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There's something odd about this town...note 
In a city which should be familiar, there is the feeling of something a little different.
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Odokawa is a taxi driver who lives an ordinary life, taxiing some quirky customers around. A slightly eccentric stranger who has no relatives nor any relations with other people, Odokawa's hobby is to listen to Rakugo on the radio before going to bed. For the time being, the only people he can consider as friends are his family doctor Gouriki, and his high school classmate Kakihana.

Kabasawa, a college student who wants to go viral on social media, Shirakawa, a nurse who's hiding something, comedian group Homo Sapiens, who aren't selling well, the city hoodlum Dobu, and the rookie idol group Mystery Kiss—the conversations with these people, which should not have meant much, lead to a girl who disappeared.

Odd Taxi is an original anime produced by OLM Incorporated. It is the directorial debut of Baku Kinoshita, with Kazuya Konomoto as the writer. The series aired in the Spring 2021 season, with Crunchyroll currently holding the English streaming rights. The anime also got a manga adaptation that started releasing on January 15th, before the anime's actual release, with art by Takeichi Abaraya and story by Kazuya Konomoto.

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Not to be confused with Crazy Taxi.


Odd Taxi provides examples of:

  • An Aesop: "Tanaka's Revolution" warns about needlessly throwing money left and right just to be the number one player in gacha games.
  • Age-Gap Romance:
    • Odokawa and Shirakawa. While his feelings for her are ambiguously romantic, Shirakawa is definitely attracted to him, even if he's 13 years her senior.
    • Baba and Nikaidо are in a Secret Relationship, and have an age gap of 16 years.
    • Kakihana and Shiho. He's in his 40s and she's 18. The two met through a dating app, and Kakihana is convinced (or wants to be convinced) that she is genuinely interested in him, but as Odokawa points out, it's entirely possible she only cares about the fact he is pretending to be rich and is a Gold Digger. It's later revealed to be an act on Shiho's part. She only seduced him on Yamamoto's orders as part of a Honey Trap, though she isn't particularly proud of it.
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  • All for Nothing: Mystery Kiss's attempts to cover up the murder of the original Yuki. To save the group's debut, they resort to calling in the yakuza to help dispose of the body, which puts them in debt with Yano and his crew. They also take on a far less talented substitute and — with the exception of Rui — start wearing masks to hide the fact that the original Yuki has died. All of this causes considerable stress for Yamamoto, Rui, and Shiho, who not only have to live with the knowledge that one of the original members is dead, but also have give up a substantial cut of all future profits to the yakuza and cooperate with Yano's less-than-legal schemes. Yet in the end, this all comes to naught as the police manage to discover and identify Yuki's corpse, forcing Mystery Kiss to suspend their debut indefinitely. In addition, the cover up made it very hard to find Yuki's killer, who was Sakura, her replacement, all along.
  • All There in the Manual: While the anime provides only just enough info about each character for them to be identifiable, the manga introduces characters with their full name, age, species, and occupation.
    • The manga also has some scenes and dialog not present in the anime. While some scenes are completely new, other bits are some dialog which help clarify certain things that could be confusing otherwise. For example, in the first conversation between Odokawa and Dobu, it makes clearer that Dobu believes that Yano is the one who tipped off the police about the missing girl being connected to the yakuza so they'd call off the search, and that he hasn't told his boss about the recording because he doesn't want the gang to think he uses underhanded methods like robbery.
    • There's also other external material explaining certain things, including a prologue story explaining how Odokawa met Big Daimon and learned about Dobu, Audio Dramas that focus on different things but overall circle around the journey behind the heart-shaped ball pen Odokawa had in his taxi in the earlier episodes, and even real-life tweets, such as a tweet explaining why Odokawa likes milk so much.
  • Ambiguous Ending: It's left open just why Sakura hopped into Odokawa's taxi in the end. She could either be trying to leave Tokyo before she's discovered as Yuki's killer or to kill Odokawa because he's a loose end.
    • The audio drama's also leaves Taeko's ultimate fate ambiguous. The last we hear of her, she was attacked by Sakura in order to retrieve the pen that recorded her, with it being unclear if she died or not.
    • And of course, Odokawa’s ultimate fate is left a mystery. Does he fall victim to Sakura, overpower her, merely take her on her way, or does he once again know more than he’s letting on?
