Life-like love dolls!
First of all, as an engineer, let me say that there are so many things wrong with the first five minutes of Machine-Doll. Fortunately, we’re not here to discuss the realism of the show as it delves into magic and other shenanigans, so let’s just leave it at that.
Kind of Mediocre
Looks like everyone in those cars survived.
So yeah. You know the drill when CG is involved. It’s either pretty good, or it’s not so good. And in this case, we get the latter. Which is kind of an understatement, to be honest. In any case, my understanding of the use of CG is, if its not stylistically intentional or obviously necessary, it’s usually a hallmark of budget saving. If you’ll notice, the opening sequence falls under neither of the qualifications aforementioned, so I’m gonna go ahead and say that the unsightly use of CG was simply a result of cutting corners. Whether this means the studio simply doesn’t have the money to spend on the show or they’re saving it for more intense parts later on, I can’t say at the moment. But whatever the case, the CG jumping duo didn’t help improve the experience of the already mediocre premiere.
Yaya wants the mana.
That said, this first episode wasn’t a complete disaster. I say mediocre only because it really didn’t stand out from the rest of the bunch. But I do recognize that not every show can shine from the get-go. If they all did, none of them would stand out anyway. So for now, let’s stand back and evaulate Machine-Doll for what it is. We have the main character, Raishin, who isn’t the brightest lightbulb of the bunch. It’s actually kind of impressive that he managed to land the second lowest score out of the entire school, but we’ll overlook that for now. He’s had a long day and a rough train ride. Then there’s the frisky sidekick doll, Yaya, who wishes she were more than just a sidekick. More specifically, she wishes she were in Raishin’s pants. And beyond wishing, she actively tries to get in said pants while simultaneously getting out of her own clothes. I would protest her portrayal, but she’s cute so it’s OK. Seriously.
Raishin’s arms of steel.
Finally, we round off the list with Charlotte. She’s an elite tsundere, which says everything you need to know about her. And she also has a pet dragon for her sidekick. Actually, I should add that I’m confused as to whether we’re supposed to think she’s really powerful. The show makes her out as such by having other students cower before her, but then she gets in a fight and almost loses? Sure, she got ganged-up on, but when someone is introduced as one of the top-ranked candidates for the magical fight club, you feel kind of misled when she can’t even take out a gang of angry goons. Not to mention, with Sigmund’s abysmal reaction time and slow, exaggerated movements, one has to wonder how she ever got to be one of the top candidates. Unless they’re all equally unimpressive, that is.
Well, I’m sounding rather negative now, so perhaps this is a sign for me to sign off. I won’t try to hide the fact that I’m rather disappointed with how Machine-Doll looks at the moment. But as per my usual optimism, there’s still time for the show to do better. We’ve yet to be introduced to the mysterious Shouko, whom Yaya is apparently very envious of, and there’s also mystery masked man at the end whom Raishin seems to want to kill. So there’s a good chance for things to develop beyond cheap CG action shots.