First Impression – Kamisama Dolls

What’s more frightening; when someone evil loves you or when they hate you?

Jrow: So here comes that other show with Kamisama in the title. This is my most anticipated show of Spring as the preview for it looked real interesting and Brains Base is doing the production.

Karakuri: Dead bodies in elevators? A psychotic bishie? I’m in.

Zabobinator: This show should be pretty legit awesome. It’s more of an action type and those I usually find myself pickier about, but this immediately caught my eye. I’ve seen the title floating around for a while too so let’s hope it’s as good as it seems!

Hime: A much anticipated show for many, Kamisama promised us mystique, violence and loli’s wielding giant robots. Time to see if they deliver.

We start off with three children running from what looks to be some kind of giant mechanical beast.

After that we’re treated to our OP

Holy geometric opening, Batman!

So, flash forward about 10 years to a Univercity party. Kyohei, the only one who seemed to make it out of that blast in one piece, is bummed because the girl he likes has a tendency to reject all who confess to her. Luckily he’s sabotaged before he has a chance to embarrass himself, ….well, until karaoke. He wakes up in Hibino’s lap after passing out from drinking too much and having a flashback to the village he used to live in.

That’s Kida from DRRR’s Character Song he’s singing there. Neat, huh?

The two go to leave, when the elevator opens on to a bloodbath. Someone has stabbed a samurai to death. HEY, IT HAPPENS. Kyohei walks Hibino to the station and fails to ask her out yet again. Maybe he’s intimidated by her giant rack. I know I am. Dem things could smother you! There’s some pretty cool sequences here that look like they’re straight out of a horror movie when Kyohei is making his way home.

As he’s in the elevator heading up to his apartment, Kyohei hears a child singing in a robotic voice. Then HOMG A GIANT ROBOT MATERIALIZES IN FRONT OF HIM! AHHH! Oh, wait, it’s just his little sister and her pet GOD. No biggie. It seems she’s not in great control of her God though, go figure, as it smashes a tea cup offered by Kyohei. That’s not the problem here though, as his sister Utau came to deliver some bad news. An old friend, turned psycho, from their home village named Aki has escaped his prison.

You can’t spell “slaughter” without “laughter”!

Speak of the devil and he’s sure to appear, as they say. Aki bursts in, pinning Kyohei to the floor with his own robo-God. Utau tries to step in to protect her brother but is easily outmatched by Aki. Kyohei tries to calm Aki down but he’s too intent on having make up sex a battle then and there, so tosses Utau out of the window. Kyohei grabs him by the throat calling him insane but Aki corrects him, saying that it’s the village not him that’s truly insane. Utau appears outside on her robot and fires a blast into the apparment.

All your bases are belong to us

Luckily, Hibino takes them both in, her Father seems to know about the shrine they’re from and has been told to take care of them. Utau summons her God to show Hibino just what exactly she’s getting into, but unfortunately screws it up to the point where the God, Kukuri, appears underneath where she was standing. After seeing Utau to bed, Hibino formally welcomes Kyohei to her house.

“My eyes are up here, Kyohei.”

WHO WANTS A GOD DOLL PLUSHIE?

GlaDOS?

“Wanna go grab a bite?”                                        “Sure, that would be the breast-….I mean best idea!”

Kyohei has a sudden urge to by melons

Voiced by Stephen Merchant

Oh, look! He’s all ready for you Aki!

Indeed he is…

D:<

I told you, her boobs are lethal weapons…used to kill lolis.

Straight out of CREEP

Honey, I’m home!

Hibino didn’t know what to expect when she ordered the “world’s largest vibrator” but she should have known better than to open it in front of her family

END THOUGHTS

It’s hard to give first impressions on something that didn’t really leave an impression. Kamisama Dolls has a wonderful concept with just the right hints of dark concepts here and there, such as the ambiguous presence of the village. Are they the enemy? Will Kuga just come to accept their controlling ways? Everything is set up to be awesome, but I think this show is suffering from “bad first episode syndrome.”

The pacing can only be described as a rushed mess that throws you right into the heart of chaos as if you know everything. It assumes you won’t be taken aback by robots floating in elevators and that you don’t care about learning anything about Kukuri until later. You’d think a floating, personal God would be the first thing they would elaborate on. I know they’re trying to put a lot of action in the first episode, but otaku aren’t as ADD as you think…a couple of seconds of explanation wouldn’t kill the mood.

