Fantasista Doll

February 1, 2014

What do you get when you combine Yugioh and Rozen Maiden? You get Fantasista Doll of course! I’m not saying that this series is taken from both animes but it brought to mind such animes because it involves a card game and then we have lots of cute dolls wearing different types of outfits and some of them in gothic fashion. Cute dolls in gothic outfit. Mmm… I suppose that’s the reason why I decided to take a peek at this. Because of the card game theme of this series, I initially thought this was one of the many games to be adapted into an anime. Apparently it was from a manga of the same name. Of course it would be a waste not to turn this into a game and besides the novel and other spin-offs, Fantasista Doll was also released as a game only on those Smartphones. I guess that’s the trend these days. So people like me without any Smartphones would miss out in playing the game. Not that I’m interested in it in the first place anyway.

Episode 1
Uzume Uno is woken up by her sister Miko to go to school. Along the way they meet their friend Komachi Seishou before parting. In the crowded train, Uzume thought somebody wanted to steal her bag but it seems a card device was left in it. At school, Manai Uzuki seeks Uzume’s request to join her Card Club as it doesn’t have enough members. She wants Uzume to join since she has won a big tournament before. That was ages ago. Uzume turns her down. Probably Uzume had watched too many horror movies at night, so she’s quite jumpy when she feels somebody stalking her. She runs for her life seeking help. A voice would gladly assist her provided she completes the entry process that includes her 3 sizes and the age she had her first crush. WTF. Sounds like some fishy scam to me. After agreeing to form a team with them, the process is complete and a Fantasista Doll, Sasara materializes before her. Kagami Totori wants to take a certain card from Uzume and summons her doll, Kunoichi to do the job. Sasara breaks the wall for Uzume to escape but has to stay close to her or else she will disappear. Following Sasara’s instructions, because Uzume had some experience in playing the card game, she re-summons Sasara with some writing card to equip her with the appropriate gear to fight back. Sasara wins so Kagami lets them off for today. Uzume keeps the card of the doll she defeated and with Sasara’s advice, uses a card to repair the surrounding damage. I never knew it could be this useful. Later outside, Sasara puts up crocodile tears to plead to Uzume not to leave her because if bad guys catch her, they’ll do bad stuffs to her. Uzume will think about it. Later she happens to meet Komachi and because she can’t really tell her what is happening (she herself finds it hard to believe), she just explains it vaguely. Komachi thinks that what has happened is fate. By thinking so, she’ll feel much better.

Uzume thought she could relax in her bath back home. However with Sasara coming out, she introduces the rest of the dolls of the cards in her device. They are Madeleine, Katia, Shimeji and Akari. They are her dolls and Uzume is furious Sasara didn’t explain everything to her. The dolls make themselves home as they cram into the little bathtub. Uzume thinks that since she is the master, she can get them to do her homework and clean her room. Obviously, these warrior dolls aren’t going to do her chores and reprimand their noob master! Who is the real master? Uzume can’t cancel them because something bad will happen. So bad that they can’t say it. Gosh. What has she gotten into? Noticing the wound on Sasara’s shoulder, she thanks her for saving her. It is the first time a master ever thanked them. Uzume gets a call from a mysterious handsome guy, Rafflesia congratulating her for getting along with her dolls. As she looks outside her window, a bouquet of flower is thrown at her. He explains the Rafflesia flower represents the boundary between being asleep and awake. It has been bestowed upon her the dreams that are the Fantasista Dolls. He wants her to become a card master. That is her mission. He expects a lot from them and will be watching them.

