‘T P Bon’ Recap (Episodes 1-12): Did Bon And Ream Finally Return To Their Timeline?

The world of modern fictional literature will forever remain indebted to the legendary mangaka team of Fujiko Fujio, as with timeless creations like Doraemon, Perman, Obake no Q-Taro, and many other classics in their creative oeuvre, the duo can be truly termed as giants who shouldered the responsibility of revolutionizing the manga scene for four decades. The most intriguing part of their popular works was that, despite the fact that they were primarily aimed at children, they had a subtle yet intense dark depth in them formed through philosophical questioning—something that is no easy feat given the restrictions of said genre. The same can be said about the recently released animated adaptation of Time Patrol Bon, which perfectly captures the apparent lighthearted nature of the source manga while highlighting the nuances that give the series a grim undertone. 

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To take on the competition posed by anime streaming services like Crunchyroll and others, Netflix has wisely adapted some of the most prolific manga for their original network adaptations, and Time Patrol Bon is the latest addition to the list. With the storyline combining elements of science fiction and history in a seamless manner, the series has a certain educational flair, which adds to its overall entertainment value.

Spoilers Ahead

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Episode 1: The Time Patrol Unit

With the very first scene of T P Bon episode 1, the series introduces viewers to Bon Namihira, an average school-going teenager whom we first meet during his school field trip, as the boy expresses his disappointment over the cutting down of an eight-hundred-year-old cedar tree. Imagining how it might have endured the brunt of time through all these years and was a natural historic relic at this point, Bon feels a bit sad to see it gone, and this scene sets up the tone of the series, which revolves around a whole lot of time-traveling shenanigans. 

That same day, Bon continues to witness some sort of spatial and temporal distortions around him, and considering it to be a sign of him losing his mind, Bon decides to go to his friend Tetsuo to share his experiences. On the way, he comes across a strange teenage girl and a stranger looking hovering creature, which further strengthens his suspicion about him losing his mind. However, at Tetsuo’s home, an accident results in Tetsuo’s death, much to Bon’s shock and fear. At the same time, the aforementioned girl and the creature arrive at Tetsuo’s home after stopping the flow of time, and by reversing the flow, they save Tetsuo by preventing the accident in the first place. Unaware of these events due to remaining in a stasis, a puzzled Bon makes his way home and comes across a time boat, which he operates out of curiosity and accidentally sends himself back to the past. Scared and alone, Bon gets flabbergasted and almost gets killed by a wandering shinobi, when the girl and the creature appear once again and save Bon’s life by stopping the flow of time.

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The girl introduces herself as Ream Stream, an operative of Time Patrol, an organization dedicated to saving the lives of selected people across the globe through various eras in the timeline. The organization is a part of the Time Television Surveillance Network, which oversees the timestream to locate anomalies or problems related to the space-time continuum. Using the Time Boat, a high-tech voice command-controlled vessel that allows the operatives to travel through timestreams and hyperspace, she and her companion creature, Buyoyun, had traveled to Bon’s timeline to save Tetsuo, and during the journey, a malfunction in the Time Boat resulted in Bon witnessing several anomalies. At present, Bon has unwittingly taken Ream’s Time Boat and jumped back to the Kamakura Period eight hundred years ago, a period when the Shogunate prepares to battle with the invading Mongol forces, prompting Ream to get a spare time boat from the organization to rescue him. Eventually, Bon and Ream find Ream’s Time Boat near the sapling of the same Cedar tree, which grows up to be eight hundred years old, and as they return through the timestream, another Time Patrol operative joins them.

The functionality of Time Patrol is extremely secretive due to fear of the tech getting into the wrong hands. Bon’s involvement might jeopardize their operation in more than one way, which prompts Ream and the other operative to consider eradicating Bon from existence altogether for the greater good. A fearful Bon protests, and in a struggle, he and Ream get transported to the Cretaceous era. Bon rescues Ream from a Futabasaurus and gets transported back into his reality by the other operative. Ream and the other operative arrive at Bon’s household to inform him that they will not be able to erase him from existence, as he is a historically important individual, and Time Patrol refrains from altering the course of history at all costs. Therefore, to keep their secret intact, Bon has to join Time Patrol as an assistant agent of Ream. 

