God’s Dolls 10 – Half a Good Episode Is OK, I guess

So, surprisingly enough, I actually liked this second flashback. Even when a series is annoying me, I can have an open mind if something good shows up!

There are a couple of reasons why I like it: First, it’s relatively simple. You have the three main players: Kyohei, Aki and Mahiru. There’s a straightforward scenario: The kids come across a cave with bad vibes coming from it, accidentally awaken a killer kakashi and try to fend it off and not get lasered the fuck out of existence in the process. There’s no silly bullshit drama. Just plain survival. Many stories are at their best when the drama is lean; at least for this episode, that’s definitely the case here.

Secondly, I think the visuals do a solid job of showing the pure fear of the situation, and also the trauma that lingered with the three participants afterward. (Unless I’m mistaken, the episode seems to suggest that while Mahiru may have been a bit bitchy as kid, it’s this traumatic event that pushed her into such a destructive, quick-tempered personality. And it’s definitely suggesting that’s where a good part of Kyohei’s anger originates.) There’s a harder, more frenetic edge to this battle that is rarely present for the other battles in this series — perhaps because those don’t truly feel like life-or-death struggles, while this one does, despite the fact that the audience knows the outcome.

It’s sequences like this that make me all the more frustrated with this show. Clearly there’s material present to tell a decent story. When there’s simple, uncluttered drama, it works. But there’s a problem here that’s similar to a big problem I have with Tiger and Bunny (which is nonetheless a far better series): There’s too many ideas in play — too much stuff the writers want to do — and too little space in which to play everything out. Tiger and Bunny has dealt with it better, or at least given a better overall sense of purpose to its story. However, we’re 10 episodes into this series — out of 13 — and . . . what the fuck are we even doing?

I mean, for fuck’s sake, new elements are still being introduced. I could give the show the benefit of the doubt and assume this is an in for Aki to go all muderdeathkill on the village’s elders, but that is pretty much out the window now with Mahiru jumping in out of nowhere and holding Aki hostage. Or maybe it’s not — maybe there will be some new element introduced to give Mahiru a reason to team up with Aki to kill the elders. That would sure be convenient! Regardless, it’s doubtful that Aki would stick with killing just the elders, anyway. His beef is with the village as a whole, and not just its current leadership.

But, yeah, this scene is endemic of my problems with the show as a whole: There’s a new plot element introduced, and it seems like some direction will finally be in place, and then boom! Mahiru fucks up everything; we’re back to square one. It’s not a surprising twist — it’s more a frustrating cocktease. I’ve been pissing on the show for a while now, but again, I really do believe there is material here for a decently interesting and engaging (if not entirely original) story, but it has such severe ADD that it can’t find a path to the true core of its story (whatever that ends up being). It took a wrong turn at Albuquerque and ended up who the fuck knows where.

10 Responses to “God’s Dolls 10 – Half a Good Episode Is OK, I guess”

  1. Myssa Says:

    To be fair, Mahiru pops up around Volume 7 (out of 9 so far) of the manga… Which means she shouldn’t even BE in the anime yet. But here she is, so we have to deal with it.

    • Meh, if the anime wants to include her, then it had better be prepared to deal with it. What happens in the manga shouldn’t really matter.

    • il Palazzo Says:

      Err… No. Mahiru debuted in volume 5 and the flashback sequence is from volume 6.

  2. E Minor Says:

    I mean, for fuck’s sake, new elements are still being introduced.

    Because of this, you would think that this show is actually 24+ episodes to properly flesh out all the characters they’re adding to the story. But even if the series were longer, the pacing would still be off with the way it’s currently playing out.

  3. Oh Kamisama Dolls. Maybe it’s their way of telling us to be prepared for a season 2 that will never happen…

  4. The whole political thing confused the hell out of me… I mean, the guy already has the position, so what does he need votes for? Getting the villiage high speed internet? Putting up condos? It just didn’t make much sense to me, kinda like his claim that it was hard to bust Aki out of the villiage pokey. What, did he have to cough up Ernest Goes to Camp and Ernest Goes to Jail on VHS in order to get the guard to turn a blind eye?

    I agree that the flashback was pretty decent even if it is probably too little too late in terms of salvaging the show. At this point I just hope Kuuko wakes up naked in a cell next episode and has to fight her way past the Gamorrean guards to get her stuff back just like in Jedi Knight. Except with 100% more nekkid Kuuko.

    • Memory fail on my part, that level was in the original Dark Forces, not Dark Forces II. I meant what I said about Kuuko nekkid though.

    • I guess he wants power both in the political arena in Tokyo and at the village. It seems like he has some influence, but not really, at least judging from the way Mahiru addresses him. But if he’s able to execute a coup with Aki, then there’s room for him to gain a chunk of power. (Of course, this guy doesn’t seem competent enough to get a plan like that to work without a hitch, so even if it did happen, Aki probably would have killed him at the end lol.)

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