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Newport City, an artificial island in Tokyo Bay, is already overcrowded with giant bioengineered termite mounds for buildings by 2010. Nanotechnology gone wrong chokes the city with a bacterial fog, and the unhappy citizenry is besieged by high-tech crime syndicates. To combat this spree, the government forms the self-explanatory Tank Police.
Dominion was the first professional manga by Appleseed-creator Masamune Shirow, published in Comi-Comi in 1988, and displays a sense of humor that tails off in his later works. Like Patlabor, it has a lowly lady cop, Leona Ozaki, who works for a paramilitary police force, bestows a pet name on her machine, and spars flirtily with her partner, though the show concentrates more on comedy than slice-of-life drama. Thus we have Leona's immediate boss, the Dirty Harry--wannabe Brenten constantly arguing with his hypertense Chief, as well as the standard semi-love interest Al and computer nerd "Megane" Lovelock.
After a prequel beginning with Leona joining the Tank Police and the creation of her beloved tank Bonaparte out of spare parts, the anime series draws on early chapters of the manga, pitting the police against Buaku, a rogue android, who is accompanied by the infamous, scantily clad Puma Twins, Annapuma and Unipuma. Taking the piss is the order of the day-the Buaku gang wants to steal urine samples from uncontaminated citizens and attempts to deter pursuit by throwing inflatable dildoes all over the street. As in the manga, there are hints that Buaku's motives are secretly honorable; in a Blade Runner pastiche, he is searching for information about his creator, and his urine thefts may be part of a plan to deal with the pollution (less ecologically damaging than in the manga but still there). Buaku and Leona are forced to team up against the Red Commando terrorists in the next two episodes as they try to recover a valuable painting, and, at the finale, Buaku seemingly reforms his evil ways.
In 1992, Shirow revisited the franchise in Comic Gaia with a parallel story, dropping Buaku and Al, promoting Leona to Squad Leader, and giving her command of an entire fleet of Bonaparte-model tanks. Adapted into anime by Noboru Furuse as New Dominion Tank Police (1993), the new, slightly darker series brought Al back, restored the Puma Twins to a life of crime (they had reformed in the manga and joined the squad), and told a far darker story as the squad battles the evil corporation Dai Nippon Gaiken, which is developing a virtual drug as a spin-off from its weapons research. These new episodes were renumbered for the U.K. video release and are hence sometimes known as episodes 5-10 of the "old" Dominion, rather than 1-6 of the "new." LNV