Tokko (特公 Tokkō?) is a Japanese manga written and illustrated by Tohru Fujisawa. An anime series directed by Masashi Abe, animated by AIC Spirits and Group Tac and based on the manga first aired in Japan on April 15, 2006 and ran for 13 episodes. The anime series has been licensed in the United States by Manga Entertainment, with its first volume released on March 20, 2007. SciFi Channel (now Syfy) aired all 13 existing anime episodes of Tokko as part of its Ani-Monday line-up from June 18 to September 24, 2007 at 11:30 p.m. EST. Episode 1 was shown again at 12:30 a.m. EST on Tuesday, April 22, 2008. Chiller, another NBC_Universal network, began airing the series at 2:00 AM, ET on Monday, June 14, 2010 (11:00 PM, PT, Sunday, June 13, 2010). Episodes 1-4 were aired in order, followed by a repeat of the same episodes immediately afterward. Episodes 5-8 aired on Monday, June 21, 2010 at the same times the first four episodes aired. Episodes 9-13 aired on Monday, June 28, 2010.
Officially known to the general public as Special Mobile Investigation Troops Second Division, Special Public Safety Task Force, or Section 2 under the supervision of the Public Security Intelligence Agency after the Special Mobile Investigation Troops relinquished, with some of its members recruited from the police force. It was established after the Machida massacre was secretly investigated to discover that the perpetrators were demons from the netherworld, brought into reality by the actions of alchemists creating the "Box of Dirge" to summon a devil, with each of the 108 pieces being taken by a powerful Phantom to ensure the pathway remains open. Over time, the pieces were gathered and another gate was opened at Machida, with many of its residents slaughtered by the demons that emerge. Under the command of Superintendent Ryoko Ibuki, she had recruited promising members, who happened to be survivors of the Machida massacre, such as Kureha Suzuka and had them trained to use melee weapons such as swords and daggers to dispatch the greater Phantoms, along with their lesser Human Face larva parasites, that were coming out of giant holes caused by unnatural earthquakes in Japan's Kanto region since most firearms do not incapacitate or kill them.
They operate similarly to the MIB in the Men In Black movies or the Center in the Martin Mystery series, arriving moments after the demons are in the confirmed area or have left the said area. Section 2 also has a technical support staff, mostly researchers and forensic scientists that quietly dispose of bodies, either infected by the demons or were attacked by the former, or demon body organs including Human Face larvas that were killed by Section 2 members during their operations. The unit is backed by a small number of wheeled armored vehicles and have officers dressed in black suits.
Their actions have come under harsh criticism from certain officers, including Kaoru Kunikida, for conducting their operations in secretive manners and for covering up the deaths of either civilians or police officers, informing the public via news releases that deaths or injuries caused by demons were done by armed or insane criminals.
During the Middle Ages, a wealthy family had a puzzle box created in order to gain immortality, not knowing that it would in fact open a portal to the demon world. 108 demons were unleashed, shattering the device into 108 fragments which they then absorbed. Once extracted from demons and reassembled, the 108 fragments can be used to close the demon's portal, which if allowed to grow will result in the destruction of all humans on Earth.
A young man named Ranmaru Shindo lives with his younger sister. They moved from Machida (a city located in the western part of Tokyo’s greater metropolis) 5 years earlier, after the massacre of their parents in their apartment complex, which was attacked and overrun by unknown assailants who ruthlessly and brutally killed almost everyone in several buildings in the complex. He has also been having recurring dreams of a girl for some time, but they are growing more frequent. She seems to be covered in blood holding a giant sword. But in reality, someone used the puzzle box to create a portal to the demon near the Machida apartment complex, whence came the demons who killed most of the residents.
At the beginning of the tale, Ranmaru graduates from his cadet class to become a new investigator for The Special Mobile Investigation Troops First Division or TOKKI to avenge his parents' death. Later on the day of his graduation, he sees the girl from his dream wearing a police uniform. She is a member of Section 2, known officially as Special Public Safety Task Force, or Tokko for short, being under the eye of the Public Security Intelligence Agency. Throughout the story, it is explained that there are many rumors about Tokko, one of which is that they use swords to execute criminals and that body parts are often found at the crime scenes Tokko investigates. There are also rumors that they aren't even human.
