Vampire Prostitutes & Freaky Zombie Robot Minions!
In the post-apocalyptic future, humanity has wiped itself out. With no clientele left, specialized robots, “Dolls,” are left wandering the streets. One such doll, Malice, begins leaking… almost as if she was crying. A run-in with a beast mysteriously turns her human, leaving her as an oddity of this dysfunctional society. Can she fit in once again, or will she have to find a way to recreate the world in her new image?
Going through the animé section at Best Buy one day, I ran upon this oddity. A CGI film amidst all the standard animation? With a no-name publisher (Arts Magic DVD)? And a synopsis on the back that starts with “prostitute robot dolls”? How could I pass it up?
Well, I did. The next time, though, I figured I’d pick it up, given that a friend said the writer was interesting. [Chiaki Konaka, who also scripted Lain and the second season of Big O, among others. -Ed]
If you couldn’t figure it out from the lead, Malice@Doll is an android “Lady-of-the-night” in the future. With humanity self-destructed (we never find out how, and let’s face it, it doesn’t really matter), she’s got nothing to do other than to walk around town. The rest of the citizens range from a variety of other Dolls, each with their own “style” (read “cliché;” the southern belle, the young maid, the weirdly-colored goth, they’re all here) to robotic ones, from repair ‘bots to Joe Admin, the leader of this group. When Malice gets a leak in her eye that looks disturbingly like a tear, she goes to get fixed up. But a wrong turn leads her to a monster. After an encounter with its tentacles (Um… yeah. Prostitutes and tentacles. And we’re sure this isn’t porn?), Malice wakes up changed.
She’s human, she’s alive. And she’s shunned by the rest of the Dolls, who neither recognize her nor accept her change. She seems happy enough being able to feel, and wants the others to as well. Given that her previous life consisted completely of kissing (though, flashbacks reveal much more), she kisses another one of the Dolls. But… she doesn’t turn human, she turns into a, well…
Freaky zombie porn-bot.
There, I said it. The show gets freaky zombie porn-bots. Everyone kissed becomes freaky zombie porn-bots. Probably the only time that line will be said (well, typed) in context, so I might as well get as much mileage out of it as I can. What’s up with these freaky zombie porn-bots is never completely explained, nor is much else in the story. Something is resolved somewhat in the end, though, so it’s not like there’s a cliffhanger.
I must address this to clear my conscience. Despite having freaky zombie porn-bots, this isn’t exactly a hentai title. Most of the stuff isn’t shown, and if it is, it’s to show how disturbing it is. Given that they’re all androids, it certainly isn’t trying to hit someone’s power switch. Hell, Pretty Woman was about prostitutes, and my mom loves that movie.
It certainly is an animé though, given the sci-fi/post-apocalyptic/freaky gross monster/tentacle vibe coming from it.
Still, the animation is more PlayStation than Ghost in the Shell. The CG will remind you of every bad video game cutscene you’ve ever had to sit through. The characters all look plastic. Though given that many are androids, I guess that’s somewhat justifiable.
The voice-acting is wooden, but once again, considering most are androids, that makes sense, and it’s also disturbing. When Malice, still as an android, is attacked, all she can do is woodenly say, “No. Please stop. If you continue, I will cease to function.” Unfortunately, Malice barely changes after she becomes human. Despite her crying, it barely gets truly emotional.
Extras are surprising, in that there are some. Filmographies (standard stuff, but it’s interesting to see some of the titles they had worked on, especially the disturbingly-titled “Addicted to Masturbation”), character models, an interview with the creators, trailers, artwork, and a half-hour discussion on CG animation. Not the most interesting stuff, but hey, if you’re an animation student and want to know how the production team managed to pull off getting paid for making something like this, go for it.
I’m not really sure what to make of Malice@Doll. Is it a vampire video? Is it pornographic Pinocchio? Is it even pornographic? It sure as heck is a weird story, and certainly an interesting one. Give it a rental. Freaky zombie porn-bots.