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Attack of the Figurines!

January 4, 2013

“Do not call me by that name!”

Straf-model Shiki “Hina”, Busou Shinki

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I wonder how many of us expected a Busou Shinki anime out of left field. Granted, we had Moon Angel, but that was like five episodes of Arnval fan-ism in OVA format. The anime might not be much with just twelve episodes, but it’s a full series by itself, at least.

While I don’t follow Busou Shinki as ferverntly as I do to Total Eclipse, I still liked the show enough to keep coming back. The premise of the anime is simple enough; some dude has four Shinkis that get up the shenanigans whenever and wherever. Realistic or not, it’s basically four girls doing random stuff. Not much to ruin there. A simplistic style of animation keeps things clean and easy for the animation crew, although some of the Shinkis are prone to improbable poses (given as how their joints are clearly defined in the series).

It’s when the show continues on that they try to give a bit more depth to the background material; a Shinki owned by a Japanese Self-Defence Force member prowls a remote mountainside acting as a ranger of sorts, a Shinki-park, a tournament for Shinkis organized by Shinkis with Shinkis taking part. Well, sure it’s not much, but it beats having the four main girls get up to random stuff in their master’s home without any resemblance to the storyline. Some of them are a bit off-key though, like the air hostess Shinkis (I have a hard time imagining them being useful in any capacity). Don’t count on schematics much though; if you’re looking for a step-by-step handwalk through the world of Busou Shinki’s technology and stuff, then you’re in for a disappointment; that’s hardly touched upon other than a cursory mention or two.

Speaking of storyline there isn’t an outstanding one in Busou Shinki. I mean, you could call it a story, but it’s more of a anthology collection with the same four characters plus a special guest or two per chapter. There are a few points that tie together, but any more is meaningless.

I liked the characters well enough though. Aines, the Altines-model Shinki, is a great source of comedy and reaction, and Hina being competent at damn near everything puts a nice contrast to the rest. Then there’s the Fubuki-model Shinki and her nice pair-up with her master, who may or may not be a ghost, and Maochao and Howling, the fail-forever schemers’ duo. Maochao’s voice actor did perfect for her character’s voice, I might add.

Busou Shinki serves as a good relaxing watch during or after watching a different, more serious show, as long as you don’t pin it up to “anime of the year” standards or other such lofty standards. It was never meant to be, and will never be, a substitute for a dedicated comedy or action show, but as a side dish to other, more story-driven anime it’s pretty delicious.

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