After the travesty that was Listeners, my expectations for the similar-sounding Takt Op. Destiny were pretty low, making this series premiere all the more enjoyable.
Craving an anime with a unique plot that doesn’t take itself too seriously? Look no further than Takt Op. Destiny, which manages to balance its plentiful moments of humor with its somewhat complex story surprisingly well. This was very much the first thing that struck me about the series – had it gone for a more grimdark or ‘edgy’ vibe, I probably would’ve hated it, but as things stood, it made a charming first impression, especially as the comedy was helped along by a sense of overall good timing and solid pacing. Humor is of course extremely subjective and often misses the mark for me personally when it comes to anime, so once the first couple of introductory scenes were out of the way (with a bit of clumsy exposition, but nothing too terrible), the show did a great job of endearing itself to me.
The second thing that struck me, as I’m sure it will most Anglo-American viewers, is its futuristic setting of real-life America, complete with actual place names (albeit not that many yet) and top-tier Engrish (“Shuddup!”). In all seriousness though, this brought a lot of fun to the proceedings. I don’t really know if I’m looking for something that tries for realism and more or less succeeds, or doesn’t try too hard and fails with great enthusiasm, but either way, I’m in! Right now the characters look to be driving somewhere through rural Utah or Nevada, and I’m sure hoping they actually make it to New York, ‘cos you can bet I’m here for that.
The only things I’m not yet totally sold on are the base plot, which sounds quite ambitious and will obviously need to be developed further and then somehow tied into a cohesive whole somewhere down the line, and the character designs, which are… okay? Don’t get me wrong, MAPPA + Madhouse = Solid Visuals, but I might just need a bit more time to get used to Takt, whose appearance is honestly a bit boring compared to the environment, and Destiny, whose transformed appearance feels incongruous to the same. Otherwise, a pleasantly strong first episode!