Ariana here.  Took a bit of a break after the last anime season ended, but now I’m back to do First Impressions.  Still working full time, but I’ll try to blog at least one series.  Unfortunately, one series may be all that I have time for this season.  But let’s not worry about that now.  On to the review!

Is this just another Angelic Layer rip-off? Let’s find out!

Summary:

In a futuristic Japan, people own miniature robots called “shinki” and pit them against one another in battles.  However, they can be used for other things, such as doing household chores.  A shinki named Arn accompanies her “Master” as he moves back to his hometown in Japan.  When Master goes to school, Arn is tasked with cleaning the house and unpacking boxes.  She’s aided by Master’s two other shinkis, named Aines and Lene.

…maid costume armor…

While unpacking boxes, they come upon an envelope sealed with a heart sticker and mistake it to be a love letter.  When it gets blown out of an open window, Arn and the others chase after it.  In the process, the accidentally bump into another shinki, who is still fuming after coming in second in a large shinki battling tournament.  She engages the three in an impromptu battle, and ends up burning a corner of the envelope.  This sends Arn into a rage, and she defeats the other shinki easily.

Don’t ever get Arn mad.

Once Arn, Aines, and Lene arrive back home to greet their master, they find out that what was inside the envelope luckily wasn’t damaged.  Later that day, their master finds an ominous looking package and opens it, revealing yet another shinki with blood-red eyes.

I really hope not all humans in this series look like THAT.

My Opinion:

Okay, honestly?  This episode wasn’t actually that bad.  Sure, the preview image for this series set off a lot of warning bells in my head, and I was expecting it to be a straight up fanservice fest; but that turned out not to be the case.  Of course, there is still some fanservice scattered throughout; though it’s just your usual boob-jiggle and some scantily clad girls (since the Shinki basically wear leotards all the time).  But it wasn’t as bad as say, Highschool DxD.

I think it’s a little sad that “not as much fanservice as I expected” has become a way of complimenting a series.  Sadly, even though Busou Shinki (fortunately) wasn’t all fanservice, the rest of the episode wasn’t exactly excellent either.  The first thing you notice about this series is its… interesting choice in visuals.  Busou Shinki seems to be a very heavily CG-reliant series.  That in itself isn’t so bad, but if the CG is done badly then yeah, that’s a bit of a problem.  The CG on the Shinki’s battle suits weren’t too glaring, but all the other CG… HOLY HELL.  Especially “Master,” who is also rendered in a weird CG/traditional style animation mixture.  I don’t know what it is, but the way his face is drawn just makes him look very awkward and out of place.  Not to mention that he sometimes comes down with a severe case of YAOI HANDS (read: un-proportionally large hands).

I really hope that the use of CG isn’t making the animators lazy, because all the backgrounds (which are mainly done in traditional style) have a very limited color palette.  This makes everything look washed out and dull.  It’s like I’m watching an old VHS tape!

THOSE BADLY CGI’D FRUITS AND VEGETABLES……….

Busou Shinki’s story is a bit generic, I’ll admit.  It’s definitely been done before (*cough*Angelic Layer*cough*), but at the same time there’s something charming about the shinki going around trying to do household chores at their size.  However, I’m not quite sure what the tone of this series is.  Based on the description for it, I was expecting a very serious, action-packed series.  While there are moments of action in Busou Shinki; based on the first episode, the series seems to lean more towards a much lighter atmosphere.  That isn’t a bad thing, though it is a bit jarring after the EXTREME ACTION introduction sequence that the episode started off with.

The characters themselves are rather bland.  There’s Arn, the main girl, who is an overall nice girl unless you push her buttons.  Then there’s Aines, the twin-tailed, flat-chested tsundere character.  And finally there’s Lene, who has big boobs and is really ditzy.  It’s character archetypes I’ve seen a thousand times in all my years of watching anime, and it just gets old if the producers do absolutely NOTHING to make them unique.  Archetypes are meant to be a base, not the sole-defining trait of a character!

Overall, Busou Shinki doesn’t seem like an AWFUL series.  However, it’s weird swings between the inane stuff and then suddenly; ACTION! may turn people off.  This seems like it’s going to be a more light-hearted series, so people expecting a long-winding epic should look somewhere else.  A very average anime in every sense of the word.   Also, I find the shinki’s huge infatuation with their masters to be a bit creepy but that’s another story.

Out of five:

  

I wish *I* had mini-robot girls who could clean after me… :C

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