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Anime / Dominion Tank Police

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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 when they go off, they turn into enormous, erect, upthrust dicks. Surprisingly, they do a good job of knocking tanks ass-over-teakettle.
    • 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. Zig-Zagged in that it's built from scraps from Brenten's Ace Custom "Tiger Special" after Leona wrecked it. And Averted in Conflict where it's now standard issue for the Tank Police.
  • Adaptational Curves: In the animé, Leona has much bigger knockers than in the original manga.
  • 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.
  • Affectionate Parody: The entire series is a gigantic literal piss-take on dystopian sci-fi anime, taking it to its logical extremes.
  • Aliens in Cardiff: The English translations give an amusing example. The series takes place in the fictitious Japanese city of Shinhama,note  which literally translates as "New Port". Since the early American translations papered over most of the Japanese cultural references, the audience is apparently meant to think this bleak, futuristic dystopia is located in the state of Rhode Island.
    • Or in Wales (not too far from Cardiff!).
  • All CGI Anime: The third OVA, 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 and dropping Al from the story).
  • Artificial Human: Buaku, the Puma Sisters and Greenpeace
  • Artistic License – Law Enforcement: The show parodies the over-militarization of police forces to extreme levels, so it never takes itself too seriously despite the plot. An early scene features a Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique where-in a criminal has a grenade shoved into his mouth, and the officers turn the interrogation into a game featuring a spin wheel and Leona dressed up as a Playboy Bunny. Police chief Brenten encourages this behavior.
  • 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 climax of a particular story (they appear in episodes 2 and 4 of the OAV, and near the end of the manga).
  • Asshole Victim: The criminal interrogated with the threat of a hand grenade and a noose around his neck may have very well deserved this treatment, as it is later revealed that he confessed to several counts of murder (that's the dub; in the original, it was five counts of rape).
  • 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 the first was lifted from the Dominion Conflict One manga, which had a very different storyline, and the second from the original manga, to which New Dominion is kind of a sequel.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Anna and Uni Puma started off their careers as "love dolls". They hate being reminded of the fact.
    • Don't disparage or belittle Bonaparte, or you'll get on Leona's bad side, and if you damage it then you're beyond all help.
  • 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 badass, right down to having "WE'RE MAD" stencilled on his Geordi-esque visor.
  • Cat Girl: Anna and Uni Puma.
  • Color Failure:
    • Brenten after he manages to destroy the automatic control system of a giant runaway truck full of high explosives and almost gets run over by it.
    • Again Brenten after he has to fill out an obscene amount of paperwork at the end of the second OVA.
  • 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 (and the first episode of DTP features images of Wild West lawmen to drive the point home). 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 there's a serious crime on average every 36 seconds in a major city, and criminals are so heavily armed that the police need tanks just to survive. 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. On top of that, the government has discovered that humans have partially adapted to the cloud, so even if they could get rid of it they'd need to find some way of dealing with the stuff inside of people or have even more problems down the line.
  • Cyberpunk
  • 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...
  • Destructive Saviour: Parodied to hell and back.
  • 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.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: Anna and Uni Puma did everything together and were basically interchangeable. In Conflict, after joining the Tank Police they get different jobs which show differences in their personalities: Anna is the more violent one and becomes a tank pilot, Uni is more reserved and gets a desk job.
  • 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.
  • Dub-Induced Plotline Change:
    • In the English dub, the guy interrogated in a rather insane way in the first scene confessed to several counts of murder. In the original Japanese audio track, he confessed to five counts of rape.
    • In the original audio track, the mayor rants about how the tank police is not better but worse than the criminals and how she would loved to have the members of tank police hung and tie the ropes around their necks herself, in the dub she would like to fire them and complains about tax raises to pay the damages and how that would hurt her chances to get re-elected.
    • In the original audio track of second episode of the second OVA, Leona called the Puma Sisters "stupid whore machines", in the dub, she accused them of having murdered her friend from her time in the motorcycle police and reported the murder themselves.
  • Dystopia
  • Energy Weapon: The primary weapon of the New Dominion Mobile Weapons. They're a bit rubbish in the rain or under sprinklers though.
  • Enhanced Interrogation Techniques: When Al and Leona call the "interrogation" in the first scene torture, Brenten yells at them about how it is not torture, but an interrogation.
  • Exact Words: A doctor claims his hospital only treats healthy people... meaning, people who haven't developed an immunity to the omnipresent bacteria cloud.
  • Explosive Leash: Buaku puts Leona in a variant to set up a Chained Heat plot in the OVA.
  • Fingertip Drug Analysis: Brenten demonstrates exactly why this is a bad idea when he learns the vials recovered from Buaku contained human urine.
  • Flipping the Bird: The way a protester expressed his disapproval about the tactics of the tank police in the first episode of the second 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.
  • 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: Da Chief and the mayor are constantly screaming about the amount of collateral damage the Tank Police cause but it never seems to have any material effect on their funding or operations.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Al is this to Leona the manga and both Dominion and 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 Chessmaster 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.
  • Invincible Villain: Buaku in the original manga. The Tank Police is an annoyance at best.
