What’s the show? Unbreakable Machine Doll (2013).
And what’s it about? Robot loli.
Oh good, I’ll just go and entertain myself with something that won’t get me put on a government watch list while you talk about your creepy show. You can’t just walk away, your contractually obligated to stick around for the full 20 questions the minute you ask me ‘what’s the show?’
Damn contracts… Fine, let’s get this over and done with… Don’t be so dismissive, because we’re in the midst of something rare here.
Oh? And what’s that? A negative review.
Wait! Really?! Like not one of your review’s where you complain about a show and still end up giving it a score in the high 70’s? That’s right! We’re in the presence of a rare mystical beast here!
Well now I’m interested! But before we get into what you do and don’t like about the show, firstly what’s it about? It’s like, alternative history set in England in the early 20th century, it’s got ‘automatons’ who are controlled by ‘puppeteers’ using ‘machineart’ which is basically a fancy way of saying we’ve got robots controlled by magic.
And who are our protagonists? Raishin Akabane is a Japanese ‘puppeteer’ who’s come to study at Walpurgis Royal Academy of Machineart with his loli automaton Yaya, who takes every opportunity to disrobe and try to have sex with him. Rinse and repeat for twelve episodes interspersed with some shitty, 3D-CGI action and some obnoxious, unearned harem tropes and you have Unbreakable Machine Doll /review.
No, no, it’s way too early to end the review. You’re going to have to justify your dislike for it a lot more than that. Why?! You’re just as quick to dismiss stuff I like with broad generalisations.
Because that’s my job… devil’s advocate and all that. Fine, you want me to go into more detail, FINE! *throws chair across the room*
So, tell me something good about the show? Something good, something good… Oh! It’ll never get a second season that’s something good—
No! Something actually positive about it. See the thing is there are good things about the show; it’s just secondary to everything that’s shitty about it.
I’m still waiting… Okay, so the setting has promise, being set in England is a nice change of pace and it lends the alt-history. The idea, while nothing ground-breaking still lends itself to creativity. It’s got an “interesting” art-style that (when it’s not forcing in shitty 3D) is enticing to look at and some of the flashbacks help explain some of the character flaws.
Okay good, we’re making a more balanced review now, so in a few short sentences explain what’s bad about the show? You know how sometimes you watch an anime, and most of it’s good, if not really good, but then there’s something niggling that persists, like the original author is trying to impart his fetishes on the audience via character interactions, and usually it’s innocuous enough to overlook. Or it’s at least secondary to the central plot?
Well not really, but I’ll say yeah just to keep this review moving. What about it? Well here it feels like all the plot and action and side-characters and everything is the afterthought, and the only thing the writer is actually invested in is the ‘forbidden’ relationship between Yaya and Raishin. And whatever, if that’s what you want to write about, then write about it, more power to you, but don’t pretend like you’ve got some epic action series around it when said ‘epic action’ amounts to nothing more than poorly choreographed window dressing.
Anything else? Well now that you mention it the way this anime portrays the loli fanservice, is like simultaneously shaming Yaya (the loli automaton) for being promiscuous and attracted to her puppeteer all the while indulging the audience in all the underage fanservice it wants. And if these scenes were in any way funny or cute about it that may be forgivable, but it’s just so forced and not in the least bit fun to watch.
Hmm, fair enough. But I’ll never completely hate this show because it’s got one of my favourite closing credit songs of all time. OF ALL TIME.
Well hey, that’s something positive too! Would you please stop playing devil’s advocate and just dislike this show along with me?
And where’s the fun in that? I just like making you suffer. Likewise.
So final verdict then? This show’s flaws extend to almost every conceivable aspect of the finished product. It’s characters are worn out tropes that are annoying the minute they open their mouths, the story simultaneously drags on and is frustratingly vague, and the fan-service feels like this show’s sole reason for having been made. Unbreakable? More like almost unwatchable; 44 out of 100.