Anime: Dominion Tank Police
Based on a manga series drawn by the legendary Shirow Masamune
(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:
- Abnormal Ammo: Dick mines. No really. They're mines, and they turn into enormous dicks.
- Bonaparte can fire some interesting shells in New Dominion, including one that seems to comprise a huge glob of pink goo that can incapacitate and trap anyone it hits.
- The Mobile Weapons from New Dominion also fire "atmospheric explosives", which don't actually explode themselves, but react with shells fired by other weapons nearby causing an epic explosion. Fortunately the Tank Police are just about smart enough to hold their fire when it deploys one.
- Ace Custom: Bonaparte is a one-of-a-kind design in Dominion and New Dominion
- Adaptation Dye-Job: In the original OVA Leona had red hair and the Puma twins had blonde hair. In New Dominion Leona has auburn hair and the Puma twins have red hair. Additionally Leona, Al, and the Puma twins change eye color from one series to another. In the original OVA they all had blue eyes but in New Dominion Leona has brown eyes, Al has green eyes and the Puma twins have reddish orange eyes.
- All CGI Anime: The third OVA series, Tank SWAT.
- Aliens in Cardiff: Killer cyborgs and sociopathic, tank driving police in Japan.
- 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-Hero: The Tank Police don't seem to care an awful lot for the civilians they're supposed to be protecting, or about the amount of collateral damage their activities do to the city. And their interrogation techniques have to be seen to be believed.
- 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, the Puma Sisters and Greenpeace
- Attack Its Weak Point: The unmanned Mobile Weapons in New Dominion can be disabled with a hit on their stabilization system. The huge truck from episode 3 has a control chip right behind the logo on the front of the cab.
- Bait-and-Switch Credits: A relatively mild but none-the-less infuriating example in the case of New Dominion. There's a scene in the opening sequence of the anime with the Puma Sisters hanging onto a crashing, disintegrating biplane, and another with Bonaparte in a car crusher. Of course neither scene crops up in the actual anime itself, as they were lifted from the New Dominion manga, which had a very different storyline.
- 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 the original Dominion OVA 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?"
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: More or less every executive you see in the series!
- 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.
- Lampshaded by Specs in New Dominion, when he compares Brenten to Dirty Harry
- Crapsack World: This is a world where the police need tanks to simply survive, and even then there's a serious crime on average every 36 seconds in Newport. There's also a bacterial smog that has left every living human infected to some extent and can kill pretty much anyone when it gets particularly dense, requiring the use of breathing masks.
- 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...
- Diplomatic Impunity: Invoked by Colesman. It doesn't work
- Disproportionate Retribution: "But sir, we had to open fire on the protesters. They were throwing tin cans at my tank!"
- Da Chief seems to think tactical nuclear weapons would be quite a nifty crime fighting technique!
- The Ditz: Leona, more so in the original than in New Dominion.
- 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.
- Expy: A hot-tempered, trigger happy armored police cop? Are we talking about Leona or later-appearing Noa Izumi? They even have the same hair color in their first OVA appearances and Leona fawns over her tank, Bonaparte, similarly to how Noa fusses over her labor, Alphonse; though Leona's WAAAYY more attached to her tank....
- Frickin' Laser Beams: The primary weapon of the New Dominion Mobile Weapons. They're a bit rubbish in the rain or under sprinklers though.
- 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.
- Girl in a Box: Greenpeace
- Groin Attack: Leona almost castrates a suspect when she blindly throws a knife at him when he's being spun around on a Wheel of Fortune style wheel of torture and almost hits him in the crotch with it. The fear of having nearly been castrated causes him to spit out the grenade that had been stuffed into his mouth, which then explodes near Bonaparte... which then causes Leona to start shooting at him.
- Anna kicks a blonde thug with weird cyborg eyes in the crotch after he revealed that he and his mooks were about to shoot her and Uni but were interrupted by Leona, who had come after them when the sisters stole her beloved Bonaparte.
- 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.
- Hopeless Suitor: Al is this to Leona both here, the manga and the New Dominion series. Which is not to say that Leona DOESN'T care about him on some level...
- I Call It "Vera": Leona calls her tank Bonaparte, Brenten calls his magnum The Castigator
- 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.
- Japan Takes Over the World: Inverted, the Japanese Dai Nippon Gaiken gets taken over by the western Rockford Corporation
- 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.
- Mega Corp.: Dai Nippon Giken and Rockford from New Dominion
- Mexican Standoff: Three-way standoff, happens twice in the OVA. Don't ever sneeze.
- Mini-Mecha: Bonaparte, natch. Also the Mobile Weapons from New Dominion, which are even smaller
- More Dakka: Generally the entire philosophy of the Tank Police.
- Ms. Fanservice: The Puma sisters.
- Leona has her moment in a Playboy Bunny costume as part of an interrogation.
- 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.
- Not So Above It All: Chaplain. At first he seems like the Only Sane Man, but gleefully joins in on all the fun the Tank Police are having.
- When trying to stop Leona from shooting up a suspect under interrogation (because he spit out the grenade that was in his mouth and it blew up, denting Bonaparte), he tries to calm her down, leading to this conversation.
Chaplain: Be merciful my child. Which would our Lord say is more valuable, the life of a miserable sinner or a tank.
Leona: Well a tank of course.
Chaplain: Thanks be to God for letting thy lamb hear the true word that giveth the Tank Police the power which it needs to carry on the struggle.
- 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 yet she still looks younger than him.
- Only Sane Man: Al and Leona trade off this role as if it were the Idiot Ball. Al usually plays the part more than Leona does though.
- 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 first 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.
- A few back-and-forth with Ghost in the Shell. For example, Anna and Uni show up for a brief cameo in Ghost.
- Both series also take place in the fictional "Newport City" in Japan.
- The civvies Leona sports in act 2 of New Dominion bears more than a passing resemblance to Kaneda's outfit from AKIRA.
- At one point, Leona quotes Dirty Harry's dare from Sudden Impact ("Go ahead, make my day!") almost verbatim.
- Shorttank: Leona, who coincidentally also owns a short tank.
- 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 (similar machines appear in subsequent episodes, but they're unmanned); 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.
- Torture for Fun and Information: As stated above, their methods of interrogation come off more as a game for them and a way for the squad to relax than actually gain any information information.
- Start of Darkness: Buaku in the first OVA series.
- Stock Footage: The first two OVA episode have the same scene of the Tank Police sliding down ropes into the hangar so they can get in their tanks and ride off to wreck the city in the name of Law and Order. What makes this strange is that in the second episode, they were already in the hangar performing a Perp Sweating when the deploy order came, so there is no sensible reason for them to leave the hangar, go upstairs, and then slide down ropes into the hangar. Well, there might have been for Leona, who needed to change out of the Playboy Bunny outfit she wore to the Perp Sweating (Or at least put her uniform on over it), but she isn't in the stock footage.
- Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: The Puma Sisters. This pair of "Love Dolls" has super strength and military-grade targeting computers.
- Tank Goodness
- Token Good Teammate: Al is probably the closest thing the Tank Police have to one. Leona starts off as one but it doesn't take long for her to become as gleefully violent as the rest of them.
- Took a Level in Kindness: The Tank Police are a little more stable and sane in New Dominion than in the first Dominion. They even show more concern for doing the right thing, for whatever that's worth.
- Twenty Minutes into the Future: The timeframe isn't specified in Dominion, but it's implied to not be very far into the future. New Dominion pins the date down to 2016 (The second episode occurs on August 10th, 2016, the date Specs enters when he records that Leona's tank police membership has been revoked).
- 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.