  • Always on Duty: The Daimon brothers appear to be the only police officers who exist, including their being the ones who respond when Odokawa needs literally any other one. This might be justified by them being stationed in the area, except that this is set in densely-populated central Tokyo so you would expect to see at least a few other officers. This even gets inverted when Odokawa goes to rescue Kakihana and calls up Little Daimon for possible assistance, only for him to be unable to due to it being outside his jurisdiction - the thought of calling other police officers instead is never even considered.
    • Subverted in episode 12, which gives a brief glimpse into a busy police station, where two random cops' conversation suggests Daimon actually went to the warehouse and shot at Dobu.
    • Additionally, somewhat justified because by this point Odokawa is putting in motion a very precise Batman Gambit - it's derailed specifically because of outside factors almost entirely out of his control, so who knows what involving the police would do.
  • Animal Stereotypes: They apply to some of the characters; Taeko is a motherly kangaroo who wears a pouched apron, Kakihana causes a lot of problems and fails to see or hear some things coming metaphorically and it is certainly bad luck to have Sakura Wadagaki, a black cat, cross your path. But these are more like Morphic Resonance, as they're only animals in Odokawa's view.
  • Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving: Most of the characters witnessing Odokawa's taxi fall into the bay get a flashback to a painful memory involving something falling into water (e.g. Tanaka and his phone being dropped into the ditch, Rui watching Yuki's corpse being thrown into the bay) with the exception of Sakura, who instead recalls a happy memory of her mother dropping some fried chicken into a pot of oil. This is one of the last hints before the reveal that something is up with her.
  • Art Shift: After Odokawa's condition is cleared up, the backgrounds become much less blurry, with everything having much more distinct, clear shapes and lines instead of a grainy effect.
  • Art-Style Dissonance: Despite the art style not looking out of place in an anime aimed at young children, this show is definitely not aimed at that demographic, seeing how the tone is far more serious and way too dry for children to even understand. This is in addition to all the profanity and violence that occurs throughout the course of the series.
  • Audio Adaptation: Came with its own radio drama each week. The important plot points are left vague, and even the order each audio episode takes place in a timeline isn't exactly 100% clear, but the general premise is Satoshi Nagashima airing audio broadcast from a recording device concealed in a fancy pen that the show's characters have been unknowingly passing around.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: The story has overall 3 villains with varying relationships to each other. Dobu and Yano are the most visible ones, being yakuzas in a dispute with each other for money to give to their boss by stealing from a lottery winner; though both, to different degrees, position themselves against Odokawa and threaten his and his friends safety (though Yano isn't even aware of Odokawa himself). Lastly, there is Sakura, the one who actually killed the Missing Girl, and by extension puts everything in motion.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Odokawa manages to foil Dobu and Yano, and recover from his visual agnosia, allowing him to face humans once more. Everyone else also gets somewhat happy endings... and the ending then reveals that Sakura was Yuki's killer, with Rui taking the fall, while she hops in Odokawa's taxi... either to take her away from Tokyo so she can start up again, this time solo, kill him to clean up the last loose end or get taken down, since Odokawa remembers who he drove on the night of Yuki Mitsuya's murder and she has Nagashima's wiretapped pen with her.
  • Brick Joke: In "The Eccentric Driver", Odokawa wonders if Kabasawa can go viral in Twitter after taking a selfie. "How To Spend a Long Night" shows that he got more than 2.5 million retweets.
  • Bookends:
    • During Odokawa's clinical visit in episode 1, Goriki asks him what he looks like. Odokawa tells him he's a gorilla, annoying Goriki. In the last episode, when Odokawa is cleared of his visual agnosia, Goriki once again ask what he looks like, with Odokawa responding he's a human, much to Goriki's joy.
    • Odokawa's first and last line in the show is him asking his passenger, "Where to?"
  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: Vehicles in the show are often rendered in CG.
  • Cacophony Cover-Up: In "Bless You", Odokawa pretends to sneeze while taking a picture of Dobu to cover the sound of the phone's shutter.
  • Call-Forward: In "Tanaka's Revolution", during Tanaka's childhood it's shown that he got scammed betting on a one-of-a-kind Donraku eraser, which is the very same eraser Shirakawa gives Odokawa in the first episode.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Shirakawa always announces her "queixada" capoeira technique. Even underwater.
  • The Cameo: In "Borrowed Plumes and the Bodyguard", Punpee, one of the singers for Odd Taxi's opening song, appears as a customer in the bar Odakawa frequents, albeit in his animal form from the song's official music video.
