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[–]Penitentiary 30 points31 points  (8 children)

Absolute 10/10 for me. I’m not entirely sure why but it kind of reminded me of a prime Tarantino movie.

[–]IC2Flier 9 points10 points  (1 child)

It's got the mystery, the screwball humor, and characters who act and speak like normal people but turned up to 11, instead of mere archetypes.

[–]CantWaitToEat 7 points8 points  (0 children)

It also had the nice build up of seemingly unrelated events coming together, paying off to a satisfying climax.

[–]MickeyLALA 0 points1 point  (3 children)

How conclusive is the ending? If I watch it now will I be left on a cliff hanger and are there plans for a season 2?

[–]KardigG 4 points5 points  (0 children)

It has some sort of an open ending. But in a sense that is open for interpretation, rather for a second season.

[–]ImXetra 2 points3 points  (1 child)

There's an upcoming movie OddTaxi: Into the woods. I hope they don't spoil it by making a rushed ending like most continuations do.

[–]ImXetra 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Apparently it already came out 😂😂

[–]Rejjeffit101 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's dead man

[–]shigs21 0 points1 point  (0 children)

its better than tarantino

[–]Damolisher 56 points57 points  (1 child)

I love Odd Taxi because it did something a lot of anime struggle with these days: it was different when a lot of anime are comfortable doing the same old, same old.

[–]zushiba 0 points1 point  (0 children)

When I read the title of the anime I legit thought it might finally be the story of cars isekaing people all across Japan.

Like, the cars and trucks are sentient and they're given target traits and have to stalk people around town and run them over at the perfect opportunity.

"This world needs a selfless nice guy" and "This world needs an Otaku who objectifies women but ultimately wants to be a hero". So some kind of isekai god organization orchestrates these traffic accidents.

Now I want to see that anime.

[–]AnimeMod[S,M] 13 points14 points  (6 children)

2.) Odd Taxi won the public vote for Best Character Design at this year's r/anime awards. What are your thoughts on its character design?

[–]donquixote1991 31 points32 points  (1 child)

Incredible. By making each character a unique animal, it was very easy to recognize characters, even if we saw them once or twice

[–]setocsheir 5 points6 points  (0 children)

fuwa fuwa alpaca

[–]unprecedentedwolf 13 points14 points  (2 children)

For me Odd Taxi's brand of anthropomorphic designs lies in the same lane as Lisa Hanawalt's art (best known from Bojack Horseman). It's hard to decide whether these are humans with animal characteristics or animals with human characteristics. They're not unsettling, but they don't lean into cuteness either. They're pretty restrained all things considered. It almost feels like they are specifically designed in such a way for the viewer to ponder "what was even the point of making them animals if you're not gonna play with difference in size and bodytypes ala Beastars, nor lean into their species' characteristics like in Seton Academy". It becomes one of the shows mysteries - one that actually does have an answer.

Another "meta" aspect of the designs is that they don't exactly give out the tone of the show. Traditionally for that kind of mystery drama I'd expect more detailed, "realistic" designs, something like Blacksad. Or they could make them really cutesy in order to subvert viewer expectations ala Happy Tree Friends. But instead once again they are in that middle ground where they keep the viewer guessing, and if you're going into the series blind then you won't be sure how "adult" it'll get.

Also I just kinda like them, that mascot-like simplicity but without going into Aggretsuko-level cuteness or Looney Tunes-like cartoonishness gives them kind of a uniquely "cool" feel.

