473rd G-View: Prima Doll

A show about cute robot girls in a post-war steampunk world. If that got your attention join me as we find out if Prima Doll is worth checking out.

Prima Doll Cover

Genres: Action, Drama, Idols, Maids, Music, Steampunk.

Themes: War, Memories.

Number of Episodes: 12

G-Rating: 8/10 or 7. It depends on the viewer.

Plot Summary: The Black Cat Café boasts an unusual roster of employees. A group of automata, or autonomous mechanical dolls, serve their patrons with a smile, but they weren’t always so suited to domestic life. Just a few years prior, automata served as weapons in the great war, fulfilling the bloody purpose for which they were created. Now that the war has ended, these machines with human hearts search for their place in an unfamiliar, peaceful world — and their search begins at the Black Cat Café.

This show is like a two-sided coin:

Haizakura still struggles to cookOn one side it is about cute doll (robot) girls doing cute maid/waitress things as they work together in a cafe and do their best to work together and make it a fun and welcoming place for customers. Haizakura herself is a lovable klutz brimming with positive energy and optimism always doing her best to help everyone in need. Her cuteness and determination are the biggest highlight of the show along with her new friends who all have their wonderful charms and later on surprise sexiness. Yes there is a sexy episode. Not swimsuits sadly but given the setting what we got instead was great too.

Karasuba links with HaizakuraOn the other side it is a war drama with occasional creepy moments. As mentioned in the plot summary all our heroines and their comrades were part of a great war fought mainly between automata and mechanika (robot drones with less sentience) commanded by strong automata. One important detail is automata have the power to control/guide mechanika in good or ill. Remember this detail while watching. Back to our heroines. Through Haizakura we get a glimpse of the girls’ painful pasts on the battlefields as either soldiers, victims or both. Each girl has their own traumatic experience that still haunts them in present day. Thanks in part to Haizakura they do their best to move forward. As the story continues more of Haizakura’s own past is slowly unraveled. She has “main protagonist amnesia” see but here it is presented and handled well thanks to there being a valid plot related reason rather than being a forced mystery. Besides our main heroines there are other automata who have sad stories to share. I talked mainly about the robot girls but obviously the humans they cohabit/try to live together with also had their lives changed by war.

Haizakura meets a broken dollAnother important part of the girls’ development are their purpose. It is made clear from the first automata introduced that having no purpose is an automata’s greatest fear. Being useless is almost as terrifying as death/ Maybe I am looking too deep into this but something that was in the back of my head while watching is the connection between automata’s memories, post-war trauma and mental health. Themes that made me think of early Alzheimer’s and PTSD came to mind among other known emotional struggles. Whether they were handled well or not I leave to viewers. I thought it was mostly pretty good.

Gekka recon soldierThere are action scenes too. Pretty good ones surprisingly. Nothing too intense (for the most part) but as the story progresses they get more hardcore without becoming ultra violent. Do not take these cuties lightly is what I am saying. The presentation is solid with some CG here and there. The setting and character designs for the ladies are cute and for some quite sexy.

Haizakura and Houkiboshi duetWith all this talk of war drama I did not forget the last piece of the puzzle, the music. This is technically a robot maids idol anime and music plays an important role in the story for more than just cheering up everyone around our heroines and viewers. I will not spoil what exactly but singing serves a key purpose in the story. The songs themselves convey multiple themes and are fun to listen to, even the somber ones.

Chiyo cheers up HaizakuraWithout going into much detail Haizakura kind of has more than one love interest. Not all her homies are part of it thus it is not yuri harem but she creates very strong bonds with some other girls besides Chiyo here. Cute stuff and solid shipping material…Yes. A het pairing get more attention in the intimacy part but they do not threaten Haizakura’s kind of chick magnet status.

Overall Prima Doll is as cute as it is dramatic with its robot maids in a post-war world. The fun stuff is delightful while the dramatic stuff can be a one two punch depending on how the stories affect viewers. The presentation is good and songs nice while there is solid yuri shipping potential…Mmhm.

PS: The ending made me feel things…Many things…

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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12 Responses to 473rd G-View: Prima Doll

  1. Kotori_Sonoda says:

    The ending broke me.
    I knew it was gonna be sad, but man.
    It was a punch in the gut.
    Overall I really liked Prima Doll, the combination of the cute slice of life and the war drama elements worked for me. One of my favorites this season honestly!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Nick says:

    Knew it was coming at some point but man that ending was tough to watch. I’m sitting there at 1am all teary eyed looking like a complete mess. Ugh, anime really does pull at the heartstrings.

    Solid anime overall though. I got slightly Violet Evergarden vibes mainly due to the post war setting with dolls as the main character. No letter writing here, but I don’t know I just got that slight vibe every now and then.

    A nice mix of cute and happy moments with emotional and dramatic moments, but the balance was nice and they didn’t beat you over the head with it, I find it very annoying when shows try too hard to make you feel something. I liked the balance in this as each aspect of it felt right.

    I think Karasuba had got to be my favorite character in the anime. Yes her wearing a bunny outfit might have swayed me a lot. But I just liked her character design and her story was good as well. I do wish we got more of Yugiri as I really liked her but she spent more of the anime out of commission.

    All in all Pima Doll was an enjoyable watch, even though I knew it would get soul crushing at some point along the way. Still glad I stuck with it and was rewarded with another favorite anime of the summer.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      It hit many of us hard. Hopefully that one little hint Chikorita mentioned is a sign of good things for our precious pink cutie.

      Oh yes. The drama felt just right and not forced.

      Thought Retzel was your favorite but I should have known bunny Karasuba would win you over. Understandable.

      More Yugiri would have been nice, yes.

      It was pretty good all things considered.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. chikorita157 says:

    Given that I watched a lot of Key/Visual Arts adaptations, three of which Kyoto Animation adapted that got me back into Anime after a long break, it’s not too surprising to see a bittersweet ending, although there is some hope as Haikagura probably backed up Haizakura when she hard linked and put it in Inaba. Still, the ending quite pulled on the heart strings.

    Either way, the story was interesting and surprisingly, the music is good. Of course, the characters are cute, although Retzel does really appeal to me given her looks and her VA, but all of them are good.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. K says:

    Haizakura’s still around at the end but she had to be reset to make that possible. That’s so very bittersweet. There was what Haikagura was doing but I can’t say if it meant anything or not. Hopefully it did. The last episode was just one long march of sadness. As expected of a Key anime.

    Despite the ending, it was a pretty good anime with loveable mecha dolls and soothing songs. Haizakura and Retzel had the best design. Additionally, Haizakura was a near endless ray of sunshine and I loved Gekka’s verbal tic.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      My not noticing this was a Key anime until you brought it up actually helped me enjoy it more otherwise I’d be dreading the inevitable heartbreak throughout the show. Would still give it the same rating but the inevitable pain would have lingered.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. yurimylove says:

    all the dolls are cute, my favorite is Gekka. Also the red light district shop lady is super sexy.


  6. Yeah, that ending kind of hurt me too. Glad she’s not out of commission, but she’s not really the same either without those precious memories. I felt bad for the other dolls who obviously cared for her deeply. They still remember all their happy times, so to know she doesn’t remember must be devastating. I hope that one day her memories will return. Overall, I really enjoyed the show.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      As I told K my not knowing this was a “Key” anime made the ending hit harder and better. Otherwise I’d be dreading the inevitable crushing blow all season though the show was full of them, just not as painful as the finale. Still really enjoyed the show of course.

      Liked by 1 person

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