No question about it, Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru knows what buttons to push. This is the breakthrough hit of the winter season beyond a doubt – manga sales are skyrocketing and the series performs well in audience surveys and aggregator sites. I totally get that. But the truth is, because there’s a pretty wide gulf between this series and my usual anime tastes, it always has a pretty small margin of error for me. The first six episodes have been a mixed bag for sure – and I’d like to bag this one.
Honestly, more than anything this was like a race to fit as many annoying modern anitropes into 22 minutes as possible. The lame “walk in on a girl in the bathroom” gag. The legal girl who looks like a loli (so you know, it’s all fine). Worst of all “If you don’t X for me I’ll report you to the cops for something you didn’t do” bit. There was a point there when I was pretty close to pulling the plug, honestly. Things did pull back from the ledge after that, thankfully, but if it’s been one step forward and one back so far with this show, this was definitely a couple of steps back.
So yeah, Inui “Juju” Sajuna (Tanezaki Atsumi) is not a character who starts the game on the opposing team’s 5 yard-line for me. I find the tsundere loli archetype (with a side of stalker) to be fingernails on a blackboard, though I’ve heard far worse takes on it than Tanezaki’s (she’s normally a pretty good actor). The biggest gripe I had with all this was how contrived and silly her introduction was. Grandpa lets a stranger in to use the shower, the boy walks in on her, she blackmails him. None of that would happen if it weren’t necessary for the plot, and it wouldn’t be necessary for the plot if the mangaka wasn’t checking off a few boxes. But you can’t argue with the numbers, that’s for sure.
Could Juju grow on me? Sure, it’s possible, and in the big picture my opinion makes zero difference anyway – I’m not the target audience. But if Bisque Doll had pursued that blackmail angle that would have punched my return ticket. Fortunately it backed off that as a straight-up gag, and Juju didn’t push the matter. That said, it seems to me that if Wakana is going to making outfits as an ongoing enterprise he really ought to be getting paid for it – it’s a lot of work and his time has value even if that does conflict with his doormat status. I assume Juju was planning on paying him when she invaded his home, but whether that happens now (I presume the matter will be forgotten about) remains to be seen.
Take Juju out of the picture (I wish) and the ep really wasn’t that bad. Marin falling head-over-heels for Wakana was presented in rather appealing fashion, and we finally got a bit of info about her status above and beyond being the MPDG. Gramps inviting her to eat at his house every day just like that was kind of ridiculous but it’s not like we don’t see such nonsense in anime all the time. Marin and Juju geeking out over their obsession was mostly for the hardcore cosplay crowd but yeah, I’ve been in enough of those conversations about various topics to recognize the authenticity of it.
Maybe the best part of the episode was the anime-in-anime “Princess Lily” magical girl tribute, complete with 4:3 aspect ratio. That was put together with a lot of care, and it showed – it could easily have been a throwaway moment but the anime made it an episode highlight. And the stuff with grandpa was generally OK, too – though I have to ask, is it really normal for high school boys to have a couple pairs of stockings? In any event the jury is still way out on this series for me – it does what it does very well, but it may just be too far removed from my sweet spot for that to matter.
TV tropes the animation.
they even invoked some in the still shots, e.g.
no34: Love dodecahedroon
The “Princess Lily” segment may have been in 4:3 but it was still in HD. Oh well, if it was a pre-digital classic then I suppose it might have had a true HD release on BD.
As for the rest of the episode, CloverWorks surprised me with how close to the manga it got in THAT scene. And yes it was contrived, but you need to take the deadly Japanese cold into account. I mean, Wakana’s gramps was on a life-saving mission there!
Tropey? Of course it is, but is that really a failing? Do you criticize Mozart for using the same old 12 notes over and over again? 🙂
Does the show have its list of anime tropes. Yup, no doubt. Still, I disagree with labeling it as tropey, and why? Because it is fairly uncommon in its fundamentals: It is exceptionally wholesome. No big drama. No big misunderstandings, only inconsequential minor ones. There are no asshole characters annoying people (you’ll see). On top of all that, we get romance from the “other” perspective. It is the popular and uber-social girl who is struggling.