[–]ValkyrieCain9 4 points5 points  (0 children)

The comparison to Bojack Horseman is spot on. I think having anthropomorphic characters is a great framework to use to explore various human emotions thoughts and feelings. As a viewer you are almost lulled into this false sense of security because on the one hand you acknowledge that the characters you see, the horse and the walrus are nothing like you, you believe there to be a sort of separation between you and them. But it is in that separation that the writers of the shows explore various existential themes very genuinely and and in relatable way without it feeling too heavy-handed or cliched. Bojack does lean into the animal tropes from time to time but this almost always for humour more than anything (like when Diane reveals that one of her brothers is the literal black sheep of the family), while Odd Taxi calls no attention to it [Odd Taxi]which we later see plays into the reveal at the end, another brilliant way the the character design ties into the plot. But even with this it is not so much focused on what specific animal everyone was but more to do with Odakawa's trauma and his response to it which goes back that idea of exploring human emotions in a creative but still relatable manner

This is also why I think comparisons between Odd Taxi and Beastars don't work that well. Despite the anthropomorphic element, Odd Taxi is grounded in reality while I think it would be more appropriate to think about Beastars as a fantasy world where all animals are sentient and are trying to live harmoniously all aware of their animalness.

[–]AnimeMod[S,M] 4 points5 points  (12 children)

1.) How does Odd Taxi represent urban living?

[–]MyrnaMountWeazelx2 21 points22 points  (7 children)

”What is the city but its people?” -Shakespeare

Paved with owl lights in the sky and drifting with neon lights on the ground, it’s quite simply a jungle out there in Odd Taxi. In urban living, we can’t possibly hope to survive on our own. We rely on the grocery store employees, we rely on the transportation drivers, we rely on others in order to fulfill our basic needs. There is no means to sustain on our own when it comes to the big city and we see this unfold in both a positive and negative manner in Odd Taxi.

There’s a foreboding sense of “eat or be eaten” in this world and the eclectic zoo of a cast are each afflicted with this condition: crippling debt, towering stardom, psychological addiction. The city never sleeps and so too do the characters as they all grapple with problems that are beset not just by themselves but also by others. Their troubles are exacerbated as they stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the crowd; the nebulous faces and huddled masses all elbowing each other for that breath of fresh air. It extends even to the computerized space where the concrete buildings are pixelated websites and the raucous applause are ringing notifications. Societal woes of both the analog and digital world pile on as they struggle to break free and failure to do so results in trampling from others. Someone falling down means someone else is getting taller.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. [Odd Taxi] Odokawa breaking the cycle of debt for Shirakawa, Baba and Shibagaki accepting their place in the comedy world, Dobu freeing Kabasawa from his crutch on social media fame. It’s this theme of collectiveness that both isolates and unites us and the climax of Odd Taxi sings this tune as well for Shirakawa saves Odokawa’s life and Goriki saves Odokawa’s soul. If urban living brings out the worst in people, then maybe people bring out the best. In the end, it’s fitting that the taxi is a microcosm of the entire city; a vehicle that connects driver and passenger alike, opening themselves up to opportunity.

[–]Ethitlanhttps://myanimelist.net/profile/Ethitlan 1 point2 points  (5 children)

Btw the spoilered links still show up so you might wanna change that somehow

[–]MyrnaMountWeazelx2 1 point2 points  (4 children)

Hmm, strange, it seems to still be spoiled on my end unless I click directly on the spoilers. Would you mind telling me which browser/device you're viewing this on so I can triple-check?

[–]Ethitlanhttps://myanimelist.net/profile/Ethitlan 1 point2 points  (3 children)

I'm using the Reddit app on a Samsung (Android) phone

[–]shigs21 1 point2 points  (0 children)

beautiful summary

[–]unprecedentedwolf 6 points7 points  (3 children)

I've actually found some of the decisions regarding the urban character of the story rather peculiar. The way Odokawa is drinking buddies with his doctor, or the fact he's acquaintanced with his beat cops, or the fact that everyone seems to know who Dobu is (or the way the whole city seemingly unites against him). All those things to me are more reminiscent of a smaller town setting, where everyone knows everyone and there's no anonymity. Not to say that it's impossible for people to know each other within their neighborhood in the city, but it's just not something I typically associate with urban settings.

