「Facing”Cannibal Candy” Ⅰ」
RC is on a roll these days with all the introductory posts! Just wanted to thank all the writers for their hard work and all the readers for joining the fun. This season has really kicked it off with some great shows and I’m going to add Unbreakable Machine-Doll to that “To Watch” list of mine. I don’t want to be labeled as the person that blogs about dolls, but Rozen Maiden and Unbreakable Machine-Doll are completely different genres and stories so I’m excited to introduce this one. It was a series that I was skeptical about going into but I’m going to take that all back now… and hopefully convince one or two more people to give it a shot.
The story starts with what resembles a theatric entrance. There’s a train that can’t brake, the main characters happen to be on that train and bam! They use their powers to stop the train just before it collides with the last stop. This is not without some collateral damage but who cares when Yaya is awesome and cute. Our main protagonist is a Japanese student who happens to be on that train on his way to the Royal Academy. Akabane Raishin (Shimono Hiro) is accompanied by his “doll” named Yaya (Harada Hitomi) and together they enroll at the Royal Academy… but not before Raishin is ranked amongst his students. Meet Rank #1235! That doesn’t stop Raishin from challenging the Charlotte to a duel though. Blue Charlotte (Takamoto Megumi) and her puppet, Sigmund (Nakata Jouji) are a serious force to be reckoned with – it’s just unfortunate that Charlotte also has no friends because of it. Then who is ranked #1 you might ask? I’m willing to bet my pennies on our mysterious one-eyed stranger at the end. He seems like a foe that even Charlotte doesn’t want to mess with.
Now why do the ranks matter…?
This is actually what interests me the most in this series because I can’t help but love a good tournament and competition. The ranks matter because the top 100 students actually get to compete against one another in a tournament for a chance to win the title, “Wiseman”. This seems to be the ultimate goal for Raishin, but for the time being, he can’t even compete until he’s taken someone’s place (thus why he challenged Charlotte to a duel). This sounds like a story of how runt of the litter emerges to the top, but I think Raishin has a lot more potential than just the average protagonist. He also a lot of self-confidence and doesn’t seem that interested in Yaya’s advances on him which makes me wonder what IS on his mind then… possibly his tragic past?
Besides the amazing start to the episode, I thought the dynamics between Raishin and Yaya were truly some of the best moments to this episode. The fight between the students was amusing and a great intro to the cast, but not as interesting as our main duo. They’re not a romantically involved pair, and they’re not necessarily as segregated as “puppet” and “puppeteer”. In fact, nothing about Yaya resembles a puppet. She acts, breathes and behaves like a human would and she’s very attached to Raishin. What I think makes me so intrigued by their relationship is that Raishin isn’t some “average” guy who happens to have this harem of girls falling for him. He already has a girl that refers to herself as “the Wife” and he still’s concerned about other things. As a result, he comes off very cold and distant, but that’s why I love the fact that despite all that, Yaya is so devoted to him and keeps him focused. You can say that that’s because she’s a puppet, but I’d like to believe otherwise.
Anyway, so far the first episode has given a great cast of characters that I think have a lot of potential to be unique and memorable. Charlotte is one that will probably gain a lot of fans and I see her playing “the Other Girl” role. The plot itself is quite generic with the tournament in play, but there can be some surprises and twists with Raishin’s past hinted at. As someone who hasn’t read any of the original material, I think the anime has done a terrific job at keeping me engaged while setting up the story for future episodes. I can’t say that there are any plot holes and the pacing doesn’t bother me given that there was so much information in this premiere. Here’s hoping that comment doesn’t come to bite me in the butt later! Definitely a show that I plan to keep following this season and one that I have high expectations for now. I seem to be following a lot of 1-cour series this year so I only pray that this is not going to be another cliffhanger ending!
TL;DR – @RCCherrie: So am I “that” person that blogs about dolls now? #dollfetish? O_o lots of potential in Unbreakable Machine-Doll though and the MC doesn’t annoy me! Yaya is too adorable for words and quite suggestive but that’s OK ^^ Unbreakable Machine-Doll has kept up the trend of great anime this season.
Please Note: The ending this week is actually the opening for this series. We’ll get to see a new ED next week!
ED: 「Anicca」 by 原田 ひとみ (Hitomi Harada)