Edokko Boy Gatten Tasuke is a comedic early 90s anime. A manga version with slightly more child friendly humor was also released.
In a futuristic version of Edo city (the historical real Edo would eventually become Tokyo), life is a mixture of medieval Japan and science fiction. Peace is protected by the police forces. A group of young police academy trainees are at the center of the story. Most episodes set up a case in the beginning, trouble occurs, and the police academy students must find a way to solve the case.
Protagonist Tasuke is a free spirited young boy aiming to become a famous
policeman just has his deceased father was. While he has a good heart he is also a bit of a pervert and tends to act before thinking everything through.
Tasuke has a pseudo rival in Darth Benkei, a tank-like robot based on Darth Vader and Benkei (a historical warrior monk). High durability but mostly incompetent, always taking the brute force approach.
Kintarou (completely unlike the boy of legends) is a fragile and sensitive computer expert and tactical genius
Ghengis Khan is a floating helmet shaped transvestite robot (shown through a very girlish way of speaking) that can fuse with other machines.
Last and to some point actually least) we have Omoncha, who is best described as a spoiled japanese schoolgirl with… no special abilities at all.
Other characters include Tasuke’s robotic dog, a teacher based on buddha firing lighting from his head when in anger, and two adult and actually competent fully trained officers.
There is a recurring antagonist on the form of Ratman (a mix of Batman and the Japanese “nezumi kozou” thief of legends), however most episodes have a dedicated new bad guy.
Pretty much everything in this anime is based on Japanese history or legends. Language humor and old Japanese words not used in modern conversation are omnipresent, so it can be difficult to understand whats being discussed at times. Other humor is based on slapstick and some juvenile stuff, such as jokes about Tasuke's butt, but generally nothing too fringe.
My biggest gripe with the show is how some early episodes can get really slow paced, have boring camera angles and static group conversation scenes. Not really a good fit for a show with such an outrageous setting and cast.
Visually it’s a generally a nicely looking anime for its period, although I would have preferred a higher level of detail and more closeups, this was all partially solved in later episodes though. Tasuke’s feet (he’s barefoot all the time) for example are often simplified to the point of looking like flesh colored socks.
The opening song is catchy and well done, the ending theme is more serious, perhaps a tad on the melancholious side. Music and Sound effects to support the action on screen are appropriate. Voice acting is well done, no complaints here.
At 22 episodes, its short for a show with such a big cast. This is a big minus as the show was getting better and better with each episode. The final episodes thus comes abruptly, ending a show that I felt that had a lot more life in it. There are so many topics the show barely touches on, such as Ghengis Khan transformation ability or Tasuke’s father.
The last episode is a nice farewell to the series while keeping the door open for a continuation (which obviously never happened) and leaves no sour aftertaste as it kept the comedic tone of the series instead of trying to shoehorn in an overly dramatic ending. I’ve rewatched the show twice and still enjoyed it very much.
Regardless of all criticism, it’s nicely made show that I believe is worth checking out for everyone that can enjoy the old japan/sci-fi setting and wants to explore oldschool anime outside of established and highly popular shows.