Hello everyone. Archmage here and I’ll be keeping you up to date week to week with Taboo Tattoo. Unfortunately I was out of town last week and didn’t get to go through Episode 1 prior to this weeks release of Episode 2. I’ll start this week off giving you a synopses and opinion of Episode 1 and then move into my review of Episode 2. With that being said, let’s get to it.
Warning – Here Be Spoilers!
Taboo Tattoo is an Action Adventure series based on the Manga of the same title by Shinjiro known from his previous work on Fate/Zero. The Anime is done by J.C. Staff and Directed by Takashi Watanabe also know for work on Slayers and Shakugan no Shana. Already this series has a well experienced team and Captain at the helm. But that’s not to say that it’s a home run yet.
Episode 1 introduces us to Seigi Akatsuka, a high school student with a Justice streak who we find fending off some thugs from assaulting a Homeless man. Aw, what a nice boy, better give him some strange item that TOTALLY isn’t going to screw his normal life over.
Oops… As soon as the Talisman touches his skin it fuses to him leaving only the Tattoo.
Are you for real dude? He didn’t ask for this, Curiosity doesn’t kill the cat when you shove something down it’s throat. That’s you killing the cat.
The Opening sequence is well animated. The OP song, Belief by May’n, is your typical JRock opening. Pleasant enough. It gives you a quick glimpse at each characters and that’s about it. Nothing too spoilery.
We then cut to a girl’s bewbs bouncing, or is she bouncing? I don’t know, who cares. Then we have Seigi sprinting down the street with a piece of toast in his mouth. He then can’t seem to stop himself from running into a Silver Haired girl who steps out in front of him on the street. Or at least he would have run into her if she didn’t pivot and palm strike him in the face.
I mean, sure… or you know… move out of the way?
Anyway, out of coincidence known as plot destiny, she reaches to help him up but when she touches his hand, sparks fly between them. No not those sparks, though I’m sure by the end there probably will be, literal sparks. Silver Hair looks shocked (kill me now) at this, and leaves. Bewbs reminds Seigi that they’re late and we cut to school.
MOAR EXPOSITION DROP!!!
EVEN MOAR EXPOS- okay you get the point. Requisite level of exposition to introduce you into the world, what’s currently happening that’s relevant to the plot, and why Main Character is involved.
After school, Seigi and Touko (yes, bewbs have a name) go shopping as she has been tasked with taking care of him. As Seigi is calling his family to let them know he’s going to be late, he runs into Silver Hair again. She steals his phone and runs away. Siegi gives chase leaving Touko behind.
Silver Hair leads him to an abandoned factory and questions him. She then suddenly attacks him.
Up until this point, this series had barely passable plot and characters to keep me interested. It all seemed highly generic. This is when it turns around for me. In the action sequence. It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen hand to hand combat animated like this. Each motion is fluid, the camera motion smoothly transitions angles to give you perfect view of each hit. You can feel each blow as it connects. The sound and music in the background are perfectly done. It made me excited, and I haven’t been excited to see action like this since Sword Art. This is OVA quality animation for the fight scenes. If they can deliver stuff like this continuously, then this will be a great series.
It was all a test though. Silver Hair was just testing Siegi to see if he knew what he had in his Tattoo, which of course he doesn’t. We then get another Exposition drop because why not? Izzy explains her Tattoo and what it can do.
We then go back to the Dojo and meet his Grandfather, who then Exposition drops, and how about a side of flashback exposition to go with that.
Move onto the next day. It goes as expected, we see our hero back at his normal day, and then Silver hair, Identified as Izzy by her companion, being asked why she’s not bringing him in. We get some insight into her motivations and why she’s so interested in Seigi.
Not without some Moe.
Key Montage of Izzy following Seigi around for a few days. Turns out she’s not very subtle though and is noticed fairly easily by Touko and Siegi.
Screw that leaf in particular.
Siegi and Izzy have a heart to heart about the Tattoo and its power. Until they’re suddenly attacked by someone. Seigi dispatches the attacker with ease, but as they are getting ready to clean up, Seigi gets tossed like a sack of potatoes.
Turns out that their attacker has a Tattoo as well, Izzy moves to take him on but Seigi pridefully steps forward. Izzy warns him against this as he has no control of his own Tattoo yet explaining that once a Tattoo user activates their Tattoo, it grants them augmented fighting capabilities as well as a special power. Seigi doesn’t care is attacks.
Another well choreographed fight scene ensues ending with Seigi nearly getting crushed. This causes Siegi to trigger his Tattoo and end the fight.
End credits roll, guess we’ll have to wait on the next episode to find out what happened.
All in all, a fairly generic series but with an new spin on the tropes. The fight scenes are very well crafted for a TV series and we’ll have to watch for the same quality throughout the series. As much as I harp on it, Taboo Tattoo is still an entertaining series, I would give it a watch, but don’t expect ground breaking story telling or characters.
Taboo Tattoo Episode 1 viewable on Crunchyroll