At first, I thought I’d made a mistake when I decided to include this show in the Season Preview post and this First Impressions post. After all, Season 2 aired just last season, and no one expected this show to experience any kind of radical change between seasons. So, it actually surprised me when I woke up this morning and realised that the first episode of the third season was actually slightly different from most of the Season 2 episodes:
It felt rushed not in terms of story, but writing. The episode started with a quick reintroduction to all the characters and then launched into a new story arc while simultaneously using basically most of its arsenal of running jokes. The end of the episode was also kind of anticlimactic, at least compared to the episode where Yayoi joined the cast. In addition, now that I know that the first Miss Monochrome album is supposed to be released in a matter of days, I kind of get the feeling that maybe the decision to make a third season was because of that and not because the writers had a lot of extra material left over.
Verdict: Somewhat less satisfying than most S2 episodes, but still good enough for a short.
After watching the first episode of this show, I still have no idea why it exists or why it was created, but I think it has something to do with GPS navigators or something? In any case, I also don’t really understand what it’s about. It seems that the eponymous Hacka Dolls(a pun on the Japanese word 捗る) are sent to Earth to help people make progress or something, but because the main characters are defective/otherwise worthless, they just end up making a mess of things.
Which is actually fine by me, because together with the pop culture and anime references it makes the show feel like a combination of Wooser and Teekyuu. It’s slightly less entertaining than the latter but much funnier than the former. As for the main characters’ personalities, they actually really remind me of the 3 main characters of Robot Girls Z, which is maybe not an excellent thing, but it’s not bad either. In conclusion, the reason for the existence of Hacka Doll is still a mystery to me, but I enjoyed it a surprising amount.
Verdict: It’s a short, and it’s reasonably funny, so it can stay.
This… is definitely the weirdest-looking show I’ve watched in a while. In retrospect, I’m happy that I did the Season Preview post, because it made me do research, which led me to adjust my expectations regarding this show. It’s not a bad show, in fact I really liked the mystery horror of the first episode, but it’s definitely going to take a while for me to get used to it. The art basically looks like paper cutouts being moved around on background paintings, which is a style I don’t think I’ve seen before. And by paper cutouts I don’t mean flash animation like in Ninja Slayer, I mean it actually looks like paper.
One might not expect this art style to work that well in a horror show, but the heavy grain, filters and low brightness give it a really creepy aesthetic. It actually succeeded at scaring me, so much so that I started thinking about that T-Rex scene in Jurassic Park with the car and the glass of water(a scene I hate because it scared the crap out of me when I was a kid). So, please applaud for Kagewani, because it’s actually kind of impressively scary.
Verdict: 8 minutes of mystery horror per week sounds great to me.