If they can fix the pacing and delve more into the darker, more complex issues they hinted at, I can myself liking this show a lot more. I’m still going to watch it, but I can’t say I’m really hooked or that it’s memorable just yet. But I have high hopes for this show, so I’m going to be wistful. The plot still has a ways to go to find a rhythm, but at least the action looks promising! Maybe next time there will be a more equal battle without a useless, flailing little girl. That would be nice. I hope Kuga gets powers soon, or at least something to make him less generic. So far every character is quite boring and recycled, with their only notable feature being either permablush or a big chest. But hey, nothing a little character development can’t fix right? ….Right?

I think Hibino-san might have bigger boobs than the entire Manyuu Hikenchou group. O_O … oh, don’t get me wrong, I ain’t complaining! But launching from that to animation, when I look at her and the other characters, there is something about the art that looks kinda dated in spots. While possibly a product of Brains Base stretching itself thin with 3 shows this season, that’s not to say the animation is bad; it’s consistent, the action scenes looked real good and I feel like it fits well with the anime. It feels apropos since we’re not hanging out with high school kids and having tea. We drink beer and sing karaoke really loudly and then kneel before the porcelain gods!

The theme songs are really good, particularly the OP by Chiaki Ishikawa. I love the song choice and the animation style it utilizes. I love when an anime takes the time to really produce a great OP animation package. While it won’t be quite as memorable as Baccano or DRRR, its style is enjoyable to watch and is likely to be replicated in site banners (oh Ness!) and such. The ED theme is par for the course, and I have no particular interest in the song.

After seeing the opening sequence with the God Dolls fighting, I’m really anxious to see more about these Dolls in the series. It’s not really mecha, but their damage looks devestating and the anime really did a nice job in instilling that sense of fear into Dolls blasting laser shots. There are so many parts to the Dolls themselves that I really like, starting with the Village itself. With Kyohei leaving and Aki trying to reel him back in and the whole reason for Kyohei wanting to leave the village, I can’t help but think there’s got to be some ancient dolls hidden in the Earth, waiting to be unlocked and bring destruction to the world. I’m also interested in the way Utao will continue to learn how to operate Kuruki, and if Kyohei ends up having to operate it again.

Not having read any of the manga, I wonder if the first episode was composed of the the first 2 or 3 chapters. The episode covered a good bit, from Kyohei’s shyness towards Hibino to the Aki/Utao scene and then staying at Hibino’s house. I personally felt the pacing was alright as the character development for Kyohei and Utao got off to a good start and we got Aki being a badass villain.

Uwah~! Even from one episode, this show looks awesome! There are so many mysteries everywhere! The whole thing with the mysterious village and the shrine’s orders being absolute gave me a Higurashi vibe, but that just might be the fact that they kept mentioning “Oyashiro”. This is a good thing in my case, because I loved Higurashi. I rather liked how the opening, the ending and some of the background music have the same kind of sound to them. It really brings together everything and makes it feel more united in a sense. I like the opening sequence a lot and I don’t mind the style of music so overall, I think it was a good choice. I’m not too fond of the animation style used here, but its pretty close to the manga’s art (I read the first couple chapters and then dropped the series) so it’s not really that big of a deal.

From the looks of it, Kuga isn’t as lame and useless as he was first made out to be, but they’ll probably elaborate on that in later episodes. In fact, it seems like all of the characters with ties to the village have complicated backstories so that will be fun to watch assuming they cover them. So far, none of the characters piss me off (its the opposite really), so I’d say this anime is off to a good start XD. Really, the only characters I can see myself intensely disliking are Utao (and that’s only if she becomes an extreme tsundere or something) and Hibino if she becomes a useless female lead.

When Kukuri showed up, the only thing I could think was that it looks like a love child between the design on Merry Nightmare’s hat and Kyuubey. Hell, Aki looks like the cross between Allen Walker and Accelerator. No really, look at them. See? I’m right. Also, HOLY CRAP HIBINO’S BREASTS ARE MASSIVE. How can she stand up straight?! I don’t know whether to pity her or respect her XD. But yeah, I’m loving the plot set up, characters and general feel to the anime so far(the words at the beginning of the episode? They really set up a foreboding mood!). There’s so much I want to know and I don’t know if the anime will explain everything or not, but I hope it does. Yes, I will be continuing to watch this! Brains Base has done a great job so far and I hope the rest of the series continues like this!

