Sunday, February 1, 2015

TIME TAXI: 'Gyuuun' is 'vworp vworp' and you're gonna have to deal.

Interesting job crossed my desk a few weeks ago. It was a simulcast, but we were already a few weeks behind so we were going hard catalog show style at first. I'd heard nothing about it except that it existed and the guy who played Anno in Blue Blazes had a cameo in the first episode.

The show was a little thing called Time Taxi and I figured, hey, time-travelling vehicles are always a plus with me.

So interesting thing about this show first off. I did a bit of reading and the lead, Edawakare (seen above), is played by a gent named Yutaka Takenouchi. I read that he's considered one of the most handsome celebrities in Japan, but after a few episodes of the unflattering 'tache and hairdo and full-on lack of charisma, I was wondering if maybe I am that far removed from Japanese aesthetics, or if he was just a really good actor with an attentive makeup department.

Then I looked him up. Oh, okay. It's the latter.

But that's beside the point.

Right. Time Taxi. It's about a dude named Edawakare who drives a taxi that travels through time. No sound effects, no time tunnel, no fade-outs. He just drives around a bit and there you are. Within the context of the show, we see him offer his services to people who've just messed something up, be it saying the wrong thing to a prospective in-law or missing their last chance to see their grandfather before he died. For the low low price of a few hundred bucks, Edawakare will take you back a few hours in time to try again, while offering bartender-level advice and complaining about how crappy his own luck is.

(Time Taxi drivers cannot avail themselves of their own services, you see -- if they travel back in time, they, unlike their fare, are obligated to 'stay to the script.')

In a sort of weekly Groundhog Day microcosm, we see people learning more about themselves via their altered choices... sometimes realising they did right the first time, sometimes taking a few goes to nail it, and sometimes discovering that honestly this particular issue wasn't even worth the trouble. They also play with their own time travel mechanics on occasion, exploiting loopholes in later episodes.

As a conscientious editor, I knew I would be remiss if I didn't work in at least one Doctor Who reference if the translation allowed for it. A Back to the Future one is already in-built if you look at the Time Taxi's dashboard. But... Who ones also cropped up over time. I should've known better, really. They covered all their bases.

I was sad to let Time Taxi go when it reached its finale, but I really enjoyed said finale. It's a fun show, and one of the few I've worked on where I run to friends and pretty well demand that they watch it.

Oh, and I demand the same of you. All ten episodes are free on Crunchyroll for those interested in having a look. Which should include you. And all your friends. I edited/typeset from the second episode on. And I'm rather pleased.