Episode 2
Uzume undergoes rigorous training to summon other weapon and trap cards. Let’s say Sasara is not impressed with this noob. Next morning, Uzume is too tired to wake up so Akari is in Sasara’s stead to do so. She almost destroyed her bed! I bet she’s fully up now. Uzume tries not to let her family get suspicious of her new friends and skips breakfast. In class, she sees visions of her dolls playing football in her notebook and also in the window pane. It’s really getting to her. Manai approaches her to join the card club again but Uzume says she’ll think about it. Later Sasara and the other dolls confront her. Sasara calls her a liar because of not telling the truth. She didn’t want to join the card club and because she didn’t say no, she gave Manai false hopes. Sure, she wants to be nice but it’s just like running away. Why is a doll lecturing her on this? Besides, Sasara hates those who lie and betray. Uzume also argues back the bad attitude Sasara has. She has had it with her and regrets contracting with them. She doesn’t care about the bad repercussions and wants to return them to their previous owner. Upon reaching the Kawagoe Research Facility, the place seems rundown. The dolls don’t remember the place like this. Uzume walks through the dark hallways and accidentally triggers a trap card. A bunch of German military dolls go into offensive action to take out the intruder. At a lost, Madeleine suggests summoning them as they will never abandon their master. All the dolls except Sasara (sulking in her doll house) go into battle gear. They protect Uzume and in return she too protects her dolls. However a bigger trap card is activated and puts Uzume’s dolls out of action. Before Uzume could be slashed, Sasara pops up to save her. She will fend the enemies off to buy her time to escape. However she will stay on and fight to avenge her friends. She devices a strategy with Sasara to lead the remaining enemies to gather in a small area before unleashing a trap card to defeat them all. When they make their way to the president’s room, it is all clean and nice. Katia accidentally opens a secret room. It contains rare cards and Rafflesia gladly makes Uzume the owner since they have overcome hardship to reach here so it is theirs. The rare cards serve as a symbol of the bonds between them. When Sasara flies Uzume home, both girls apologize for saying too much. Sasara reveals their previous master lied, betrayed and abandoned them. She thinks Uzume is a dependable master. When they land, Manai is before them. Before Uzume gets a chance to explain herself, Manai summons her dolls.

Episode 3
Manai’s dolls are all sports/club related. The one in calligraphy has got to be a big joke because she wrote some poem and sends Uzume into depression. Nice attack! Uzume believes Manai’s mind has been manipulated so she summons her dolls to save with a condition of not fighting back. Huh? WTF? Till Madeleine suggest to use some trap card, the enemy is taken in by the cold desserts and Manai returns to her normal self once she has eaten some. Seriously. Desserts. Manai explains she went to see a fortune teller yesterday as she is curious if Uzume would join the club. She doesn’t remember much after that. Rafflesia notes that it must be the work of an organization called Mutual Dream Assurance Group or MDAG for short (no, it’s not some insurance company). Uzume must be on her guard since they have begun to move and will not stop till they collect the cards. Back home, Uzume is devastated that because she didn’t register in time, her team’s symbol is the first letter of her name. She feels it is ugly. Shimeji offers to draw. Let’s say she has the talent of becoming the next Picasso. Because Uzume feels Madeleine is the only dependable one, she begins depending on her to make decisions. From her class work to her test till the point she became her nutritionist! It’s getting annoying. So much so Uzume talks to Sasara to do something about. And that is locking her in her room! As much as it hurts her, Madeleine has no choice but to accept it if this is what her master wants. Meanwhile a bad master, Kira Kazunari is throwing tantrum and vandalising his stuff. He is trying to instil fear to his useless dolls that they are tools and are supposed to do what the master wants and grant him his wish. Scary dude. He gets an order from the organization for his next mission. Shimeji has completed her drawing of Uzume’s mug and sees Madeleine drawing the same. Madeleine’s is much better. Definitely. Very real. It made them realize they can’t stop thinking about the master. Perhaps Madeleine wants their master to care for them for real as she’s still worried about their previous master.

Uzume and Manai go search for the fortune teller but she is not at her usual place. While taking a break, the fortune teller comes to them. She pleads for them to save her because she cannot stand the cruelty of her master anymore and the way he treats them. The girls are brought to a large aquarium pool and when the fortune teller pushes her into the pool, they realize it’s a trap. Manai cannot summon her dolls since they are in recovery period so Uzume will have to summon hers. But her dolls aren’t willing to fight because they’re afraid of getting wet! Before a killer whale could eat Uzume, Madeleine saves her. Uzume feels bad for mistreating her but Madeleine doesn’t mind. The dolls serve their master because they want to and they would be happy to do so. That is the pride of a pro doll, to always act for their master. Everyone witnesses Kira’s cruelty in harming his own dolls so that he could attack the rest. Katia is complaining that she is soaked so Madeleine suggests using a mackerel card that turns her into an embarrassing mackerel outfit. Vent your frustration on the enemy! Yeah, the enemy is pathetically running away. Kira uses his dolls to conjure a large amount of electricity, which is hurting her too. So to stop this, Uzume must hand over her cards. She throws one at him. Sasara and the rest rescue the unfortunate doll. Kira uses this chance to escape. Back at his base after getting a legendary locksmith to crack open the safe, he gets all emotional clinging on to the memento but needs more points to open another precious box. He hopes he will be able to see his love, Marina. But the dolls snigger he got dumped and then put on their best behaviour when he gives them that evil stare. While Katia still complains the mackerel smell can’t come off, Madeleine and Uzume make amends. Shimeji shows her new design which is a sparrow (suzume) because it sounds close to Uzume’s name. She views them both as similar because they’re small and lack any nose. Is that an insult? Uzume seeks Madeleine’s advice and she gives the green light. As they turn their discussion about Kira and feeling bad for his dolls, Shimeji puts on a sad face thinking about her friend, Aloe.