So, as I mentioned before, when I first heard of Kamisama Dolls I was pretty excited as it seemed like quite the entertaining show. After seeing the first episode, I’m quite pleased. I mean, this IS Brains Base we’re talking about here though I’d be happier if they’d just bring out the second season of Durarara!! already. Right from the start we are given a crazy, dramatic flashback which, when juxtaposed with the rest of the action in the episode, makes me really excited for more. I’m so ready to find out more about what being a Seki entails and why Kyohei gave that lifestyle up.

First off, the idea of the Kamisama dolls, gods who seem to bend to the will of their wielder, is really cool. Their presentation was really unique and engaging. While singing childish tunes, these deities look like futuristic robots even though they are a vital part of a seemingly un-urbanized village. It’s quite the multifarious mix right there and I like it. Even so, it kind of bothers me that they don’t seem to have much of a will of their own though; it results in an empty, soulless feel. If this is how they’ll always be, I can’t see myself getting too attached to them. Also, I don’t quite understand why they’re controlled by people. They’re gods right? Shouldn’t they more in control? Just doesn’t make much sense to me. XD

We’ve got a pretty great cast of characters though. Kuga Kyohei came across as bumbling pushover at the start, but he has the ability to be strong when needed and quite the dark past at that (which I am SO excited to find out about). I particularly like his little sister Utao. She’s adorable but not annoyingly so and she has a fiery independence about her that I really appreciate. Aki seems like the horrible-past-that-I-will-sympathize-with type of villain which I am totally okay with. Character designs and art are pretty decent as well with the exception of Hibino’s rather impressive boobage (HAHAHA THEY LOOK SO FUNNY). I’ll definitely be keeping up with this show!

Wow, what a solid first episode! I have to say; I’m really impressed with Kamisama. It knows just what to give the audience and just what to hold back. The opening scene before the credits is very intense, and very well directed, I really got a sense of the chaos while this thing was attacking. And that was only the first few minutes! Phew~ Well, after the tippy opening, the blasé first half of the episode was a good contrast to what happens later. It’s so mundane and normal that the scenes and dialogue play out very naturally; as you would expect from Brain Base. The mysterious, moody flashbacks and some of the dialogue really help hint at the stewing danger of this “shrine”they keep eluding to. It was good build up, not too much info and not too little, just enough to grab your interest.

Onto the characters themselves; Kyohei is very like Mikado from DRRR, he’s bumbling and blushes a lot but not as naïve as you might think. He can get baulchy when he needs to be and while he’s definitely afraid of Aki, their familiarity with each other comes out in how he talks to him. I think Nobuhiko Okamoto was a good seiyuu choice for him (Rin from AnE) since he can pull off that kind of abrassivness while still having a certain vulnerbility about him. The animation on Aki is just excellent, he’s so gleefully evil and stalkerish. He had me rolling in fits of laughter, I just adore him. And I now have a couple to ship. Hopefully they won’t turn out to be related or something. That would be an imaginary boner-killer, fer sure. Hibino is the Orihime of this show; she gives off that “cute but stupid” vibe. She’s nice and helpful, not bitchy or anything, but I will be dissapointed if she just turns into another generic weak female character. And her boobs, my god.

The ED feels almost motion picture worthy, it’s very old-school and epic. I found it more catchy than the first, but the OP’s animation is very funky and cool. The Portal-esque Kukuri robots are very interesting as well. The song that sounds when they move is very creepy, it gives off a good atmosphere when they are the focus, if it does it in battles however I can see it being distracting. While they really are just fighting with giant metal plushies, so it’s been in very confined spaces so I’m interested to see (like in the prologue) more of the action on a wider scale. Kamisama Dolls delivered a very impressive and engaging first episode that shows a lot of promise. I’m really looking forward to what’s in store in the future. Yaoi! Action!

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We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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36 Responses to “First Impression – Kamisama Dolls”

  1. Bass says:

    Haha I love how varied all you opinions are, though I see myself as being in the camp that kinda likes what I see (although that may just be a result of the previous summer releases being kinda of mediocre at best).

    I think the proper term for how I feel is “tentatively optimistic”. There’s a lot of pieces to like, it just depends on how they feel them out for the duration of the series. I enjoy the mystery aspect of it, and some set pieces were done pretty well to create the mounting tension (ie the subway scene).