  • Catapult Nightmare: The first episode opens with Odokawa jerking awake in his cab, seemingly having just had a nightmare of drowning, even coughing for a few moments as if to show how realistic the dream was. It turns out to be a memory of the traumatic murder-suicide that gave him visual agnosia.
  • Cement Shoes: The first episode shows something vaguely person-shaped tied into a bundle and with cinderblocks attached to it sinking into deep water, followed by Odokawa waking up, as mentioned above, and since we then hear about the missing girl, we can draw some conclusions. In the end it's revealed that she did indeed die and her body was dumped into Tokyo Bay, while Odokawa's nightmare is related to his near-drowning as a child.
  • Central Theme:
    • Unfulfilled ambitions. Almost every character has a dream that seems just within their reach - in the end, the weight of those ambitions causes them to do utterly reckless things to achieve them, which only makes them more trapped and miserable, if not outright ruining the chances of accomplishing those dreams. Notably, Odokawa doesn't really have one which is what makes him so dangerous.
    • Misjudging others. Multiple characters have plans and hopes that lead them to underestimate or fail to account for other people, whether it's Dobu failing to predict how far Odokawa would go to put him in jail or Odokawa speeding and thus contributing to Tanaka's Sanity Slippage. Ultimately taken to its logical conclusion with Odokawa, who literally can't see people for who they are because he sees them as animals.
    • How a single coindicence can have a ripple effect on so many lives. The entire plot happens because of a string of very unfortunate ones, but a lot of the wins by the good guys come about because of the universe aligning just right. This etends to the main thread, the Nerima Girl disappearance: it happened in the first place because of total blind luck and it gets sidelined by the end of the series for the same reason. The show ends with its two coincidence magnets, Odokawa and Sakura, facing off with the outcome unclear.
  • Character Blog: Fans found a real version of Kabasawa's Twitter account made several months before the show premiered, including Kabasawa's selfie with Odokawa from the first episode.
  • Chekhov's Gag: "Borrowed Plumes and the Bodyguard" sees Odokawa speeding in a way that makes a random passerby jump and ends up losing his phone after apparently getting a rare pull in a gacha game. "Tanaka's Revolution" tells the story of that passerby, and how that was the last drop in the bucket he needed to lose his sanity and decide to hunt down Odokawa to kill him.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Shirakawa is shown to have a particular eraser shaped like the presenter of a TV show. By "Tanaka's Revolution", that eraser is shown to have caused serious problems to Tanaka in his childhood when he fell for a scam trying to buy it.
    • In "Borrowed Plumes and the Bodyguard", Dobu hides away his gun by burying it near a tree in a park after threatening Odokawa. In the next episode, Tanaka is burying his pet bird, but ends up finding the gun, which prompts him to believe that he should take revenge on Odokawa.
    • It's mentioned that the first few shows did not have Mystery Kiss in masks. The masks are later explained, a late addition to hide the fact that the real Yuki had disappeared.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: Mystery Kiss's idol outfits, with Rui the leader (Red), Shiho (Yellow), and Yuki (Blue).
  • Cliffhanger:
    • "The Eccentric Driver" ends with the reveal that Shirakawa may be stealing medicine from the clinic.
    • "How To Spend a Long Night" ends with Dobu entering Odokawa's car and pointing a gun at him.
    • "Borrowed Plumes and the Bodyguard" Kakihana finally meets with Shiho in person and the two are off to have tea together, but Yamamoto and Sekiguchi show up behind them, seemingly following at a distance.
    • "Trick or Treat" ends with Kakihana beaten and tied up in a warehouse, at the mercy of Yano.
    • "Not Enough" ends with Yano in a stolen police car chasing Odokawa's taxi intent on killing him.
  • Contrived Coincidence: ditch- 11 is revealed to be Dobu thanks to Odokawa's uncanny Photographic Memory. Tanaka, who at this point was holding Odokawa and Dobu at gunpoint, shoots Dobu when he refuses to apologize, before running away screaming. For this plot twist to work logically means that Dobu not only scammed Tanaka out of the eraser, which is strange but somewhat believable, since it could be assumed to be a quick moneymaking scheme, but is also the top player of the "Zoological Garden" mobile game, even though he's a low-rung Yakuza, and has used the same social media account for years, with his profile picture being his face obscured by shadows.
