Kiyotaka Suzuki's “BABYLON” (Episodes 1-3)
Review by Dennis D. McDonald
BABYLON starts out as a typical police procedural and then shifts into what seems to be one more decently produced “crimes in high places” mystery. By the end of Episode 3, though, we realize this show is going to be something else entirely.
We follow an idealistic prosecutor as he investigates a suicide that appears to be linked somehow to a pharmaceutical company being investigated for manipulation of drug testing results, to an upcoming mayoral election, and to the establishment of an autonomous new city on the outskirts of Tokyo. As he learns how these three things are connected his sense of honesty and justice are tested.
Production wise the animation and artwork are good. As in many Japanese series the city as displayed is deceptively clean and well organized with streets and sidewalks tending to be somewhat underpopulated. This is due, I assume, to the cost of detailed animation of the many vehicles and pedestrians we would normally see in views of cities like Tokyo. But facial expressions and hand movements are remarkably subtle and this is helped along by sparse but effective English subtitles.
I’m looking forward to more episodes in this series. I have no familiarity with the novels it is based on but suspect we are in for some potentially disturbing and adult story threads. If so, this series has the potential for reaching the sophistication and maturity of series like INUYASHIKI LAST HERO and AJIN: DEMI-HUMAN that I have enjoyed in the past.
Review copyright (c) 2019 by Dennis D. McDonald