What’s the point of featuring Irori and Komurasaki in the ending if they didn’t do jack shit in the actual show?
Puppets were always something that creeped me out. Whether or not it usually associates itself with unsettling plot points or just there to freak you out, I never had a good standing with these lifeless dolls. Courage the Cowardly Dog and Terence D’arby didn’t help me overcome the fear but you get my point. Machine Doll however dispelled that curse of creepy dolls. Whether or not that’s a good thing does not really prove a point in saying how good or bad it is but nonetheless it gets my personal bias for now.
So other than curing me of creepy dolls (my fear of clowns seems like it will continue) how well does the adaptation of Unbreakable Machine Doll do?
A rundown for those who didn’t follow up with the weekly recaps. Akabane Raishin is the presumed last member of a clan of Japanese warriors that use these puppets called Automatons. For some mysterious reason or another, Raishin is given a chance at vengeance when a lady named Shouko saves him and gives him one of her Automatons named Yaya. In order to train himself, he travels to England to enroll in a academy that deals with puppets and magic. For all the hotshot lines he says and the confidence in Yaya, he is admitted (and fittingly nicknamed) as “Second Last” entree in the academy’s ranking. Turns out the guy who just happened to kill Raishin’s family is the No. 1 Ranked student and now Raishin must make the climb to be the best and exact some revenge in the nightly battlegrounds.
The last episode was just a continued fighting scene with the butler and while overpowered, he didn’t lose as of yet. He flies off with his master who everyone thought was a guy, but was actually a girl. If anything, I smell one hell of a Season 2 somewhere.
I invoke the power of the CHARACTER LIST
- Raishin is a….strange character. He has all these plans that do prove triumphant in the end but by that point, he’s been maimed, singed, and practically every physical affliction imaginable. I get that he’s the protagonist but he talks a lot of shit but get’s a lot of it beaten out of him. He wins, and that’s good, but he credibility is somewhat tarnished in every fight. Other than that, his busybody like attitude gains the attraction of some girls. Other than being nice to them, he IS helping them out in personal matters for the good of it so I guess he’s not undeserving of such attention.
- Yaya was cute, until she REALLY wanted Raishins love and attention. There’s only so much I can tolerate but when you think about it: bedding a machine sounds extremely strange, but let’s not delve into that. Yaya is constantly lauded by Raishin as “the best” but she gets the hell beaten out of her too. She doesn’t really have any abilities other than being durable as hell (doesn’t stop her from screaming) but best defense is the best offense. Go attrition.
- Charlotte has a pretty badass monicker that goes by “Tyrant Rex”. Anyways, Charlotte is Raishin’s first friend in the academy after saving her from a messy situation involving some royal-line student council member going rogue. She plays the quinessential tsundere role and by the end, becomes pretty understandable why she didn’t want friends. It’s the familiar story of Kaguyahime who didn’t want close contact with others because she doesn’t want to be sad when she leaves/dies/forced to kill friends to rank up in the academy. Oh yeah, her Automaton is a LIGHT dragon. She’s adorable and while she doesn’t get a dedicated fight, she’s pretty cool. Her sister somewhat explains her behaviour by the end. Wouldn’t you be worried to have a suicidal sister?
- Frey is the somewhat ditzy competitor who is introduced as another enemy in the duels all worthy students must go through. She’s told by her brother Loki (younger brother mind you) to not participate in the fights because he knows how clueless she usually is. Her automatons are basically mechanized dogs and her arc was once again dealing with family issues. I didn’t like Frey too much in the beginning, but she grew on me by the end.
- Loki: His catchphrase is annoying as hell but it’s kind of nice having someone that’s not infatuated with the main hero be an ally. He’s a bit more fit to be the fighting one of the siblings as his automaton is literally a gigantic sword that launches itself. Yes it becomes a mech too but it’s a B.F sword. Loki has my approval, but his style of talking irks me.
- Shoko/Irori/Komurasaki: Shoko is a mystery, but seems to have something brewing on the side. Irori never got enough screentime even though the ending suggested she was supposed to. That applies to Komurasaki too but at least she got some time to showcase what her abilities were.
Machine Doll served like the more action oriented Magi for this season. The summary promises us a gauntlet of fights that our protagonists must go through and we got exactly that. I stated this before but Raishin has the utmost habit of getting the hell beaten out of him before he reveals his master plan. I guess battle cars really do attract the girls in his case. Not that it matters, he has a puppet that resembles his little sister voraciously trying to get some serious skinship down. The usage of puppets and magic add some diversity to the old fighting schtick, but in the end, we’re always gonna get the same tropes. It’s entertaining but generic.
The story is nothing to be inspired by. It’s the revenge tale through and through but it is holding back some details. The series likes to reveal what has has happened over a span of episodes, it never gives it to us in one picture. There’s some style in that but for a story driven revenge plot, I would have preferred it given to us like Shingeki no Kyojin did. Case in point: Story is nothing new and it’ somewhat lacking on the detail and delivery.
The characters and their reasons for their involvement are basically what stuck to me. Characters are generally likeable and are basically the saving grace here. Charlotte has family issues, Frey and Loki have….well I’ll be damned: Every single one of them have family issues. Raishin’s family issues being that he doesn’t have any. Girls are cute but I’m thankful they have something else going for them in the actual plot. Yes you heard me “plot”.
While generic, Machine Doll provides for some funny and action packed showcasing for the past season. It grew on me after a while so don’t put too much expectations on it. I will gladly watch a second season.