Anime: Dominion Tank Police
Based on a manga series drawn by the legendary Masamune Shirow
(although altered greatly from its source material,) Dominion Tank Police
covers three OVA
series, the first of which came out in 1988. The story is set in a future Japan filled with so much bacterial pollution that people have to wear gas masks outdoors. Policing this crime-ridden dystopia is a police squadron comprised entirely of rag-tag tank-driving misfits — who may be an even greater
threat to the civilians of the city than the criminals themselves are.
Though the premise of this over-the-top show may not be all that original, the characters themselves are loads of fun to watch, notably Leona Ozaki, the Shorttank
of the series (who, appropriately, drives a short tank herself), Charles Brenten, the bloodlusting squad leader with a lifetime subscription to "How to Kill" magazine, and the Puma Sisters Anna and Uni, a pair of suspiciously overpowered android catgirl criminals.
This show provides examples of:
- All CGI Anime: The third OVA series, Tank SWAT.
- Alternate Continuity: Shirow has asked readers to think of Dominion: Conflict as another timeline than the original manga, because of several changes to the setting (such as putting the toxic smog On A Bus).
- Anti-Villain: Buaku and the Puma girls.
- Arc Words: A very literal example in the case of "We're Mad". Although they're written on Buaku's goggles, we only see the phrase during closeups that occur during the clmax of a particular story (they appear in episodes 2 and 4 of the OAV, and near the end of the manga).
- Artificial Human: Buaku
- Berserk Button: Anna and Uni Puma started off their careers as "love dolls". They hate being reminded of the fact.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: The New Dominion Tank Police series provides a more villainous example in the form of The Dragon killing himself rather than by taken in for his crimes.
- Blind Without 'Em: Lovelock. There's a reason his nickname is Megane (Specs in the English translation).
- Bowdlerise: A great deal of cutting and creative redubbing had to be done to make this series suitable for showing on American Cable TV — and that's not even including the whole GIANT DILDO-SHAPED LAND MINES portion of the plot...
- Card-Carrying Villain: Buaku, who prides himself on being — supposedly — a major Bad Ass, right down to having "WE'RE MAD" stencilled on his Geordi-esque visor.
- Cat Girl: Anna and Uni Puma.
- Compensating for Something: Cheerfully referenced in the original movies; Brenten has an enormous revolver and waxes lyrical about his tank and how "Bigger Is Better and it always has been!" Perhaps the most hilarious is when a series of ridiculous events catapults a tank into the side of a hotel where a young couple were getting frisky; seeing his shocked girlfriend straddling the tank's cannon, the man drops his head and whimpers "Oh God, how can I top that?"
- Cowboy Cop: Almost the whole cast. Is subverted a teensy bit by the fact that their Chief, who in other series would be yelling at them for causing collateral damage, is just as psychotic as his subordinates — perhaps even more so.
- Cyber Punk
- Da Chief
- Demon Head: The Chief spends almost all his onscreen time in a low-grade version of this — bulging eyes, Cross-Popping Veins, occasional steam from ears, screaming almost everything he says...
- Designated Hero: The cops destroy more public property than the crooks, but they're the cops so it's all okay — at least, that's their argument. Anna and Uni actually buy into it because blowing shit up in the name of the Law sounds like way more fun than blowing shit up for no reason.
- Disproportionate Retribution: "But sir, we had to open fire on the protesters. They were throwing tin cans at my tank!"
- The Ditz: Leona
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Captain Brenten so obviously wants to be this type of leader, but he comes off as a posturing, macho windbag with serious bloodlust issues.
- Explosive Leash: Buaku puts Leona in a variant to set up a Chained Heat plot in the OVA.
- Friendly Enemy: Buaku, Anni and Uni. Very much so.
- Generation Ships: Buaku's final gambit is stealing one of these. Granted, it'll take several centuries to reach the nearest star, but since neither he nor Greenpeace appear to age that shouldn't present a problem.
- Heel Face Turn: The Dominion: Conflict manga has the Puma Sisters give up on bank robbing and join the Tank Police, since they figure being the good guys probably pays better. They fit in frighteningly well.
- Hero Insurance
- Hey, It's That Voice!: You may recognize Brenten as Tik-Tok.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Buaku, although his failures are never his own fault — he'd be a Magnificent Bastard if his plans worked as well as they did in the manga. The Puma Sisters get to play this role in the New Dominion Tank Police Revival OVAs.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: The Tank Police's idea of a proper interrogation usually involves grenades. The most over-the-top example is in the second OVA, where, after the drug dealer refuses to name his suppliers after being asked nicely by Leona in a Playboy Bunny outfit, is strapped to a large wheel, has a pin-less grenade stuffed in his mouth, and then is spun on the wheel. Then the rest of the squad starts throwing knives at the guy.
- Technically an aversion as they don't actually hurt the guy, they just illustrate that he's surrounded by psychotic cops who would rather he didn't speak as to cut their fun too short.
- Just Before the End: Subtext in the original manga.
- Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: The Puma twins in one scene.
- Knight Templar: The Tank Police; Leona evolves into one by the second episode of the original OVA series.
