Don’t let the anthropomorphic animals fool you, this is neither a kids' show nor another Beastars. ODDTAXI might be one of the sleeper hits of the season. Presenting itself as a slice of life, but heavy on mystery, ODDTAXI follows taxi driver Odokawa, a cynical middle-aged Walrus who happens to be in the eye of the storm of a mysterious disappearance.
With a killer OP, cool animation, and a lot of unanswered questions, we’re hyped for ODDTAXI. Let’s see why!
Odokawa is in many ways your typical taxi driver. His radio is always on, he has an opinion about everything, and he’s not afraid to share it. Odokawa has been around the block, his cynicism is a testament to that, as well as his passive-aggressive commentary that doesn't miss a beat.
In short, Odokawa doesn’t give a damn about your feelings. At the same time, there’s a soft side to him. Is he a misanthrope or someone who has been through a lot, as hinted by his comment on how he was raised? Whichever the case is, his snarky retorts are one of the main reasons to watch this show.
ODDTAXI has an interesting way of pulling you into the narrative since we get stories within stories. Odokawa’s clients ramble, the radio shows are always in the background, the city is bustling with people and cars. All these micro-narratives come together to reveal the characters, the good and bad of life in the city. Essentially, they’re pieces in a puzzle, revolving around the disappearance of a high school student.
The snappy fast-paced dialogue barely lets us in on everyone’s secrets. Expressionless Odokawa hides his past behind a mask of cynicism, Shirakawa the alpaca nurse reveals more in her long pauses than what she actually says (could she be behind the medicine theft at the clinic where she works?). Kakihana overhears a phone call he wasn’t supposed to and this is how we get another clue about the disappearance. Most of what happens doesn’t seem important, and ODDTAXI invites you to pay attention to what is not said, to what is overheard, and to question appearances.
It’s really cool to see how social media is incorporated into the narrative. Somehow, social media and lies are tired together. Kakihana, Odokawa’s friend, is using a version of Tinder to go on dates, but he lies about who he is, inflating his income and posing as a bigshot. This adds to the commentary on loneliness and lies again.
One of Odokawa’s clients is obsessed with writing a viral tweet, thinking that this is how he will become important. He doesn’t shy away from sharing fabricated news to get an emotional reaction, like posting a made-up tweet, which is obviously fabricated to anyone knowing the grumpy taxi driver.
This social commentary about our online selves seems to show that not everything is what it seems like in the ODDTAXI universe. It could be parallel to the disappearance story. At the same time, Odokawa is considered weird because he seems out of touch, he prefers his taped rakugo plays and his radio shows to social media trends. Rakugo is also about telling a story, a one-man show. This lets us wonder whether Odokawa is also orchestrating something behind the scenes!
Animation & Music
The fuzzy backgrounds give ODDTAXI a dream-like quality, the feeling of roaming the city at night. Grainy, noir-ish, with colorful character designs, we get a picture of urban life loneliness. The soundtrack has jazzy and lo-fi hip hop tones, giving a smooth quality to the show. We love the OP! It combines storybook-like animation with a moody groove, perfectly fitting the vibe of ODDTAXI.
We’ve loved the snappy dialogue, social commentary, and mature themes of the first episodes and can’t wait to see what happens next. We’re enamored with Odokawa’s eternal grumpy face and we highly recommend keeping an eye on this show.
Have you checked ODDTAXI yet? What’s your opinion so far? Let us know in the comments below and thanks for reading!