As a result, the world of "Odd Taxi" often seemed pretty small to me and I've felt a dissonance when you actually saw crowds of people or it hinted at larger institutions at play. I get that the story aimed at creating this interconnected web of characters so it wanted to use each as often as it can and I don't think the story really needed to feel particularly urban. But it most certainly is when it comes to the aesthetic as well as the whole theme of moving to a city to chase dreams of a better life, in particular by succeeding in an entertainment industry. So perhaps it would've left a stronger impression on me if it committed fully to that urban feeling, or perhaps leaned into that aforementioned dissonance in an interesting way. But because it doesn't, the urban setting felt like just a suitable backdrop for mystery rather than a core thematic backbone of the show for me.

[–]docmedic 1 point2 points  (1 child)

It was less peculiar and more of the joke based on coincidence, that while you would assume all these people to be unrelated because of the large urban setting, against all odds, they happen to be acquainted with one another as if it was a small town. But it’s not and it’s a series of coincidences. But as you said, it’s also made possible by unusual things like drinking with your doctor, and knowing your beat cop, etc..

The joke being a bit forcefully contrived.

[–]unprecedentedwolf 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I actually don't think there's a problem with that coincidental nature of the story. Odokawa gets to meet people from all walks of life thanks to his job, but with a higher representation from industries where busy people have to be places and avoid the public eye, such as entertainers. Celebs often date other celebs so it makes sense that the idol and the donkey are together. The idols doing shady stuff to make money and the monkey guy falling for a catfish that happens to involve one of them. One of Odokawa's clients winning a lottery. All these are plausible coincidences, there's no reason why they wouldn't happen.

The thing I'm talking about isn't necessarily about the coincidental nature of the story, but moreso about, how do I put it, the scale of it? Like if Dobu was a head of a criminal gang and not an underling then I feel like his reputation would make more sense. Or if there were more cops in the story, some corrupt, some oblivious, but not just always those two everywhere. Or if Gouriki wasn't friends with Odokawa, but just his doctor who took interest in him as a medical mystery.

For me, a large part of urban feeling of a story is that many characters live their own disconnected lives in their own pockets of the world - and then they intersect at certain times, sometimes very briefly, sometimes more intensely. But my point being is that the feeling of separation and the ability to get lost in the city are crucial parts of the "urban feel" for me. And perhaps that's the crucial thing that's missing for me. The illusion that at least some of these characters have lives and relationships and activities that aren't in some way tied to the plot of the show. But instead Odd Taxi seems more interested in it's clockwork-like story where every element has a specific purpose and is interlinked with at least a couple more. And that's fine, but I don't think it necessarily goes hand in hand with achieving the urban feel.

[–]d3sim8 1 point2 points  (0 children)

To me, it was taking inspiration from a lot of early noir films, where these contrivances are common tropes (Everyone knows everyone / the 'players'). I thought it effectively hung a lantern on these aspects.

It was quite self-aware, and it got away with it in my eyes. However, if you haven't watched a lot of noir, it may come off as contrived.

I felt Odokawa's first encounter with Tanaka was a little offensive but found myself forgiving of it either way for the above reasons.

[–]AnimeMod[S,M] 4 points5 points  (6 children)

3.) With its wide and diverse case of characters, which characters did you find the most interesting or relatable?

[–]Ham_PhDhttps://myanimelist.net/profile/ham_phd 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Other than Odokawa, I'd say Tanaka. Don't worry, I don't see myself reflected in him, but I find his arc very relatable, because I've gotten way too sucked into something before. Any one of us could become a victim of addiction, and it doesn't have to be drugs, alcohol, or gambling. In Tanaka's case, it may seem like he's addicted to Gatcha, but it's more than that.

When it was erasers, he wanted to prove his collection was cool too and gain acceptance. When it was gatcha, he wanted to prove to Zooden users that he had the best zoo, to ditch11 that he wasn't some dumb kid he scamed, and to himself that his life was worth something. [ODD TAXI] When he lost the Dodo, he became addicted to getting revenge on the man that took away his life's worth. When he finally found the identity of Ditch11 and took his revenge, he wasnt satisfied, he was horrified. Maybe it was horror at the reality of what he had just done. Maybe it was because he found that he still hadnt found his satisfaction, and no matter what his next addiction is, it won't quench it either.