  • Convenient Photograph: One of the plotlines gets kickstarted when Kabasawa, who wants to go viral online, decides to take a selfie with Odokawa while riding his taxi and accidentally catches Dobu, the prime suspect in a missing teenager case, in the background.
  • Counting Bullets: Dobu doesn't take the threat of Tanaka pointing his own gun at him seriously, because he believes Tanaka fired six times in the last week and would not be able to get extra ammunition, what with Japan's strict gun control laws and Tanaka's status as an unaffiliated renegade. Turns out Tanaka did have a bullet left because one of the shots fired that week was fired by Little Daimon.
  • Dead All Along: The real Yuki Mitsuya was murdered before the current events of the anime, killed by her replacement and dumped into the water.
  • Disposing of a Body: When Yuki Mitsuya is found dead, Yano's crew is called in to help dispose of her body, which apparently includes some grisly mutilation, likely to lessen the chances of identification, before weighing the body down and throwing it into the harbor. In return Yano is able to blackmail Mystery Kiss for half their profits and use as Honey Traps.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Odokawa's visual agnosia can be traced back to nearly drowning from his mother's suicide, who wanted to kill herself, and take her family along with it.
    • Tanaka attempts this in the finale, but stops after seeing Odokawa's taxi fall into the water.
  • Driving Question: Quite a few, but they surround the question "What happened to the missing girl?", which includes "How is Odokawa involved in the case?" and "Why are Dobu and the Daimon brothers aiming for him?"
    • The former is answered in episode 11: she was killed and Yamamoto orchestrated a cover up with the yakuza. The finale reveals it was her replacement who murdered her.
    • The latter has its answer revealed in the third episode: Dobu believes his junior on the Yakuza is behind it and trying to frame him for it, and the older Daimon is on his pocket, so they're trying to use Odokawa to localize the girl and cut a possible information source to Yano.
  • Enemy Mine: Despite Dobu threatening Odokawa in the past, the two end up having to join forces to catch Tanaka to stop him from further attempts on Odokawa's life, and reclaim the gun he stole from Dobu.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Dobu and Tanaka don't just look nothing alike, they're completely different species entirely, yet when Tanaka shoots up a club while going after Odokawa it gets pinned on Dobu easily enough just because Tanaka wore a mask. Apparently only Odokawa realizes that the person who went after him doesn't look anything at all like the big monkey Dobu is, but even then, when they track down the person they think is Tanaka, even Odokawa apparently believes it's him despite him having a different fur color than Tanaka's. Justified in that Odokawa has brain damage that has the synesthetic effect of making him assign people to animals - Odokawa can easily spot the difference, but to everyone else it's just a dude in a mask.
    • It takes a bit of time for Odokawa to piece together some of the intrigue because he never connected that one of his passengers was Sakura, the fake Yuki from Mystery Kiss and not the real deal. Justified because he simply never had the info to connect the dots since Yamamoto covered up the fact the real Yuki was dead with Sakura as her Body Double.
  • "Fawlty Towers" Plot: Kakihana lies on his dating profile that he's rich in a bid to attract more potential dates. He thinks this won't bite him because, as he sees it, if he finds someone who truly loves him they won't mind him lying about his income. Unfortunately for him, Shiho pursues a relationship with him expecting all the perks of dating a rich man, so now he has to Maintain the Lie by taking her to fancy restaurants, boasting about luxuries he doesn't actually own, and digging himself into massive debt to keep up the ruse.
  • Film Noir: Definitely fits in the genre. Odokawa is caught up in a swirl of conspiracy with organized crime, with a lot of dark, sleazy underbelly of Tokyo, and police are useless and corrupt.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Shirakawa's first appearance has her putting something in a handbag in what looks like a storage room in Goriki's clinic. Later on, someone who looks like her is seen interacting with Dobu, and while riding in Odokawa's taxi she mentions offhand that she paid off her student loans in some unspecified way. She's been stealing meds from the clinic and giving them to Dobu to sell in order to pay off her debt.
    • Odokawa says in passing that the older Daimon knows Dobu and that they're friends. Not only is he right, but Daimon is actually helping Dobu track down the missing girl.
    • Yamamoto's phone conversation in the first episode is largely devoid of context, but the topic of him doing "something" at the behest of "someone" about "that taxi driver" does come up. He was taking an order from Yano to find Odokawa and find out if he knows anything about the missing girl.
    • Early on, Shibagaki mentions wanting to quit his part-time job while Baba says he already quit his, because his girlfriend earns enough to support them. Indeed Shibagaki does work part-time at the very same club Imai works at, and Baba can afford to not work a steady job because he's dating Rui, a rising idol.
