First Impression: The Marginal Service

We are in Japan and the year is 202X. Police agent Brian Nightraider (I kid you not), an East Dakotan (!) immigrant to Japan, solves more cases than any other officer in his department. But the way he does it— roughing up suspects, entering places he’s not supposed to, and rushing into danger—gets him into trouble very frequently. Usually, things balance out, but this time, he has done it. While trying to capture a dealer distributing a strange new drug, his partner gets killed. So does the suspect, seemingly murdered by an invisible force. However, his boss isn’t buying it, and he’s now out of the Police Force. After eating junk food on his couch for some time, Nightraider is suddenly recruited by an X-Files-style organization, populated by walking stereotypes (Cyrus N. Kuga? Bolts Dexter? Lyra Candeyheart?). Apparently, 10,000 visitors from other worlds live among the Japanese population. Nightraider wants nothing to do with all this… until he hears the uber-stoic agent Zeno Stokes connect them with the case in which his partner died.

Oh, man! Those costumes! I was not prepared for the stereotypes of the Agency to show up to fight the final battle against the monster with this glorious firefighter/Power Ranger/Evangelion/construction worker attire. I had been going back and forth on the episode, and at that moment I decided that The Marginal Service mostly works as a crazy, over-the-top action comedy that is just on the frontier of so-bad-it’s-good territory. So far, it has nothing groundbreaking, but the pace is agile, the visuals are effective, and it managed to make me smile quite often, and burst into laughter once or twice (costumes moment included). Well, that was quite fun. Will I continue it, though? I’m not sure. I could give this show one more episode, and see if it reveals itself as a one-trick pony (as many parody shows do) or if the jokes keep being inventive and manage to give us something along the lines of Blood Blockade Battlefront. We shall see.

The Marginal Service can be streamed on Crunchyroll.

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