual psyches.

Animation 7 – Consistently good standard maintained. It is not outstanding but the opening and ending tracks are good.

Overall 8.5 – This series has numerous twists and turns delivering a consistent quality that never stagnates. There is always something to keep us entertained. Odd Taxi can be watched in either a marathon style or in bite sized chunks making it ideal if you have a busy schedule and cannot watch many episodes in a day. A series I would recommend and one of the best shows in the spring 2021 anime season.
 
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The odd taxi is one of the only two series I finished this season and my personal rating is 10/10. The series strongly reminded me of Durara, so if you have seen this show and liked it, you will like Odd Taxi as well.

To me the large cast of characters felt vibrant and well fleshed out, their character obviously reflected by the animal traits their appearance assumed. The way their story arcs converged, overlapped and influenced each other (the same way this would happen in real life) added a realistic complexity to the plot and I must say that the anime pulled it off brilliantly. At no point did I feel the anime drags or makes little sense. The dialogues were fast paced and crisp.... sometimes a little too much. I am not a native speaker after all, so keeping up with the fast paced english sub was challenging. I found myself pausing the anime in some of the more dynamic dialogues and reading the dialogue lines carefully, because all the details were important to keep up with whats happening. Not a line of dialogue was without a purpose in this anime. Speaking of which, I greatly appreciated the lack of the usual japanese uuuhhhh ahhhh ehhhh, anoooo, ehhhh. The dialogues served a clear purpose to advance the plot and convey information, there was no need for vague filler reactions.

I also appreciated how the anime touched up on current social topics. We have the social media obsessed hippo guy and we get to see the kind of things he is willing to do for a sliver of fame. We get a glimpse into the japanese idol group culture, both on the production side as well as the fanbase side of things. The anime adds drama to the plot by introducing yakuza to the plot, but doesnt paint them black and white bad guys.

And finally, the main character Odokawa was surprisingly likeable, despite his grumpiness, old fashion ness and out of touch with reality atitude. He felt so refresingly different to the usual main protagonist and very relatable.

The reason this anime gets such a super high score from me is, that THE ENDING IS ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!!!! I would say that most animes suffer from mediocre and poor endings. Its like the studio knows how to build suspense and make the main part of the plot interesting, but then is at loss how to end it. And often a disappointing ending can leave an off aftertaste in your mouth. Not so with this series. The ending is awesome and didnt leave anything to be desired.
 
To me the large cast of characters felt vibrant and well fleshed out, their character obviously reflected by the animal traits their appearance assumed. The way their story arcs converged, overlapped and influenced each other (the same way this would happen in real life) added a realistic complexity to the plot and I must say that the anime pulled it off brilliantly. At no point did I feel the anime drags or makes little sense.

Glad you liked the anime. I would agree it was a great series with the pacing being excellent and everything having a meaning. No fillers to be seen anywhere. I am not sure where to write this but when I give an overall rating for an anime series I follow this scale:

1 - Unwatchable
2 - Dreadful
3 - Poor
4 - Mediocre
5 - Average
6 - Good
7 - Great
8 - Season best anime
9 - Classic
10 - Best anime ever/flawless

I only started applying this scale after the third review or so meaning I will need to make score adjustments for my earlier reviews. I was in two minds in whether to rate this as a seasons best anime or a classic so on second thought I will give Odd Taxi an 8.5/10 as it finds itself somewhere in between those two categories. It is certainly a series I would recommend regardless of your preferences in anime genres.

Note: My review scores are only given after I complete a series so my scores will suffer a survivor bias as many series that I rate below 4 or below would simply be dropped before I finished them. In that regard if you wonder why I hardly ever review with a score of 4 or below it is because of this survival bias in play.

The dialogues were fast paced and crisp.... sometimes a little too much. I am not a native speaker after all, so keeping up with the fast paced english sub was challenging. I found myself pausing the anime in some of the more dynamic dialogues and reading the dialogue lines carefully, because all the details were important to keep up with whats happening.

Don't worry even I had difficulty at some points as there are a number of occasions when the dialogue is delivered really quickly. The chief culprits are the homo sapiens comedy duo and Yano although other characters had their moments too. It is also mentioned at some point during the series that one of the characters had a hard time following Yano's rap dialogues which I suppose is the creators acknowledgment that some lines are simply hard to follow.

The reason this anime gets such a super high score from me is, that THE ENDING IS ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!!!! I would say that most animes suffer from mediocre and poor endings. Its like the studio knows how to build suspense and make the main part of the plot interesting, but then is at loss how to end it. And often a disappointing ending can leave an off aftertaste in your mouth. Not so with this series. The ending is awesome and didnt leave anything to be desired.

Yes the ending was really something. It is one of the reasons to watch the anime and it is actually pretty unusual for a series to end with such a good ending as this is the number one spot where anime series fall down on.

However one other thing that should be noted about Odd Taxi is that it can easily be rewatched again. For example I originally watched Odd Taxi week by week until episode 10 however when making the review for this series I decided to marathon it from start to finish. Many clues are made in this show early on hinting at future events that are yet to happen. On my first viewing most of those clues where missed but when I watch Odd Taxi again I managed to pick up on those early foreshadowing adding value in rewatching the series. It is because of this that I could see this series being enjoyed a second time round particularly if you happen to revisit Odd Taxi after six months or longer.
 
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