  • 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.
  • Lighter and Softer: Along with Pandora in the Crimson Shell: Ghost Urn, when compared to Masamune Shirow's other works.
  • Married to the Job: Brenten is described as such, and loves his ginormous house-sized tank like his son, which is why he's so angry with Leona for destroying it.
  • 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
  • Mistaken for Gay: When Brenten and Brady reunite and give each other a bearhug as greeting, the old geezers arrested for shoplifting think they "make out" (whichi could be their senility speaking).
  • 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
  • Naïve Newcomer: Both Al and Leona fill this role — Al more so in the manga.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero
  • Nipple and Dimed:
    • In the first episode of the first OVA, we see very briefly a nipple during the scene in the VAP (the one with the piss) room.
    • In manga, Greenpeace has quite a few topless scenes, but her crotch is all barbie.
  • 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: Right.
    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.
  • Pin-Pulling Teeth: Leona Ozaki yanks out a grenade pin with her teeth, then to maintain symmetry, shoves the grenade in the mouth of a drug dealer who's proving reluctant to talk.
  • 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: Once again, the police has a special division that deploys tanks to deal with crime, with all of the absurd amounts of collateral damage that this involves. And they're the heroes.
  • 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.
  • Rule of Three: In Act I, when the Tank Police is dressed down for their failure to capture Buaku and his gang 20 minutes in, by the mayor, the chief of police, and the captain of the Tank Police, in that order.
    Mayor: [to the Chief] A pile of claims! You didn't catch Buaku and his gang! You call yourselves "elite" Tank Police?
    Chief: [to the Mayor] Yes, ma'am... [to Captain Brenton] A pile of claims! You didn't catch Buaku and his gang! You call yourselves "elite" Tank Police?
    Captain Brenton: [to the Chief] Yes, sir... [to Leona and Al] A pile of claims! You didn't catch Buaku and his gang! You call yourselves "elite" Tank Police?
    Leona and Al: Yes, sir...
  • Shapeshifter Baggage: The Puma Sisters have the ability to size shift into smaller forms, which allows Anna to pilot Bonaparte in Conflict; however, to do so she needs to shed off a lot of weight, by expelling large amounts of water. To get back to her normal size, she chugs down a full water cooler bottle.
  • Shorttank: Leona, who coincidentally also owns a short tank.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The civvies Leona sports in act 2 of New Dominion bear 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.
  • The Smart Guy/The Spock: Lovelock
  • Slapstick: In the first scene, just when a grenade used during a quite insane "interrogation" mentioned above flies off-path, Leona comes through the door and gets the grenade (thankfully with the safety pin still in place) in the face, resulting in a mild case of black eye.
  • 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
  • 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 Civil Services: The show is a parody of this concept. The police are shown using tanks to fight crime, and it's spelled out that this is due the setting being a Crapsack World that needs police to be militarized to that degree to maintain order. It doesn't help that the cops are often mavericks that even Dirty Harry would think are too extreme.
  • Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: The Puma Sisters. This pair of "Love Dolls" has super strength and military-grade targeting computers.
  • Tank Goodness: Pretty much all tanks featured: The police tanks are big and some gigantic and have "trackballs" instead of wheels, Leona's custom-build tank cannibalized from Brenten's she totaled and Buaku and the Puma Sister's two WWI tanks with modern technology on the inside.
  • 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.
  • Token Minority: The New Dominion Tank Police OVA surprisingly (for an anime) has two — the Chaplain, a Christian, and Nam, a black guy.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 20 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).
  • Unexplained Accent: For some unknown reason, the doctor of the clinic department the Puma sisters stole the urine from speaks in a rather thick German accent, at least in the dub.
  • The Unreveal: We never find out why Mr. Big wanted those urine samples.
  • Urban Hellscape: All versions of the story involve a city that is so crime-ridden that the police has gotten authorization to deploy tanks (from "miniature" versions like Bonaparte up to Brenten's multi-lane-wide monstrosity) and the crime rate is still undeterred (to the point that Da Chief believes literally deploying the Nuclear Option is necessary... of course, he's showcased as a bit of a madman and the other civil servants he's talking to on the opening narration are appalled at the idea). The original manga also showcased the city (if not the world) was on the verge of ecological devastation.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The Puma sisters can shrink into mini-versions of themselves by ejecting water from their bodies.
  • Watch the Paint Job:
    Leona: 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 it! Ohhh, 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.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: In the short-lived sequel manga, the Puma Twins are cleared of all charges and go to work for the Tank Police. Not because of any innocence on their part, but because they're androids they can't be considered to be criminals because they're not people in the law's eyes. Instead they're treated more like confiscated property that the Tank Police can now use similar to a seized vehicle or capital.
  • 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.
  • Wrench Wench: Leona Ozaki. Built her mini-tank, "Bonaparte" from the wreckage of the squad leader's Awesome, but Impractical super-tank.
  • Wretched Hive: There's a violent crime every 30 seconds in Newport City, and an act of terrorism every 25 minutes!
  • 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.

Alternative Title(s): New Dominion Tank Police, Tank Police Team Tank SWAT 01