Wow, I didn’t know that Wild Adapter had an OVA. Being quite a fan of Minekura Kazuya’s works (Saiyuki, Bus Gamer, etc), I have been following the Wild Adapter manga since over a decade ago and I was overjoyed when I realised that they released an OVA!
It seems like this OVA will be focusing on Tokito’s abduction. If you’re someone who just decided to watch this OVA out of the blue, forget it. You definitely have to read the manga to fully appreciate what’s going on and this OVA definitely doesn’t do Minekura-sensei justice. I would think that the essence of her works lies in the atmosphere she’s able to create with her whimsical and mysterious characters, and the ambiguous monologues she inserts at random places. This OVA barely has enough time to tell a story, let alone create the Minekura atmosphere. This episode basically brings us through the abduction of Tokito, with lots of recap inserts, before we end with Kubota going on a rampage to find Tokito. I’ll try my best to give you an elaborated version of what happened without giving spoilers, but no guarantees.
He is definitely the main main character of this arc. According to the manga, he’s a high school student (that’s pushing it) and he was once the leader of the Izumo Youth Group. Sanada, the group leader, scouted him from a mahjong place where Kubota had made a name for himself from his unbeatable record. Although it’s unquestionable that Sanada chose Kubota for his calm attitude and abilities, it was also Kubota’s family background which he was interested in. Kubota is the illegitimate son of Munakata Seiji (whom I’m assuming to be some police head or prominent political figure) but he has been living with his policeman uncle, Kasai, since young. I’m not sure how his family background is going to play a part in the story, but I’m sure it’s not going to be the focus in the OVA.
During his time in the Izumo Youth Group (which lasted about 7 months), Kubota appeared not to be bothered by anything and didn’t do much except to play video games in the office with his subordinates (including Tatsu, Osamu, Shuuji and Komiya). Toujou Group is the rival faction of the Izumo Group and there were numerous conflicts between the two. Once, Shuuji was beaten up badly by the people of the Toujou Group because he was caught sleeping with woman of Toujou Group’s leader. Although he appeared uninterested in the matter, Kubota wiped out the entire Toujou Youth Group by himself after that. A while later, Komiya, the second-in-command of the Izumo Youth Group was killed by someone from the Toujou Group and Kubota wiped out the entire Toujou Group Yokohama office. On the same day, he tendered his resignation and left the Izumo Youth Group. Komiya’s death seemed to have triggered his resignation and if you’re still confused, Komiya is the one who gave Kubota that watch. Komiya is also voiced by Chiba Susumu whom I always confuse with Nojima Kenji, both of them just sound so similar!
He’s someone whom nobody could really understand; in Komiya’s words, while he seemed uninterested in everything and everyone, he was very observant and would take note of random things like how often the convenience stores change their products. Kubota is also an extremely observant person, having inferred that Sanada smokes Ark Royal from just the smell Sanada carries around with him. He doesn’t hold any interest for anything, not even himself. Or rather, he can’t seem to find something interesting enough to hold his attention. There was a reference to a stray cat he got managed to get attached to in the past, but that cat died. When he picked Tokito up, he mentioned that “perhaps this one will outlive me” and it appears that he’s been looking for an attachment which he can hang onto. Although he seems rather gentle all the time (and we have ultra-veteran Morikawa Toshiyuki to pull that off), Kubota gives off the feeling that he’s one of the people you have to be careful of because there’s just something obviously wrong with this guy’s mentality. I can’t place my finger on it, but he’s the psycho you shouldn’t get involved with but can’t help fangirling over.
