Posted by psgels on 27 July 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews



Touka Gettan is part of the “WTF am I watching!?”-series. From the creators of Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito comes an equally eccentric series that will have just about everyone confused as hell in the first five episodes. Its big selling point is of course that the episode aired backwards: it starts with the conclusion and ends with the introduction.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

In any case, it’s definitely an interesting and unique experience watching this series. The first five episodes are a complete mindscrew, with just about everything not making any sense because the lack of explanation that was supposed to have happened “earlier” on in the series. After that though, the series slows down and becomes episodic, and starts resembling your average school series with episodes like the Christmas episode, beach episode, et cetera, as we see the daily lives of the lead characters play out.

It might seem boring, but don’t worry, because the filler parts really manage to flesh out the characters, and the serious parts really give you the opportunity to try and connect everything that happened, watching the different characters develop backwards throughout time. The character-development is ranges from subtle to in-your-face, so you’re going to have to pay a lot of attention to get every single detail. Since you know how the characters are going to end up, it definitely has an interesting effect to see their past selves considering the sad and downright screwed up situations that they’re going to end up in.

If I had to praise this series for one thing though, then it’s its creativity. Let alone its idea to reverse the episodes, the cast of characters feels fresh and has a lot of original quirks (I especially loved the car jokes) and a lot of creative episodes (I especially liked what can be considered as the lost episode of Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito. It fits EXACLTY), but there also are episodes that take on the form of a theatre play and even an TV-show. From the outside, this series may consist out of a lot of boring fillers, but they hardly ever leave you bored or uninterested.

That’s not to say that Touka Gettan is without its flaws, unfortunately; it’s full of ‘em. It could have been much better paced and the continuity is pretty much a mess. The creators like to randomly let characters appear and disappear without any good reason, and some plot twists just seem to happen for the heck of it, rather than there being a good explanation for them. Considering how difficult it already is to keep track of the different characters in this show, an extra addition of plot-holes really DO NOT HELP.

Then there’s the excessive amount of fanservice in this series. I know that it’s there to add to the style of this series, but the creators really tend to take this overboard at times. The characters themselves also tend to lack background. While watching this series, you obviously won’t know which ones have proper background and which haven’t, but a lot of the characters could have been much better if we actually knew who they were in the end.

So yeah, Touka Gettan is too rough around the edges to really make an impact: it could have handled its unique format much better with a much tighter direction. Nevertheless, when it comes to entertainment and keeping its audience busy, it does exactly what it needs to do. It’s pretty much like Yamibou: it’s not exactly a great example of storytelling, but worth watching just for the character interaction and the ideas thrown into it.

Storytelling: 7/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 9/10

11 Responses

  1. Camario says:

    I watched about five or six episodes but didn’t really get into it at the time. Confusion was obviously the main problem.

    I’ve been wondering if watching it the other way around would help, even if that would spoil the point of the gimmick.

  2. psgels psgels says:

    Camario: to be honest, I was also at the verge of dropping this show at the exact same point, but in the end I decided to stick with it. The show really turned completely different after that point.

    I don’t think that it’s really worth it to watch this series backwards. Unlike Haruhi, which can be watched in any order, Touka Gettan was really made to be watched backwards. Plus, my guess would be that the plotholes would stick out even more than they do now.

  3. Revenger1589 says:

    Touka gettan was an anime I really loved to watch every week when it was airing, as you said it has it’s fair share of faults but it’s one of the most entertaining anime I have watched. The theater play was brilliant.

  4. hashi says:

    Thanks for reminding us of this one. I rate it even higher than you do. Brilliantly inventive, in an animesphere that is largely cookie-cutter. Powerful and mysterious characters and events.

    One episode (#21) was even written — and extremely well — by Noto Mamiko!

    This anime was the debut of the marvelous young seiyuu/singer Hayami Saori, who played Momoka. Her ED for this show is one of my favorite pieces of anime music. She gets her best lines in the episode written by Noto kawaii. Hayamin may be the next generation’s Noto, for her stunningly pretty voice.

    And I don’t think there are actually any plot-holes, per se. Things are meant to be mysterious and somewhat indeterminate. Written by Mochizuki Tomomi (Yamibou, YKK, Zettai Shounen).

  5. Ialda says:

    I agree with the last comment. And seeing in its intended order (backward) really does add something to what would otherwise be yet another unimaginative harem anime. Its way of playing with the viewer’s mind remind me of shows like Utena.

    On a side note, I really appreciated the soundtrack and the way it mixes traditional music with more modern sound and even tango. I still listen to it from time to time.

  6. I attempted to watch this in the “chronological” order, as opposed to the broadcast order, and found myself completely and utterly bewildered… so it being backwards doesn’t seem to be the reason its confusing, apparently.

  7. Camario says:

    @Ialda: Oh, I just loved Utena…this blog even helped influence my decision to watch it, in fact, but while that show does have excessive amounts of symbolism (to the point of self-parody) and likes to play with the viewer’s expectations…I didn’t really feel lost at any particular moment. As subversive as parts of Utena were, it was almost ritualistically predictable (see: the duels) and perhaps easier to get into.

    I really wanted to like Touka Gettan at first, given the production values, music included…but things just didn’t seem to click. I’m not a very demanding guy, all in all, but confusion that gives me small headaches is usually a bad thing.

    That said…I might well follow psgels’ advice and try to check it out once again, giving Touka Gettan another chance is well within my possibilities, but we’ll see how that turns out.

  8. Revenger1589 says:

    I just wanted to add that the soundtrack is excellent, I recommend everyone to listen to it, it’s one of the very few OST that I can listen from beginning to end.

  9. Bin says:

    oh story is interesting and is added to my delicious !

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  10. dm says:

    Touka Gettan was marvellous, both visually and in its direction, though I suppose we’re all disqualified for liking the flawed Yami to boushi to hon no tabibito (the Yamibou cameo in Touka Gettan was one of the better Yamibou episodes, and was the highlight of Touka Gettan for me, after the initial flush of the first few episodes.

    I also remember liking the soundtrack very much.

  11. Oksana says:

    You’re so right ’bout the fanservice, especially the ecchi scenes made me “beee” :D. And the plot twist was like crazy, I wouldn’t have understand it without another blogger explanation. Still, althought not all the characters were introduced as the main ones, I find myself very tided up with few of them. Especially Momoka-chan. Was hard watching her being bullied and other stuff. In the end I loved the romantic ending. And also you can’t not praise the OP and the EN. Unique!

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  • Bam
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 05:54 AM)
    The episode was alright and felt dense as I watched it, but in hindsight only really moved the plot forward incrementally. Lancer not untying Tohsaka as soon as he killed Kirei and then not killing Shinji when he clearly had the chance left a bad taste in my mouth. That and Shirou’s heavy plot armor at this point is becoming reminiscent of another famous anime dual-wielder. Not a compliment.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 05:46 AM)
    UBW 20 felt like another rendition of Eva 26 (Take care of yourself), complete with character analysis, battle with one’s Jungian Shadow, and loosely Buddhist ideas of self-actualization. It even featured the repetitive monologue shots that fade to black (with “I saw Hell” instead of Rei’s “Sky. Red, red sky”). It never went as far as Eva with “which way is up?” type of Soliloquy, but that’s probably a good thing.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:33 AM)
    Now I like my exploitation every so often, but yes Bam I really do wish that adult and mature storytelling could be better associated with truly, more pure mature themes.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:25 AM)
    I get choked up over Bergmans cries and whisper and Autumn sonata, I look back on a work by Key and Jun Maeda and wonder, think of how silly it looks to me now.

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