Taboo Tattoo – 02


From a professional artistic standpoint, Taboo Tattoo is garbage. A simple example of this is it’s incomprehensible choices in framing. As seen above, Seigi is talking to two characters sitting next to each other. This isn’t a pan-shot. They literally did not frame one of the characters.

In this same frame, Seigi is also information repeating as a question… information he’d been given last episode and had time to absorb. Call and counter call scenes like:

“we’re in the Army” “you, the army?” and “it may result in your death” “my death?” are a convention for abhorrently bad anime/rpg writing, they also waste of our time as viewers, since we’ve been told the information multiple times and gain nothing from hearing the character’s non-reaction.


An example chest level shot… after a floor level shot, transitioning into an over the shoulder (but back in the room) shot, all within a second’s time. (then 2 different shots of Seigi gasping for air on the floor of his room — jesus stop moving the camera!)

In more general examples, the framing bounces from multiple characters’ points of view during an exchange. Maybe it’s low with a character on the floor looking up at who’s talking, followed by looking back down at the listening character, or across the room in an establishing shot.


It’s constant but unnecessary movement, generally in scenes where slower, more traditional pans would anchor us to a single point of view and let us absorb the scene from that point of view, thus gaining a degree of emotional connection with the character holding that view.

tl;dr throwing the camera around the room during a conversation doesn’t make the conversation more interesting. The opposite in fact.


An example of the glimmer of greatness: casually reading a manga about a teen freaking out while talking calmly about a grim situation to a teen who’s freaking out…

What’s actually maddening about Taboo Tattoo is that, despite its artlessness, the dark character that shows up this week was actually interesting. Even if only for the chained-up loli aesthetic.


Similarly, TT pokes fun at a few conventions of anime in general. Army-chan lolz off Seigi’s attempt to intimidate her by smacking the wall and his classmates are all like ‘you are a protagonist so we’re going to throw you out the window because screw you for auto-getting the girl’

It’s almost clever enough — almost fun enough — but god damn it’s so incompetently put together 90% of the time I can’t get into it. /Rant


3 thoughts on “Taboo Tattoo – 02”

  1. I kind of feel bad that I possibly put you through reviewing a second episode of this because I disagreed with your numeric score last week. Just want to clarify that I mostly agree with everything you wrote, its just that I personally wouldn’t give the same score for those kind of flaws. I know for the first episode, even though I dropped the series, I still managed to watch through the full episode which might just be me being lenient. I guess as long as I agree with with your review, I won’t disagree with numeric score anymore.

    1. no no no worries at all :-) I wanted to see where it would go next regardless. I did enjoy this weeks new threat and a subtle moment here and there. It’s just maddening that so much of the basic craft-level work is a disaster. Seriously, just watch from when Mr Void gets kicked onto the floor until the AMERICANs leave the room. The point of view goes all over the place. Inside, outside, boobs, eyes — if this was a horror/unreliable narrator drama, that would work well to disorient the viewer and make us question the narrator’s reliability. Here, there’s no point… unless the director worried the scene wasn’t interesting enough on its own, which it wasn’t.

      As for the score, I typically give generic shows a 5 or 6, depending on how genre-specific you have to be to watch them. It is always subjective but my logic here is that there is no specific genre that would make this extra appealing to watch (it’s kinda generic hodgepodge fighting/dark/teen power fantasy) and that, in addition to being generic, the hero is moderately unlikeable and it’s poorly constructed. To me, that leaves few reasons to watch it at all.

      If it was more generically constructed (i.e. dull but coherent framing, pacing, etc.) or if it was a more specific genre treatment (harem, magic girls, psycho drama) I’d boost it to a 5 or 6.

      1. In any case, it seems 4 as “barely watchable” is more useful than our previous designation, “bad.”

        Sounds like this show has its moments, but is generally hard to watch.

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