“It’s about super powers, you cant go wrong with that!”, or so I thought. Unless you have no knowledge at all about the Marvel universe (specifically the X-men), you will definitely notice the blatant rip-off of not only the character design, but the setting and even the main story line. To be compared to such a successful series, there’s no doubt that only an anime at the level of a god would be able to come out on top. Unfortunately, Tokyo ESP is far from god-like, and sharing that many similarities only led to its downfall.
To be more specific about the similarities, the first thing you’ll probably notice is the Wolverine look-alike. At one point in the anime, he even holds his weapons exactly like Wolverine’s claws, even though he actually has something like Magneto’s abilities. Overall, it just seems to me like the characters’ appearances and abilities were all just plucked out from the Marvel ‘verse, put into a hat , and pulled out at random to be matched together for this anime. I mean, there’s even a thief that looks like Black Widow but with the Invisible Woman’s abilities.
Furthermore, the setting of the anime is way too similar. They are both set in big cities in the present time, and there is even a scene that is reminiscent of the floating stadium scene in X-Men: Days of Future Past. As for the story line, it is as if they just replaced the word ‘mutants’ with ‘ESPers’. Even though the anime focuses more on the development of Rinka as a hero, which is something more original, the overall theme of terrorists being bad ESPers VS good ESPers is just too similar to the X-men ‘verse, that it completely discredits whatever work the Tokyo ESP team had put into developing the story line.
But even if I ignore the similarities, the anime still isn’t very strong on its own. The plot is so jumpy that I’ve lost track of how many plot holes there are. Even though it had potential, the loose story telling – ie. lack of explanations, lack of character depth and background etc. – ruined it for me. The entertainment level was also rather low, one of the reasons being the visuals didn’t do the action scenes any justice. It was quite a crucial point in my opinion, since anime like these practically depend on action scenes for life support, unless the story line is awesome (which in this case, is not).
All in all, there’s is nothing really remarkable about this anime. I would only recommend it to people who aren’t fussy at all about their anime, but even then I would probably recommend better anime to them. This is definitely one of the more unsuccessful series this season. I got an inkling that the manga is much better though.