Episode 4
Uzume’s dolls nearly got spotted by her family after trying to grab some snacks. So Uzume had no choice but to lecture them. Uzume even tries to introduce a take-your-turn-in-the-bath schedule but was quickly shut down (and that spinning wheel destroyed). Who is the real master here? However they notice Uzume acting differently. Shimeji remembers when she first woke up, it was in a lab. She was feeling scared and alone till a little boy came in to become her master. Their relationship quickly grew. Her ex-master had another doll named Aloe. While they were arguing who loves master more, the kid is glad that they both love him very much. Uzume takes Shimeji out to cheer her up. She buys her a ribbon and notices a ring Shimeji is wearing. Suddenly Shimeji becomes agitated. She wants her to stop being nice. It brings back traumatic memories because her ex-master gave her that ring before abandoning her. Shimeji believes Uzume will do the same thing too. She runs away in tears but comes into Kira who is bent on getting the cards to get his wish granted. Shimeji is shocked to see Aloe as one of his dolls. Aloe has no choice but to follow his orders and fight them. Uzume takes Shimeji and run. When they are in an open space void of the crowd, both sides summon their other dolls to fight. Kira uses an instruction card to bind Uzume’s dolls and temporarily restrict their movement. I’m not sure what he is going to do with some big battery to zap Shimeji’s data or something. Uzume tries to help but gets shocked. This pisses off Shimeji so much that she breaks free from the spell, beats the hell out of Kira and the other dolls.

Kira turns Aloe’s clothes into the God of Thunder to finish this once and for all. Aloe grabs Shimeji and at this rate the thunder will destroy them both. Aloe notes after she was abandoned, Kira picked her up but he was a kind master then. Now he has changed because he is chasing his memories of the past. She wants to heal his wounded heart. When Kira notes he doesn’t care what happens to Aloe because dolls are just data and that there are many replacement, that was the last straw for his dolls. They refuse to do his bidding anymore and plead to release them from his contract. Viewing this as a betrayal of his love, he uses some bomb activation card on Aloe. If it goes off, all her data will be erased and she will cease to exist. Uzume’s dolls free the rest but can’t take out the bomb embedded in Aloe’s chest. Not wanting everyone to get caught in the blast, Aloe flies up high in the sky and goes boom. Because Kira shows no remorse over the loss of some data, his dolls kick the daylights out of him. Shimeji shows the frozen card of Aloe. She has ceased functioning and if they don’t do anything, she’ll disappear forever. Rafflesia suggests there is a way. Among the rare cards taken from the lab, there is a recovery card that can only be used once. Uzume uses it and Aloe revives. Shimeji and Aloe emotionally reunite. As the dolls are to part ways, Aloe decides to stay by Kira’s side. She doesn’t think he’ll make it without him and doesn’t mind going through anything as long as she can be with him. Learn a thing or two about loyalty from her, dude. Kira admits his love is not strong enough and as repentance, gives Uzume all his cards. Back home, Uzume presents a ribbon to Shimeji as a gift for helping out. Now the other dolls want one too…

