First Impressions – Tokyo ESP

X-Men?!! No, wait…

Hello everyone and welcome to another first impression, this time for Tokyo ESP! I remember reading the manga a couple of months ago, just before I heard of an anime adaption. From what I can remember, it was a rather enjoyable read, so hopefully the anime is the same~
Well, I saw “a penguin and fish swimming in the sky” and thought “okay, done” when looking at this show’s premise, but I feel like I probably should have kept looking into this. Ahaha. This episode totally wasn’t what I was expecting, but that’s not a bad thing.



Hoshi // So Tokyo ESP started off in an interesting way: by giving us the climax instead of the actual beginning, something which I enjoyed a lot. It was such a great set up for the series. At first there was the contrast between the cheery atmosphere of Christmas and the tense military presence that right away showed us that something wasn’t quite right in the city of Tokyo. Then comes one of the more significant things from the premise: the flying goldfish. They are actively flying around the city, but go completely unnoticed, eventually returning back to a unknown woman with long white hair. Then the chaos begins with violent espers causing needless destruction around the city, and the tense, discriminatory situation between espers and humans is revealed.

Gradually we get to see some of the main and minor characters; however, we don’t get too much info about them. We only get snippets of the key bad guys and good guys and their distinctive powers. Then there’s the few bits of Rinka, our kickass heroine who’s already that of a superhero/savior for normal humans; her actions during some sort of a attack by the esper group already being told about through stories by eyewitnesses. All in all this in media res thing was nice change of pace. We know straight up what chaos is to come and what direction the series will take, which actually makes me even more excited to continue this series. Now it’s about how Rinka became so widely know, how this esper group got started, and what the deal is with these flying fish.


Karakuri //  Well, they just kind of threw the viewer into the world right from the beginning and expected them to be immersed. But hey, that’s okay since the premise of “espers are kind of discriminated against and seem to be lashing back” was demonstrated clearly enough. Plus I guess knowing that this is connected to Ga-Rei in one way or another explains a lot about the world setting. The shrine thing and flying fish are kind of new (though I imagine that like Ga-Rei, only certain people can see them), but hopefully that will be explained. The story summary said something about Rinka only getting her powers after touching one of the fish, so they’re obviously important to the storyline somehow.

The espers having a grudge seems understandable. Maybe not to the extent of killing a bunch of people around town or taking over the government, but they seem like they’re discriminated against. The girl in white (or whatever they called Rinka) seemed to have been detained by officials, and she was using her powers to save people. And even if that wasn’t exactly the case, then like that guy in the suit, the public probably just has a negative opinion of espers because of a few that cause problems. As shown in this episode, there’s not a whole lot regular people can do against espers, so I guess their fear is understandable. Unfortunately for the regular people though, it seems like they’ve been acting on that fear and just making relations with espers worse. Hopefully this won’t be as frustrating as Black Bullet was with the general public discriminating against the few people who can actually save them. …Because really, from the body count in this episode, regular people don’t stand a chance.


Well, until Rinka comes in.


I was expecting something lighter hearted (I mean, what else do you think of when you hear “a girl sees a penguin and fish in the sky”), but this is totally okay too. I don’t know how dark this anime will actually get, but it has an edgy Yousei Teikoku song and a sizeable amount of people died in the first episode, so this should be interesting. And I guess it takes place in the same world as Ga-Rei? Though earlier (or maybe an alternate universe or something), I would assume, due to the developments that happen in that series with the characters they showed. I really wasn’t aware that the two series were even related until Yomi showed up. I rather liked Ga-Rei Zero (and this gives me incentive to start the manga), so it’s fine with me if that’s the kind of direction this is going in.

Anyways, I don’t mind the immediate immersion and lack of them laying out “these are espers, here’s a detailed explanation on what they do” because really, things were clear enough. Having Rinka show up at the very end was interesting too. They were obviously setting up for it for a long time, and I’m sure we’ll get to know her well as the episodes go on. …Actually, I’m pretty sure I remember the first episode of Ga-Rei Zero doing the exact same thing (killing a ton of people, only introducing the main characters at the very end, and THEN at like episode 3, going back and explaining who they are). Though from the promo art, it looks like there are a looooot of characters, so hopefully that doesn’t get confusing. Maybe the story went a little overdramatic with what the espers were doing too, but hell, when taking over a city you might as well do it in the flashiest way possible. I just kind of took it as the espers making a statement. Overall, I’m liking this.

Overall it was a pretty intense action-movie like first episode in the sense that all we get is action: villains with super powers causing merciless destruction in Tokyo as well as kidnapping the national diet by literally holding the building hostage in the air. I actually felt angry at these esper people who are trying to rule over mankind just because of the power they have, especially if they were once humans themselves (well, assuming they got their powers from the flying fish). However I’m guessing that the government was trying to suppress and/or get rid of espers. And in fictional story sense, if you got the power and a powerful group of followers, then why not overthrow the government and rule over mankind? Anyway, I really enjoyed the episode and looking forward to see more, specifically more of Rinka, who already looks pretty cool. Until next week then~!