All members of Section 2 bear a tattoo ( except for Ibuki who is not a symbiont). This is their "symbiont tattoo", which marks them as carriers of a "phantom", one of the 108 demons. Not all of the symbionts are with Section 2. A symbiont may be good or evil, but the spirit's alignment is unknown until it is awakened within the host. The tattoo also imparts a type of protection from other phantoms and expands after the phantom’s awakening. Only symbionts have the strength, speed and endurance to kill the demons with bladed weapons. Using the symbionts, Section 2 hunts down the other Phantoms, dismembering them to get the 108 fragments to close the Machida hole before it expands and the entire world is covered with Phantoms.
- Ranmaru Shindo
- Voiced by: Kenichi Suzumura (Japanese), Tony Oliver (English)
- One of the original survivors of the Machida massacre alongside his young sister Saya, he joined the police force to find out who was responsible for murdering his parents. Posted as a non-uniformed officer in the Shibuya Precinct as a detective in the Tokki division, he finds out during his work that demons from the dark realm were responsible for orchestrating various massacres in order to destroy Japan. Later on, he joins the Tokko division so as to save the country from being overrun by the demons. He suffers from Post-traumatic stress disorder due to the massacre and the deaths of his parents when he and his sister were still in college and high school. He originally had brown hair, but dyed it to yellow with bits of orange after graduating from high school. His symbiont tattoo is on his right arm and a second appeared on his left shoulder after his 'awakening'.
- Since he survived the Machida incident, all Phantom demons were given instruction to finish him off, as well as any other witnesses who have seen the events. As he and Saya were the only survivors of the Shindo family, the two became very close after they were tragically orphaned. It can be inferred that he has feelings for Sakura Rokujo during the series where they are alone on the roof of a building talking of how they were glad to meet. In the anime he also kisses her before taking her shard of the box.
- Sakura Rokujo
- Voiced by: Fumiko Orikasa (Japanese), Philece Sampler (English)
- One of the survivors of the Machida massacre, she was the woman haunting Ranmaru's dreams of his parents and neighbors being killed by a Phantom demon. Working in the Tokko division in the Shibuya Precinct, she handles a broadsword in dispatching the Human Face larvae zombies. Her symbiont tattoo is on her right shoulder. It is also hinted that she may have feelings for Ranmaru when she kissed him before she went into his psyche in order to help save him from being possessed. Later on, she is forced to face her own brother when symbionts inside of him have possessed him and turned him into evil. In the final episode Ranmaru stabs her with his sword (and kisses her) to gain her shard, hinting that she dies, however at the end of the episode she is laying in a hospital bed apparently in a coma then wakes up and we hear evil laughter.
- Saya Shindo
- Voiced by: Akemi Kanda (Japanese), Megan Hollingshead (English)
- Younger sister of Ranmaru, she joined the police force as a uniformed patrol officer after surviving the Machida massacre with her big brother. In the course of the series, she gets wind of the demons responsible for conducting murders in Tokyo and assists her brother in eliminating them. Unlike her brother, she does not experience Post-traumatic stress disorder as she opts to forget the memories of the events in Machida. Like her brother, she gets targeted for assassination by the Phantom demons in order to keep the real truth of the Machida massacre a secret from the public, as she was one of the survivors of the multiple murders. When not in police work or in danger from being assassinated by the Phantoms, she nags Ranmaru like a mother, such as telling him to finish his food or go have himself checked up for any injuries. She cares deeply about him and will do everything that she can to make sure that he is okay.
- Kureha Suzuka
- Voiced by: Kana Ueda (Japanese), Tara Platt (English)
- A young prodigy who joined the police force at the age of 18 with the rank of Lieutenant, she is posted in the Tokko division. Her symbiont tattoo, like Sakura, was on her right shoulder.
