Million Doll

Million Doll

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Suuko, a hikkikomori, is a girl with a special ability. She has the power to make any idol popular by just writing about them on her blog. One day, after being forced out on errands by her older sister, she catches a live performance of the Fukuoka-based idol group ‘Itorio’. Captivated by what she sees, Suuko makes up her mind to do everything in her power as an influential blogger to raise this local group to stardom. However, competing against her is another blogger, a charismatic otaku named Ryuusuke, who is pushing the fame of underground idol Mariko. The competitiveness of these two otakus to promote their respective idols to stardom changes their careers forever.image
Million Doll
is an anime short produced by studio Asahi Production. It’s based on the web-manga created by Ai back in 2013. It seems like web-manga is getting quite a bit of attention recently as producers are starting to notice similarities and properties that could easily for converted into an anime short series.

We’re given a look at locodols, how their performances develop and just how much of their popularity relies on bloggers and social media mavens that can review and promote them through their blogs and influence people through Twitter in order to shape thousands of opinions and maximise exposure. When tastemakers like Suuko sit down at their desks to connect with the world, small-time, relatively-unknown idols can see their fates change overnight.image
We have seen how Itori’s sudden popularity has made them confident, causing one of the idols to confidentially announce to a packed Tokyo concert that they just might have what it takes to make it big. Whilst it generated excitement, we also see adverse effects where people are shocked at these local idol upstarts and laugh about how they think it’s so easy to be a nationally-renowned idol band.image
To look at, Million Doll isn’t exactly a high-end production. In fact, the animation is quite poor in some areas and the idol choreography is just blocky. The design and execution of the CG animation in just the opening sequence is enough to make me shudder a little bit. Especially when you have shows like Tribe Cool Crew to compare these scenes to.image
I like the concept of Million Doll, but I’m not too sure of the characters. Neither Suuko or Ryuusuke comes across as particularly strong and all the idols involved all have the same personality. There’s really not a lot here that particularly inspires or engages the viewer. The Million Doll live show around episode five was interesting, however, as we don’t often get to see seiyuus behind the scenes and listen to their thoughts and opinions of the characters they voice.

The songs that the idols sing are decent, at least. The songs are even better if you close your eyes so you’re not distracted by the clearly sub-par CG aspects. I’m interested to see where this one ends up, but the only reason why I’m still watching it is because it’s only a few minutes long.