The season premiere of Prima Doll has finally aired and while it was teased to be fluffy and full of sweetness, the anime’s first episode was surprisingly more than just that. Despite it impressively incorporating all the cuteness within the episode, its adorable cafe frolics are but a sugar coating on the dark dystopian world it is set in.
This Was Supposed to Be Cute, Right?
As someone who enjoys mellow series full of cute girls doing cute things, I expected this show to be just like that but my expectations were only partly right. Talks about the battlefield, war, and weapons of destruction were discussed right off the bat, a child unremorsefully saying their mother is dead and was threatened by a war machine thereafter, and an automata (a machine designed for war) temporarily operating to give a young girl she grew up with a last bit of respite before parting ways forever are a few dreary and sad points that have been offered by the series so far. Frankly, these scenarios pretty much sum up the first episode and while it seems tragic, it wasn’t all full of gloom because the episode was still filled with adorable reactions and shenanigans. In fact, the dark themes were set at the right amount to make the viewers feel the world that this series really resides in.
Sci-Fi Gochiusa or Moe Violet Evergarden or Perhaps Something Else?
I initially expected to see a sci-fi version of Is the Order a Rabbit? (Gochiusa), but the first episode instead gave me a vibe of Violet Evergarden. The visuals are pleasantly stunning and the main protagonist Haizakura somewhat resembles Violet in terms of purpose. Despite the fact that we still haven’t really known the past of Haizakura, what we know is that she has a distinct or unmatched power. Moreover, she’s assigned to a lax job which is working in a cafe but she’s really bad at it similar to how Violet is when she started to become a ghostwriter. Not to mention the fact that this episode was pacing to be an emotional one wherein Haizakura is a catalyst of a bittersweet goodbye.
While the season premiere of Prima Doll indeed has similarities to both Gochiusa and Violet Evegarden, there’s also one more series that it also resembles. If you’re watching some shows this season, a part of the premise is akin to the original anime by A-1 pictures, Lycoris Recoil. A bunch of cute girls who are prepared for battle while simultaneously working in a cafe on their off-time? Yep, the similarities are indeed uncanny, though, Prima Doll is way cuter.
One Thing That Is Off
While I did enjoy the whole episode, there’s really one thing that I’m bothered with – the design of automatas. Like, who would design war machines to look like cute girls? Why are some created as teenagers while others appear to be a child? It’s just hard for me to process the reason behind the automata’s design. Who would want to see a cute child damaged or bruised in the middle of the battlefield in the first place? Surely, I wouldn’t and hopefully, we get answers as the series progress. Overall, the first episode was filled with cuteness and sadness while being accompanied by fantastic animation and a well-written pace.
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©VISUAL ARTS / Key / BAS・Prima Doll Production Committee