Tokyo ESP: The Complete Series Blu-ray Review: Battle of The Minds

Psychics battle each other in this anime series where the villains are just as compelling as its heroes.
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Tokyo ESP is an anime series based on the manga created by Hajime Sagawa.  It begins when a group of people with psychic abilities aka ESPers take control of a government building and begin killing people. They demand that all of humanity begin to worship them otherwise a lot more people are going to get hurt.  There are rumors that there is still hope.  The one called "The White Girl" will save them all.  Meanwhile, high-school student Rinka Urushiba wakes up to discover that she can move between solid objects.  In trying to understand her new powers, she meets several others with psychic abilities who are trying to protect humans from the evil ESPers while also making sure that the general public doesn’t fear them as well.  Will Rinka be the one that others are calling "The White Girl" and help save everyone?

If this plot reminds you of a certain mutant team who also does battle and is trying to gain acceptance from humans, you wouldn’t be too far off.  But I feel Tokyo ESP is different because it seems more interested in just one character’s arc rather than the whole team.  Now, that’s not to say the rest of the characters are not worth mentioning. Kyotaro Azuma can teleport and is the first one to help Rinka with understanding her new powers.  Her friend Murasaki has the power to gain the skill of whoever last used a weapon.  There is also a guy who constantly wears a panda suit but is a master at ESP.  I also love the back story on the head villain, Hokusai Azuma (The Professor) and his daughter Minami.  It’s very easy to see why they would turn on humanity after witnessing what they went through.  They are also Kyotaro’s adoptive family, which leads to some pretty surprising reveals on later shows.

Tokyo ESPis a very enjoyable series where each episode. 12 in total, builds upon the previous one.  The characters are created well and the world they inhabit is very believable.   I also love how they kept the series open-ended.  Hopefully, we will see another season soon.  The Combo Pack presents the series on both DVD and Blu-ray. The DVD has 5.1 audio for Japanese and English, and the Blu-ray has 5.1 and 2.0 audio for both English and Japanese.  The features are commentary on select episodes, trailers, TV spots, various ads, for other great anime series like Serial Experiments Lain, and textless opening and closing credits.

The song that is featured on the closing credits deserves a mention as well.  It is called "Kyuusei Argyros" and it’s from a band named Yousei Teikoku.  It combines metal music with both pop and opera lyrics to create a unique hybrid of genres.  Certainly worth checking out.

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