Will a shot make Machine-Doll better? Hint: no.
I wish I could stop being negative about this show; I really do. But Machine-Doll continues to disappoint me with each passing week.
This new, highly advanced doll has only one weakness: explosions. Wait, what?
This episode felt particularly rushed, so I did some reading around to get a feel on the reality of the situation. Turns out the anime has just started on volume 3 material with the cliffhanger at the end, so in actuality Machine-Doll shouldn’t feel very rushed at all. This really is quite a leisurely pace just looking at the numbers. So then what’s the deal with this episode? The progression from Raishin storming the base again to Bronson’s defeat felt ephemeral and lacking in impact. This is the showdown that concludes an arc, so why does the battle feel almost anticlimactic? I’m not saying everything needs to be flashy and go bang, which it actually sort of does here though without inciting any of the usual excitement. But when the end of an chapter fails to grasp the attention of the viewer (also the rest of the entire chapter), something is amiss.
“Lack of impact” seems to be the problem with Machine-Doll in general. Everything that happens just happens without our investment. Here’s a good example: throughout the episode there’s this camaraderie between Raishin and Loki that’s oddly jarring. I know we’ve seen the two set up as friendly rivals before with their head-butting. But I don’t think it was established remotely well enough for their bickering here to be genuine. As the two lay on the ground, exhausted from the battle, throwing insults at each other, we realize that we’re supposed to find this display of their hostile friendship amusing. But the fact of the matter is I just don’t give a damn about their friendly rivalry because it was only alluded to at best once and over the span of 2 episodes. We’re just supposed to accept that they’re best buds now, without the show so much as making an effort to set it up.
If this were IS, she’d be calling Raishin her waifu.
Yet another grievance I take with Machine-Doll is the abrupt manner with which we are thrust into new arcs. Have these guys ever heard of these things called transitions? I’m not telling the show to go on a swimming episode break for a week, but maybe a smoother and more natural easing in of the next arc would be nice. As it stands, the show’s idea of a bridge is to have Raishin loafing around (because he’s beat up from his previous adventures) while Yaya tries to get into his pants for the millionth time. Then some other girl comes along, causes the possessive doll to misunderstand and violently attack our hero, and WHABAM we are in the next arc. That’s literally what happened with Frey, which was excusable enough because they worked it into her trying to kill Raishin. But then they pull the same stunt again with who I can only assume to be Charlotte’s twin sister.
The resemblance is uncanny.
Could they not have Raishin chat with Charlotte for a bit or something before she up and destroys an entire clock tower for mysterious reasons? There’s no need to give away her reasons for blowing things up or explain whatever her troubles may be, but at least hint at the fact that she’s going through something to make a smoother entrance for the new arc. And if in fact the show really did that, then it’s done a poor job of it because I did not notice it at all. As far as I know, last Charlotte appeared she was just being tsundere as usual and tactfully choosing not to intervene in a situation that has nothing to do with her. Then next time she appears she now has a suicidal twin sister and doesn’t like clock towers.
I will admit I found Frey’s little slip-up in the infirmary rather entertaining, but that one bit isn’t enough to pull the weight of the rest of the episode. Basically Machine-Doll is giving us more piss-poor writing as usual. It’s just gone from inconsistently bad to consistently bad now. And as before, I’m not following the source material so I don’t know if the fault lies with the adaptation or with the LNs. But at this point I don’t really care any more. With only only 4 more episodes to go in the season, I don’t expect much to change about the show’s quality.