We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
Blinklist BlogMarks Delicious Digg Diigo FaceBook Google MySpace Netvibes Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter

16 Responses to “First Impressions – Tokyo ESP”

  1. Alexandre says:

    Actually, I found it very boring. This clearly looks like an X-Men clone and I find the X-Men stupid to begin with. If you’re hated and discriminated against, there is no way you would help your oppressors against your own kind, so I dislike the “White Girl” bunch from start – not a very good start for what seem to be the series heroes. The only saving grace so far is that the villains group appear to have staged the coup in order to draw out the White Girl and – oh vain hope! – kill her in the next episode.

  2. Kyokai says:

    Not a bad first episode, nothing too great but an okay start. They have to do better to keep me glued though.

    I’m pretty sure they were going for IMPACT to have all this action in first episode. As well, they highlighted animation porn on action scenes and I definitely loved the transition Minami made while moving from victim to victim or place to place. But does cool action the only thing required for an anime to reach senpai-noticed-me status? Nope.

    Personally, there were too many characters for me to digest so I’ll see how they are fleshed out in the upcoming episodes but there’s definitely some promise here and as Minami looks a lot like Shiki, this is getting a three-episode test in the least. :3

  3. Foshizzel says:

    This was a fun first episode! I can’t wait to see what the hell happens next, but one thing is certain the “white girl” better become some kind of badass character <3

    The whole Gai-Rei-Zero/Tokyo ESP thing remind me of Railgun/Index because both shows take place in the same city? I guess you could say this is sort of similar if you think about it.

    I like the powers so far! When the teleport chick used her powers it left like mist and that was a cool touch sorta like Nightcrawler from Xmen.

  4. Irenesharda says:

    I love shows about people with superpowers and anime involving espers. The Unlimited was my favorite series the Winter before last. So, I was interested in checking this out. I’ve never read the manga or anything, but the synopsis sounded good.

    And then I watched this episode, and while the beginning half is good, the minute characters start appearing, I’m completely lost. This show treats these several characters of both the good and the bad side as if I’m supposed to know who they are already. For the bad guys it’s sort of okay since they’re more enigmatic anyway, but for everyone else, it’s really confusing. Am I already supposed to know who the white haired girl is? Yeah, I could read the synopsis, but from the story itself I know nothing except they all mention her for some reason. Am I supposed to know this anti-esper team and these esper school kids? The show seems to assume I do. This seems to be a series where I’m supposed to know what’s going on. But I don’t and it’s really unsettling to what looks like it could be an interesting series.

    I guess the best way to sum it up is that this episode feels like it should in the middle or near the end of the series, not the very beginning. I’m pretty used to the “putting the end at the beginning” way of story telling, it’s just that, this episode didn’t seem to indicate that’s what it was trying to do. In fact, even at the end, it looked like it was saying, “well, we’re going to start here and then continue for awhile and we hope you keep up”. There wasn’t any indication that they were going to go back to what is hopefully the beginning or anything. It was like they had a narrative and just cut the first act and then let it play.

    However, I’ll give this the whole 3-episode try. It has potential, if it can just get it’s characters and narrative together.

  5. bobob101 says:

    We know that this and Gai Rei have the same original creator. I am pretty sure that this is just a completely different universe. There are no Yokai or Onmyouji in Tokyo ESP. That being said, I have read the manga so I will probably just marathon this show once it is all out, unless I hear it is super good. The comparison to X-Men is fairly apt, thought the origin of all these powers is different. But that is a spoiler, so I’ll end it here.

    • Karakuri says:

      Well that explains a lot about the character cameos, like why Natsuki was riding a fairly normal motorcycle. Or why no one ever mentioned espers in Gai-Rei Zero (because really, they might have come in handy).

      • d-LaN says:

        All the Ga Rei/Zero cameos are anime original additions. Though I remember seeing that there actually a Ga Rei and Tokyo ESP crossover done by the author but I didn’t read it.

  6. skylion says:

    I quite liked this show. Keep the pace going, up the ante, never say stop. Typically, I get cranky when I get little to no exposition, but they kept it going letting the characters set the pace and immerse you in the ongoing struggle.

    • BlackBriar says:

      I liked it as well. Hopefully it will keep this pace and not falter.

  7. BlackBriar says:

    An engaging opening. The action had me on edge from start to finish and I’m a big fan of beings that are more than human fighting for their right to exist and the conflict that comes along with it. As a stand-alone episode, I’m impressed but as franchise, there’ll have to be more exploring in its universe as it comes to my attention that it’s related to Ga Rei Zero which I’ve yet to watch seriously and complete. The relation came to my attention after seeing Yomi and her friend.

  8. Joojoobees says:

    “And in fictional story sense, if you got the power and a powerful group of followers, then why not overthrow the government and rule over mankind?”

    Oh. Hoshi, you expect us to believe you would only try to overthrow the government and rule over all of mankind in a “fictional” universe?

  9. anaaga says:

    I don’t know about this show, just watched it and it was so boring. They’ll have to put some charm in this show to keep me interested with it. A Hugh Jackman will help.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Looks like the 3 episode trial is in effect, huh, anaaga?

      • anaaga says:

        Pretty much, or less since my rule is 2 episodes rule. But really, just put a Hugh Jackman. I’ll watch this until the end no matter how X-Men the premier looks like to me

Leave a Reply