Kamisama Dolls – 09 Review

In one of his most introspective moments Kyohei realizes that leaving The Village wasn’t the smart thing to do as far as good life-plans are concerned…

Last week I tried to be optimistic, perhaps I just might be wrong about this show, I said to myself and it actually might think about what it’s doing but this week showed me that I was wrong. It ends with introducing a new character in the final third of the series who is simply unnecessary and instead of progressing the plot this series keeps being the laid-back under-average slice-of-life-series that wants to be a shounen-action-series.

Summary:

As part of his own investigation Kirihara’s father visits the café of Hibino’s father and interrogates there Utao who makes a mess of not telling him anything. Assured that his suspicions are correct he leaves gain. Karahari also narrows down her search for the truth about the Kakashi and concludes that only going to Karakami Village will help her with her investigation.
Moyako comes to the café and tells Utao, Hibino and Kyohei about her coming to Tokyo to finish there the repairs. After Moyako leaves again Kyohei accompanies her and they talk about Kirio and their concern about him being part of the Hyuga-Clan who is obviously evil.
At Kirihara’s flat Kirihara tries to seduce Aki who lives with her these days but fails to get a reaction from him and therefore any information. Her father then suddenly arrives and she commands Aki to go into hiding which he uses as a chance to flee.
Kyohei then calls Kourshirou and meets with him to talk about Kirio and Hyuga’s plans for the future. Koushirous doesn’t say anything about the plans but he adds that Kirio wants to see Utao. While partying the following evening Kyohei gets emo about not knowing what he has actually archieved by coming to Tokyo and Aki also gets emo elsewhere by thinking about Sensei and realizing that being a fugitive isn’t fun anymore and only obliterating Karakami Village will give him the ultimate kick. Then Karahari finds him.
The next day Kirio and Utao meet with Kyohei, Hibino and Koushirou present. Kirio promises then to not start any fights with Utao anymore and Koushirou reveals that his mission is to catch Aki. And that’s when Mahiru gets a dramatic entrance who is a Seki and obviously in love with Kyohei.

You just have to applaud this series for showing us the complex expressiveness of feet while a dialogue is going.

Review:

So first of all, forget what I’ve said last week about what this show could actually say about itself that is worth knowing. This series is, in one word: Derailed. Or let’s say: All over the place. This series is practically slice-of-life without saying anything about life the way nothing happens in this series. Okay, time and space happen, you know, these indicators that this plot takes place on earth, stuff like that. But the plot is really just hard to be found here because this series is SO slow.
Let’s begin with talking about what this series is actually about and how many sub-plots are in progress here. First, there’s of course Aki and Kyohei with their Sensei-Past. That part has got more progress than the rest of the plot, I think. They’ve got one soapy flashback-episode dedicated to that and the series made clear that Aki is a mass-murderer – but he’s actually good. Killing a dozen people can be excused – if you have a good reason to do it. And Aki had one as the flashback showed. So there’s Aki the mass-murderer – tragically misunderstood. You ought to pity him. I would even go so far as say that no mass-murderer has had a happy life so there’s that little wisdom you can take away from this. The other half of that plot is Kyohei who is as evil as he is but Kyohei isn’t a mass-murderer he just goes berserk around Aki, his voice gets hoarse and stuff like that. So he has some anger-issues with Aki who’s like “Dude, that’s totally just you being you because you’re like me which makes you being me.” and Kyohei doesn’t like that because he doesn’t understand the logic of it, also there’s no proof to Aki’s claims. So it’s only understandable that Kyohei doesn’t like Aki with him running around spouting nonsense about him.
Second there’s Utao and Kirio telling us that suddenly finding out that you have a twin-sibling is an interesting but roundabout way of adolescent self-discovery. Because they are contrary, they look alike although one is supposedly female and the other male. There’s also this weird behavior of Kirio mocking Utao all the time because he seemingly actually took her character serious. And Utao feels responsible as older sister because that makes sense with twins. You hear it all the time how twins are of different age and how one of the twins claims to be ‘older’ than the other one. But you know with this plot it actually makes sense because Utao is dumb. Forget the bad running-gags with her showing no signs of a working brain. Utao can show all the abnormal behavior of moe-characters because she is dumb. One hundred percent dumb – that’s a selling point for this series right there, “Utao’s adventures: One hundred percent dumb”.
Weirdly they also made her the virtuous heroine of using the pseudo-mecha’s of this series called Kakashi. So they’ve got this sub-plot of Utao learning to use Kukuri to its full potential. Kyohei can do this already but he’s not as dumb as Utao and he tries to begin a new life away from Karakami Village by living with his “girlfriend” whose father is from that village and his sister who’s one of these special Seki and he tries to help Aki who is also from this village (and a mass-murderer who is actually good). Well, Kyohei’s plan failed obviously but anyway, at least he tried, failed but tried.

