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There are always shows in a season that does well and others that don’t meet their hype. This season of spring 2021, most anime released are bangers like To Your Eternity, Fruits Basket, and Tokyo revengers everyone’s watching. Still, there is one show that definitely deserved enormous hype, but nobody’s watching. Yes, the anime original Odd Taxi looks like another “furry” anime at first glance but is completely different. Odd Taxi is the show I’ll look at in the future and get nostalgic. The show has certainly become my favorite anime. The show is only 13 episodes long, and the way it was executed blows my mind. Odd Taxi is not a show to miss, and I can confidently say that you won’t be disappointed.
AN ANIME ORIGINAL
Odd Taxi is an anime original. That means it wasn’t an adaptation of a manga or light novel. The show is directed by Baku Kinoshita and written by Kazuya Konomoto, and damn they did their job perfectly. Odd Taxi was produced by OLM and P.I.C.S. and aired from April 6 to June 29, 2021, with 13 episodes. The reason Odd Taxi didn’t get much recognition because it had to build its audience from zero, unlike other big shows with a super popular manga or light novel that attracted its initial audience.
Odd Taxi is a perfect blend of mystery-thriller, crime-drama, comedy, and light romance. The story feels much more original and excitingly fresh. The show follows an eccentric walrus, Odokawa, who drives a taxi for a living. His life seems simple and mundane until a girl from her neighborhood goes missing after riding his taxi. Side characters ride his taxi, and he is willing to interact with them, so the story progresses. It is hard to tell what the show’s premise is about in the beginning because you are introduced to many characters that have nothing to do with each other but later, it all comes together into a puzzle. Odd Taxi has some bizarre mystery to start with. What’s in Odokawa’s closet, whose flashbacks he’s getting, and much more. It has a nicely woven mystery and sequences and past references and is full of unpredictable twists and turns. By episode 4, it took some dark turns and will get too serious as the story progresses. Things get intense pretty fast, and things get funny real quick in intense situations that they will get that chuckle out of you. The story might feel a little complex in the end but is ingeniously executed. Now let us about its absolutely brilliant direction. Odd Taxi has one of the strongest directions I have seen in a while. It just couldn’t get any better. Each daily mundane thing like people talking feels very raw and natural. The anime gives you a full dose of entertainment, whether it’s Odokawa talking to passengers in his taxi or an intense thriller scene. Odd Taxi would feel like an anime version of Pulp Fiction, Fight Club, and Taxi Driver (1976), directed by Quentin Tarantino. Odd Taxi’s next greatest thing is Chekhov’s Gun’s immense use, a dramatic principle that states that every element in a story must be necessary and irrelevant elements should be removed. Elements should not appear to make “false promises” by never coming into play. Or simple words, if an element is introduced in a story, it should have an eventual payoff. And oh boy Odd Taxi truly follows the principle to the maximum extent. The show is full of many small details that have a purpose. Nothing is introduced just for the filler part or extending the playtime. Everything going on in the show would look like a Rube Goldberg machine that ends just the perfect way.
The characters are the main reason I started the anime because it looked a lot similar to the American animated sitcom Bojack Horseman, which is the show I love to my core. And being honest, I wouldn’t watch the show if it wasn’t for animals (don’t get me wrong here, I’m not talking about furries!) and miss out bad on this one. But thinking about characters, the normal human characters won’t glow as much as the animal characters did, so it’s a win-win. The main character is unique to the anime world. A mysterious taxi driving walrus! He is calm and adorable but clever also in a cunning way and gets way cooler as the show progress. Odd Taxi is very much character-driven. It has a huge variety of characters. Every character reflects, and each one is lovable and authentic and got their fair amount of screenplay. From our taxi driver walrus to a hippo who wanna be popular on the internet to an alpaca who knows the Brazilian dance martial art Capoeira to a baboon that would do anything to get a wife. The list can go on and on. In the starting, the introduction to characters might seem too irrelevant, but they all tie together to one knot as you move forward. It’s the characters that fuel the show to its core, perfectly, and their amazing setting is the biggest reason for the show’s success. The characters are oddly satisfying and are damn well made by Konomoto and Hiromi Nakayama. Odd Taxi has some excellent character building in just 13 episodes.
Odd Taxi has some refreshingly good animation and a good art style with great color saturation. Although most of the car scenes were replaced with CG, which was a little odd, the animation was great to some extent. Not THAT great, but just great. The background scenery and stationary objects were projected like hand-drawn or water-painted portrait scenery, especially in OP, which worked well. The aptly cartoonish style of art and animation is pretty solid. The character design is unique and amazing. The style seamlessly blends with the story, helps convey the characters’ personalities, and makes them unique.
Odd Taxi has some superb voice acting accompanied by amazing soundtracks. The voiceover is very good and fits perfectly on every character. The soundtracks, especially in serious situations, are just dope and give the sequences life. It’s OP by Skirt, and PUNPEE is one of the best OP I have seen in a while, with beautiful visuals that work well together. The ED is good, too, but it seemed so weeb-ish. The sound design and voice acting are undeniably great and help the anime be much better and maintain its quality.
Overall, Odd Taxi is damn well scripted, shaped, and finished and totally refreshing. The dose of entertainment it delivers in 13 eps is just amazing, and I do prefer binging it all in one day. Odd Taxi’s what you need to watch, taking a break from popular mainstream shonen or other genres. The show is definitely the best I have seen in 2021 and undeniably has huge potential. However, odd Taxi is not a thing to sleep on, and calling it “odd” is an understatement.