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Episode 2: Saving a Mother’s Hope

As Ream’s assistant, Bon gets familiar with various gadgets of the Time Patrol operatives, notably the Timeceiver, Forgetter, Time Stick, and the compressed learning mechanism of Time Boat, which allows information to be directly uploaded from books to the agent’s mind just like “Matrix”(which honestly seems like the best fictional gadget since Doraemon’s Anywhere Door). Later, Bon goes on his first mission with Ream and Buyoyun, as they go back to 1945 to the Koto area of Tokyo to rescue an elderly Hana Yamada, who had perished during a devastating typhoon. However, Bon realizes that despite having so many futuristic gadgets and knowledge, the job of saving lives without altering the course of history is a troublesome affair, as numerous stipulations of Time Patrol at times make it impossible to directly influence events. The elderly mother ignores their warning as she awaits the return of her son, who went to war three years ago, and with the weather getting worse, the chances of rescuing her gradually diminish. However, taking Bon’s suggestion, Ream manages to transport Hana’s son to her using Time Stick and a transporter, which results in an emotional reunion between the mother and son and both of them escaping the catastrophe as well. 


Episode 3: Escaping the Desert Burial

In his second mission, Bon accompanies Ream to 2592 BC to prevent the death of Thoth, a talented craftsman who is destined to be buried alive inside a pyramid. Throughout Thoth’s lifetime, Ream and Bon get several chances to divert the course of his life, but they fail time and time again. To make matters worse, in the most crucial moment, the duo get captured by tomb bandits, and quite inexplicably, one of the bandits later tries to strike a deal with them to get their time gadgets and Time Boat in exchange for letting them escape. Buyoyun saves them in the nick of time, and using the Time Boat’s hyperspace travel capabilities, Ream manages to rescue Thoth at the end. The particular tomb bandit turns out to be a time criminal who was using the Time Surveillance Network’s data and gadget to steal relics of the past for personal gain, and Agent Will of Time Patrol Criminal Investigation captures him. 

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Episode 4: The Butterfly Effect Realized

Bon’s assistance in consecutive successful missions results in the organization granting him the role of associate Time Patrol agent and providing him with a full set of time gadgets, including his own Time Boat. Later, Bon, Ream, and Buyoyun venture to their latest mission in 800 BC, where they need to save a primitive adventurer named Toge from drowning in the tumultuous storm originating in the Mindanao Sea. The rescue turns out to be fairly easy compared to the past ones, but Bon decides to stick around to see through Toge’s future. A chain of incidents leads to Toge ultimately surviving and coming into contact with a native islander community, and Ream makes Bon understand how an apparently ineffectual, trivial change in the past can influence big changes in the future of the world. For example, she lets Bon know exactly why he was considered a historically significant individual by showing him recordings of the upcoming future. One of Bon’s mischiefs leads to a boy getting rescued from a well, who eventually turns out to be a brilliant medic whose medicine saves the life of a politician in the future, who stops the third world war and eventual human extinction.


Episode 5: Medieval Barbarism

The inherent darkness of Fujiko Fujio’s body of work gradually surfaces prominently in the fifth episode of the first season of T P Bon, titled “Witch Hunt,”  and Bon and Ream go to 350 years ago in Southern France to rescue a girl named Celine from getting wrongfully immolated on a stake in public, in suspicion of her being a witch. Celine, an unassuming, caring girl who lives with her grandfather close to the forest and helps him make herbal medicines for the villagers, has a harmonious relationship with the animals all around her. After the death of her grandfather, her boyfriend Jean asks him to come with him to Lyon, as he wishes to keep her safe. Celine refuses to go, and Jean eventually takes his leave. Using this opportunity, a lecherous hunter named Fernand tries to force himself on Celine but has to flee after her pet bear, Marron, attacks him. Later, a vindictive Fernand provokes the village and the church against Celine, terming her a witch, and the pathetic village populace join in his bandwagon as well. Ream and Bon go to Lyon to show Jean a dream vision of future events—of Celine getting wrongfully accused, brutally tortured (I was not expecting the series to become this dark at all) to confess, and dying at stake, remembering him in her last moments. An anxious Jean hurriedly rushes back to Celine and reaches just in time (thanks to some assistance by Time Patrol agent duos) to rescue her before the spiteful villagers capture her. 

