Dominion Tank Police
The year is 2010, and Newport City is a dark, dirty, and generally icky place to live. First of all, a really large bacterial cloud has settled over the earth for no good reason whatsoever, mandating that people wear gas masks when they go outside. Second of all, the crime rate is incredibly high, with a major felony being committed every 10 seconds or so. To combat this problem, there exist the Tank Police, a special branch of the police who are equipped with (what else?) high-tech tanks, which they use to destroy everything else but the criminals they're trying to catch. Your tax dollars at work.
When a rather putzy cyborg makes a hit on a hospital to steal some blood plasma samples related to a possible cure to the bacteria cloud, the Tank Police move in to prove that they really don't know what they're doing. Major hijinks and police brutality on a scale never seen since Doc Holiday are in store!
Bleah. Dominion Tank Police could have been many things: crime drama, slapstick comedy, metaphysical environmentalism, action flick... What it ends up doing, though, is trying to achieve all of those things all at once, and ends up executing (in every sense of the word) every aspect of the series badly.
First off, let's hit the surface. The art and animation are mediocre at best, with nothing of a quality you couldn't find on TV Saturday morning. The soundtrack consists of a new-agey track that gets on your nerves after the first few minutes, and a disco track that doesn't even wait that long. Characters are all over-the-top, overly exaggerated, and embarrassing to watch. Dubbing is pretty bad, especially Leona's irritating whining. Put a cork in it, will ya?
Which takes us to the plot. Surprisingly enough, Dominion Tank Police actually tries to maintain a semblance of a plot, but not continuously. It's as if the writers tried to write something decent for a few minutes, gave up and had a beer while their seven-year-old son took over the script board, and then came back and continued writing without bothering to erase what was added in between. Repeatedly. It's kind of like reading the first paragraph out of a stack of books randomly selected from the bookstore, except not quite as coherent.
Not all of it is so bad, though. There are actually a few endearing moments to this flick and some short segments that are actually quite profound and lucid. The good stuff never lasts, though, and the anime quickly dissolves into more useless yelling, bad action scenes, and gutter humor. And the ending doesn't explain a darn thing, leaving you wondering just why the heck you spent your time watching this thing.
In short, something you'll want to keep on the shelf. I've heard that the second series is much better, but after watching the first one, I really don't want to see any more. — Raphael See
Recommended Audience: Some really sick humor can be found in the Tank Police's methods of interrogation, and there is a "strip tease" scene at the beginning. Not for kiddies.
Version(s) Viewed: VHS, English dub
Review Status: Full (4/4)
Dominion Tank Police © 1989 Masamune Shirow / Hakusensha / Toshiba
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