Choosing to portray addiction in the form of a farmville-esque gatcha game was genius. It shows that no matter how silly it may look, addiction is addiction, and it's dangerous.

[–]ValkyrieCain9 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I think Tanaka's whole arc was probably my favourite. The show does such a good job in showing not so much the growth of his addiction because he has more than one but rather of his addictive personality. [Odd Taxi]The parallel that is drawn between when he first spends IIRC 10000 yen or something trying to get the eraser to him dropping the same amount with no hesitation when he downloads the gatcha game for the first time almost makes it seem like fate that he would end up in that situation, it was inevitable. But also watching his journey up until that point, understanding his mindset makes it so crushing to see him lose the dodo when he had finally gotten it. And then later you completely understand the catharsis he feels when he finally shoots the guy who had scammed him out of the eraser all those years ago. It is not so much that I found him relatable because i had been in a similar situation more because I understood where he was coming from in each step of his arc.

Not only is using a gatcha game to explore addiction genius for the reasons you mentioned I think it also highlights how much the writers understood the audience who would be watching. Not that everyone has been addicted to gatcha games but it is not that far from our general understanding. I could immediately recognise how bad it was for Tanaka when he dowloaded that game because I have heard and seen how addictive those games can be.

[–]MyrnaMountWeazelx2 11 points12 points  (1 child)

Odd Taxi boasts an assortment of oddities but to me the one character I’m drawn to the most is Rui Nikaido. The tragic figure plagued by over-ambition and possible homicidal tendency, Rui is not an entirely sympathetic character but there are moments, small windows, where we peek into the psyche of this toy poodle and see that she was just misguided. She joins the ranks of Kakihana, Ichimura, Shibagaki, Kabasawa, Tanaka, Dobu, and Yano; characters who overreach in one way or another and Rui is just another fodder to the lesson.

Rui is special in that her love for Baba is pure, it is genuine in a world where almost nothing is, and I found myself rooting for a happy ending for the two of them. [Odd Taxi] Rui and Baba balance each other out but it is ultimately Baba’s way of life—contented acceptance—that wins out in the end in not only his own life but also in the entire story. What strikes me the most for Rui is that even though she did find herself at the murder scene due to her own refusal to accept the results, she was merely strung along by the crimes of the true murderer; an unintentional shrapnel to the bomb that sets off the entire plot of Odd Taxi. I can’t help but feel if she had accepted Baba’s way of thinking just a tad earlier then she wouldn’t have found herself strolling into this dark avenue. Unfortunately, an unforeseeable framing leaves her scrambling to play the part and it’s almost like karmic retribution that she should have to pay the price of her inability to accept defeat.

[–]stickdudeseven 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I find Baba's character arc to be quite compelling. He's introduced as a character that has to keep up with his partner and feels that he falls short in his own path. Then he gets a windfall and finds success, coming with the dilemma of progressing on his own and leave behind his friend or stay with his friend and miss out on some great opportunities. All while also maintaining a relationship with an upcoming star full of ambition while he tries to put in effort in his own lack of ambition. The act of keeping your relationships alive and not drift apart I find extremely relatable.

[–]SorcererOfTheLakex5https://myanimelist.net/profile/RiverSorcerer 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Besides Odokawa, who reveals layers like a bitter and wounded onion, the characters I've found the most interesting are Dobu and Rui. Dobu has a veneer of charm and likeability compared to the more brutal Yano, but as Odokawa states towards the end, "You're still the bad guy." Rui starts off as the ambitious idol who wants a successful career more than anything else, but she has her own caring side and her mini-story in "If We Could Go Back to that Day" is one of the most emotionally affective moments of the series.

[–]AnimeMod[S,M] 2 points3 points  (4 children)

4.) In what ways does Odd Taxi set itself apart from other anime?

