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Dominion Tank Police
The hilarity for much of this late-80s comedy is supposed to come from over-the-top antics and lack of regard for protocol that the members of the Tank Police have when fighting crime in their polluted city and destroying city property with their tanks. In my case, the humor was more hit-or-miss as the series had moments that got me laughing from some ridiculous antics (particularly one scene with the means Buaku and his catgirls pull to escape the Tank Police), but also had bits that fell flat for me. And was it me or did I get vibes of Leona seeming almost like a carbon copy of Patlabor's Noa Izumi with her obsessions and personality? The later two episodes of the series are meant to give depth to Buaku's character. But considering no one else gets much depth and the large emphasis on comedy shown in the first half, these efforts would have been better spent on a longer series that devoted time to exploring the world of Dominion Tank Police.
Visually, the series is quite outdated with its animation sporting rough details and washed-out color on character designs and scenery, said details bordering on cartoon-ish with some of the character designs. The music consists of upbeat and catchy J-Pop songs and energetic tracks that do well to accompany the somewhat manic antics of the Tank Police and Burai Gang, with the OP song and a vocal track from a scene with a striptease conducted by the catgirls doing well to stick out here.
Overall, Dominion Tank Police is a bit of a mixed bag for me. The humor had its moments of amusing me and it had an upbeat soundtrack, but the humor missed its mark for me on occasions and attempted to cover depth for one character that it doesn't have the time to effectively pull in its limited run time. It's worth a quick watch, but I don't think I'd hop back to seeing it anytime soon.
Last updated Saturday, August 10 2013. Created Saturday, August 10 2013.
Dominion Tank Police
All I really have to say about this title is to go ans get it. It's from the creator of the original Appleseed. I know that's not saying much, but if you like slapstick humor along with big ass tanks, then this is the OVA for you. Check out my review on New Dominion Tank Police. It's pretty much the same as this one. If anything, rent it first to see if you like it.
Last updated Wednesday, July 12 2006. Created Wednesday, July 12 2006.
Dominion Tank Police
This is a series which has gotten some wildly varied reviews. On the Sci-Fi Channel's now-defunct (I think) "Anime Colony" website, one critic awarded the show an A- while another gave it a D-. "The Anime Review" website gave it a B+ despite "crass, juvenile humor". The reviewer at THEManime felt it had tried to be many different things all at once, and had wound up failing all around. That's too sophisticated an opinion for me; I would say take this little test to determine if DTP would suit you: Does the concept of a bizarre game which incarcerated suspects are forced to play, and which might easily end with them getting their heads blown off, sound amusing? If so, DTP is right up your alley, so to speak. Personally, the men of the Tank Police came across as frightening hoodlums, little better than criminals themselves, which made it extremely difficult to identify with and like them. I think this was a critical mistake in the making of this show.|
I originally wrote this after watching only the first volume (or "Act I", as it's called) which contains the scene in question. The show begins with a montage of photographs, which give us a quick history lesson in the sometimes violent profession of law enforcement. Above this background we hear the politicians of "Newport City" arguing about whether founding the Tank Police was a good idea. A violent crime takes place every 36 seconds; as Squad Commander Britain puts it, "our duty is to make sure it doesn't become every thirty-five seconds!". I've noticed some intriguing simularities between DTP and Patlabor (TV): Both deal with unusual branches of a Police force which employ powerful mechanical weapons/vehicles; both more-or-less begin with the arrival of an inexperienced but enthusiastic female recruit (Leona and Noa, respectively), and both recruits immediately award their personal mobile weapons system it's own name ("Bonaparte" and "Alphonse"). Anyway, I found DTP to be the sort of show which made me smile now and then, but not laugh particularly often. In fact, I only recorded one occasion that I found truly humorous--when Leona accidentally causes a building to collapse (and if I found that amusing, who am I to lecture people who enjoy "grenade golf"?). The box boasts about Anna and Uni that "you never knew evil could be so sexy!" but somehow the idea of having sex with a cat didn't exactly turn me on. However, I'm not saying I consider watching DTP to have been a waste of time. Even though the comedy didn't do much for me, figuring out how such a polluted, crime-ridden city operates was kind of fun. Act I came across better than I remembered from the first time I watched it several months ago. I couldn't help wondering why the cat sisters and Buaku had tried to break into a "hospital for the perfectly healthy" in order to steal urine samples(!). But leaving that question unanswered won't kill me, and there is plenty of by all accounts better Anime to be had, so I was satisfied that I'd gotten one brief look at Dominion Tank Police.
I recently was inspired to give this show another look after seeing it mentioned as a "Burried Treasure" at Anime News Network. After it had sat on my shelf for several years, I finally watched an old VHS tape of episodes three and four for the first time. I wondered why episode three seemed to be taking so long; in fact, since it was on the same tape as episode four, it's credits had been deleted, along with the OP sequence of number four, making this a de facto 80 minute movie (each episode, it seems, is around forty minutes long). The ANN critic had been right, a fairly deep plot really was developing behind all the not-so-funny slapstick violence. In fact, the "villains" seem more likeable than most of the Police! This tape was the dubbed version, and the dubbing seemed to have been well done; especially fun were the characters who spoke in English-English, rather than American-English. I'm glad I finally watched this one; though not inspired to go searching for old VHS tapes on E-bay or Amazon.com, I wouldn't mind renting the remainder of this series, if that's still possible (I think it is out of circulation).
My favorite line: "I'm keeping myself on a leash. Just once in my life... I'd like to rob a bank too!"--Squad Commander Britain
Last updated Tuesday, February 05 2008. Created Monday, July 21 2003.