    • Kakihana overhears a phone conversation that reveals that the missing girl is the daughter of someone who is called "Don" by the person Kakihana is overhearing. It turns out to have been Donraku Shofutei.
    • When Kakihana & Shiho go on their first date, they're being tailed by Yamamoto and Sekiguchi for reasons unclear. They were spying on Kakihana as an eventual target for Yano's plan to extort money from wealthy people, and Shiho herself is in on it.
    • While chatting with Kakihana at the sauna, Odokawa says he'd rather make a good life for himself to show the support group that helped him through life than to show his own parents. This is because his parents aren't just gone from his life, they're dead, so he'd never be able to show them anyway.
    • Two separate conversations, when taken together, pretty much clue viewers in on one of the major twists of the show: Imai notes both that Mystery Kiss has started wearing masks recently in their performances and comments that Yuki's dancing is a bit sloppier than before, while Yuki makes an off-hand remark about being a more recent addition to the unit. In other words, "Yuki" is a Body Double replacing the real Yuki Mitsuya, the missing girl (later revealed to be murdered) who rode in Odokawa's taxi.
    • In Episode 2, a flashback of Mystery Kiss' first concert is shown. Though only seen from behind, the Yuki shown in the flashback looks different from the Yuki in the present.
    • Another piece of foreshadowing appears in a more meta example, on this piece of promotional artwork: There's a hole in the center of the Mystery Kiss lineup, while Yuki Mitsuya is standing off to the side, because she's not one of the original members.
    • When the missing girl's story is finally told to the audience, she turns out to be a performer's daughter, which is an extra hint towards her father being Donraku Shofutei.
    • In the finale when Odokawa and his taxi are dropping into the water, several witnesses to the event recall a somber memory: Yuki's body dropping into the sea for Rui, the expensive engagement ring for Kakihana, Tanaka's phone in the gutter, Shiho putting soap into a sad bath... except for one character, hinting at something wrong. It's Sakura, who instead remembers her mom making fried chicken, her favorite food - she turns out to be a cold-blooded, sociopathic murderer.
    • There are many hints to the big reveal that everyone was Human All Along, and that the audience was seeing things through Odokawa's eyes.
      • During Odokawa's clinical visit in episode 1, Goriki asks him what he looks like. When Odokawa tells him he's a gorilla, Goriki looks annoyed.
      • Many people are baffled about Odokawa's ability to recognize people, even in circumstances that typically cause Mistaken Identity among humans, such as Mistaken from Behind or the person wearing a mask while having a similar build.
      • Odokawa is the only one ever explicitly describing other characters as animals, while others do it so rarely that it's noticeable when it happens.
      • The various instances of Furry Confusion that are further detailed in the trope's entry.
      • A meta one; during the music cover for the opening, where all the character are replaced with real-life people, when Odowaka looks at the singers through his mirror, they look like animals.
      • Cans of tuna are visible in Odokawa's apartment, though somewhat blurry, which hints at the mystery guest in his closet being an actual cat. The cans are clearly visible once he loses his visual agnosia.
    • The opening hints at a few developments.
      • The black cat running away from Odokawa in the beginning doesn't have a face, really. This foreshadows Odokawa's condition which makes him see others as animals and be briefly confused about actual animals. In addition, it can be taken as alluding to his troubles at distinguishing between the two distinct black catgirls in his taxi, which is a major plot point.
      • The shot of Mystery Kiss dancing strangely leaves Yuki's face uncovered by credits, while the supposed lead Rui is ducking from behind them. This signals her importance early on, in addition to one of the backstory's instigating events: that the real Yuki Mitsuya was meant to take over as the group's leader. In addition, Yuki's eyes in the opening are blue, but her replacement's eyes are green.
      • Yamamoto is seen cheering Mystery Kiss next to Imai. He's not actually a bad guy - his support of his idol group is genuine, and his villainy is due to blackmail and circumstances.
      • The Daimon brothers jump on their counterparts' from Homo Sapiens' heads. The four of them end the series the same way - the aggressive, driven Shibagaki and older Daimon end up humiliated and dependent on their meeker, seemingly stupid partners Baba and younger Daimon who proceed to grow as people and shed their first impressions. It also references how the Daimon brothers are played by an actual manzai team.
