Was there ever any doubt?
One episode into ODDTAXI and I knew that what we had here was a masterpiece in the making, an anime we’d be talking about for years to come and that defied all expectations.
Merry Christmas, dear readers, and welcome to my last addition to my 12 Days of Anime—a love letter to the show ODDTAXI.
There have been a number of anthropomorphic series these past few years. A couple that spring to mind include Beastars, BNA, The Eccentric Family, Africa Salaryman. Some were winners and others not so much, just like any other type of show, but they were for the most part exactly what they seemed from the get-go. Meeting expectations isn’t a bad thing, of course. However, there is something to be said about a work of art that jumps at you unaware, spins you around, and makes you question the world around you and how you fit into it. ODDTAXI is one such story.
The starting formula is very simple actually: Odokawa is a walrus taxi cab driver who we follow from encounter to encounter. Each customer and their destination is a tale in itself. It doesn’t take too long, however, to realize that these separate faces all connect and affect each other and somehow Odokawa is a binding piece to them all.
There are so many aspects about this work that make it an instant classic, but the one that stands out the most is the characterization. Everyone, from the taciturn Odokawa to coy Shirakawa to desperate-to-please Kakihana to stylistically violent Yano, embeds their personality into their respective scenes in unforgettable ways. Looking at the cast list one by one I find myself remembering their stories, thee expressions they wore and the tone of voice used as they sit in the backseat relating their experiences.
If there’s one series you’re going to watch from 2021, I beg you to choose ODDTAXI—there’s no greater gift you can give yourself for the holiday.