The series draws to a close with some reveals and plenty of action.
What They Say:
One battle ends–but with the promise of many more in store.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Bringing the show into contact with the butler and the fight that comes with it, Unbreakable Machine Doll has had some decent action moments. But it’s with this episode that we get the reveal of exactly what he is, being something more than just the simple dolls and familiar’s we’ve seen so far, as he’s a mixture of machine and doll that allows him to operate in a way that the others cannot. That segues into some back story about how Raishin was saved previously from death and given the mission of eliminating Tenzen with the price of failure being his own body. It’s the kind of motivation that certainly works and explains a fair bit of Raishin’s approach, but it also leaves you wishing it had been a bit more of a commonality in the story across the season to date rather than more focused here at the very end.
The show does some decent things here as it moves forward in this final episode, especially since Raishin gets to do a solid job of attacking and dealing with the butler, even if he doesn’t quite understand some of what’s going on with the whole situation. This keeps him more on the attack and less on defense and that makes him a bit more engaging to watch, especially since he’s spent the last couple of episodes kind of on the down side due to the injuries and recovery period he was going through. And like those earlier episodes, it’s fun to watch as the two sides go at it as the choreography is good, but it suffers from some really murky color design and a low definition visual presentation that keeps it from really striking a stronger chord.
Not surprisingly, things are largely brought to a conclusion at the midway point when it comes to dealing with the butler and that allows the second half to shift to more of an epilogue approach as the various characters – and especially those in the know – talk with each other and we get a few more hints about the mass production of these kinds superior dolls and some of the larger themes that surely come from the novels but are so poorly presented here in the series itself. The more it goes on in the epilogue though, the more I found myself not really caring. Largely because the show did such a terrible job in making these characters likable for the most part so that when we do get to this point in the show where we see how they’re all friends of sorts now, there’s nobody that you really root for or connect with.
Unbreakable Machine Doll had me pretty interested at the start and I liked the opening arc well enough as it settled into its style and approach. But as it went on, it managed to come across as a series that was less and less polished and good at what it was doing because the stories felt oddly paced at best and the exposition and narrative itself wasn’t done in a way that really drew you into each arc, especially with the characters that were kept largely superficial. It had its moments and some parts of the various arcs worked and I liked the overall approach it wanted to take, but it kept enough story moments that were necessary from being included early on and never really gave me any characters to root for, making it more of an exercise to get through than a pleasure.
Streamed By: FUNimation
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Apple TV via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.