- Lampshade Hanging: When the Chaplain survives getting shot by one of the Puma Sisters in the manga, Brenten comments "... if this was a serious comic you'd be dead as a can of tuna by now."
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Bonaparte. Yes, the tank.
- Latex Perfection: The engineer of a new type of tank used this to impersonate a detective he had killed in order to retrieve the tank's designs.
- Leitmotif: The OVA does this: the tank cops have one, the Buaku gang has one (The "Hey, Boy" striptease number done by the Puma sisters), and the Red Commandos have one. Bits of each are heard when each is introduced prior to the Mexican Standoff.
- The McCoy: Chaplain
- Meaningful Name: Brenten is named after a 10mm semi-auto pistol.
- Mexican Standoff: Three-way standoff, happens twice in the OVA. Don't ever sneeze.
- More Dakka: Generally the entire philosophy of the Tank Police.
- Ms. Fanservice: The Puma sisters.
- Multi Track Drifting
- Na´ve Newcomer: Both Al and Leona fill this role — Al more so in the manga.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero
- No Indoor Voice: Brenten has a mild case of this, the Chief is a major sufferer.
- No Kill Like Overkill: These people use tanks. On pickpockets.
- The original OVA/movie starts off with a voice-over conversation between the Chief and the Mayor; the chief wants authorization to deploy tactical nuclear weaponry to help curb the rising violent crime. Then again, this is a place where the cops drive giant goddamn tanks around, and the crime rate is still going up.
- Older Than They Look: Buaku is just over 80 years old, but doesn't age because he's a cyborg/artifical human. Greenpeace is the same age, though she spent most of that time in suspended animation.
- Older than You Think: At the end of the fourth episode of the first OAV series, Buaku tells the Pumas to give Leona the antidote to the bioball. The Pumas are annoyed but Buaku notes: "We keep our promises: we're not humans." It's truly sad to see someone think this is a reference to The Matrix Revolutions.
- Only Sane Man: Al and Leona trade off this role as if it were the Idiot Ball.
- Chaplain and Lovelock usually come off as more sane than the rest of the squad (even compared to Al and Leona), but that only makes it worse when they gleefully join in on things like the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique.
- Perp Sweating: The Tank Police methods have to be seen to be believed.
- Plant Person: Greenpeace, in the manga.
- Playboy Bunny: Leona in the second OVA. No, really.
- Put Down Your Gun and Step Away: Averted, oh so very much averted in the New Dominion Tank Police OVA series. A criminal takes the owner of a bar hostage only for Leona to point out that if he fires, he loses his only protection and gives him until the count of ten to surrender. The criminal takes the wise option and allows his hostage to go free only to be ignored by Leona and then shot. By her tank.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Puma Sisters.
- Rabid Cop: Again, almost the whole cast, especially during chase scenes.
- Refuge in Audacity
- Revival: After Shirow Masamune published Dominion: Conflict, it was adapted into New Dominion Tank Police, which acts as a prequel of sorts. Later still, Tank SWAT was more directly based on Conflict.
- Robot Girl: Again, the Puma Sisters.
- Schedule Slip: The reboot Dominion series was planned to include four books. The first was released in 1995, and work was put on hold after Shirow decided to work on other series, with no work being done on the series since then.
- Shout Out: A few back-and-forth with Ghost in the Shell. For example, Anna and Uni show up for a brief cameo in Ghost.
- Shorttank: Leona
- The Smart Guy/The Spock: Lovelock
- Spell My Name with an S: Brenten/Britain. Shirow has confirmed that his name is Brenten, because he was named after the Bren Ten, a pistol.
- Spider Tank: The first episode of New Dominion Tank Police; Bonaparte's four articulated treads let it flirt with this trope, as well.
- The Squadette: Leona
- The Worf Effect: The Chief's reaction to hearing that Brenten was taken out in the first episode of the New Dominion Tank Police, showing just how powerful the new tank the criminal of the episode was piloting.
- Token Minority: The New Dominion Tank Police OVA surprisingly (for an anime) has two — the Chaplain, a Christian, and Nam, a black guy.
- Start of Darkness: Buaku in the first OVA series.
- Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: The Puma Sisters. This pair of "Love Dolls" has super strength and military-grade targeting computers.
- Tank Goodness
- The Unreveal: We never find out why Mr. Big wanted those urine samples.
- Watch the Paint Job:
That delicate blend of smoothly melded surfaces was the very expression
of invincible armor
, casting fear
into all those of evil heart! But you
! You took that exquisite exterior and scratched
, my sweet little pretty
! Beauty is such a fleeting thing...!
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: You could make a case that the Tank Police are this. They truly show signs of caring for the city they protect and believe their actions honestly help against crime. They just do this by blowing a lot of stuff up.
- Xanatos Gambit: In the manga, all of Buaku's nefarious doings, including his failures, are revealed to be working toward the same goal — namely, getting Greenpeace Chlorys away from the authorities, and then getting the hell off the planet.
- You Can Leave Your Hat On: The Puma Sisters do a striptease to distract the police in the first OVA.