Fantasista Doll

Fantasista Doll

Fantasista1Uzume Uno is a normal high school student  with nothing special about her to set her aside from all of her peers. However, one day, her destiny is changed. She finds a deck of mysterious cards from which house a set of dolls. Dolls with special abilities that spring to life when summoned to do their masters bidding. Uzume finds herself becoming a Card Master and executes a contract between her and these new dolls of hers. Very soon after, she somehow finds herself in a position to fight not just for her own town, but to save the whole world…

At first I thought that Fantasista Doll was just another harem-esque anime. I watched the first episode just because I quite liked how the characters looked. And then I realised that perhaps I had been just a tad presumptuous. It’s not a difficult anime to get into, and by halfway through the first episode I was generally thinking how awesome it would be to have a set of these dolls for myself. Honestly, if I did, I’d buy them all the snacks they wanted!

What surprised me the most about Fantasista Doll was how seamlessly it seemed to fit into so many anime categories. With its battles and super powers it has the magical girl element, the mixing of so many personalities on a common level the ‘slice of life’ angle is fulfilled, and then we have the ‘summoning dolls to battle’ theme which reminds me so much of one of my favourite CLAMP titles Angelic Layer.

The initial aesthetics were what convinced me to give this anime a try, and I was not disappointed. The good thing about introducing life-sized walking, talking dolls into a series is that it’s a good excuse for a wide spectrum of adorable characters each complete with their awesome colour co-ordinated costumes – and they really have gone all out in this one. Whether you like childlike Katya, gothic loli Akari or the token tsundere Sasara, there is a doll for everyone to identify with and enjoy (personally, I’ve been all about Shimeji ever since Episode 4)! Even the doll summoning sequence, which is usually seen in every episode, is pleasant enough and enjoyable. It’s actually a bit like Sailormoon meets the Matrix, which is always a big plus in my books.

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Snack Ban: the two words that every doll hates to hear.

Like you’ve probably noticed, it’s another anime this season carrying a ‘card’ theme (Day Break Illusion and Fate/Kaleid Prisma Illya, anyone?) which, unfortunately, is starting to dilute the originality of these Summer series’ for me. I’m not sure if this is a flavour of the month thing, or if everyone is trying to reinvent Cardcaptor Sakura in their own way, but it does start to give everything a samey feel. Uzume, as a main character, also seems to be quite lacking in any endearing personality traits. I’m hoping that she becomes less of the ‘normal, ordinary girl’ that these type of protagonists frequently start out as and begins to ‘grow’ due to the positive influence of all these new dolls, because she is at risk of falling into the shadows and having the show stolen from her by the slew of larger personalities that she is always surrounded by.

Having said that, Fantasista Doll has been one of the more popular animes this season. It has a lot of support over here and even more so over in Japan, with three ongoing mangas sprouting up in the last few months. The pace has been fairly steady for the most part, but I get the feeling that things are going to get more complicated in later episodes so, even though it feels weird to type, I am really looking forward to what’s in store for Uzume and her pack of dolls.