      • As Dobu is chasing after Yano, a taxi drives in between them in the background. It symbolizes how Odokawa deliberately inserts himself into their feud, while neither of them realize this.
      • A cat hiding in a closet morphs into Odokawa's head. This is a hint to his medical condition.
      • Shirakawa forces a screen transition from the above shot with a kick. It foreshadows her capoiera training and how she saves Odokawa's life, twice.
      • Near the end we see a figure that looks like Odokawa dropping into water. This hints at his backstory in how his mother tried to commit murder-suicide with him and his father when he was a child. Which likewise lead to his mental condition in seeing everyone as animals. This could likewise foreshadow the last episode in which Odokawa accidentally drives off a bridge into the river which, ironically, cures him.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: "Tanaka's Revolution" follows an entirely new character who is tangentially related to the plot, but nonetheless adds further mystery and tension when he coincidentally finds Dobu's buried gun, and in the grip of mental instability, is hunting after Odokawa.
  • Furry Confusion:
    • The opening shows Odokawa beckoning to a non-anthropomorphic cat, and every character in the series is an anthropomorphic animal— including multiple cats.
    • Part of "Tanaka's Revolution" involves the title character's fascination with non-anthro birds as a kid, and getting a pet bird when he was young. The game he plays, Zoological Garden, includes also non-anthro mammals.
    • Dobu, himself an anthropomorphic monkey, holds a phone call with Kuroda in a room that has a picture of several non-anthropomorphic baboons hanging on the wall.
    • The world is populated by humans, but Odokawa sees everyone as distinct animals. It even becomes a final plot point at the very end: Odokawa was hiding nothing more than an ordinary cat in his closet, but he himself could never be completely sure it was just a cat until his condition improves.
  • Furry Lens: Odokawa has visual agnosia which causes him to misunderstand what he's seeing. Because he was more comfortable with animals as a child, he began to see other people as them.
  • Gambit Pileup: By the end, you have:
    • Yano's plan to steal the 1 billion yen from Imai in plain sight after exchanging it legally at the bank. Yano never realizes that he was basically steered into those ideas and fails.
    • Dobu's plan to derail the exchange with fake money, so that Yano gets arrested. This one works, if not for two important wrinkles: the Daimon brother who was meant to arrest Yano is recognized as Dobu's accomplice and beaten, while Dobu gets shot at the finish line by Tanaka.
    • And finally, Odokawa's: mess up both plans a the same time. It doesn't work, which forces him to employ Xanatos Speed Chess to near deadly effect.
  • Genre-Busting: This anime is a mystery crime-thriller, but that's more of a background element. The A-plots, however, are more of a comedy-drama with a very dry sense of humor.
  • Homage:
    • Kuroda, the Yakuza boss with a heart of gold whose one rule is not killing people, is voiced by Takaya Kuroda, the voice of Kiryu Kazuma of the Yakuza franchise, who happens to be a former Yakuza chairman with a heart of gold who also strongly dislikes killing people. Kuroda is also revealed near the end of the anime to be running an organization helping out troubled children, for which he seems to genuinely care about. This mirrors Kiryu's care of the children he raises in his orphanage. In addition, his human design is very similar to Futoshi Shimano, one of the Yakuza franchise's antagonists.
    • In Episode 6, Imai takes Odokawa to Kabukichō, the real life red light district on which Kamurochō (the main district in the Yakuza games) is based. The episode includes a shot of the iconic Kabukichō Ichiban-gai gate that closely resembles shots of Kamurochō's version of the same gate, often used to introduce it in the games. Furthermore, Odokawa is taken to the cabaret club that Imai works at. Cabaret clubs also happen to be a very important part of most of the Yakuza games' side content and minigames.
  • Human All Along: As revealed in the finale. As hinted before, Odokawa has a form of visual agnosia that causes him to view everyone, including himself, as animals, caused after he survived drowning from his mother's murder-suicide. He recovers from this after nearly drowning again.
  • Idol Singer: One of the subplots concerns the rookie idol group Mystery Kiss.
  • Informed Species: For the most part averted; the art style does take some liberties with how some characters' species look but overall they're still fairly recognizable. The Daimon brothers skirt the line a little since they do look like meerkats, but one would be forgiven for thinking they're dogs instead, especially since they're police officers. Imai is a better example though - given his pointy canine ears & snout and the lack of any stripes or spots, he looks a lot more like a dog and the only indication that he's a skunk is his coloration.
