Unbreakable Machine-Doll – 02

Unbreakable Machine-Doll - 02

Clockwise: sickle, jade, sandfly(?), spider, bee, fire. Their chest symbols and weapons are also appropriate.

After a rather unremarkable premiere, Machine-Doll manages to improve a bit with the insertion of some plot.


Evil Puppeteers

Eat your heart out.

To get straight to the point, there’s a potential killer on the loose. Students have gone missing, and dolls have been destroyed. And to make things worse, there’s the suggestion that the culprit is having his doll not only consume the magic circuits of the victimized dolls, but also possibly eat the owners of said dolls. Perhaps that’s taking it a bit far, but it seemed to me what the show was hinting at with its timely mention of Ban Dolls (Sigmund is one), which are built using organic materials and must consume meat to maintain their form. Now, we have to take that with a grain of salt as Lisette admits these tales are only legends. But given that Charlotte is always threatening to make Sigmund go without meat, I’d say perhaps there’s some truth to the tall tale after all. Or, Raishin could just ask Charlotte about the details of Ban Dolls and we’d know for sure, since he clearly has her in the palm of his hand. But I guess that would be too easy. Regardless, no doubt Raishin will be able to take out Cannibal Candy without incident since this seems about his best bet to get into the Evening Party.

Sob Story

A really bad day.

On another note, last episode we left off with a cliffhanger as Raishin charged Magnus through a window. This episode we get to see some more of our below-average hero’s backstory. As alluded to in a very brief flashback in the premiere, it’s not a cheerful one. Looks like some time in the past, someone walked in and trashed his family home, which appears to double as a doujo of sorts. I’m gonna guess that’s where the Akabane style was taught. His father apparently put up a fight, because the floor is littered with broken dolls. The Akabane style involves commanding an army of dolls, so this might have been the aftermath of the style in action. And perhaps the scene of utter death and destruction might also be a nod to the show’s title of “Unbreakable Machine-Doll”. You know, perhaps something cheesy like Raishin resolving never to let Yaya get destroyed. Anyway, Raishin’s father obviously didn’t do very well, because now he’s dead. And Raishin’s sister is also dead, almost ritualistically laid out on what looks like an alter. This is all depressing and stuff, but I think the show made a point of showing us the grim scene to again telegraph some speculatory suggestions (it seems to like doing this a lot).

Tears of pearl!

One would believe from Raishin’s reaction to Magnus that this is the guy responsible for the attack. The guy uses multiple dolls, which is suspiciously reminiscent of the Akabane style. Maybe he was a student gone bad? Also, Raishin only thought back to the moment he found his dead sister when he saw the face of one of Magnus’s dolls. This, combined with the introduction of Ban Dolls hints that Magnus might have had Nadeshiko’s body made into his doll somehow. Alternatively, Raishin might have been reminded of the fateful event instead by the fire character on the doll’s veil. But I’m pretty sure he was more interested in what lay beneath. Anyway, the whole concept of Ban Dolls confuses me. Supposedly they are in violation of the Constitution of Magicians, which one might think means owners of Ban Dolls are in big trouble. So then perhaps Magnus having one (or a couple) might be a big deal, possibly disqualifying him for the title of Wiseman. Of course, this is assuming his one doll is in fact made from Nadeshiko. But then we have Charlotte and Sigmund, and no one’s making a fuss about her other than Lisette. So are Ban Dolls really that big a deal? Or is this just a case of only a few knowing about their existence?

Overall this episode is indeed a step up from the first. Perhaps it’s the decrease in awful CG or the lack of unbelievable physics (Raishin’s bed flip was still pretty suspect). Seriously though, I’m gonna have to pin the improvement on the introduction of some actual plot. The “guy on a mission for revenge” element isn’t awfully creative, but at least it’s a start. And anything that adds depth to a character as generic as Raishin is good. Also, I’m sure the hyperactive spinning ED had a heavy hand in improving my opinion of the show.


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9 Responses to “Unbreakable Machine-Doll – 02”

  1. skylion says:

    I was quite pleased with this episode, but for more personal reasons. Back in the day, I ran a TRPG Ravenloft using the 3rd Edition D&D rules. The baddies of the piece were flesh golems masked as big steam powered robots. It was quite a fun game to run.

    But onto the episode. I had quite similar thoughts to Magnus being a failed or expelled student, it had all the markings once those details about the Akabane style was reveled. Which makes it far more interesting for the antagonist.

    As for why some of the cases of Ban Dolls are allowed? Some of these students might come from very powerful families, that have quite a bit of resources invested in the school; a school that has impact on possible war efforts.

    Tears of pearls? I have no idea what that was about? But damn it for not getting the AT-X broadcast on any one of the encodes made available. They can show oshiri, but not oppai?

    • belatkuro says:

      Speaking of AT-X raw, that one had an end card included in it.

      • Highway says:

        Is the AT-X raw any better quality than the one for Freezing? That’s some terrible quality there.

        • belatkuro says:

          I don’t watch Freezing though so I don’t know.
          And that’s probably a mix of my MPC screencap and the AT-X raw, which is why FFF probably opted to use the Tokyo MX despite there being an AT-X one.

  2. belatkuro says:

    There was actually a skipped part here. After Magnus left with Raishin’s gift, Kimberly-sensei talked to him about what that item was. They might or might not place this again later but I’ll place it in a spoiler just in case:Show ▼

    And that constitution is only like a code of ethics for puppeteers that they should not use Bandolls as its parts and where to get them are, well, questionable. But I believe it’s not illegal to use them. It’s just frowned upon in the world of puppeteers.
    And there are some pros and cons with Bandolls as well, with the biggest con being its difficult construction method, hence not all are using one.

    • skylion says:

      Ah, a code of ethics that promotes frowning. IOW a set of rules for lesser beings? Nice villain creator right there….

  3. Highway says:

    I think the character designs are taking me out of this show a bit. With the world so much more detailed than the characters, it feels like there’s just a mismatch, and that the characters are just stuck into the scenery far too often.

    The story’s ok, moving really fast, but at the same time, I’m not a fan of the “Arc Name Part II” episode titles. That’s some dang laziness there.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    A nice improvement to the premiere and I like the whole mystery element that’s added. I figure Cannibal Candy is someone close to Raishin than he thinks. It’s usually the ones that are least expected.

    So Raishin rushed his training. No doubt because he wanted revenge as fast as possible. He may act cool but he’s really a hothead so I’m expecting his judgment to be clouded a handful of times.

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