Whilst helping add new anime to the database, she-who-must-be-obeyed (sothis) pointed me in the direction of Malice@Doll. “It has tentacles and shit; your kind of thing!” was the foreboding cry. Still not convinced, I sucked it up for the greater good, hoping for another hidden gem to share with people. As you will see after reading this review, a new love affair was sadly not to be.
Tagged as “horror” on most sites, there are actually very few hair-raising screams and, instead, a boat-load of x-rated moans of pleasure await. A story that held immense promise was spoiled by a fetishist's wet dream, filled to the brim with tentacles and bondage. Set in a futuristic world where humankind no longer exists, our robotic creations continue to survive long after our eradication, desperate for eventual evolution. The supposed heroine of the show, Malice, is a Doll – a beautiful android girl who is a glorified fleshlight. Her numerous flashbacks to the good old days see some rather perverted moments of foot licking, ball gagging and erotic flesh cutting. It may sound like a hentai production, and the boundaries are certainly blurred, but the titillating action is mostly kept off screen with just some hand-sweater action to drive the viewer to distraction. Even the tentacle scenes are visually tame with a half-hearted limp worm disappearing up a girls' skirt.
A flimsy offer of potential came from the transformation of the surrounding characters into real-life beings. The thought of a man-made creatures being left to run around Earth, whilst considering their makers’ as God was fascinating. Unfortunately, this concept was nipped in the bud and thrown by the wayside as a half naked creature paraded onscreen, and a woman attempted to bring herself to orgasm atop a giant insect. Yes, really.
I was hoping that the tame sexual content in Malice@Doll would take a secondary role to the sci-fi storyline that oozes seductively with exciting promise, but this was sadly not to be. Any semblance of a plot is buried underneath the utterly perverted ecchi. The visuals take precedence as the creators spend too long showing off their abilities with the computer graphics and not enough time thinking about a narrative capable of carrying the viewers interest throughout the 90-minute OVA.
Despite sporting superb computer graphics for its day, Malice@Doll now looks decidedly dated. The PS2-esque depiction of a forgotten city landscape is beautiful, if not a little self-contained. The animated robots look gorgeous and skilfully crafted but beg an unflattering comparison to more modern PS3 effects. Whilst Malice plays the part of a glorified Barbie doll, the aged graphics suit her matte complexion and soulless eyes. However, her transformation into a real, curvaceous woman makes her appear flat and special effects seem overly forced. The veins pulsating underneath her tongue are ugly and her lips in serious need of a collagen injection. Any action scenes are jerky, adding a comical twist to a damsel running away in despair and falling helplessly to the ground.
I’m actually considering banning dubbed shows from my household. Watching two of the three episodes of Malice@Doll with excellent Japanese seiyuu and subtitles, I waded into dodgy waters by switching to the English soundtrack for its finale. The once naive Heather transformed into an even more vapid bint, and the sexually husky Doris suddenly suffers from a transgendered problem. On the flip side of the coin, the soundtrack was beautiful. Ranging from orchestral vocals as a camera pans through a forgotten city, to an urban-techno closing track, my ears pricked up at the amazing musical accompaniment.
Ignoring the show's exorbitant amount of perversion, Malice is a surprisingly likable character. It will take a cold hearted viewer to not feel compassion for the poor girl who is thrust into an alien body and shunned by her previous peers. The development from robotic android to virgin female is not a sudden transformation, and the tentative steps in new skin are well thought out by the writers. Unfortunately, the focus soon veers away and gravitates to the lesbian tonsil-hockey skills of the ex-sextoy. Malice is unfortunately shadowed by the other Dolls discovering their own humanity and another unhealthy dose of kinky scenes.
The rest of the supporting cast could be boiled down to the remainder of the sex doll clique, as the other robots are insignificant. Of those, only Heather and Doris stand out. Initially, as Doris, the leader of the group, attempts to make a stand against Malice, her traditional Japanese dress and authoritative role empowers her. However, her failure sees her transformed into a nymphomaniac who wants nothing but sexual pleasure, and it doesn’t matter where it comes from. Heather is a typical girly character; kitted out in a slutty maid outfit to please her patrons, she giggles and plays the part of the annoying airhead extremely well.
Disclaimer: “Tentacles and shit” are *not* my thing. Perhaps I would have lapped up this degrading ecchi anime a little more if I was heavily into BDSM... or had an android fetish... or liked my girls to have a six-foot-long monstrous arm. Sadly, I don’t. As it stands, the only memorable thing about this show will be the terrible dub and apparent ease in which a female can orgasm. All in all, Malice@Doll is not completely terrible, but it is seriously lacking in anything but twisted stimulation material.
In a distant future, mankind has been wiped out and only its robot creations are left to roam the earth. Amongst the cleaners, plumbers and maintenance droids lives a group of Dolls whose soul purpose was to sexually entertain their clients. With no more patrons, Malice spends her days singing and walking the empty streets, dreaming of the days when she had a purpose. Now all she can give is a simple kiss – something that causes an ancient being to awaken and grant the android a real human body. Shunned by her former robot companions, can Malice find true happiness in her new form?
As a not-so-closet perv, I love watching anything involving panty-shots, handfuls of cleavage and an innuendo fuelled plot. Although most of my reviews will err on the risque, I also love the obscure, the twisted and things that make you think - drop me a line if you want to discuss any of them!