- Her preferred weapons are two daggers that have two retractable blades. Kureha does not appear to wear a shirt with the black leather jacket and pants (which are signature to the Tokko division), revealing a black tattoo of a butterfly above her pierced belly-button. In fact the jacket is the only piece of clothing she wears on her upper body when in Tokko uniform, mostly leaving it unzipped. Originally having brown hair, she changed it to blonde after the massacre as a means of moving on after her parents were killed by Phantoms and the death of her younger brother, Akito, at her hands. Kureha is very interested in Ranmaru, especially on his looks and his history. In fact, she had kissed him when they visited the cemetery where her family was resting. However, nothing more would come of this when the relationship between Ranmaru and Sakura began to flourish further in episode ten, though she would still tease and idly flirt with Ranmaru though the rest of the series.
- Takeru Inukai
- Voiced by: Susumu Akagi (Japanese), Kirk Thornton (English)
- One of Tokko's first male officers recruited by Ryoko after demons kidnapped his sister. He had been a martial artist (implied to be kendo) before joining the police. He usually dresses in black clothing and wears black shades. He is later killed by Sakura's possessed brother back in the ruins of the Machida apartment in episode eleven.
- Ryoko Ibuki
- Voiced by: Rio Natsuki (Japanese), Michelle Ruff (English)
- Commanding officer of the Tokko division with the rank of Major, she is responsible for the Tokko's operations in conducting anti-Phantom operations in Tokyo. She prefers guns over other weapons and has a good aim.
- Kaoru Kunikida
- Voiced by: Wataru Takagi (Japanese), Doug Stone (English)
- Head of Tokki division in the Shibuya Precinct. Hates the Tokko division and its members for being so secretive, especially when his fellow officers were murdered by the Phantoms and its human-controlled slaves via Human Face larvae. He is insistent in finding out the reasons why Tokko exists and its agenda, to the cost of possibly losing his job over this. He is especially infuriated when Ranmaru leaves his division for Tokko. He appears to have a daughter named Ruru (most likely a nickname) and is also a womanizer.
- Based on various side remarks on Kaoru during certain events in the series, it is apparent that he might have been a gangster in his youth before he decided to reform himself as a police officer. His rough behavior and language also fit the general stereotype of a yakuza. It is also said that his daughter "doesn't like him because he tried to get in the tub with her"
- Voiced by: Mai Kadowaki (Japanese), Jennie Kwan (English)
- She is Saya's childhood friend and colleague who is continually trying to be paired up with Ranmaru. She develops a crush on him later on.
- Having the rank of Councilor, he is the main link of Tokko and the government in battling the Phantom demons.
- Ichiro Hanazono
- Voiced by: Tadashi Mutō (Japanese), Grant George (English)
- Ranmaru's best friend and partner. They graduate together and are assigned to the same commander. They can be some troublemakers when together. Ichiro often calls Ranmaru a pervert and says that he has something for his younger sister. In actuality Hanazono has a crush on Saya and often gets mad at Ranmaru for always being around attractive women, stating that he used to think Ranmaru was loser. Eventually Ichiro accidentally, or rather intentionally, starts a rumor that Ranmaru is secretly dating all of the women from Tokko, including Yukino from the crime lab.
- Yukino Shiraishi
- Voiced by: Aya Endo (Japanese), Dorothy Elias-Fahn (English)
- The "hottie from the crime lab" as she is often referred to by Ranmaru's colleagues. Her mother died prior to the Machida incident, with her father becoming obsessed with his research soon after. Saya set her and Ranmaru up on a blind date that ended up in them finding out more about the phantoms. Later on, on a second date they were attacked by Yukino's father after he turned himself in a hybrid of human and phantom. Leaving her job awhile after, Yukino gives Ranmaru the info behind the murderer of her mother who caused the Machida incident.
Tohru Fujisawa had created a 3-volume manga series of Tokko from February 25, 2004 to April 25, 2004. The third volume, known as Phantom Hunter, is a side story detailing two siblings (male and female), who happen to be survivors of the Machida massacre. It has been said by numerous fans that it would most likely continue to be published since there are some unfilled holes in both the anime and manga series, such as their current endings.
