Kamisama Dolls – 06 review

“We apologize for the obnoxious, time-wasting scenes in this episode!”

Episode 06

Will this series ever learn that humour isn’t a out-of-the-blue-scene thrown in to ruin the mood? Also, will this series ever learn to treat Utao like a human being? And will they ever learn that identical twins are a cheap way to save money?

Brief Summary:

After the action of the last episode this episode starts with Utao, Kyouhei and Hibino arriving at Karakami-Village. There they visit the Utsuwashi who are responsible for repairing the Kakashi. While Utao’s Kakashi is getting repaired Kirio comes home with Koushirou to live with him and his wife from then on.

As Utao’s Kakashi is repaired she begins to train again so that she can get used to controlling the Kakashi again. Then Utao, Kyouhei and Hibino fly back to the house of Kyouhei’s and Utao’s family having a little “accident” while flying there.

Later Hibino leaves to visit the grave of her mother accompanied by Kyouhei. On their way back they have to seek shelter from the rain and while waiting Hibino asks Kyouhei about the teacher Aki mentioned some time ago. That’s when Kyouhei starts remembering…

“Admit it, Hibino-san, you also have no idea why you’re in this series!”

Review:

Some might say that more happened than what I’ve written down in the “Brief Summary” but the thing is: Most of the stuff in this episode is just a waste of time. The humour is boring, badly integrated into the plot and time-wasting. The characters are just standing around most of the time, talking about this and that without any consequences besides trying to amuse the viewer or play “drama-exposition” and end up doing nothing.

It was supposed to be a peaceful episode but instead it was getting boring. The action isn’t the best in Kamisama Dolls compared to other Shounen Series – but at least something happens in these scenes. Humour is seemingly the worst enemy in this series – because the series hasn’t any despite its best efforts (or worst, depending on who you ask, I guess). Utao struggles from one stupid situation to the next and in the end you ask yourself if she even is a human. It’s exaggerated in a bad way how dumb Utao is and how crazy people get around her. It’s really getting difficult for me to care about Utao with all that stupidity going on around her and by now it seems even out-of-place when she actually does something right.

The rest didn’t fare much better in this episode. You’d think that this episode would enlighten you about the whole setting of this series but it’s simple little stuff. So the Utsuwashi repair the Kakashi and stay neutral in the conflict? So what? One side is evil, the other is not. Nothing special. It’s not “War and Peace” from Tolstoi so who cares anyway about “neutral” in the end it’s just an excuse for more good guys who arrive a little late on the scene while the final conflict. So the Kakashi are drenched in this alien-blood-stuff that makes them susceptible to some people’s thoughts who can then manipulate the drenched objects? I don’t care… Why should I? I know already that the Seki can move the Kakashi. Alien-juice doesn’t really change that basic fact. Worldbuilding is fine and all but one shouldn’t bore the viewer with details. World-Building comes in two variants, I think, one is expanding the world of the plot, the other deepens it. The former adds a new element that is relevant for the plot, the latter adds a history to an existing element of the story for the sake of atmosphere. The exposition in this episode did neither of those things, it was time-wasting and obvious in its meaninglessness. Nothing was changed or deepened in the way I described it but what about character development?

“Unfortunate that you rushed in to face him, Utao-chan… that incomplete was your training. Not ready for the burden you were.”

Also nothing big this week concerning characterization as a great chance with a situation where Somaki reads the thoughts of Hibino is wasted. In the end it was only the obvious message that everybody already knows. Hibino’s and Kyouhei’s romance sub-plot is as stereotypical as those can get in a Shounen-Series, especially since it’s so obvious to anyone with eyes in his head and a brain to think (the latter should exclude Utao but strangely she also realizes where the thing is going). Koushirou gets some nice characterization actually by showing that he has a normal life and that he isn’t just some stupid evil henchman. Kirio also got some nice moments showing he isn’t so evil as he wanted to make everyone believe until now. Although I already fear the moment where an idiot like Utao can actually win against Kirio – this thought reeks of a sentimental crap-explanation coming. But it’s just little stuff, nothing of any consequence.

But next week the great flashback comes… This will be the most important moment of this series, I think. The momentum this series had in the first episode originated in its conscious treatment of the characters past instead of handling it like a ‘tabula rasa’. Now the reason behind this momentum will be revealed and it certainly should do one or both of the world-building-things that I described above. Otherwise this series will simply fall apart and end up on the bad end of mediocrity. This weeks episode already tried to go that way as it seems.

Episode Rating: 6/10

About M0rg0th

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Posted on August 10, 2011, in Anime, Kamisama Dolls, Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I thought the details on how dolls work was a meaningful element of the story. Maybe some fans were content with assuming “Yea yea, the dolls run on magic” but I actually wanted to know how a rural village happened to have robots they could control telepathically. Lets review what we know about dolls then.

    1. They are built, not simply found god knows where.
    2. They are made of a wood dipped in magic tree sap which lets a seki control them and perhaps gives the doll sentience of sorts.
    3. They are mechanical. Meaning they have moving parts inside.
    4. They have a limited arsenal. The seki know about most of their abilities so the dolls aren’t just a swiss army knife of futuristic weapons. I like this because it means with the exception of Kukuri’s reflector beam (there was foreshadowing for this anyway), we won’t be seeing more powers as the plot demands.

    I’m still not convinced that contraptions made of wood should be so durable or flexible, and some of the more magic like abilities such as Kukuri’s eye blasts and Kirio’s doll’s lightning gun or the dolls flight abilities are left unexplained. In the end it doesn’t matter, it’s rule-of-cool at it’s finest.

    I like this show despite it’s shortcomings because the dolls are both aesthetically and conceptually pleasing. The dolls and their relation to seki is what sets this series apart from others. The dolls having a limited arsenal means we don’t have to waste time with “training arcs”, where the protagonist spends several episodes developing some new ultimate technique, that’s so typical with shonen anime.

    With that said, dolls are integral to the series so the few scenes of exposition were a meaningful contribution in a otherwise filler episode.

    Like

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