The Spring 2021 was a lot more stacked than expected after the Winter season, and there were bound to be some underrated shows. Stuff like Pretty Boy Detective Club, Megalo Box Nomad, Super Cub or Those Snow White Notes hardly ever got close to being widely popular despite being amazing. However, one was particularly praised, and even managed to climb out of the ‘hidden gem’ status in Spring 2021 – the masterpiece of ODDTAXI. This show was incredible from episode 1, although no one could predict just how good it would be after running its 13 episodes. The animation production was handled by studios P.I.C.S. and OLM and it was the director Kinoshita Baku‘s debut as a director! So, what else was good:
Let’s start with the first thing we see/hear when we turn on this anime. The song is a collaboration between Skirt and PUNPEE, with the latter also contributing to the anime’s soundtrack. Both the video and song fit into the title and give an ‘odd’ feeling while introducing the cast. It’s song that really grows on a fan, and you can check it out below:
Perhaps the main thing that hooked was the underlying mystery plot of ODDTAXI. The initial impression was that it would be an interesting comedy anime. The MC Odokawa is a sarcastic/’hater’ kind of person, and his no-bs approach was a fresh thing for me. I thought he’d be facing the usual tropes and just making them uncomfortable with his comments in a fun way. However, while the humor was indeed fun, the plot turned out to be way more intriguing and serious. All the side characters who at first seemed random had something to do with the main story, and it all led to the finale brilliantly.
The way the characters were introduced and built up also felt natural and the ending just has you connecting the dots you’d been noticing all along without realizing it. The final episode even blew away all expectations and made a truly surprising conclusion. In case you’re thinking about watching it, I’d just recommend paying attention to every single detail.
ODDAXI has an impressive line-up when it comes to the voice cast. First off, Natsuki Hanae the taxi driver Odokawa. He does it in a way that you’d probably not be able to tell for quite some episodes! His friend Kakihana is voiced by Yamaguchi Tappei, and there is no way One Piece fans wouldn’t recognize Usopp in him. Kimura Ryouhei (Bokuto in Haikyuu!!, Kyohei in Grand Blue) voices the other friend Goriki and is also easily recognizable. The brilliant Saitou Souma (Tatsumi from Akame ga Kill, James Moriarty) was also a big part, and he was the voice behind Tanaka Hajime. Makoto Furukawa (Saitama, Shirogane Miyuki) voiced Imai Shun. Two old-school legends also had roles, and they were Ootsuka Houchuu as Donraku and Kuroda Takaya as Kuroda. There were also several new voice actors who performed well, and it was certainly another great part of the show.
Now ODDTAXI was highly rated by the people who watched it from the first episode, and they quickly saw it as a masterpiece, even assuming it’s worthy of being the Spring 2021 anime of the season. Using the biggest anime on Reddit, r/anime, as a guide, it had 1.7k karma there for its debut episode. That would turn out to be the minimum, and it would average over 2k karma for the next 8 episodes. Then as the finale got closer, episodes 10, 11 and 12 had an average of about 3k karma! The finale blew up with 6.1k, ranking 1st on the overall karma list for the week. On the contrary, our fans mostly underwatched it as it hardly ranked within the top 30. Only after the finale did it get more votes, but even then it wasn’t close to being near the top.
5 days after the finale, 2 big YouTubers uploaded videos praising the anime. They were Gigguk and Mother’s Basement, and their videos came within like 1h of each other! They likely got a ton of people to check it out with those, though there’s not a clear metric to showcase the numbers. Still, the mere fact they both found it worthwhile to make a video on ODDTAXI tells enough of how good the show is and that it deserves the attention it’s been getting.
ODDTAXI is available on Crunchyroll and it has a total of 13 episodes. The synopsis for the show goes:
This town should look familiar, but suddenly, it’s not. The taxi driver Odokawa lives a very mundane life. He has no family, doesn’t really hang out with others, and he’s an oddball who is narrow-minded and doesn’t talk much. The only people he can call his friends are his doctor, Gouriki and his classmate from high school, Kakibana. All of his patrons seem to be slightly odd themselves. The college student who wants to be noticed online, Kabasawa. A nurse with secrets, Shirakawa. A comedy duo, the Homosapiens… All these mundane conversations somehow lead to a girl who’s gone missing.
ODDTAXI was definitely a hidden gem masterpiece anime in Spring 2021, but it’s become one of the highest rated and rose in popularity following the attention since ending. In case you do watch, I’ll just repeat to pay attention to every detail, and enjoy the show praised as Anime of the Year by many!
All images via Crunchyroll, OP via Crunchyroll Collection
ODDTAXI Official Website: oddtaxi.jp
ODDTAXI Official Twitter: @oddtaxi_
© P.I.C.S. / 小戸川交通パートナーズ