Tank Police’s interrogation of a prisoner (a scene that’s played for comedy but is torture in all but name).

I was browsing one of my favorite anime blogs at:

First Impressions Spring 2018 Wrap-Up

and I found a link to:


but of course I quickly got distracted by an analysis of one of my obsessions, Dominion Tank Police:


I liked the following passage:

Brenten’s personal tank is a monument to traditional masculine dominance. Even compared to the other tanks on the police force, it is an oversized behemoth, with dimensions more similar to a city block than a piloted vehicle. In a visual motif that is both comedic and incredibly apt, this tank is so large that it tears up the asphalt beneath its treads as it drives, destroying the city it should be protecting through the sheer absurdity of its existence. It represents everything that Captain Brenten wants the Tank Police to be and what they reflect under his leadership.

It’s also why they’re unable to accomplish anything.

From the very beginning, the Tank Police are universally ineffective. The criminal trio of Buaku, AnaPuma, and UniPuma outmaneuver and embarrass the city’s protectors at every turn. For all the strength and invulnerability that the tank police are supposed to possess, they are incredibly weak. Captain Brenten’s inflexibility and adherence to his own warped assumptions about what it takes to succeed ensures that the police cannot effectively handle the threat presented by Buaku and the Puma sisters.

Leona follows along with Brenten’s guidance because she’s trying to fit in with the force and be a contributing member to the team, but this ultimately leads to the destruction of the monstrous tank the Captain takes such pride in (and a fair portion of the city as well). Brenten naturally blames her for everything and threatens to kick her off the force.

Here we begin to see the unique expression of the feminist themes at the heart of the show. Leona Ozaki is no revolutionary; in many ways she is the perfect subordinate. She is highly skilled at her job, professional to a fault, and seeks acceptance to the point of obeying any order asked of her. If she were a man, Leona would be considered a model officer, an exemplary addition to the tank police. But because Brenten singles her out, making an issue of her gender in order to assuage his own insecurities about the effectiveness of his doctrine, he sets Leona’s unique talents against the flawed institution he is protecting.


It’s no accident that Bonaparte is crafted from the literal wreckage of Brenten’s tank—Leona salvaged a failed institution that could not execute its assigned task and made it into something that actually functions. Under Captain Brenten’s leadership, the tank police could not protect the public nor stop crime, and in fact actively created destruction and mayhem at every turn.

The obsession with traditional masculine values of impenetrability, intolerance for weakness, and domination through overwhelming force achieved nothing; more often than not, they caused more harm than the criminals they were attempting to stop.

I disagree with the author’s love of Leona. I think she’s another monster just like Brenten on a moral level. Brenten is a comic-relief buffoon who damages the pavement and lets the criminals escape; Leona is a budding totalitarian in the mold of Otto Skorzeny. Brenten is a incompetent, oafish vision of police brutality; Leona is a ruthless, effective enforcer of state tyranny with a seething hatred for other people’s civil liberties.

In case you haven’t seen my earlier analysis of police brutality in this show:



Leona is not interested in protecting the public. Leona is interested in providing spectacular explosions and telegenic violence. Saying that she “salvaged” the Tank Police is like saying that Skorzeny rescued Mussolini – true, but it misses the point.

Dominion was a rough draft, or else Ghost in the Shell was a re-imagining; the two claims are equivalent

Masamune Shirow has only had a few ideas in his entire writing career, and he keeps re-writing them.

If you take a look at Dominion Tank Police after having seen the later Ghost in the Shell stories, you will be struck by how much of Dominion seems like a rough draft for Ghost in the Shell.

Remember how Batou and the Major pretended to be wealthy, free-spending freelance criminals? The Puma sisters did it first.


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Episode 2: Dominion Tank Police is officially a grudge-watch

Sometimes I hate a show, or I hate a major aspect of a show, and yet I watch the whole thing out of perverse resentment.

I call this a grudge-watch.


The show is watchable. It’s better than Canadian television, and better than BBC. But the premise of the show is downright evil. The moral of the story is a Family Unfriendly Aesop.
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1985 was a very naive time, and torture could still be played for laughs back then


1985 was a time when conspiracy theories were very rarely heard, media was still highly centralized, and Clint Eastwood’s militarism was seen as respectable rather than a sign of burgeoning personality disorder.

Dominion Tank Police is like a silly “A-Team” episode crossed with a Clint Eastwood good-guy-tortures-bad-guy scene.
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