A 13-episode anime series has been directed by Masashi Abe and had a run in WOWOW from April 15, 2006 to July 29, 2006. Japanese DVDs have been released starting on August 24, September 21 with an additional release on November 23, 2006. It was broadcast in the U.S. on the Sci Fi Channel as a part of its Ani-Monday block of anime programming from June 18 to September 24, 2007 at 11:30 p.m. EST. The anime's opening theme is "Nothing" and the ending theme is "Sherry", both by dB. The Tokko Original Soundtrack was released on June 28, 2006 in stores around Japan with some making its way through Amazon North America and Europe in the subsequent months. It includes eleven tracks without the opening and closing themes from the anime.
|Original air date||English air date|
|April 15, 2006||June 18, 2007|
|Ranmaru Shindo, five years after surviving the tragic Machida massacre, graduates from the Special Mobile Investigation Troops First Division Police academy after he was recruited into the police force as a patrolman since the two Shindo siblings have joined the police force as part of moving on from what happened in Machida. During his transfer to the Shibuya police station, he encounters the red-haired woman in a police uniform who had been the sole cause of his nightmares and two officers, who are said to be elite officers from the TOKKO division.|
|2||a girl appears
|April 22, 2006||June 25, 2007|
|Ranmaru and Ichiro meet the members of TOKKO, one of whom is the red-haired woman from Ranmaru's dreams. Her name is Sakura Rokujo, and she was once a neighbor of Ranmaru before the Machida massacre. Later, Kunikida and Muramasa discover that any incident involving the monsters hunted by TOKKO is covered up.|
|3||moments would be lost
|April 29, 2006||July 7, 2007|
|With the recent attacks on police officers by the possessed human-like zombies and Ranmaru's near death from one of them a few days ago, he began to reflect about what happened from his first day of duty as a TOKKO detective and on the Machida massacre, especially on the mysterious tattoo that appeared on his right arm. Concerned about where it came from and how it showed up, Saya took him to a nearby police hospital to be checked up on. While waiting for the results of his checkup, Ranmaru sneaks inside a PSIA-guarded hospital ward that housed Sakura's younger brother, who was almost a victim in the Machida incident.|
|4||corpses in the laboratory
|May 13, 2006||July 9, 2007|
|Saya gets Ranmaru a date, in the form of forensic expert Yukino Shiraishi, who happens to be Saya's upperclassman in her high school days. During Ranmaru and Yukino's date, Ranmaru discovered that the demons who were responsible for the Machida massacre five years ago and for the death of his police comrades were believed to be of European origin, with Yukino filling Ranmaru in on the background on a Western urban legend that the demons were summoned by alchemists in order to achieve immortality during the Middle Ages in Europe.|
|5||a father, all alone
|May 20, 2006||July 16, 2007|
|After a suspicious car accident, Sakura visits Ranmaru in his hospital room. She warns him not to get further involved into what had happened to him near the forensic building the night before. Kunikida, thought to have been granted a request to investigate the forensic building for evidence to suggest that TOKKO was concealing evidence from the public, is denied by top National Police Agency officials. Yukino then visits Ranmaru back in the Shibuya police station, warning him that her father was researching on the strange creatures that Ranmaru had encountered before.|
|6||who kills my brother
|May 27, 2006||July 23, 2007|
|In a closed meeting with Councilor Ogata, Superintendent Ryoko Ibuki discloses to her superior that Ranmaru is a possible symbiont, telling him that she'll have him killed if it has to be the case. Later on, Ryoko informs Kureha to see if Ranmaru has the symbiont inside of him. Back in the TOKKI office, Muramasa informs Ranmaru to entertain Kunikida, who didn't go to work since he was angry at the NPA officials for denying his search warrant on the forensic building. Ranmaru was about to tell Kunikida what happened at the forensic building last night when Kureha arrives on her motorbike, and she asks to take Ranmaru out on a date.|
|7||a telephone call
|June 17, 2006||August 6, 2007|
|Sakura relives her memories of meeting with Inukai and his sister prior to joining TOKKO. After another one of TOKKO's clashes against the Gaki demons, Ranmaru receives an anonymous call from a mysterious person who could provide him information as to the true reasons behind the events behind the Machida massacre years ago. During his investigation, he is suddenly attacked by a lone Phantom demon in the nearby park, specifically the thirteenth Phantom demon.|
