13 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Kamisama Dolls episode 1

Brains Base have spread themselves a bit thin this season, doing 3 shows. Natsume is a third season of a fairly big seller for them, with their main man Omori Takahiro working on it, so it was obviously going to have a decent budget slapped on it. The second show is PenguinDrum, which is Ikuhara’s return to glory after almost 15 years with a full 24 episode series, so obviously that would also have a fair old budget given to them. Kamisama Dolls, on the other hand, is an untested manga given to Seiji Kishi, the director of Angel Beats, Sunred and Seto no Hanayome. He’s not exactly a no-name, but he rather pales in comparison to the other two. And so Kamisama Dolls is given a teeny tiny budget, which shows. Shame too, because it’s otherwise a really good show.

The lack of budget hurts Kamisama Dolls. I mean, I suppose I could put it down to just shit animators rather than no budget, but the end result is the same. Characters faces look awfully weird at times, especially when put at an angle. The love interests’ boobs look rather gross and misshapen, like the poor girl has never heard of a bra before. There’s even some janky CG in there as well, to top the entire thing off. It still has a great eye on how to set a scene though. For example, I really liked the scene of the main character walking into the bar, nervously trying to find a way to meet his friends and stumbling over his lines, all shot from the doorway. In comparison to, say, Sacred Seven or God’s Memo Pad’s main characters, where they simply told us what they their main characters were like, Kamisama Dolls realises that this is an animated medium and you’re supposed to show, not tell.

In fact, I liked a lot of the directorial touches in this episode. Seiji Kishi doesn’t exactly have the greatest reputation amongst anime nerds, the guy mainly having the reputation for mood-whiplash. Now maybe it’s just my ADD setting in, but I’ve never particularly minded his mood whiplashy-ness. And even then, Kamisama Dolls doesn’t have that anywhere near as bad as Angel Beats had (mind you, even my mood resilient neck hurt after the whiplash induced by Angel Beats). I like the tinkly tune the Dolls play when they start firing up their powers, and how it’s used cleverly as a sound off screen to show that someone is firing up their Doll to attack.

There’s the totally kawaii imouto, who I have to admit I dislike more on principle rather than anything she’s actually done. Despite her best efforts, she hasn’t actually done anything to annoy me except in concept, largely down to the fact she’s largely kept her gob shut. Besides, any potential annoyance from her is overshadowed by the absolutely fucking brilliant villain. I’ve seen that sort of smug psycho villain pulled off horribly before, but it works in Kamisama Dolls because of how clearly psychotically vicious this man is. There’s an edge to him that stops him from being camp and comes off frightening and unnerving.

For the record, I won’t be blogging this, as it clashes with Steins;Gate. Which is a shame because, despite the shitty animation, Kamisama Dolls had the best first episode of the season so far (bugger off Natsume fans).

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  1. Posted July 5, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    I’m a big fan of Natsume, but I still agree with you that this was the best first episode of the season so far. I hope they keep the focus on the awesome villain rather than little girl hijinks though – quite concerned that the imouto character featured so prominently in the promo material.

  2. mcm38
    Posted July 5, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Weren’t the Solstice anime supposed to have enough funds?

    The shrines orders are absolute!

    Still think the arsenal system of Sacred Seven was realy cool, together with all the action we saw the first episode. Kamisama Dolls should come as second ‘best first ep of the season’

  3. luffyluffy
    Posted July 5, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    I reminded myself to watch this, but I got side tracked. Damnit!

    • luffyluffy
      Posted July 5, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

      Oh yeah, Scampu, I have a question. How do you choose which moments of the show to screencap? I’ve always wondered…

      • Scamp
        Posted July 8, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        Well for first impressions, I tend to choose after I’ve written for something to go with what I’ve written. However in episodics, I tend to just take a whole bunch of screencaps first and then write my post

  4. romulus
    Posted July 5, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    A way to fail: the true asshole is the shrine, rebuilding old friendship, (psycho villain is not a psycho nor a villain anymore), shitty battles againist priests+dolls.

    NIce facts about voice actors: the main charachter is voiced by the same person as the Accelerator(Index)/Eiji Nizuma(Bakuman). Sure, shitty shows, but please remember how great anti-heroes they were. That cawing is pretty memorable. The sole reason I watched Index II was his screentime.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted July 5, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

      Doesn’t he also voice Rin from Blue Exorcist?

      • romulus
        Posted July 6, 2011 at 12:11 am | Permalink

        Yeah, and it’s pretty important role because that shows he can play a protagonist as well, not just a side character. Still, I decided not to mention that because he doesn’t do much cawing as Okumura.
        Despite all that I discovered the guy through Rin. I just finished the Accelerator arc in index II, and went on to watch the ongoing shows. Imagine my surprise when the voice I sadly parted ways with was there. (The ep after the esquire exam-staged ghoul attack. Twice the shock for me.)

      • luffyluffy
        Posted July 6, 2011 at 3:54 am | Permalink

        Well, whenever Rin screams, you can hear it. It’s so noticeable…

  5. Mr. Anon
    Posted July 7, 2011 at 2:30 am | Permalink

    >There’s the totally kawaii imouto, who I have to admit I dis­like more on prin­ciple rather than any­thing she’s actu­ally done.
    Cutest thing ever

  6. Posted July 8, 2011 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    Dunno if you watched it, but the Dolls in this show reminded me an awful lot of the Mu in RahXephon. In that show there’s a heavy emphasis on melody as the mecha fly about and attack. And I’m sure you recognized the shout-out to Evangelion in the cold open with the laser blast on the hill, a show that RahX owes a lot too.

    Seems like Kamisama Dolls is trying to carry on their legacy somehow.


    • Scamp
      Posted July 8, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Yeah I noticed that about the opening scene too. The roaring opening mouth really did scream Unit 01. But hey, we all know everything since Evangelion is just ripping off Evangelion, right? ;)

  7. Posted July 10, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    I want that lullaby melody to be my ring tone!

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