The Izumo Group
Tokito’s abductor is the Izumo Group and we don’t know what their motives are. It is unclear whether they are just using Tokito to get at Kubota, or if they are purely interested in Tokito’s monstrous right hand. Kiba Osamu (also known as Chamu, voiced by Kondou Takashi) is the current leader of the Izumo Youth Group and he seems to hold a grudge against Kubota. At the opening scene, Osamu was imagining himself shooting Kubota and it was some great voice-acting from Kondou-san whom I just heard in Kuroneko Kareshi; he sounds so manly and angsty in here that I could feel how Osamu hates Kubota from that tense way he was speaking. Shuuji was an ex-member of the Izumo Youth Group before his untimely death and when Osamu asked him who caused his death, Shuuji could only say “Kubota”. Before his death, Shuuji was good friends with Osamu and Tatsu (voiced by Itou Kentaro) and hence Osamu’s persistence in avenging Shuuji’s death. However, if you noticed it, the three good friends were once normal members of the Izumo Youth Group when Kubota was made the leader. I found it rather strange that Osamu would believe that Kubota was responsible for Shuuji’s death (which happened on Toujou Group’s turf so you can make your own inferences there) when he witnessed the lengths to which Kubota would go for his “brothers”.
As the Izumo Group has been doing their investigations on WA as well, Sanada (voiced by Kosugi Juurouta) has ordered the abduction of Tokito because of his monstrous right hand. It probably won’t be reflected here, but Kubota’s guardian and uncle, Kasai had once warned Kubota about Sanada being someone who is rotten to the core. Nothing much is known about Sanada at this point of time, except that he appears to be a rather shrewd man. Kosugi always seems to be voicing yakuza and with that distinct and deep voice of his, there can’t be anyone who is more suitable for this role than him.
Just in case you’re wondering what WA (Wild Adapter) is, it’s a special drug which will cause humans to turn into beasts (literally) and gain inhuman strength and abilities. WA started to catch the attention of various yakuza groups and the police when strange corpses resembling beasts started appearing all over town. While the drug users become rather animalistic and go into berseker mode when they consume WA, they always die of organ implosion. Both the Tojou Group and the Izumo Group are fighting to gain control of this drug, but it seems to be an impossible task as nobody has survived after using the drug. However, Tokito seems to be an affected user of WA. He was found lying unconscious in an alley by Kubota with his monstrous right hand and he has no memories of the past. He always hides his right hand with a black glove and that furry hand is capable of massive destruction which Tokito isn’t completely in control of. Remember how he broke the glass on Kubota’s watch just by touching it? In another arc of the manga, Tokito actually twisted and broke off a post with his right hand.
There isn’t much we know about Tokito except that he’s the stray cat Kubota picked up, and that he’s involved in WA. The ambiguous relationship between him and Kubota seems to be what keeps some BL fangirls dreaming, while I’m sure there’s nothing indecent going on between the two of them, they do depend a lot on each other for mental support. According to Saori (some girl from one of the manga arcs),while it appears that Tokito is depending on Kubota on the surface, Kubota is actually the one who is depending on Tokito (for some sort of mental support? To keep himself sane?) and I think that’s exactly what Tokito’s role is in Kubota’s life. With a precious possession of his abducted, it’s no wonder Kubota would go as far as to wipe out an entire office of Izumo Group’s just to get his pet cat back.
I loved how subtle (was it subtle?) the hints about their close relationship was throughout the OVA, how Tokito panicked when he broke the watch which seemed important for Kubota, and how Kubota started worrying when Tokito disappeared for more than “a while”. Although they’re definitely not gay, I rather envy their relationship; how often do you get such a friend whom you can live with, depend on and entrust yourself to, to such an extent?
Tokito is voiced by Ishikawa Hideo whom I just heard in Doushitemo Furetakunai, and I have to say that I’ve always imagined Tokito to be more whiny and irritating. It will take some time for me to get used to Ishikawa’s voice with Tokito’s character, but I do think that he’s been doing a great job so far and his voice didn’t shock me a lot when he first spoke as Tokito.
I wished they animated the entire manga, word for word and scene for scene because I just loved how the story was executed back in black and white. Every volume would be narrated by different people and there were so many quotes which I so wanted to hear in the animation! However, this is better than nothing and I think they did choose the most important/meaningful section to animate. I’m looking forward to more coolness from Kubota and also, his reunion with Tokito. The second OVA will be out in end November so, till then!