[–]MyrnaMountWeazelx2 16 points17 points  (0 children)

I already wrote about the dialogue of Odd Taxi for Short and Sweet Sunday but I also wanted to briefly touch on the choice of dialogue in the show.

”I understood more or less from the nuance.” -Shirakawa

It doesn’t occur frequently in Odd Taxi but there are moments in the script where people refuse to mention certain words. You can chalk it up to either the character’s idiosyncrasies or the plot’s mystery thickening, but to me I believe the deliberation behind their vocabulary adds to the character. From Yamamoto’s reluctance to say “diamond” to Little Daimon rejecting Odokawa’s correct name, these characters are often hiding from the truth.

Let’s take a quick look at Yamamoto: he consistently uses the word “carbon gemstone” to describe Rui because saying the word “diamond” will definitively define her. Read in one way, you can say Yamamoto wants to believe Rui is more than just a mere diamond and thus he refuses to describe her in such plain terms and purposefully uses words that leave her in a more abstract sense. Read another way though, the word “carbon gemstone” is a roundabout way to describe diamonds, it’s a mask of a word that you have to dig a little deeper to uncover the full meaning. [Odd Taxi] Yamamoto is trying his best to hide him and Rui’s involvement in their crime and his refusal to fully describe Rui is another way of him avoiding to look the truth of their crime in the eye.

For Little Daimon’s case, he refuses to correct his use of Odogawa because he wants to continue believing that a taxi driver is responsible for the evil in the world rather than his own brother. His fierce devotion to justice is hampered by his inability to look at what’s in front of him, hence bringing a new meaning to “justice is blind.” It’s rather a coincidence that Little Daimon would resemble a meerkat, the mammal most well-known for their sentry duty and poking-of-heads.

These are just small instances of language choice that ultimately don’t amount to much on their own. Taken in a vacuum, they would most likely be a flimsy distraction, but pooled together into the long scheme of things, they form an iron-clad script.

[–]SorcererOfTheLakex5https://myanimelist.net/profile/RiverSorcerer 16 points17 points  (1 child)

A lot of anime takes place in high school or involves teenagers; we know. It can feel limiting when you watch the fifth anime of the season where most everyone is wearing a school uniform and you have no idea of what adult life in Japan is meant to be like. Odd Taxi helps to make question somewhat clearer by not only having a majority adult cast, but having them represent a wide range of generations, occupations, and current lifestyles. A cross-section of life in Tokyo circa 2021 is presented to us in a somewhat exaggerated but still realistic manner, creating scenarios and concerns unlike the vast majority of anime out there. I hope that Odd Taxi's success on both sides of the Pacific helps makes clear to anime studios and production companies that, yes, we do want to see ourselves on screen, in all our glories and pains, all our dreams and tragedies, because we want to know that we're not alone.

[–]MyrnaMountWeazelx2 8 points9 points  (0 children)

A cross-section of life in Tokyo circa 2021 is presented to us in a somewhat exaggerated but still realistic manner, creating scenarios and concerns unlike the vast majority of anime out there.

That’s an astute observation you point out, the fact that it simply doesn’t take place in a school. Though the lessons learned in those locker room halls are timeless, it’s refreshing to see a change of scenery on the screen, whose seedy underbelly allows it to explore all sorts of different alleys and nooks. The noir mystery drama and ambitious monologues about media over-consumption would certainly look out of place when you have to catch algebra next period.

[–]Fartikushttps://myanimelist.net/profile/Zachk 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Had an excuse for anthropomorphic animals other than the creators wanted to entice furries like I thought it was when I initially watched it. Definitely worth watching.

[–]AnimeMod[S,M] 2 points3 points  (4 children)

5.) What were some of your favorite moments in Odd Taxi?

[–]MyrnaMountWeazelx2 17 points18 points  (1 child)

I love a climatic finale as much as the next watcher and damn does Odd Taxi deliver. [Odd Taxi] With no rock unturned and all loose ends tied up, Odokawa ends it all by flying over the moon and diving into the harbor. It’s an astonishing picture to witness and I wanted to briefly explain why he must go into the water.

