Saturday, 22 August 2015

Tank Top Fighter

Tank Top Fighter is a 2013 TV vehicle for ex-AKB48 member Erena Ono. I guess it wasn't a very successful one, since she retired from showbusiness in 2014, at the grand old age of 20 years old. In it, she plays a college student named Kai, whose father is arrested and jailed for murder and embezzlement (though thanks to the only subs available being fairly below par, the amount he stole seem to change every time it's mentioned. Was it 100 million yen or 10 thousand million yen? Who knows?), but the families of the victims say they'll allow him to be freed if they're paid back the amount that he stole. Is that really a legal thing in Japan? Because it sounds absurd.

Anyway, since she's a college student, and her sister works part time as a computer programmer, there's no way they have that kind of money. But the victims' lawyer tells them they can make the money back by collecting bounties on the heads of various wanted criminals. It's not a particuarly original premise, but it works. The stories, which are typically 2 episodes long, are about Kai and her sister finding their current quarry, through investigation and athletics. That is, there are a lot of scenes with Erena Ono running and climbing over things, whether she's chasing a criminal or just trying to get somewhere quickly, she does a lot of running.

When she does catch the criminal, there's a fight scene, and while these should be the main draw of the show (since they're at the end of each story, and all), they're not that great. I mean, they're okay, but they're nothing special, and I've seen better fights in plenty of other low budget Japanese TV shows. The show's not a complete bust without them, however: the plots are interesting enough, both the individual cases and the overarching plot revolving around Kai's dad and his alleged crime, and there's plenty of twists too. Though some of the twists aren't exactly shocking, for example, I don't feel like it's too big a spoiler to reveal that her dad's actually the victim of a grand villainous conspiracy. The show also has its lead as a draw: Erena Ono is a very cute girl-next-door type, and like I said, the show is mainly about her running about, solving crimes and fighting, which is nice.

I wouldn't really recommend going out of your way to hunt this show down and watch it, but if it ever somehow falls into your lap, there's definitely worse shows to watch. I have one final note before ending this review: there's some comic relief in the show in the guise of two bumbling police detectives. They aren't important or even involved in the main plot at all, though, and the fansubbers don't even bother subbing their scenes at all after the second episode.