Machine-Doll wa Kizutsukanai (Lerche) – Genre: Action, Ecchi, Fantasy, School
Episode 01 – “Facing ‘Cannibal Candy’ I”
This season has been pretty good with meeting my lofty expectations so far, but this might be the first new series I’ve watched that has fallen a bit short of what I wanted. To be fair, when I saw the first trailers and learned that Lerche was in charge of production, I had a feeling that things wouldn’t be as high quality as I would have hoped for, which is a shame because I really love the setting and premise of the story.
Our main character is a young student named Raishin Akabane (CV: Hiro Shimono), a puppeteer who enrolls in the prestigious Walpurgis Royal Academy of Machiart in London seeking revenge against another student there. Accompanying him is his loyal, perverted automaton, Yaya (CV: Hitomi Harada), a top of the line puppet who is pretty much indistinguishable from a nomal human girl.
I love the steampunk setting, and I’m sad we don’t see more of it in contemporary anime. The series opens up with Raishin and Yaya making their way from Japan all the way to London, as they help stop the runaway locomotive that they happen to be aboard. Rather than using strings to control his puppets, Raishin fights along side Yaya and assists her with various spells. For example, to stop the train Raishin uses a incantation that I assume increased Yaya’s strength. However, I’m pretty bamboozled how no one on the train got hurt because those cars flew off the tracks.
Anyway, in order to fulfill his desire for revenge, Raishin plans to enter the tournament for puppeteers that allows them to fight to the death. Since he’s unable to receive a entry spot via the placement test, he challenges a girl for her spot. However, it appears that other assholes had the same idea, when they all decide to attack Charlotte Blue (CV: Megumi Takamoto), known to others as the fearsome Tyrant Rex due to her automaton being a talking dragon named Sigmund.
Here’s where the low animation quality becomes a bit apparent, as most of the action is done in CGI. I’m not sure when it became commonplace to do this, but I can’t say that I like it very much, especially when the movements don’t appear fluid. The character animation in this series looks great same as (OreShura), it’s just the CGI that really holds it back. Part of me hopes that it’s something that will improve as the series progresses. What I do like, however, is the music. It’s very cinematic and fits the setting nicely, using warm orchestral instrumentation.
The story looks like it’ll be divided up into mini-arcs, with the first focusing on this so-called “Cannibal Candy” which probably refers to the thing that eats the water automaton at the end. What could possibly be so savage that it wants to only eat automatons? And what about Raishin’s past and what drives him to seek revenge? This series looks great so far, just judging from the cool setting and characters, as long as you don’t mind CGI in your fight scenes.