T.P Bon Anime Review: Nostalgic But Forgettable Experience

T.P Bon is a new anime on Netflix that will surely make you nostalgic if you love Doraemon. From the animation to the character designs, everything made me remember the aforementioned anime. T.P Bon does not feature a futuristic blue robot cat, though! Instead, it introduces the Time Patrol agent Ream, who plays a significant role in giving Bon’s life a purpose.

T.P. Bon introduces us to the protagonist, Bon, who is average at everything and isn’t even popular in his school. He doesn’t have any problem with that as he doesn’t crave attention.

However, his life gets meaning when he meets Ream and gets an opportunity to be a part of Time Patrol’s rescue unit. Since the story comes from the creators of Doraemon, you might wonder if it’s worth watching. Well, this review might answer that question for you.

Storyline That Won’t Stick with You for Long

Bon and Ream from T.P Bon
Image Courtesy: Netflix

Coming from the brilliant team of Doraemon, Fujiko Fujio, T.P Bon’s story reminded me of the days when Doraemon was the animated show I looked forward to watching after coming back home from school. We don’t get to meet a futuristic robot, but Ream does stand out too. Initially, she wanted to erase Bon’s existence because he had learned about the Time Patrol organization. This is the anime version of the TVA from the Loki TV series. But, after realizing that Bon has a significant role in the history of humankind, she asks him to join Time Patrol’s rescue unit.

In most episodes, we see our protagonists traveling to the past or future to prevent anomalies. We get to see some real-life events and wars, which, for sure, feels educational for kids but, at some point, boring for hardcore adult anime fans.

Talking about the similarities, the main group consisted of Nobita, Shizuka, Gian, and Suneo in Doraemon. Similarly, T.P Bon features a similar group of four high schoolers. The character design of T.P Bon also resembles that of Doraemon. So, you could say T.P Bon scratches that nostalgic itch with its characters, but the show fails to give us something new.

The series has a simplistic storyline that can be suitable for those who don’t want to experience complexities. To be honest, I am not entirely impressed by the plot of T.P Bon. Even though it took me back to my childhood days, it isn’t something I would like to watch in my adulthood. The nostalgia can make you feel good for 2-3 episodes, but after that, it feels like I am watching a story I’ve already experienced numerous times.

A TV series or film can be rewatched if its content has some depth and leaves some questions and doors open for curiosity. However, that isn’t the case with T.P Bon on Netflix. I will not look forward to watching it again or be curious about Season 2. That’s because, at times, the series felt stretched, and I wanted it to end soon.

If T.P Bon was under the kodomo-muke (children) genre, I wouldn’t have that many complaints about the story. However, it’s a Shonen story, so I was expecting more. I understand that T.P Bon was written at a time when the Shonen category didn’t deliver complex anime like JJK, however, during a time when the anime audience has seen so many good stories, the writers could’ve taken some creative liberty to mold the story more towards teenagers and adult anime fans.

Characters That We’ve All Seen Before

Characters from T.P Bon
Image Courtesy: Netflix

Bon, Ream, and Buyoyon are the main characters of the story. Of course, there are several side characters as well, including our protagonist’s parents. However, for the majority of the story, these side characters are sidelined, which is actually disappointing.

Even Doraemon used to give enough screen time and depth to side characters, but T.P Bon failed to do so. Even after watching the entire season, I failed to remember the names of the side characters. That being said, the voice actors do a good job of making the characters genuinely funny, and there were several instances when I giggled seeing Bon’s reactions or screams.

At the same time, T.P Bon doesn’t exactly give us time to connect to the characters. We see the main characters simply traveling to the past and future to prevent their targets from unfortunate deaths, so we do not get the opportunity to feel any emotional depth. In each episode, you know from the very start that there’s nothing at stake and everything’s going to be fine.

In short, I didn’t feel any emotional attachment to the characters, even though I watched all 12 episodes in Season 1 in one sitting. For instance, at the end of T.P Bon, Ream and Bon parting ways as the former joins the Anomaly Handling Unit. Such scenes generally make the eyes of every viewer teary, but that didn’t happen with T.P Bon.

The Animation Too Fails to Impress

T.P Bon animation
Image Courtesy: Netflix

Even though T.P Bon has been animated by Studio Bones, the animation has been kept basic, which is, of course, intentional. The anime creators may have wanted to go with a Doraemon-like animation, which makes sense. To be fair, the animation felt great and smooth in each episode, but it wasn’t anything extraordinary. It’s good but forgettable.

The animation successfully takes you back to the good old days but fails to impress fans who are looking forward to a true “modern Shonen experience.” Studio Bones’ work is top-notch, and I do not question their efforts in any way, but maybe it could have worked better if the story had more depth, like how it worked with Mob-Psycho 100. So, to wrap up this review, I believe it’s better to skip T.P Bon and invest the time watching other popular Spring 2024 anime.

Pros and Cons
The Pros
Nostalgic take
Educational elements
The Cons
Forgettable story
Characters lack emotional depth
Final Verdict
T.P Bon
T.P Bon comes from the creators of Doraemon, which is evident from the character design, but the story lacks depth and is easily forgettable. The storyline is especially not made for adults but can be enjoyed by kids. who would love the time travel aspect. Moreover, the lack of emotional depth in characters and the basic animation quality also left me unimpressed. It's okay to pass on T.P Bon on Netflix and instead binge-watch Doraemon to relive your childhood days.
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