It’s unbelievable how this has actually become a running gag, honestly, who the hell thinks it’s funny that she’s “not good at smiling”? This series seemingly will never learn what good humour is…

This series tries to tell us something about Kakashi and how good they are but Utao is the only one running around with it and trying to use it in other ways than battling other Seki – because actually it’s a secret. Yeah, Karakami Village must be the least secret secret village you can find. They have a website, they invite outsiders to work in the village, they let their secret Kakashi-controlling Seki wander off, they let everyone from their village know of the Kakashi and let these people also go. It’s not hard to find out where these pseudo-mechas come from and this series makes a bad attempt of showing that it cares about secrecy generally. And all this talk about Kakashi being tools of destruction? Honestly that’s just kiddy-stuff. That’s the same speech your parents gave you when they handed you a knife for the first time to slice this potato on your plate. Nothing special and the characters take Aki far too serious with his passive-aggressive methods of pitying himself indirectly (a sign of his complexity as a character, right?).
Hibino is also another waste of a character. Don’t you hate it when there are these obvious pairings of two characters in love and you know that they love each other but none of them admit it to each other and you have to watch their idiotic attempts at hiding it while having these special “Oh my god, He/She nearly said IT…”-moments? Yeah, cheesy, ridiculous, whatever but Kamisama Dolls wasted now eight episodes with making it obvious while also not giving an explanation what keeps thing from concluding this sub-plot. But of course this series had the great idea to do something in that department for the last third – they created a love-triangle! Really, what does this series think it’s doing? Someone should tell them that they obviously don’t have 50+ episodes left to do anything with that love-triangle. It’s just a waste of time and a bad way of forcing things. Also, if you take this series seriously which I personally don’t advice you to do, then they already had a love-triangle, exactly – with Utao! Because Utao loves Kyohei in a very un-sisterly way. Go figure how she can still he the heroine with that background but this a series with some moral problems anyway, incest won’t make it worse, I guess. Or just remember this failed attempt of Karahari to seduce Aki in a way that’s so blunt and unimaginative that you just have to cringe watching her do this crap being sure of her having the desired effect on Aki but he is just laying there and in the context of this series he really should’ve said: “You still wet yourself at night when I had my first time, kid.” This series is just that absurd concerning its morality to make dialogue like that possible.
And now finally the actual plot! Yeah, really, all that I’ve described until now were just sub-plots! And the real plot is the struggle between the two most powerful clans in Karakami Village – the Hyuuga and the Kuga. The former are the evil ones, the latter the good ones. And the evil guys have a plan. And that’s it. That’s the actual main-plot of this series getting buried and derailed by a dozen meaningless and boring sub-plots.

So this episode showed that there’s not much to hope for with this series, it keeps going where it wants to go and it’s not the direction where it should go. Banal and far too slice-of-life-y this series is just a humourless shounen-series that values the interactions of uninteresting characters more than progressing the plot in an exciting way.

Episode-Rating: 4,5/10

About M0rg0th

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

Posted on September 1, 2011, in Anime, Kamisama Dolls, Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Firstly, can I say that for some odd reason, I still crave the next episode after having seen the current one? Am I weird? I just want to see an all out action brawl and Kyouhei finally amounting to something more than a whining pitiful protagonist whom all the girls seem to want to have a harem with.

    “his voice gets hoarse and stuff like that”

    Kinda like Batman? 😉

    “how many sub-plots are in progress here.”

