One night, a boy called Seigi saves a man from being beat up by punks. In return, the man gives him a mysterious tattoo on his hand. Later, Seigi is randomly attacked by a girl on his way to school.
His school friends tell him about the secret weapon developed by America to fight against the super-advanced Kingdom of Selinistan. Apparently, the weapon was stolen and brought to Japan…and just so happens to resemble a tattoo. After school, he runs into the same girl, who steals his phone and runs away. She demands that he return his tattoo and attacks him again. When she realizes that he genuinely has no idea how to control the tattoo, she stops and instead explains to him how they work. She even shows off her own tattoo, which has the ability to create chalk-powered bombs.
The girl, who is revealed to be named Izzy, is chided by her coworker Tom for failing to retrieve Seigi’s tattoo. She places a tracking device on him and follows him around for several days. As she’s not exactly a subtle stalker, Seigi confronts her demanding to know what’s going on. The confrontation is interrupted by an attack from another tattoo user, who possesses superhuman strength. Despite not being able to tap into his tattoo’s power, Seigi uses his martial arts to fight the man. During the fight, his tattoo activates, seemingly powered by his own shed blood, and immediately knocks out his opponent.
Don’t get me wrong. Taboo Tattoo was terrible. I cannot believe that in the year of Our Lord 2016 we are still getting anime where the girls’ outfits are apparently vacuum-sealed to their breasts, or where a female character’s affection for her male friend is “communicated” to the viewer entirely through her yelling at him. Also, though only Izzy and Touko (the aforementioned yeller) were introduced in this episode, the OP shows a veritable parade of girls in increasingly impractical-for-fighting outfits, which definitely had me rolling my eyes at multiple points.
Yet, despite this, I hated Taboo Tattoo slightly less than the pile of other terrible shows I’ve had to review this season. Not because it was good, but because at several moments it genuinely crossed into “so bad it’s hilarious” territory. I don’t know if this was intentional or not, but there were several parts of Taboo Tattoo that made me burst out laughing. They included:
-the title itself (the rhyming makes it sound like an anime written by Dr Seuss, though I bet an anime made by Dr Seuss would be better than this)
-the utterly ridiculous names, from the “Kingdom of Selinistan” to the supposedly imposing, super strong enemy tattoo user being nicknamed “Teddy Bear”
-the fact that a tattoo is powered by chalk. CHALK. Surely they could have thought of something a LITTLE more intimidating
-Seigi attempts to prove how strong he is to Izzy by…punching a leaf. A LEAF. Very convincing, Seigi.
So, while this is a terrible show which I have zero interest in watching further, it does earn itself a Dio and a half for providing me with some laughs.