As ham-fisted and exploitative as last week’s Kamisama Dolls was, it at least tried to introduce some emotion to the story. The eighth episode of the anime is just meandering and pointless.
Lack of focus
Kamisama Dolls‘ biggest problem at the moment is that it doesn’t have a gameplan. As a result, the narrative lacks structure. Things just happen; Kyohei wonders where Aki could be so what should we see next? Hibino bumps right into Aki at the… library? Really? Of all places to have an impromptu confrontation, Hibino and Aki share a chance encounter because she decided to read a magazine at the library. All of the good shows this season play off of at least one singular focus, but don’t get me wrong — I’m not asking for Kamisama Dolls to be predictable.
Take a look at Mawaru Penguindrum, for instance — what are the protagonists trying to accomplish? The brothers want to keep their sister alive. This overarching goal hasn’t exactly prevented the anime from being completely off-the-wall and unpredictable, now has it? Nobody would have guessed that keeping one’s imouto from dying would feature a crazed yandere with a diary foretelling future events and a mysterious femme fatale with a laser-sighted slingshot. Each action the brothers perform, however, are purposeful. There’s weight behind every decision the characters make and this makes the story more compelling. Even in a series where the episodes are somewhat self-contained, a show like Kino no Tabi has an idea of what it’s trying to accomplish, i.e. explore the strange and wonderful world of the anime. What, on the other hand, does Kamisama Dolls want to do?
In Kamisama Dolls‘ case, we have no clue whatsoever as to what exactly the characters are trying to achieve. Hell, I don’t even think the characters themselves know what it is they’re after. When Hibino confronts Aki over his obsession with Kyohei, Aki gives some lame answer: “If you’re together, it matters to me. Regardless of what he wants. … Neither you nor the idiots at the shrine have noticed, but there’s something terrible and dark inside him.” That’s it? That’s why Aki will eat, drink, and be merry in Tokyo for no apparent reason? I mean, look, he hates the village right? He’s no longer in the village, right? Why doesn’t he just, uh, move on and find a new life for himself in Japan or overseas?
And what are the rest of the characters trying to do? Is Kyohei going to stop Aki? No, that doesn’t seem to be part of his immediate plans. Nobody really has a goal so the narrative just swings wildly from one direction to the next. One minute, I’m watching creepy Utao fanservice, then I’m watching two dolls duke it out in a park. Without a general thrust, however, these actions are just random and, well, arbitrary. Some shady characters did hint at wanting to revive some ominous underground creature, but that subplot has pretty much all but disappeared for the time being.
The animation is so horrible
It’s clear which Brain’s Base series is getting the shaft in terms of quality.
There’s also the issue of Hibino’s ever-morphing breasts. Sometimes they’re larger than her very head, then sometimes they’re not. Either way, Hibino has no credibility as a character. She wants to be a serious character, but she has the proportions of those female fighters from the Dead or Alive fighting series. At least those video games are upfront about their characters being immature wank material. Hibino looks and acts as if she’s the product of a 13 year old mind, but she’s not in a Highschool of the Dead or something similar. Kamisama Dolls thinks it has a serious storyline, but it can’t be bothered to give one-third of its protagonists any plausible character motivations. Why exactly does she follow Kyohei around? College girls in Tokyo have no lives, I guess.