Will Yaya’s dream of surprise buttsecks ever come true?!
This week’s Machine-Doll brings back the quality! Well, at least in the animation department. Still not too sure on the plot.
Truly the lair of an evil mastermind.
Last time Raishin went digging for dirt on Frey’s family. It turns out he bit off more than he can chew as he gets badly injured in the process and Yaya gets damaged while he’s away. From what I gather, Frey’s family isn’t a real family in every sense of the word. Instead, the “father” abducts and even clones children with a high affinity for mana. He then uses these children for nefarious schemes like mass-producing ban-dolls out of dogs. So not only is this guy guilty of animal cruelty, he’s also guilty of human rights abuse. In fact, he’s made out to be so evil that he almost looks like a caricature of a bad guy. Heck, he even has those good ‘ol useless mooks who get owned by the good guys even though they have the tactical and numerical advantage.
It’s just a flesh wound.
That said, the little adventure did do a number on our hero, whom we learn has deteriorating body functions due to Yaya siphoning his life force. Yaya, on the other hand, is pretty durable but can only be “repaired” with mana or with Shouko’s secret know-how. So if you think about it, Raishin and Yaya actually make a pretty bad pairing. Raishin’s fighting style is such that he throws himself into the middle of the fray. Obviously this means he’s susceptible to injury. But then he also has to supply mana to Yaya continuously. So each time he gets in a battle, the damage he takes personally is pretty severe and his recovery time is impaired. Not to mention he’s supposedly shaving away at his life to keep Yaya running. This guy is really set to burn himself out.
Our hero’s struggles aside, this episode also throws in some background developments. Apparently there’s some sort of political subterfuge going on with Kimberly-sensei, and she’s recruiting child molesters to her cause. Honestly I’m not sure what to make of it. I initially thought ban-dolls were a big deal. And then it seemed they weren’t. And now they seem to be a big deal again. I get that Kimberly wants to keep Raishin under surveillance because he possibly uses a ban-doll. I’m not sure how much of a secret that is considering Charlotte even points out that Yaya has more organic parts than Sigmund, and we already know Sigmund is a ban-doll. But then what does this information have to do with being an enemy of the state and of the academy?
Don’t mind me, I’m just having a smoke.
Also not elaborated upon again is Shouko. As usual, she shows up abruptly, acts mysteriously, gives Raishin some orders, and then takes a smoke from her pipe. According to her, the Sonic circuit being developed by Frey’s family could be a game-changer in political and military power. Should the British military adopt it, shit basically goes down. Going out on a limb here, I would guess that this has something to do with being an enemy of the state. But I’m still not sure on the connection between Raishin’s owning a ban-doll and the British military eyeing the Sonic circuit. The only relation that we see so far is that Raishin is investigating the Sonic circuit.
I appreciate the show introducing some more engaging plot elements, but at the moment we know so woefully little that it’s all just kind of going over my head. Also, some developments just come across as silly. I’m pretty sure Raishin being hesitant and defensive during his battle with Loki is supposed to demonstrate the psychological effect of Yomi’s death on him. But the way he used Yaya so ineffectively and especially the moment he decided to shield her instead of having her bring the two of them to safety seemed much too contrived. On the bright side though, the battles in this episode actually look pretty good in contrast with the abysmal CG that we’ve gotten in the past. There is one pretty suspect moment where Raishin dives into the sewer water with Komurasaki to avoid some bullets, but that’s more of a questionable size scale than questionable quality.