  • Inherently Funny Words: "Bruce Springsteen," apparently.
    Odokawa: You're drunk on the sound of the name "Bruce Springsteen," aren't you?
    Goriki: Who doesn't want to say "Bruce Springsteen?"
  • Irony: Dobu is fond of threatening to shoot people with the gun he carries if they don't meet his demands. He's also the only person who ever actually gets shot by said gun.
  • Last-Name Basis: Almost every character is referred to primarily by their surname, which is justified since that's standard for Japanese social norms. The only exceptions are those who specifically opt for their first name, like Rui and Taeko, and those who seemingly have Only One Name, like Dobu or Yano. Even the anime's credits don't list most characters' given names.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: After Odokawa's plan gets completely derailed, he plays a monumentally reckless move: he plants Tanaka's tracker on the van with the billion yen, hoping him and Dobu will take each other out. Most audaciously, it works.
  • Lost in Translation: There are some jokes that are difficult to translate. For example, in episode 5 when Odokawa and Goriki chat about salons and clinics, the official subtitles make no effort to translate the joke that in Japanese, salon (biyouin) and hospital (byouin) sound extremely similar.
    • The final conversation between Shibagaki and Baba almost loses all meaning as the subtitles do not translate tsukkomi (straight man, and what a straight man does in manzai) and tsukkomu (used for a car crashing) also being extremely similar.
  • Mature Animal Story: The story revolves around a missing idol singer who may or may not be alive, with some conspiracy in the background and characters having deep conversations...all involving anthropomorphic animals. Except it turns out everyone was Human All Along.
  • Myth Arc: The interactions Odokawa has with his customers and his friends/acquaintances (eventually) center on a missing high school girl.
  • Numerical Theme Naming: The members of Mystery Kiss are Shiho Ichimura (1), Rui Nikaido (2) and Yuki Mitsuya (3). Ichimura stands out for using a different kanji (市) instead of the one for the actual number 1.
  • Numerological Motif: One look at Odokawa's medical chart in episode 7 shows that he was born on May (month 5) 25th (5 x 5) of 1980 (Showa 55). It also shows his current age, which is 41 (4 + 1 = 5) years and 5 months.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: In "Borrowed Plumes and the Bodyguard", Kakihana has a conversation with a man sitting next to him - only to realize he was on the phone, using a wireless headset the whole time. Almost right after we see the other half of the phone conversation, which also explains why Dobu is now threatening Odokawa in his taxi.
  • One Degree of Separation: Pretty much everyone either knows Odokawa or knows somebody that does. This also applies to the cast in general, as many twists involve the revelation that seemingly unrelated characters know each other somehow.
  • Personal Dictionary: Yuki Mitsuya refers to fried chicken as her "soul food". While it is often associated with the specific African-American cuisine known as as soul food (stereotypically, even, which is awkward considering that she's a black cat), Yuki seems to mean "comfort food".
  • Politically Motivated Teacher: Tanaka's grade-school teacher was to the left and didn't want visible displays of inequality, insisting that his students standardize items and emphasizing lessons about uprisings caused by a wealth gap. This only served to push Tanaka further towards his eventual gambling problem due to a desire to stand out in some way.
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Averted, at least in the sense that characters, especially Odokawa, frequently talk over each other, interrupt, and so on.
  • Red Herring: All of the hints that Odokawa has been hiding the missing girl from Nerima City turn out to be this, because the missing girl was Dead All Along and dumped into Tokyo Bay.
  • Retraux: The official karaoke videos for Mystery Kiss songs ooze this, very much 80s or early 90s - and it's presumably this in-universe, too, since the series is set in 2020.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: The show focuses on the conversations Odokawa has with his passengers, so there's quite a bit of this.
    • In "The Eccentric Driver", Odokawa and his doctor end up getting distracted by a tangent about cassette tapes and Bruce Springsteen's part in "We Are The World." He also speaks with Kabasawa about what could go viral online.
    • "How To Spend a Long Night" has Odokawa talking with Imai about whether they consider themselves lucky.
    • "Borrowed Plumes and the Bodyguard" has Odokawa and Shirakawa going on a tangent about whether she can really use capoeira as a form of self-defense.
  • Shout-Out:
    • During Odokawa visit to Goriki's clinic, they have a winding conversation about We Are the World and the different artists in it.
    • While chatting in the sauna, Odokawa compares Kakihana to the Japanese pop rock band Mr. Children.