What makes this show special to me is that I can watch this perfectly after a stressful day, and it turns my mood around and makes me smile. Now it’s perfectly fine if others may perceive it differently, but I can say for certain that it is a very fresh breath of air in the romcom genre.
I think it is tropey, but quite intentionally so. I mean, it even has tropes that the manga doesn’t, like the “girl falling from the sky” scene in the first episode. It’s still my favorite new show this season, though.
Not saying you’re wrong, but on what basis do you say the mangaka is satirizing these tropes? I’ve seen nothing in the anime so far to make that seem obvious.
I think the manga plays it straight, so I meant the anime.
Some things may work fine in a manga if you’re drip-fed no more than two chapters a month, but when you’re rattling through almost three chapters a week, I just wondered if the anime staff decided to go for it and make it self-consciously tropey by throwing some more in for good measure.
wholesomei thi k anime fans have a different definition of that lol its a cool show but still kinda seems like it geared towards virgin men who dont get laid often . i mean lol marin honesy cones off as that maniac picie type girl and gojo is kinda bland i dont get why anime cant have normal non socially awkward men who dont freeze at talking to women they do exist in japan but goddamit it serms like 90% of male anime characters are on the spectrum. its telling anime fans relate to these extremly docially awkward characters.
People who are familiar with the manga, definitely have a leg up on anime-only viewers in terms of expectations.
It’s like being able to look at a menu, and seeing what dishes consist of, then choosing based on ingredients, and hoping the execution is good. Anime-only viewers are like a patron exclaiming to the chef, “surprise me!” Sometimes the result fits your palate and sometimes it’s not what you were in the mood for or hoped it would be – or the execution is underwhelming.
All your points are completely valid and it’s definitely tropey as hell. I just knew what was on the menu, thought it sounded good at the moment and ordered it hoping the execution was good – and it’s been a very faithful execution thus far.
That’s a very interesting way to look at it, wish I’d thought of it myself!
Seen too much of BS media *cough Rental Girlfriend manga current direction* lately however this is one of the better ones this season and yes the numbers do not lie. Marine’s the girl of the moment on the internet.
I realy like Juju however (deleted).
I’m reminded of the Rice Bowl from K-ON! Still classy even now?
The tropes didn’t wow me nor was I disappointed I just ignored it because it’s so commonly used. It’s like driving the same route every day to work. Also by now I have fully accepted this title is a RomCom especially when seeing Marin looses herself while looking at Gojo. I pray that we get more tidbits of Gojo making costumes, explaining what he did wrong or right, explaining some technique, and getting feed back from Marin.
This way I can at least see some aspects of Runway de Waratte. Not to mention would it kill to see more of Gojo’s thought process and acquiring knowledge from tailors?
Also it’s quite odd, I feel like the Manga dives more into the costumes and cosplay than the Anime does. Maybe I am wrong but I feel Ike sine Anime is motion pictures the romcom material draws the viewer’s attention away from the subject of costume creation/fashion
i think anime fans have a different definition of wholesome than most people lol because the fanservice on this show isnt wholesome at all . its a cool show but still kinda seems like it geared towards virgin men who dont get laid often . i mean lol marin honesy cones off as that maniac picie type girl and gojo is kinda bland i dont get why anime cant have normal non socially awkward men who dont freeze at talking to women they do exist in japan but goddamit it serms like 90% of male anime characters are on the spectrum. its telling anime fans relate to these extremly docially awkward characters.
Two words: TARGET MARKET.
Anime studios working on H and even hiring bunnywalker or antichenus artists target money with the popular but insidious motto : “sex sells”. Anime is downright cult-like so the studios abused it to release nakedness / pornography.