|8||time to say goodbye
|June 24, 2006||August 13, 2007|
|As Ranmaru continues to get deeper and deeper into the mystery of the Phantom demons, he is accosted by two strange men wearing dark sunglasses and wielding pistols when he was walking in a local park. To make things worse, Saya gets injured in a depicted hit and run accident staged during her break hours by an unknown vehicle. Ryoko and the others inform Ranmaru that some sort of cult society may have hired assassins to kill her.|
|9||we were born to be
|July 1, 2006||August 20, 2007|
|Ranmaru gets unofficially transferred to the TOKKO division while still being under the official command of TOKKI, which angers Kunikida and thinks that Akiha may have been responsible for Ranmaru's supposed transfer. In a meeting with the Phantom Countermeasures Committee, lead by top NPA officials, they accuse Ryoko of wasting her time in their investigation against the Phantoms and not doing anything to calm the public about the supposed serial murder cases since Ranmaru's own symbiont was awakened by her subordinates without their authorization.|
|July 8, 2006||August 27, 2007|
|Yukino visits Ranmaru in the Shibuya Police Station in the early morning, delivering the book regarding the Box of Dirge and information regarding a supposed piece of the box. Later, during a courtesy call to an old man, Taishi, who called Ranmaru earlier on, his symbiont begins to slowly corrupt his mind and body after his attacks were thwarted by his mysterious strength. He is rescued by Sakura and the others with an unknown necklace on his neck, but Ranmaru's slowly corrupted symbiont uses him to attack Akiha and the others before Ryoko is forced to use her Colt SAA revolver to fire a shot at Ranmaru's chest, severely wounding him.|
|11||No woman, No cry
|July 15, 2006||September 3, 2007|
|Hiroki, Sakura's younger brother, is awakened with a Phantom spirit when it infiltrated the Udagawa Police Hospital in Tokyo and the doctors who were attending to the unconscious teenager. During an encounter with TOKKO, Hiroki wounds Sakura and drives off the other members, barely surviving. Despite this, Sakura wishes to help her brother by trying her best to purge the Phantom spirit out of his body.|
|12||if not in love
|July 22, 2006||September 17, 2007|
|TOKKO decides to move Saya to a safer place, more specially to Ryoko's apartment, for her own protection. Ryoko pays a surprise visit to the TOKKI offices, and she manages to obtain information from Muramasa that he was the inside man paid by Taishi to provide police information regarding the case after threatening him with her Colt SAA revolver. Later on, Taishi dispatches Gakis to assassinate all active TOKKO members as a means of further slowing down their investigation against him.|
|13||remain tender together
|July 29, 2006||September 24, 2007|
|Kunikida encounters Muramasa and after an argument, the two tried to shoot each other when Kunikida heard Muramasa ordering that Ranmaru and the other TOKKO operatives are to be arrested and taken care of. Back at the Machida apartment complex, Ranmaru and the others assemble to do battle against Taishi, with Kureha severely wounded. Ranmaru and Sakura head into the underworld via the giant hole in Machida in order to rescue Saya and defeat Taishi. The end of the anime seems incomplete because it doesn't show the complete destruction of the demons. Moreover, when Ranmaru is in the hospital next to Sakura, there is another hole as big as the one in Machida as Taishi's laughter echos across the scene.|
A radio drama had taken place on October 11, 2006. It had briefly expanded a bit on the events after the anime had ended.
Notes and references
- Anchor Bay Entertainment's Tokko Page, Anchor Bay Entertainment, January 20, 2007
- According to manga sources, the Tokko storyline takes place in the year 2011, while the massacre occurred in 2006. In the anime so far, the year has not been mentioned.
- Their ranks differ from the anime and manga. For instance, Kureha is addressed as an Inspector while Ryoko is addressed as Superintendent in the manga.
- The ranks are also contradictory in a sort of way with actual ranks used by the National Police Agency since the rank of Lieutenant is an equal to Assistant Inspector, which is the rank of Kureha's. Ryoko's Superintendent rank's equal is the rank of Major.
- Ranmaru: "Well, compared to that, Kunikida is like an angel. Although his thin eyebrows make him look like a yakuza." (Anime)
- Kureha: "That's why former gangsters are so troublesome." (Anime)
- "Universal Music Japan's TOKKO page", Universal Music Japan, November 10, 2006.
- Anime official website (Japanese)
- WOWOW's site for the anime (Japanese)
- Tokko (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia