Odd Taxi, the biggest sleeper hit of 2021, will have an animated film on April 1, 2022, but will it live up to the excellent quality of the animated series?
Spring 2021 Strange taxi stood out amid a busy year of excellent unique animes, as it was a completely original anime that was not part of any popular genre like sci-fi or fantasy. It was a sophisticated character drama that flourished on excellent writing and a closely related mystery, and it’s a perfectly resolved, stand-alone story. That’s why when the news came that Strange taxi gets a movie April 1, 2022, that sounded a bit odd… no pun intended.
It was never given that Strange taxi was going to become a hit, and it really didn’t get too much attention when it was first released. But over time, the intriguing plot began to draw more viewers and became the dormant hit of 2021. Its Blu-Ray sales grew from a very modest pre-sale target of 300 copies to 6,048 late copies. September. It was an incredibly impressive record given the few physical copies of anime sold in recent years and cementing its status as a cult favorite. It was even mentioned by The New Yorker as one of the best TV series of 2021.
So it’s not really a surprise that a movie has been announced to please its fans. But those who watched Strange taxi could understand why this might not be the best idea. First, there’s the fact that the central premise of the anime, and what makes it unique, is that its characters look like animals but are set in a real world context. There was a very specific reason the characters looked like they were, and it was very cleverly built into the structure of the anime and into the stories of its characters. The writing elevated this seemingly whimsical premise beyond a waterfall, into a very important piece of the puzzle.
However, this premise was also removed at the very end of the anime, so it is arguably no longer needed for future stories in the world of Strange taxi. This begs the question of what happens when one of the most important elements in anime is removed? Is it still Strange taxi without all the anthropomorphic animals? More importantly, what stories are left to tell in the world of Strange taxi?
There are a number of ways that the animated film can still retain this iconic element. A prequel is always possible, given the quality of the dialogue writing. It would be fun to just watch a slice of life with the protagonist Odokawa and his conversations with his various passengers and eccentric friends. Alternatively, a story about the origin of the orange Lucky Pen and behind this mysterious object could also be an intriguing story, although it doesn’t necessarily involve anthropomorphism.
The most likely scenario is, of course, the biggest common thread left at the end of the series. The finale revealed who killed the missing high school student who is at the center of the entire series, but the killer still walked freely and was shown targeting Odokawa at the end of Episode 13. However, making it into a movie would ruin the ambiguity. intentional ending of the anime, where it was left to viewers to determine if Odokawa survived or if the killer is ultimately caught. It would also make the movie a much more conventional thriller rather than the cleverly planned conundrum that is anime. This story would also not need to use the anthropomorphic elements.
It’s possible that the film subverts the anime’s ending and continues with the anthropomorphic element as if nothing had happened. It would be a much more practical way to continue with the premise. But that would be a very lazy and sloppy way to get around the problem, and the author of Strange taxi Kazuya Konomoto is nothing but extremely diligent and detail-oriented. He will most likely be able to come up with a reasonable explanation as to why the characters might revert to their animal forms and fit them back into the story, but ultimately it all depends on the writing and the story.
In the end, given how little information we have on this film, it is still too early to speculate on the content of the story. But if the animated series is anything to go by, the film should still offer an interesting exploration of the characters juxtaposed with sharp social commentary and witty dialogue, though the story might not quite be quite right. necessary.
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