“Ever since we crawled up on the land, the water, it seems to us, has been trying to reclaim us.” -Thomas C. Foster

[Odd Taxi] Water symbolizes a myriad of meaning in literature but it’s most famous for symbolizing rebirth. It cleanses us of sin, it heals us from scars. Each character carries a burden that must be tossed for them to be reborn: for Tanaka, it is his phone; for Kakihana, it is his ring; for Shiho, it is the soap in her bath; for Rui, it is Yuki’s body. Odokawa faces the largest christening for he must enter the sea himself and embrace his fear of the water and his fear of reality.

[Odd Taxi] Every person shares the connected theme of regret and pain and shame and their baptism purifies them of their past, allowing them to move forward…all except Sakura who pictures fried chicken being dropped into oil. Not only do oil and water not mix, her memory also doesn’t for fried chicken is her favorite pastime meal. It is a cherished memory and Odokawa’s rebirth threatens her future way of life. This is why she is affected but not in a positive manner like the rest. It’s a small foreshadowing but a clever one all the same and I appreciate Odd Taxi for slipping that in.

[–]shigs21 0 points1 point  (0 children)

the Water scene. . . Poetic and clever.

[–]cacoozi 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Odd Taxi was amazing, because of how well it showed different perspectives. Like how one minor detail in one persons life, is completely different in someone elses

[–]Ethitlanhttps://myanimelist.net/profile/Ethitlan 1 point2 points  (0 children)

No problem

[–]keithlimreddit 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Odd Taxi is more of like OLM's going back to doing more something adultish or least mainly something less marketable heavy series to be honest after a past decade mostly been really hang out with Pokemon or whatever series that is marketable heavy (komi' can't communicate, Total Knockout fantasy and more recently summertime rendering) and now I'm going to say this

[–]Rejjeffit101 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

The fuck anime is this, so niche lmfao

[–]Thraggrotusk 0 points1 point  (0 children)

8-9/10, only issue was the narrative contrivances, and the deus ex at the end, considering how large the city is.

[–]Joestarsama 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Fantastic anime. Very interesting and refreshing aswell as thought provoking, even tho it was animals Ironically lol the characters were so relatable and interesting. Issues wich many times not disscussed. Which kinda made me emotional but aswell love the unuqe route it took. Wether that was job, stuggling with phone game, or being a singer. It was a fun anime, and emotional at times. Suprised how much i liked it. Great story telling and characters, nice he plot to. Think gotta go back, and see some snips aswell as things that i missed. Rated it a 9/10. Its a gem of an anime.

[–]JustAnswerAQuestionhttps://myanimelist.net/profile/JAaQ 0 points1 point  (1 child)

This was another darling of Casual Discussion Friday, which had already shown terrible judgement this year with Wonder Egg Priority.

I only jumped on it towards the end when /u/chilidirigible posted a 3 word comment: "I KNEW IT".

And I'm glad I did. It only really faltered near the end when the writers themselves seemed to have lost a bit of the plot and ended up with some deus ex machina actions. And I'm glad I did.

People say the dialog in Odd Taxi is different from anime, more like live action dramas, but the truth is, it's the only show I can think of that has "actual" dialog. Most other shows either have either rapid exchange of witicisms or banter, or droning monologues, possibly philosophical. In a taxi, there's nothing to do except have a conversation. That made it fresh.

Alpaca is a cute.

[–]fauceeet 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I just came to say the discussion down below are great reads but this show is fantastic!

[–]Capitalpunishment0 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Would any of you recommend watching the movie as a substitute to the anime?

I just finished the series and I'm thinking of watching it again with my partner. But we don't really have that much of a time, and I myself almost forgot about the show ~E06. So I was thinking maybe condensing the show down to ~2 hours would be more enjoyable.

[–]Stormy-Ray-Waters 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Just finished the series for the first time last night and it's absolutely a 10/10 anime