Saturday, March 5, 2016

Hacka Doll: The Animation review

Hacka Doll is a surprisingly fun anime, if you are the right kind of person for it. Full of otaku culture parodies; from anime and games references to the otaku lifestyle in general, it is guaranteed to make you chuckled if you can get the references. As the anime itself is rather brief, I will try to make the review short.

Hacka Doll app delivers a customized feed of news for each user. The user answers some simple questions when launching the app for the first time, and then the app will filter the news that caters to the user's personal interests. With daily use, the app automatically analyzes and learns which news articles the user reads and recommends to further personalize the feed. The anime personifies the app's customization engine as three "Hacka Dolls" — the personal entertainment AI and main navigator Hacka Doll #1, the anime expert Hacka Doll #2, and the knowledgeable otaku Hacka Doll #3. (Source: ANN)

The story revolves around the 3 Hacka Dolls, as they are sent to aid various people with their various problems - with each episode being a standalone story. While it has no particular plot to follow on, each episodes revolves around one parody of the otaku culture in itself. The main attraction of this anime is the comedy it had to offer; it is whacky, fast paced and enjoyable for the most part. Some of them are familiar and can be rather dull, whilst other are fresh and unexpected. One episode incorporate the parody of Shirobako as a whole and really taken me aback. Even the last episodes copies the whole fight choreography from a certain anime if you pay enough attention.

The characters in this anime is the basic, copy and paste archetype you could found anywhere in most anime nowadays. Hacka Doll #1 is the cheerful twintail blond that is always fun to watch at until the point you get bored with it fast. Hacka Doll #2 is the busty sisterly figure that is there mostly for fanservice. Hacka Doll #3 however, a deadpan but is actually more than meets the eye. (S)he kind of surprised me halfway after I just realised I've fallen into a trap. Boss Hacka Doll, Hacka Doll #0 is the bossy, delicious brown matured lady voiced by Kiryuuin Satsuki herself. Idiot Hackadoll #4 is there just because we need an idiot, expendable character as a gag. Overall, the cast are decent for comedy standard, but generic at best.

On the technical front, mainly the art and animation, Hacka Doll is a pretty competent show. The characters look decent, and the visual are both vivid and colourful. The animation is limited but not awful. The music is okay for what it is. The OP is catchy, but the ED is a mistake; they used some kind of MMD program for the terrible 3D dance credit. Generally it's a standard production for a short anime.

Ultimately Hacka Doll is an decent short comedy where your enjoyment is most likely going to be based mainly if you like otaku humour in general or if you can understand the reference and parody. This show was a good way to blow ~6 minutes  with some lighthearted, goofy humor and a bit of parody of some recognizable series. If you want a breath of fresh air from all those heavy action anime, and you want to laugh, even for a small bit, this might be the right anime is for you.  It's a pretty safe & standard show that doesn't do anything to make it noteworthy, but at the same time is not completely reliant on recycled jokes from other shows.

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