    Apparently the first episode lifts content from the first 3 chapters, so that might be the reason to the face-paced, rush feeling that OC mentions. Tbh, I kinda dig that, they’re providing a lot of mystery and in the first episode, I think it’s effective enough to grab my attention long enough to want more.

    Still, it can go either way at this point. Doing 3 different series has resulted in Dolls looking really dated with some stunted animation work, but I hope that I will be captivated enough by the plot to not notice.

    I am wary of the potential fanservice trappings though, especially now that the imouto, lead and love interest are under the same roof. Bath scene anyone? >_<

    • Hime says:

      That’s what these tag team posts are for! Lots of varied input on this one, which is quite interesting.

      I’m definately with you on being tenativley optimistic, when you look at Brain Base’s history it’s very encouraging, but then again this could be the weak link in their chain of success.

      The animation surprisingly didn’t bother me as much as it seemed to bother others (which is odd since I’m always bitching about animation quality, lol) I think it’s a case of I was just so caught up in the story it really washed over me. I should probably be a bit more critical in the future. The only thing I could really think of about the animation was just how HUGE Hibino’s boobs were xD

      I also kind of love that fact that it’s never referenced. Usually with fanservice that blatant it would be a bit more…blatant. I mean, no one seems to go “whoa, massive jugs!” and so far she’s not even worn anything low cut or revealing. I really hope it stays that way. All the inappropriate stuff came from Utau with her thinking Aki was perving on her and her brother grabbing her in the wrong place. It was sooo awkward, I hope we don’t get any more of that.

    • jGLZa says:

      Oh gawd yes. He’s going to walk in on her in the bathroom a minimum of 3 times. At least she doesn’t seem tsundere, so the bloodshed should be limited to the dolls.

  2. Mad Chemist says:

    Hmm, I wish I could be a bit more excited about the first episode, because it was pretty good. I still think that the Dolls look great, especially Aki’s purple saucer Scyther of doom. There are a lot of nice mystery elements that they could do awesome things with over the season, but the flipside is we don’t know much at all about the cast and setting, which I’m not sure is a winning trade. I’m not hugely impressed with the cast in general, and while I want to know why Aki poured so much censor ink on the poor guy in the elevator, I do hope he doesn’t make a habit of it. Could be a really nice show if they play to the show’s strengths, but I’ll be frustrated if they put the mysterious stuff on the back burner until the end.

    I’d be willing to put even money on Kuga gaining control of Kukuri again somewhere along the line – he seems too involved with this not to participate in battles, methinks. As for Aki, I don’t know if he’s the kind of villain who will change sides, but something seems rotten in the village. There’s so much we don’t know and the shrine seems at the center of it all, so we’ll probably be hearing more about them later.

    • Hime says:

      Death saucer of doom ftw <333

      I don't think they'll hold off on the answers we want for too long. If it's one thing these guys know how to do it's tell a story. Unless of course this the show they gave to all the n00bs. Hopefully not.

  3. Toori-chan says:

    From the overall of the first episode, I would say its pretty good. It didn’t fully impress me (maybe because I wasn’t fully focused when watching it, gonna re-watch again). The OP didn’t catch my ears unlike some (too catchy for me in fact).

    Anyway, it’s staying on my list for the Summer unless it start sucking halfway.

    • Hime says:

      I really hope the summer season doesn’t start sucking halway through, that would be so depressing, especially since we’ve got a pretty good line up this year. I think it’s worth a re-watch at any rate. The animation in the OP is very funky, even if it song kind of bombs.

  4. Reaper says:

    When I first saw the opening animation of the OP, i couldn’t help but get the feel of Persona, with all the different characters and colours used to highlight them :)
    I agree Kamisama Doll(s?) was a bit rushed in the first ep, especially with the prologue at the start, which wasn’t hard to understand later in the ep but when a silver-haired boy dressed in latex vaults in your window, it’s the kind of person you DON’T want to climb into your windows and snatch your people up…eheh, no pun intended ;P
    Still, it was funny listening to Accelerator’s seiyu scream at Aki, who looks like Accelerator’s character, though maybe not as aggressive and more seedy…shiver
    I think Kamisama Doll might be one of the more potentially good series, as long as they fix the pace as you guys said. Now however, I such wait for the second ep of the godly creation of JC Staff’s A Team called Kamisama no Memo-chou (notice the increase of kamisama nowadays? :))

    • Hime says:

      Really? I’ve been living for the day a silver-haired boy dressed in latex vaults in through my window. But I guess I’m just an old romantic that way~

  5. Foshizzel says:

    Mecha Kyuubey has arrived~

    Fun first episode and another cute little sister character… Yep Accelerators VA! Seems he is popping up everywhere lately ahaha not that I would complain I like his voice works.

