A funny thing about this anime season – it has a light novel anime that seems much more like a manga adaptation (Sabikui Bisco). And it has a manga anime that plays more like a LN adaptation in Sono Bique Doll wa Koi wo Suru. I’ve been feeling that inkling growing for a while, but I’m quite certain of it now. To be more precise, it reminds me in some ways of Oreimo. Now that’s obviously not a compliment, but before it became clear just how demented that series was, it actually impressed in many ways. And the resemblance for me is not so much in terms of content (thank God) but narrative style. Something about this show just puts me in mind of that one.
Since that’s how I perceive the series, it’s hardly surprising that it often seems to be at war with itself. The disparate sides of Bisque Doll’s personality don’t coexist peacefully – they’re in direct opposition to each other. For me it seems to be a very accomplished example of a sort of show I normally dislike, which explains why it’s proving so difficult for me to get a handle on it. Sometimes you get episodes which lean one way or the other but more common (as with this one) you get the whole package in the same week.
Let me add, I think Marin looks better with her natural eye color. Much. That said, it’s funny that the contacts was the one thing she freaked out about after basically flashing Wakana at her door. I struggle to believe anyone could be as oblivious to the impact their physicality has as Marin seems to be. I remind myself they’re 15, but generally (not always) kids that age are if anything hyper-aware of sexual tension in the air and incredibly self-conscious. Especially considering she’s already decided she’s in love with Gojou-kun (I’d say infatuation is more accurate at this stage but at 15, I don’t think the distinction matters much) I think it’s a stretch that she can be so un-self conscious around him.
The occasion for this visit is for Wakana to pick up the DVDs for “Flower Princess Blaze“, which he wants to watch for reference before he does Marin and Sajuna’s outfits (Marin has bribed her way into a group cosplay by offering to split studio fees). It’s “only 126 episodes” as Marin-chan hilariously notes, and she invites Wakana to stay and watch at her place. He’s incredibly nervous (Gojou is clueless but in different ways than Marin is) but it’s not like he’s going to say no. Still no indication that either Sajuna or Marin are paying him for his labor, incidentally.
As usual, it’s in the more innocent moments where Bisque Doll works the best. “Flower Princess Blaze” continues to be lovingly reproduced, and Marin’s internal monologues about Wakana are consistently amusing. Her cooking experiment is partly disastrous but the series avoids a cliche for once by not having her chahan (which started life as omurice) turn out to be toxic waste. These two have nice on-screen chemistry – I wouldn’t necessarily call it romantic or even sexual, really (he’s still too much a doormat for that to really work) but they click as a comedy team.
I continue to be less taken with the Sajuna stuff, and introducing her younger sister Shinju doesn’t offer much help. The older one is tiny, the younger one is huge – yeah, hilarious. This whole angle is the tropiest part of Sono Bisque Doll so far and since that’s the series’ Achilles heel in my book, too much of it isn’t a good thing. That said it does offer an excuse to get geeky about cosplay, which is undeniably one of the series’ raison d’être. Maybe these two will grow on me, but for now I’d sooner see Bique Doll indulge the better angels of its nature, and that was the middle part of this episode more than either end of it.
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