Hyper Doll: Perfect Collection
Christian Nutt rates it:
Well, I just got done watching Hyper Doll, and it certainly doesn’t make me long for the halycon days of the mid-nineties when all we had to look forward to were store shelves crammed with random OAV series, with no way to tell whether this stuff was gold or garbage. Sure, I fondly remember stumbling onto greats like All Purpose Cultural Cat-Girl Nuku Nuku and Dragon Half, but dreck like Hyper Doll also littered the shelves. While I have to give Pioneer USA credit for giving their back catalogue titles high quality DVD releases at low prices ($15!) I can’t say that makes me feel any more kindly toward this show.
Someone, at some point, at Pioneer LDC (Japan) greenlighted this project. Someone else sat down with some mediocre manga (by perennial U.S. con guest Shunpei Itoh) and sketched out a script for two episodes of Hyper Doll. In the end, we get two thirty-minute animation McNuggets about an apathetic and amoral duo of alien (I think) warriors called the Hyper Dolls, whose job it is to destroy large monsters sent by a mysterious mad scientist. An apparition of their boss, who is some sort of alien, appears in pizzas (Or okonomiyaki. Don’t ask me why, because I don’t know, or care) and tells them to do this. Since they figured they’d skip all of the establishing elements of the series to get straight to the action, it means that you’re left to puzzle out the particulars from half-assed flashbacks and your knowledge of anime cliches– assuming you care, which is not bloody likely.
The Hyper Dolls may be on Earth for the express purpose of destroying monsters, but (of course) spend their days kickin’ it at a local high school attended by computer geek Akai, who is the only person who seems to know Mica and Mew are the alien space warriors. Hilarity fails to ensue. Most — nearly all, in fact –jokes fall utterly flat, and there’s nothing much in the way of eye candy here. The animation is merely on-par, the character designs are unoriginal, and in general nothing about the series stands out. In fact, I was getting pretty bored until about three quarters in. Suddenly, there was a funny bit involving a drunk Shoko (some chick in Akai’s class who seems to have befriended the Hyper Dolls and also hangs out around his house for no apparent reason) peeking through some bushes to face an earthworm with huge lips. I had a bit of deja-vu, as I seem to remember reading a review in the past that reached the same conclusion: this is the only funny part of Hyper Doll. Look forward to it!
Oh, did I mention you can see their tits during their transformation sqeuence? Well, you can! If that’s not worth $14.95, I don’t know what is. On one hand, I feel bad being snippy about such a little, meaningless show. It’s not like Pioneer is making a big deal out of this one. They have plenty of awesome-looking titles in the works, too, like Gate Keepers and NieA_7, so I’m definitely glad they’re around. It’s also true that they slipped it out to the market at a bargain price, so interested parties can check it out without being maimed. On the other hand, it would’ve been nice if they had used Hyper Doll‘s slot in the production schedule for something more worthwhile. Still, it’s here, and it’s not going away, so I feel as though as it’s incumbent upon me to say: don’t buy Hyper Doll. It would barely make an interesting rental. If you’re spending $5 on this, you deserve to be able to chuck it across the room when you’re done watching it and enjoy the shattering sound it makes as it hits the wall.
Added: Wednesday, October 08, 2003
Related Link: Pioneer Animation