    • When Tanaka is thinking of who to blame for the eraser incident in his childhood, he briefly thinks of blaming the government, at which point, a furry version of Donald Trump appears.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: Tanaka is technically introduced in episode 3, but with no context for who he is or what he's doing screaming in the middle of the road. It's not until the next episode that we properly learn about him and see what was going on from his perspective, as well as the events that lead up to it and what followed.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • After falling for Yano's scheme and burying himself in debt trying to court Shiho, while Kakihana is saved from being a hostage he still winds up having to work two jobs to try and fix his life. He also tries to throw away the ring he'd bought to propose to Shiho by throwing it in a river but immediately retrieves it since he needs the money bad.
    • As Odokawa points out, Imai posting about his lottery win online puts him square in the sights of many dangerous individuals, namely Yano and Dobu.
    • Tanaka does eventually get the opportunity to have the one-of-a-kind Donraku eraser when Odokawa offers to give it to him, but by that point he's lost so much more over the course of his Trauma Conga Line that he hardly cares anymore.
    • Odokawa's plan to save Imai and put Dobu, Yano and Yamamoto in prison is brilliantly orchestrated, but also incredibly precise. It's derailed by a single event outside of his control: the discovery of Yuki Mitsuya's corpse. This takes away his leverage over Yamamoto and breaks Imai's spirit, forcing him to improvise.
    • In the finale Shirakawa dives into the river to save Odokawa using her caporiea skills to break the window on his taxi. She succeeds and is seen swimming Odokwa back to shore seemingly no worse for wear, only to be revealed later she injured her foot in doing the act (likely due to the water resistance and having to put more energy in the kicks to compensate) and had to get it bandaged later.
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: The Mystery Kiss headliner song, "Sugarless Kiss", has lyrics that are out of place in a poppy number, about not only pursuing one's dream, but also being jealous and selfish and hiding one's true self. After seeing the finale, it's clear that it's meant to be read from Sakura's point of view. Specifically, she seems to be referring to the act of strangling Yuki as a kiss.
  • The Taxi: Odokawa is a taxi driver and a good portion of the series focuses on the conversations he has with his passengers.
  • Trapped in a Sinking Car:
    • Odokawa has nightmares about drowning in a car, which turn out to be flashbacks to a childhood incident in which his mother tried to kill the whole family by driving their car into the ocean.
    • In the final epsiode, Odokawa drives his taxi off a bridge and plunges into the water, where he lies, passively, seemingly accepting his death as it fills up with water, until Shirakawa dives in to save him, breaking the car window and carrying him out.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: By the end of the final episode, everything seems to be concluded... until we find out that Sakura was the one who killed Yuki. And then she gets into Odokawa's taxi.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: Everyone is actually human, but they appear as animals to the viewer because that's how Odokawa sees everyone, thanks to developing visual agnosia from surviving a traumatic murder-suicide instigated by his mother.
  • Title Drop:
    • Dobu's plan to steal the billion yen from Imai is codenamed "ODDTAXI", since the plan involves using Odokawa's taxi and all.
    • The final line of the final episode is the title of the episode: Odokawa asks Sakura "Where To?".
  • Was It All a Lie?: When Kakihana finds out that Shiho was just leading him on with their relationship to bait him into getting caught by Yano, he launches into an increasingly frantic rant about how it couldn't possibly be true. Judging by Shiho's callous reaction, it was.
  • Wham Line:
    • From Episode 1: "Are you happy?" It's not the line itself so much as the fact that Odokawa delivers it while he seems to be alone in his house. The framing implies that there's someone he's keeping in his closet— possibly the missing girl from Nerima City.
    • From Episode 10: "The body found in the Tokyo Bay in October has been identified. The deceased is Nemira City Resident Yuki Mitsuya-san age 18." To which Odokawa responds with "It's not her..."
  • Wham Shot: In the final episode, as Sakura talks on the phone with her mother, a flashback is shown of Sakura strangling the real Yuki, completely upending what the audience knew about Sakura.
  • What Are Records?: Discussed and defied in the first episode. When Shirakawa is perplexed about Odokawa using cassette tapes, Goriki tries to rib her about not knowing what a cassette is, but Odokawa retorts that he and Goriki know what phonographs and telephone magnetos are from old media despite never using one themselves.
  • World of Funny Animals: All of the characters are anthropomorphic animals, but beyond that, the setting is fairly grounded and realistic. We see them as animals because that's how Odokawa views everyone.

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