Better Sprinkle Some Crack on Him: Tokio Private Police

Internet, Colony Drop wants you to dig up as many truffles of information on Shinichi Higashi as you can. Who is this man who would take up the director’s chair on the seminal 1997 two-episode erotic thriller OAV called Tokio Private Police? I can’t find jack squat on this unsung hero.

People are calling Production I.G.’s Kenji Kamiyama, director of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Minipato, the successor to Patlabor’s Mamoru Oshii. What a crock; people, I have found your man and the daring unofficial Patlabor sequel to prove it.

Tokio Private Police is not the best anime in the world; it’s just a tribute. The eponymous organization is one of many private security contracting companies working law enforcement in a near-future Japan that has sunk into socioeconomic chaos. The magnitude of the anarchy is severe, evinced by the fact that non-Japanese immigrants walk the streets scot free. To combat the explosion in crime the TPP employs the Crab Cop, a new quadruped weapons platform that gives law enforcement the edge over everyday armored vehicle-equipped hoodlums. The only problem is that TPP operates on a perpetual shoestring budget. Three Crab Cops are cut to two and three platoons of officers are reduced to five people with each mecha operated by a two-man team of a pilot and a navigator, both units commanded simultaneously by the team captain. You can see where this is going.

Boyish hero Noriko Izumi Ibuki is a new officer in the TPP and eager to work with the new model of mecha on the block. Eager to work Ibuki is the slick, low-voiced commander of the Crab Cop units, who meanwhile busies himself working over the unit’s no-nonsense, archetypal empowered woman captain. Working under her is aforementioned spunky mannish girl, a barrel-chested blowhard with a penchant for violence, a gear head whose love for heavy machinery is expressed in a staccato shriek that pierces the heavens and again you can see where I am going with this.

Oh, there’s also a buxom strawberry blonde with assets that come backed up with the most liberated attitude towards sexual intercourse for a fictional Japanese character since Hanzo the Razor. It’s difficult to discern just where she was plagiarized from; except maybe every other ’90s hentai anime ever.

But really now, it’s pornography. None of the above synopsis even matters, does it? Ibuki, much like Pussy Galore in Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger novel, dislikes intercourse because of a “rough” encounter with an upperclassman in high school. Naturally it is up to her liberated partner and navigator to show her how to love once more. See?

What does matter is the hilarity of an early scene in the first episode where Ibuki takes the train to her first day of work with the TPP. Apparently Japan’s inevitable social decay will cause the Tokyo rail system to transform into Kazuo Koike’s interpretation of the New York City subway system in Mad Bull 34. What ensues is a scene straight out of Death Wish: an average law-abiding woman bolts into the subway car only to be assailed by three multiethnic punks who proceed to defile Japanese womanhood. But that’s not what makes the scene ridiculous, far from it.

Ibuki, enthusiastic new mercenary policewoman, proceeds to stand there to the side of the car and watch the public gangbang with a listless expression. In a very introspective internal monologue she reflects upon how she would like to help that civilian out, but fuck if she can do anything since she’s off the clock! Since this review was composed under the assumption that Tokio Private Police is a thinly veiled allegory for the trials and travails of the modern Tokyo Metropolitan Police, it’s suddenly clear to see how Man With Knife could get the drop on nearly half a dozen people in one of the city’s most congested commercial districts with the police standing off to the side and gawking.

There’s remarkably little sex in these two 30-minute episodes and only one rape scene. The animation quality a small cut – and I do mean small – above that of your standard direct-to-video hentai. Cream Lemon: Pop Chaser this is not. The Crab Cop looks like something designed by someone from Crayon Shin Chan’s visual design crew on one of his 15-minute unpaid lunch breaks.

Visionary director Shinichi Higashi managed to have a single fight scene near the conclusion of the second episode where a crew of stickup artists do the only sensible thing to do after knocking off an armored cash car and drive in front of the Diet building, only to be intercepted by Ibuki in her Crab Cop. To Higashi’s credit, the ensuing firefight looks slightly better than the sortie in the first episode of Macross 7 in which the same Valkyrie pilot dies three separate times, killed by the same enemy mecha.

There probably isn’t much hope for your hentai when two of the studios that worked on it, Beam Entertainment and Green Bunny, are primarily “known” for working on that other seminal two-episode erotic thriller OAV series, Kite. Actually, Green Bunny is known for working on Kite, Cool Devices, the Words Worth OAVs and then promptly disappearing off the face of the Earth in 2006. Perhaps the leadership over at Green Bunny took a long hard look at their company’s creative track record and decided the most responsible course of action was to call it a day. If only GONZO were run by such altruists.

1 Comment

  1. Truly, no animated genre does social commentary better than hentai.

    I love how the guy with a crewcut is practically a dead ringer for both Oda from Patlabor AND the guy from Kochikame.

    Really, they should have just gone for the completely shameless parody angle and named it, like, Pat-Lay-Her or some shit.

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