Busou Shinki – 01
OP: 「Install×Dream」 by 阿澄佳奈、茅原実里、水橋かおり、中島愛 (Asumi Kana, Chihara Minori, Mizuhashi Kaori, Nakajima Megumi)
「大切なもの見つけました。」 (Taisetsuna Mono Mitsukemashita.)
“We Found Something Important”
Fall 2012 is a season that’s somewhat short on mecha anime. That’s not to say it’s completely devoid of it though – we have ROBOTICS;NOTES airing in roughly a week and of course, Busou Shinki! While to some, mecha may be synonymous with giant robots, that’s certainly not the case – Super Robots is just one of many subgenres that forms the much larger and more varied mecha genre. In Busou Shinki you won’t find any of those, that’s for sure. What you will find are loyal, extremely helpful, 15cm tall, intelligent, battle-ready gynoids! Who wouldn’t dream of posessing such a thing! Although, the 15cm part is slightly less than ideal (or perhaps in some cases, perfectly ideal!), what better companion could you ask for?
Since a ‘short’ summary is almost mandatory for these series introduction posts, here it is (if you’ve seen the episode you can probably skip to the next paragraph)! After returning to Japan following an extended time overseas, Rihito (Mizushima Takahiro) heads out to school, leaving his three Shinki to take care of unpacking and putting everything into order. As the three – the Arnval Mk.2, Arn (Asumi Kana); the Altines, Aines (Mizuhashi Kaori); and the Altlene, Lene (Nakajima Megumi) – go about their business, they stumble across a box marked ‘Important.’ Shortly thereafter, a series of unfortunate accidents ends in the box being opened and an important ‘love letter’ escaping through an open window while they argue. Deciding to chase after it, they grievously wound (nah, I’m just kidding) the Eukrante, Clara (Emiri Kato) who promptly challenges them to a battle. After a short scuffle, they’re called back to their respective masters and Rihito reveals the contents of the letter – a disc containing a custom Shinki house he made for Arn many years ago. The episode closes with Rihito and his three Shinki discovering a mysterious box containing the ominous Strarf Mk.2.
Watching their antics as they went about cleaning the room and attempting to recapture the letter was far more entertaining than I expected. Normally one would associate mecha with battles, and while there were plenty of those, it seems uncertain as to whether or not they will be the focus of the anime. I for one would actually enjoy watching these laid-back, everyday, almost slice-of-life style Shinki antics. However, the OP seems to present quite a few potential foes, the preview implies the next episode will be mostly based around combat, and the premise itself also supports the idea that much of the series could well be devoted to the spectacular Infinite Stratos style aerial battles. This could just be me, but the concept of 15cm tall gynoids is rather intriguing – despite their small stature, they help around the house performing all the menial chores, they can fly and fight (and apparently have real laser cannons if the burnt envelope is anything to go by!) and they can sign for parcels. Sign. For. Parcels. Imagine it – no more missing deliveries because you’re out/asleep/otherwise indisposed. A dream come true! Being 15cm tall also presents a whole new slew of comical dangers – getting trapped by tape, mauled by hamsters, KO’d by stray envelopes… it’s like Kigurashi no Arrietty but with robots, fanservice and more emphasis on comedy than plot!
As you would expect from 8-bit (who previously handled Infinite Stratos), the animation and art are pretty solid for the majority of the episode. The battles are smooth and stylish, and the humorous cleaning and unpacking segments – slightly abused physics aside (I can’t imagine she would be heavy enough to launch the knife quite like that… but I could be wrong) – were a joy to watch. It’s pretty cool to see how the Shinki are frequently animated based on their joints, which differ slightly from those of a normal human – it’s a nice touch. My only real complaint is with Rihito, who seems to vary from being rather ugly to relatively normal-looking, something which is either intentional (I hope not), or the budget being funnelled more towards the Shinki, leaving their master rather more slapdash than normal.
In terms of plot and characters, Busou Shinki presents nothing spectacular. None of the characters have done much to suggest they will step outside their basic archetypes and I would call it a harem given how much affection the Shinki display for their master, but I’m not sure how viable a harem is when all the females stand a mere 15cm tall. The premise has potential for some entertaining comedy and enjoyable combat, so that’s more than enough to keep me watching, but those looking for a more substantial plotline could end up being disappointed. It’s certainly not going to be for everyone, and there seems to be a lot of unfounded prejudice towards it from those who watched Moon Angel – a series which arguably has little to no connection with this one seeing as it’s an entirely different studio, staff and storyline. If you want humorous antics with some fanservice, mecha moe and awesome aerial battles, this could well be the perfect choice!
tl;dr: @MoombaDS – Some pretty nice aerial battles and humorous antics from miniature moe gynoids! #BusouShinki
- Arn seems to vary from being pretty badass to extremely clumsy quite frequently!
- Maid costumes! I wonder just how many different costumes we’ll see over the course of the series given Lene’s apparent penchant for making them!
- This is the first time I’ve ever seen anyone detect killing intent from a stray letter.
- That final shot of the Strarf Mk.2 felt more than a little bit overdramatic.
*Currently, there are no plans to cover Busou Shinki on a weekly basis here at RandomC.
*If you’re curious as to why the OP and ED aren’t available for streaming, please see the announcement at the top right of the page.
ED: 「太陽のサイン」 (Taiyou no Sign) by azusa