    I was also worried about the amount of subplots running in this series and I am worried that the show would not be able to wrap itself up nicely.

    “Utao’s adventures: One hundred percent dumb”

    I think all the female characters have issues, lets not forget the dumb sensei who is a walking (dead now) oxymoron with her saying she wants to have revenge by screwing Aki and then losing her life to save that exact person (whom she does not know personally except in an intimate manner) she felt reminded her of a the reason why she is in that damn backward village in the first place. And then there is Hibino who is as useful as air there to just reinforce statements and to provide comfort that at the end of the day amounts to nothing much.

    “you have to watch their idiotic attempts at hiding it while having these special “Oh my god, He/She nearly said IT…”-moments?”

    Oh, that moment was super painful. =_=” I just wanted to slap the stupid blonde chick for interrupting them! Argh!

    “This series is just that absurd concerning its morality to make dialogue like that possible.”

    It is quite funny when you think about it in this way – I actually find Mawaru Penguindrum less immoral than this. And we all know how twisted that show is.

    “Banal and far too slice-of-life-y this series is just a humourless shounen-series that values the interactions of uninteresting characters more than progressing the plot in an exciting way.”

    I actually like the fact that Kyouhei might finally take a stand (or so I hope) after being prodded by Kyoushiro.
    As for the exciting part, I have this constant feeling at the pit of my stomach that is urging me to scream “give me a typical shounen battle!” Right now, I just want one show to stop trying to be unique and just stick to the set shounen formula that works because all these shows are just falling flat on their ass*s when they try to break away and be “unique”.

    (I just had to rant after watching this episode. Am off to sleep since it is 2:30am. =_= This and Blood-C are definitely one of those “not meant to watch before bedtime” shows)

    Like

  2. Well, I finally watched the episode and was disappointed (well, disappointed in that I wanted cool stuff to happen, but didn’t expect anything cool to happen because this series has a nice split between episodes where stuff happens and episodes where nothing happens.)

    To be the Aki’s advocate for a bit, I don’t think they are trying to build Aki up as a misunderstood good guy, just that he is understandably a twisted person. While his backstory is sympathetic, the viewer isn’t supposed to regard his abrasive manner, murders and desire to wipe Karakami village off the map, as positive things. Also, in defense of Kirihara’s unsubtle attempt at seducing Aki, that’s kind of the point of her character. She is blunt and shameless in getting what she wants, and genre savvy enough to know the Power of Boobs can be exploited (except when dealing with emotionally dead mass murderers, d’oh!).

    I wouldn’t even describe the Kuga and Hyuga families of having an alignment. Despite the narrative hinting at the Hyuga being evil, only the previous owner of Aki’s doll and the current head of the clan were explicitly evil. The other members just appear to be doing their job and their hostility has more to do with personal issues than the clan agenda. The Kuga were never billed as the good guys save for Kyouhei and Utao being nice people compared to the other seki, so I’m not sure were you got that impression. I’ll agree with your other assessments of the characters.

    Mahiru’s introduction into the series is odd time-wise (very late arrival), character-wise (like you said, we don’t need yet another addition to the love triangle… square?) and plot wise. How is there even a rivalry between the Hyuga and Kuga when the Hyuga control 4 of the 6 dolls revealed (of the remaining two, one belonging to a Kuga and the other an independent)? Would it ruin the dynamic if Kyouhei and Utao had an ally? If anything it would spur Utao to actually do something.

    Lastly, I’ll concur with Saranaufogus in that I want this series to just stick to some traditional shonen battle anime tropes instead of this disorganized hybrid of genres. Did people come to Kamisama Dolls for a slice-of-life comedy? No. Did they come for moe and fanservice characters? Maybe, but other series do it as well or better. I’ll tell you, people came for the mystery and the FREAKING KAMISAMA DOLLS advertised in the title. There’s not enough of the latter, and the former wasn’t delivered at all.

    The myriad of sub-plots and mixed genres are not inherently bad things. The bad thing isn’t so much what is being done, as what isn’t; in other words, as you said, derailing the main plot of the show.

    Like

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