My absolute favorite aspect of Taboo Tattoo as a series is the shading, the shadowing and the color gradation. The way that it creates a dark look is extremely interesting to me, and I love it.

That’s not to say the animation is infallible. There are plenty of screw-ups, but there’s just so many more beautifully animated scenes. The blood spatter is extensively detailed. The smoke.. Im pretty sure its real smoke, not animated at all. The miniscule ticks in the facial expressions of characters, it all comes together to tell this story of gore and action and superhuman abilities.

The camera angles and almost ‘matrix-like’ movements are also a highlight. Swinging underneath characters, pausing the scene and moving around, all of these are so cool! Creating that effect using a 2-D medium is impressive!

Now some of the animations were not as impressive. Pushback animations were pretty shoddy, as well one of the 3 smoke animations. The pushback animations are when a character exerts force but there is no.. Pushback or resulting force put on the ground or surface. Specifically, when Seigi is jumping from building to building, Naruto-ing from building to building, there is no damage, or anything happening to the building. Granted showing damage to the building would probably result in expenses to the US Army or something to resolve the damage, but still. Physics.

Another not so fantastic aspect of Taboo Tattoo is the bid for comedy. This anime is pretty serious. It may not be Aijin serious, but its not a gag anime. But there are these little jokes, mostly from Tom, that are just soo cringy and unnecessary. This anime doesn’t need comedy, and even if it did then Tom would still be fired.

Not much happens on the character development front. Touko has become the Harry Potter to the Princesses’ Voldemort. Meaning that when Il, Schrodinger’s Cat activates her tattoo, the tattoo on Toukos forehead activates as well.

Seigi seems to be progressing well in his Tattoo training after only 2 weeks. Izzy is surprised and concerned at his progress and control, but he’s a martial arts kid, of course he knows how to alter how he moves his body. Martial arts is all about control. I think her concerns are unwarranted and shows a kind of cultural difference in American Martial arts vs Asian Martial Arts.

We are progressing more into the conflict of the main arc. We have moved past the introduction arc and we are following Seigi through his discovery of what he’s gotten himself into. Seeing the butchered bodies belonging to Lisa’s, Izzy’s friend, troops has him spooked. Touko seems to know something has affected him and is intent on being his partner, despite him already deciding to be Izzy’s partner.

Toukos persistence and relationship with Seigi will put the US Army in danger. I believe there will be a Touko or objective choice, and Izzy will not choose Touko. If anything will push Seigi from Izzy it would most likely be that instance.

If the gore and violence are any indication, I am hoping that this means that the series will have a bigger psychological or moral dilemma aspect. We already are made aware that Izzy and Tom are risking their positions by hiding Seigi from the US Army, because his Triggerless Tattoo is the ‘key to tattoos’ whatever that means. But by that admission it also means that they inevitably will be caught. Either way, for an opening to the conflict arc, it’s a pretty action packed episode!

Rating: A-

To read my previous posts on this series, check out the links below!

Episode 2-3

Episode 1