Busou Shinki (武装神姫)

All posts tagged Busou Shinki (武装神姫)

This scene is definitely the best event of this anime.
This scene is definitely the best event of this anime.

Today’s blog entry is going to be an anime title that pissed me off to one end because of certain reasons, titled Busou Shinki. This anime is definitely not the worst title reviewed here before, but in this 12-episode series, I nearly dropped this series halfway through its run. But I decided not to do so and watched it to the end so that I can throw some tantrums below.

In a futuristic version of Japan, sentient female small robots called Shinki has become integral to people lives. Those dolls can be seen performing numerous tasks, from covert counter-terrorism military units to unassuming office lady work. Shinki dolls also participates in a yearly world-level tournament that decides who is the strongest robot of them all, and our main male protagonist and his 4 Shinki dolls just moved in from overseas in the neighborhood of the Shinki doll that has become a finalist of the previous year’s tournament.

This anime opens with a scene from the aforementioned tournament above, and I say ‘oh boy, this is going to be a hell of a ride’, that kind of a series. Then I waited for an episode, then two, then three episodes, but nothing happens. I then waited until halfway of the series before I realzied that I have been duped: This anime is not an action title, but a slice-of-life series instead.

In other words, no hope for me to see some tournament action for the main 4 Shinki dolls. Only the other neighborhood Shinki dolls does. Meanwhile, for the vast majority of the series, you will be served with multiple episodical slice-of-life plots instead, with the minimum amount for doll fighting as possible that the writer can get away with. Did I mention a main male protagonist in the synopsis paragraph above? That character is merely a side character here.

After my hope of seeing dolls in a tournament setting like in Angelic Layer, or dolls in a fantastical action setting like in Rozen Maiden has been dashed, I think I should look at this title as it is: a slice-of-life title. Is this a good slice-of-life title, the way K-On!! is?

This character above with low air-time is arguably the best character of this anime.
This character above with low air-time is arguably the best character of this anime.

In K-On!! we have a very strong individual character that is the series’ main female protagonist, who actually carry her series forward. This anime does not have any characters like her within the 4 major Shinki dolls. All four of them are diversely one-dimensional, not unlike the K-On!! cast without Yui. Personally, I think the aforementioned tournament finalist in the screenshot above is better than all of them, and the twin cat Shinki dolls in the screenshot below do their job as comic relief better than the doll in the group designated to do the same thing. All with far less airtime. Character developments is non-existent at all in this anime, and even for a slice-of-life title, I do not think that is a good thing for this anime specifically.

As for the anime’s contents; apart from the final two episodes, the rest of them are your standard slice-of-life episodic contents. Examples includes a cross-country journey, part-time working events, one episode dedicated specially for the delusion of the oldest Shinki doll, participation in a racing sporting event and things like that. Thankfully, there are no real beach episode, plus there are no romance in this anime. If there is one, that would be very disturbing.

Comedy in this anime is more miss than hit; far less home runs than a foul ball. Even with the ones that are home runs, the quality is nowhere near Guu’s level, not to mention Daily Lives of High School Boys. As mentioned above, some of the side characters are better with the comedic contents better than the major 4 Shinki dolls too.

The flow of the stories in this anime and the pacing are actually spot-on; the presentation aspect of this anime is excellent and probably the only thing this anime has done right. The last two episodes that makes up the ending arc, is the only episodes that do not lie in the slice-of-life territory genre. While the ending may make you cringe sometimes, it is quite decent actually. I do not see a second season out of this unless the writer decides to keep the slice-of-life genre in the future.

And it is going to be hard for me too against their case of being the beter comic relief characters compared to the blonde one in the main group.
And it is going to be hard for me too against their case of being the better comic relief characters compared to the blonde one in the main group.

Character Design:-
Character design is just average overall. Except for the side character that is the main male protagonist, there are no other humans at all, and his character design is simply unassumingly ordinary. Following their owner traits, the 4 main Shinki dolls are also ordinary in this aspect. Makes me wonder why because some of the designs of the Shinki side characters are actually really good. Mecha designs are hit and miss; I’m really impressed by the Santa Claus’ red Shinki sleigh and so are the for the armor set used by one of the main four Shinki dolls (I’m talking about the blonde one that was supposed to be comic relief of the group), but not for the rest of the cast.

Voice Acting:-
From the four main Shinki dolls, the wannabe-comic relief and the aloof one has outstanding voice acting gigs; the other two are good too but not near the same level as them. I do not see any side characters doing badly in this regard too. This is another thing this anime has done well, and a positive aspect for this title.

While this anime has done very well in the voice acting section, a complete reversal of that happens in the musical section. Both the OP and ED themes of this anime are forgettable and so is the OST.

The overall animation quality in this anime is good. Integration between 2D and CGI animation not seamless though with the CGI parts being too obvious. Choreography of action scenes(?) is actually quite good. The director has some good moments with camera works in some episodes like the one in the racing event and also the Christmas Eve episodes.

6 out of 10.
An anime with a great setting is ruined by the slice-of-life elements. If this is an action series, that would have been nice.

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