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Episode 6: Journey to the West

The series takes a turn to the elements of fantasy (still grounded) as Ream and Bon reach 628 AD in the Tian Shan mountains of Central Asia to save a boy named Chamuku. The son of a sheep herder who traveled across treacherous paths to settle in the province of Tang, Chamuku wants to defy his father’s wish to join the Buddhist monk Xuanzang Sanzang, who is heading towards India through the Silk Route to translate unavailable Buddhist texts. However, during the treacherous journey through the Tian Shan mountains, Chamuku dies in an avalanche—an event that Ream and Bon finally prevent but inadvertently become a part of history as their outfit inspires the Legend of “Journey to the West,” originally written by none other than the Buddhist monk himself. 


Episode 7: Sacrifice to the Minotaur

During a rescue operation in Crete during 1500 BC, Bon and Ream experience Time Boat malfunction due to lack of maintenance, and despite being able to save the lives of victims who were destined to be sacrificed to Minotaur in Crete’s Labyrinth, they themselves get trapped inside. The sequence where both Ream and Bon die from the attack of a feral, vicious bull inside the labyrinth will shock viewers for sure. However, the malfunction of the time boat actually works in their favor, as it reverses time and allows them to safely escape at the end. 

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Episode 8: The Horrors of War

T P Bon episode 8 once again brings viewers to a grim reality as Ream and Bon travel to 1945, during the last phase of the Second World War, as they need to save a kamikaze pilot who is too deluded with his high ideals of patriotism, honor, and pride to consider living a life for himself. Ultimately, as the pilot rushes headstrong to his death, Ream manages to project the consciousness of his beloved girlfriend, who waited for his return to the present timeline, and makes him realize that he will be missing a life worth living. The pilot reconsiders his decision and surrenders, and in the present timeline, he turns out to be happily married to his beloved. 


Episode 9: Saving Human History During Vacation

Time Patrol agents are allowed to take time off, and deciding to take a vacation, Ream takes Bon to the Jurassic Period to spend a few days amidst the prehistoric flora and fauna. Bon marvels at the sight of Pliosaurus, Allosaurus, Apatosaurus, and even takes a ride on Ceratosaurus as well. However, their vacation is ruined after a hunter appears and fatally injures Juramaia, the common ancestor of all mammals, and according to Time Surveillance Network’s scan, this particular individual founds the bedrock of mammalian evolution. Buyoyun once again saves the day by luring the Allosaurus to knock down the hunter, and Agent Will captures him just in time, thanking the Time Patrol for their momentous contribution as well. 

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Episode 10: A Duel to Remember

Bon gets to live his dream moment of acting as a gunslinger in the wild west as the team travels to the desert town of Tombstone in the late 19th century to save an innocent yet skilled marksman, Babyface Jim. Bon poses as Jim and takes on a bunch of delinquents, and with Ream’s help, he shows off the skills of his trigger finger to knock out five miscreants at once. 


Episode 11: A Marathon to Remember

The penultimate episode of T P Bon season 1 takes Bon and Ream to a historical event: the battle of Marathon during the Persian invasion. As the Athenian army wins by vanquishing the Persians, Ream and Bon are assigned to save as many lives as they can. By mistake, Bon puts messenger Pheidippides to sleep, and to rectify that mistake, he needs to replace the messenger to relay the news of victory to the Athens from Marathon and even die in front of the mass to inspire them for another war against Persians. After great duress from running over forty kilometers, Bon finally manages to pull off the impossible feat, and after he fulfills his mission by dying, Ream and Buyoyun resurrect him.

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Episode 12: Did Bon and Ream Finally Return to Their Timeline?

T P Bon‘s final episode revolves around a disaster in timestream, as Bon and Ream go to rescue a time-tripper named Ambrose Bierce and inadvertently get sucked inside a time vortex. The episode turns grim as the Time Patrol agent duo get marooned in the far future of a post-apocalyptic, deserted earth, and the chances of their survival grow slim with every passing moment. With Time Surveillance’s reach not extending to millions of years in the future, any chance of getting rescued is gone as well. The duo eventually meet Ambrose Pierce, and just when it seems they will not see it to the end, a future version of Time Patrol rescues them and takes them back to their respective timelines. 

As the season one finale comes to an end, Ream surprisingly announces that she will be taking her leave from Time Patrol and will join the Temporal Anomaly Handling Unit, just like her former mentor did. This unexpected turn of events shocks and saddens Bon, who requests his mentor to stay as a team, but to no avail. A despondent Bon sees Ream and Buyoyun bidding him farewell and vanishing off moments later, leaving the ending to be speculative in nature. The second season of the series will air a couple of months later, and we will discuss the future possibilities along with a detailed explanation of the ending in a separate article. 

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Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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