    Will watch this one! See how things go xD

    Good work team!

    • Hime says:

      I was surprised how likeable Utau was, I did expect her to grate on my nevers the second I saw her, but she was pretty bareable.

      • jGLZa says:

        I couldn’t enough of Utao myself… just too kawaii. Love the seiyuu too, a rookie I believe?

  6. BlackBriar says:

    Looks interesting. I’m gonna give it a few more episodes before I decide to follow it.

    Yet another main character helmed by Accelerator’s voice actor Nobuhiko Okamoto. He sure is busy this year having roles in Yumekui Merry, Freezing, Ao no Exorcist, Sacred Seven and this. The other actor I’ve seen as active as him is Kana Hanazawa playing Shiemi (Ao no Exorcist) and Shiro (Deadman Wonderland).

    Ahh, the theme of a village closed off in the mountains holding a dark secret. It’s a classic anime theme. Aki looks unstable, like he needs to kill people to feel alive and doesn’t care who or what gets in his way.

    • Overcooled says:

      I love Nobuhiko Okamoto, you could recognize that voice anywhere. He’s give HanaKana a run for her money in terms of workload.

      I hope they explain why Aki is off his rocker. He’s a cool character, but I’m afraid he’ll fade into “generic psychovillain” territory D:

      • Hime says:

        I dunno, he looked pretty traumazied after GlaDOS blasted him and Kyohei’s asses in the prologue. Maybe it’s an Evangelion deal and the robots turn them all into manic depressive psychos. He definately seems to get off on manslaughter, though. I would like to see what turned him into such a bloodthirsty kid, but I have a feeling like you that it’ll just be “hohoho, I’m evil bitches, deal with it!” He’s still pretty fun though, so I don’t mind too much.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Hopefully Aki might turn out to be a truly cool and badass villain like The King of Night from Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka. Because I like memorable villains, not those that you would easily forget.

        Aki could become friends with Deadman’s Mockingbird. They’re both definitly off their rockers.

  7. Hoshi says:

    ~I have a very love-hate relationship with this first episode. I mean, Kamisama Dolls sounds incredibly interesting but this first episode was very bleah and forgettable for me. Plus, the animation is bugging me like crazzzyyyy…(only the OP animation was quite awesome).

    • Hime says:

      Stick with it Hoshi! <3

      It could turn out AH-MAY-ZING, or it could be total bullcrap. That's the fun of it!

    • Kyokai says:

      I will second Hoshi on this. Same opinion but I’ll be following this at least till the third episode and see WTH Brains Base makes of this.

  8. Moni Chan says:

    AKI imma be fangirling about him for a while
    and the eyeball thing remindes my of the world god only knows and bleach for some reason

  9. Elyon says:

    The only thing I really LOVED was Aki, but I wasn’t particularly impressed with anything else. The blood and gore and doom is what I’m watching for, but now that he lives with a loli and DEM BEWBS (she’s a fanservice prop, so she needs no name), I have some mixed feelings about this show. >.< I just hope there isn't a beach episode, a bath scene, or one of those trip and grope moments that already happened in Mayo Chiki.

  10. Azure says:

    The opening reminds me of persona 3 and 4 alot, and I love that, but never the less the show left me thinking, ‘wow way to make me question which team we’re rooting for’. However that being said that bit of praise is double edged when I don’t know what characters I should be rooting for, hell I felt as if I watched the whole episode without actual characters, as if they were nonexistent in the first place. This got me hooked for the summer however and I’m sticking with it.

  11. Yvoon says:

    NGYAHH!! LET ME KILL THAT AKI BASTARD!! that guy so annoying!! arrgh!!

    and someone please give a word in about boobie lady. geezus…

    @whoever wrote those captions: great captions!! ah, they were funny!! XD

  12. […] “It’s hard to give first impressions on something that didn’t really leave an impression. Kamisama Dolls has a wonderful concept with just the right hints of dark concepts here and there, such as the ambiguous presence of the village. Are they the enemy? Will Kuga just come to accept their controlling ways? Everything is set up to be awesome, but I think this show is suffering from “bad first episode syndrome.”” – Metanorn […]

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