Dominion: Tank Police (1988)(Agent 21, Manga Entertainment)

Written By: Ken Hulsey

Imagine a future where hospitals only treat healthy people, the two sexiest women in town are part android, and the criminals are so extreme that the police department has to resort to using tanks to fight them. Such is the world of Newport, Japan, a fictional city that serves as the backdrop for Koichi Mashamoto's 1988 four part anime, "Dominion Tank Police."

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As the story begins we learn that the "Tank Police" have been getting into a little trouble as of late. It seems that they have been doing more damage to the city of Newport than the criminals have. This hasn't been sitting too well with the local government, who have begun a campaign to eliminate the them. It seems that the very people who have been entrusted to keep the peace have they themselves become more of a menace than the low-lives that they were created to combat.

Enter Leona Ozaki, formally of the motorcycle division, who has requested a transfer to the "Tank Police" because she....well ..thinks tanks are cute.

Now, the last thing that the leader of Newport's Tank Division, Charles Britain, wants is some girl distracting his testosterone filled officers. So, the savvy commander puts the young Leona behind the controls of the largest tank in the corp. It is his hope that the machine will be too much for her, and she will be scared back to her motorcycle.

Here is where we meet up with those, "extreme" criminals that the "Tank Police" were created to stop. Buaku is the leader a small gang who generally specializes in bank robbery and general mayhem. His two counterparts are the sexy felines AnnaPuma and UniPuma, who were originally created as android "love dolls" who evolved beyond their programing to enter into lives of crime.

Buaku has come up with a ingenious plan to break into a local hospital to steal urine samples for a mysterious crime boss known as Mr. Big. He has hidden a machine gun under a fake cast in which he uses to shoot up the hospital as steel

Everything is going fine until the ambulance that they have stolen crashes into the back of Leona's monster tank. Britain becomes incensed that his precious tank has been scratched and Buaku is forced to blast him. Britain survives the blast and the "Tank Police" take off in "hot pursuit". Leona destroys the ambulance with a lucky shot and Buaku escapes with the Puma Sisters into the night.

After her experience with the monster tank, Leona decides to build her own mini-tank from spare parts she finds behind the police station garage. She calls her new creation, "Bonaparte" and with Britain's blessing, Leona and fellow officer, Al Cu Ad Solte, use the the tiny tank to wage their own personal war on Buaku and his gang.

To counteract Leona's constant attacks, the mob boss, "Mr. Big", supplies Buaku and Company with their own tanks that deploy anti-tank weapons penises.

As you can imagine, there are plenty of comedic hi jinks after that point.

This is where the series makes an interesting change from a more comedic story to a very serious and philosophical one.

We find out that Buaku was apparently a "test dummy" for something called "The Greenpeace Crolis Project".

Somehow Buaku managed to escape the destruction when government agents raided the companies lab and destroyed everything except for encoded data disguised as a nude portrait of himself.

Buaku steels the portrait and breaks into the remains of Greanpeace lab to try and figure out exactly who he is.

A very deep ending for a series that started out on such a whimsical tone.

The animated version of "Dominion: Tank Police" would serve as a prequel to the1985 two volume manga series that was written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow.

The series would prove to be so popular that it would spawn two sequels, "New Dominion Tank Police" and "Tank S.W.A.T. 01"

In the later series, the Puma Sisters actually join the "Tank Police", much to Leona's displeasure.

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