「写真を見たら色々あったからです」 ( Shashin o Mitara Iroiro Atta kara Desu )
“A Lot Happened After I Saw That Photo”
I think everything about my experience of watching Sono Bisque Doll has to be filtered through the lens of not being the target audience for it. Not by a long shot. And that applies to my commentary on it, too. Especially when an episode bores me (as this one did). I’m probably the worst judge of whether this was any good, because even if it achieved everything it set out to do it wouldn’t have made much impact on me. So I can’t really say how successful it was as an artistic enterprise.
I can say this – the fanservice aspect of this show continues to be frankly a little creepy. One can say what they will about Marin being showcased the way she is, but at the very least she’s in high school. Shinjuu is a middle schooler and thus what we see with her is more problematic on an absolute level. We often see female characters who look like lolis but are (improbably) much older used as a means to appeal to that demographic without crossing any invisible lines. Shinjuu is kind of a twist on that – a grossly underaged girl who’s portrayed as looking like an adult so it will feel less skeevy showing her off.
I’m finding everything with the Inui sisters to be fairly lackluster in terms of entertainment value, but Shinjuu is especially problematic not just because of the above but because of the seiyuu performance. Again – not the target audience, but that breathy-cutesy thing grates on me in a big way. There are some decent themes at work here, like cosplay giving people a chance to express their individuality and explore their fantasies at the same time. But as drama, the whole Shinjuu thing comes off pretty heavy-handed.
So, not caring that much about cosplay and not caring that much for the characters in focus, there’s not a lot for me to hang my hat on this week. Marin’s teasing of Gojou is getting old too (at least it was limited to the pre-open here). And again, we see Gojou reduced to the level of an accessory for enabling the female cast to live out their dreams. People keep telling me his passion for Hina dolls is treated respectfully by the writing but I guess that must come later, because at this point it – and he – just don’t seem very important.
That part is a real problem for another reason. To wit, Marin is shown to be madly in love with him, and that side of the series is probably the most endearing. But why? There’s some lip-service giving to his idealism about beauty, yada yada. But in truth, Sono Bisque Doll hasn’t done nearly enough to individualize Gojou to make a convincing case why a gorgeous and popular teen like Marin would fall for him. As a result it kind of seems like it’s either because he basically acts as her unpaid servant of because it’s a juvenile crush. If this series is going to have any real traction as a romance, I’m going to need to see a lot more about why Gojou even matters. But then – I’m not the target audience.