The Spring 2021 anime Odd Taxi is overflowing with complex storylines and head-scratching mysteries, all of which revolve around its colorful cast of characters. Every major player in the plot is a well-rounded person with their own goals, backstories, emotions, and relationships, so it’s endlessly fascinating to examine them up close as each episode unfolds. Here are the five most intriguing characters from Odd Taxi!
5. Miho Shirakawa
This alpaca nurse is a sweet and helpful friend to Odokawa, even though she initially only got close to him because her ex-boyfriend Dobu ordered her to. She’s deeply in debt to Dobu and is forced to do all sorts of shady things like stealing medicine to pay off her loans, but still calls him a good person because she hasn’t completely broken free of his gaslighting yet. Still, she isn’t completely helpless – Shirakawa is a practitioner of capoeira and is fully capable of kicking a grown man’s ass if she has to. Other than the yakuza members, she’s probably the most physically capable member of the whole cast!
4. Eiji Kakihana
Odokawa’s longtime buddy Kakihana is a 41-year-old monkey janitor who desperately wants to prove that he’s capable of bigger things. He takes out a massive loan to woo an 18-year-old girl he met on a dating app, only to find out that she was just setting him up to be extorted by the yakuza. Despite how pathetic he is, we still care for Kakihana because he genuinely just wants to be loved and doesn’t believe in himself enough to succeed on his own merits. We hope he gets a well-deserved self-confidence boost soon.
3. Taichi Kabasawa
On the same theme of pathetic people who pretend to be something they’re not for the sake of external validation, we have the hippo college student Kabasawa. He’s obsessed with the idea of “going viral”, which he accomplishes by pure chance when his taxi selfie with Odokawa happens to contain a sighting of notorious criminal Dobu. Kabasawa dedicates himself to capturing the wanted man, gaining followers and money along the way, until he finally finds himself face-to-face with his prey. Naturally, he doesn’t stand a chance, and his whole charade falls apart. He’s forced to confront the fact that he never really wanted to bring justice to the world... all he wanted was fame. It’s a cautionary tale about the dangers of internet stardom, for sure.
2. Hajime Tanaka
Episode 4 focuses entirely on Hajime Tanaka, a lonely cat who has spent his life trying to make friends by surrounding himself with material possessions (expensive erasers as a kid and pay-to-win mobile game tokens as an adult). When Odokawa accidentally causes him to lose a super-rare gatcha item and his beloved pet bird dies of old age the very same day, Tanaka completely loses his sanity and pursues Odokawa with a gun he found while burying his pet. To see a man slowly break down over many years until he’s reduced to a vengeful maniac over something as simple as a gatcha game... it’s terrifying.
1. Hiroshi Odokawa
The most intriguing character in Odd Taxi is, unsurprisingly, its mysterious main character Odokawa. This seemingly normal walrus taxi driver is acquainted with criminals, might be part of a missing persons case, has lived on his own since he was a child, and sees everyone in the world as if they’re animals instead of humans. We don’t know the full details of his past or his medical condition (or how the audience still sees everyone as animals even when Odokawa isn’t there), but every little nugget of information we get makes us more and more captivated by this complex puzzle of a man.
The members of the yakuza are also pretty intriguing, like the thug-turned-therapist Dobu or the constantly rapping Yano. Then there are the Mystery Kiss members who involve themselves in shady dealings, the fractured Homo Sapiens duo, the missing girl who may or may not be connected to everyone in some way... really, everyone in this anime is fascinating! But which ones are your favorites? Did we miss anyone? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!