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The dialogue was trite, the plot was confusing, and the action (both sexual and physical) really didn't help break up my boredom, nor did it make any sense.
Review by Maria Lujuria
1 Shot OVA
Running Time: 80 minutes (3 episodes)
Rated: R (Violence, nudity and graphic sexual situations)
Malice is a pleasure robot. Her job is to meet the bizarre sexual needs of her human customers. That is, when there were humans.
Now, she and the other "dolls" have nothing to do but walk around all day. When Malice starts to leak fluid from her eyes, she is ordered by head robot Joe Admin to get repaired.
While she is looking for the repair center, she is attacked by a strange machine. When she awakes, she discovers that she is somehow different. She learns that her kiss has the power to transform the other dolls into strange and terrifying creatures.
Its this new form of Malice the key to salvation of her world, or the ultimate form of its destruction?
DVD VISION TEST
VIDEO: This is one sharp looking transfer. There are no pixels, wrinkles, or blemishes anywhere to be found. This is the benefit of digital based animation. Many of the technical errors of the past are gone.
AUDIO: There is very little difference between the Japanese and English 2.0 audio. Both are pretty low, with little to no directionality.
EDITS: This three episode OVA has been condensed into one 80 minute feature. The Japanese titles have been replaced by English titles.
EXTRAS: There are some interesting extras mixed in with the standard ones. Bios of the writers and voice actors, character models, and interview with writer Chiaki J Konaka and Director Keitaro Montnaga are pretty average. The most interesting is a seminar on CG animation in Japan hosted by Anime Encyclopedia co-author Jonathan Clements.
While they are not really extras, you do see trailers of two more CG anime titles that are going to be released by ArtsMagic, "ALICE" and "Blue Remains".
STORY: Well known for off the wall writing, Chiaki J Konaka has taken some of his ideas from Lain, and given them a very strange twist. There is a message some where in this story, but I will be damned if I can figure it out.
ACTING: Both sets of voice actors do a fine job. The Japanese cast is a little better than the English. It will depend on your preference for subs or dubs. I will say that the Japanese voice for Doris is a hell of a lot better than the masculine sounding one in English.
FAN SERVICE: Well, there is some nudity and panty shots, but as these are "Frankenhookers", it's kind of hard not to. There is a lipstick lesbian kiss and a couple of tentacle involved sex scenes, but nothing I would consider erotic.
Prolific writer Chiaki J Konaka is no stranger to weirdness. From Serial Experiments Lain, Hellsing, Armitage the III, all of his stories deal with characters trying to figure out what is the true meaning of being human. Malice@Doll is another addition to his eclectic body of work (did you know he used to write Ultraman episodes?)
While the themes would fit in well with his stories like Armitage or Lain, the presentation is not exactly exciting. To be honest, I was down right bored. The dialogue was trite, the plot was confusing, and the action (both sexual and physical) really didn't help break up my boredom, nor did it make any sense. The final 20 minutes of the film was incredibly anti-climatic, with an ending that made even less sense.
When I watched Malice@Doll for the first time, I wasn't that impressed with the animation. It looked like cut scenes from a PS One game, with some very choppy movement. After I watched the interview with Chiaki J Konaka and Director Keitaro Montnaga my opinion has changed. As it turns out, their intention was to mimic "marionette" theater from Czechoslovakia. Once I understood that part of the concept, I felt that they had succeeded.
Visually, this film is a treat. Looking like something out of the "Blame!" manga, the world that the dolls live in is this deep, dark, dungeon like place, that has no natural light. Considering the occupation these ladies were in, it's not a big surprise. I'm sure that many of you guys will find a doll you like. Mine is Doris. She may be a bitchy pain in the ass, but she is a hot one!
If you are looking for a new tentacle sex title to add to your collection, stop right here. This is not a hentai title. Yes, it does have some strong sexual content, and a couple of phallic tentacles. However, these scenes of graphic sex only happen two times during the entire 80 minutes. Sorry guys.
Malice@Doll is an experimental anime of the highest order. At best, it's a cutting edge CG film, with a very complex and well conceptualized world. At worst, it's boring as hell, with scenes of gore and semi-graphic sex thrown in for no real rhyme or reason. Like Malice, this is one choice you have to think about.
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