Episode 5
Manai is so happy that Uzume has decided to join the Card Club after considering what happened. Even happier because there is another one who just joined: Kagami. In front of Manai, she is the polite and cute girl. But before Uzume, she becomes the scheming brat that vows to take her cards one day. Better sleep with your eyes open. But the tension between them ease when Uzume returns Kunoichi card to her. Uzume then summons her dolls and she looks pretty angry. Serious. Since she is running low on allowance due to buying too much snacks for them, there will be none till her next allowance. Her dolls are devastated like as though it’s the end of the world. Can’t they wait that long? Manai suggests to do part time. And so we see Katia taking up some delivery job with Uzume and Kagami keeping a close watch on her. It doesn’t take long before they lose her. Since Katia is unsure of the place, she seeks help. That help turns out to be Miko. At the same time, some television crew is doing some street interview and stumbles upon the lolis. Imagine the horror in Uzume when she finds out Katia is on TV with Miko! And Katia is so excited to be on TV. She hopes the other dolls aren’t doing anything weird. Speaking of which, Madeleine is modelling, Shimeji a tour guide, Akari cleaning guns and Sasara fishing. Don’t laugh. These girls are serious. A kid, Yamato Yamada who is playing video games nearby, receives a direct order from the insurance company MDAG that his target is Katia. He is game for it. However it seems all the dolls he summoned meet some kind of bad luck. Whether it is getting bitten in the butt by a dog or the trolley hit a stone and sent her flying into the sea. All without Katia and Miko knowing what is really going on. As explained by Rafflesia, Katia has some sort of unconscious luck ability and it is kicking it. Yeah. It sure makes those dolls look silly.

When Katia and Miko arrive at the address, the owner is out. Katia is bent on completing her delivery job so she summons her wardrobe and puts on wings and takes Miko to fly in the sky! Can she believe what is going on before her eyes? As for Rafflesia, he manages to convince the people they’re filming some sort of movie. I’m sure with his good looks and smooth operator talk, even the old ladies believe him. Katia finishes her delivery but before Yamato could make his next move on her, he is confronted by Kagami. He recognizes her from the same organization. He agrees to play with her to see who is stronger. Obviously Kagami is. He and his dolls are beaten to a pulp. What a rough day. Miko is sad to see Katia on the verge of disappearing (because time on her own is almost up). After being assured that she isn’t going to die and not going away forever, they make a promise to meet again in the future. Meanwhile Kagami contacts MDAG’s director directly that she will personally get the job done and not let others interfere. The other dolls return with lots of snacks. I’m sure they used up their part time pay. Manai has also created a snacks fund so that those who want to eat snacks can contribute to it. She also names the group Masquerade Curry Uki Uki (taken after their first name syllables). I think she needs to work on her naming sense. With only a snack left, Manai breaks them to share among her friends but the dolls also want a piece of it. Even crumbs? Except for Katia. She’s sleeping after a tiring day but a happy smile is seen over her face.

Episode 6
Akari wakes up Uzume the usual devastating way. Bed destroyed. Uzume cowering under her desk. After she prepares herself for school, at the train station did she realize it is Sunday!!! Ah well, routine… Since they’re out, might as well go shopping but her dolls often wander off on their own so it’s hard to keep track of them. Akari meets Miina Rurukawa (holy sh*t! This scene looks like Suigin Tou and Shinku!). Miina seeks her master Ophelia’s answer. Since they are not the enemy, she wants Miina to invite them over to their house. It is filled with dolls (I thought they’re mostly creepy) but Uzume and co are baffled when Miina turns into a real doll after sitting back inside the glass. Back home, Miko comes into Uzume’s room and sees the entire doll gang. But she is delighted to see Katia and so they talk until they tire out. In the club room, Kagami warns Uzume if she has met any weird card masters because she wants to be the one who will take her cards. Yeah, yeah. We get it for the umpteenth time already. As they discuss about Miina, Kagami notes she has heard about her before. A goth-lolita fashionist and a Class A+ card master. Next day, Miina meets Uzume to talk. Miina feels devotion is the most beautiful thing in the world. She views dolls have them. After meeting Ophelia and the other dolls, she wished to be turn into a doll. Uzume notices her bandaged right hand so Miina says it’s just some punishment. Meanwhile Ophelia and the other dolls visit Uzume’s dolls to clarify about themselves. They also have a request for Akari and that is to be Miina’s master. She is assured she will never be abandoned because they are all Miina’s master. Though Uzume’s dolls disagree since they already have a master, Ophelia wonders if their master is reliable. Depending on Akari’s answer, they can order Miina to attack Uzume and take her by force. However they won’t force her and will await the good news. Miina hands Uzume a poster of this weekend’s bazaar and hopes she could come. Ophelia and the other dolls discuss about the reason Miina was made to talk to Uzume because she thought there is a chance Miina could be saved. Miina remembers her mother telling her she is the most beautiful person in the world.

At the bazaar, Miina shows Akari the dolls on sale. They have been abandoned by their previous master for a new one and are awaiting a new master. Sadly, many ended up never getting that. Meanwhile Rafflesia and his colleague, Rinto Mikasa have looked into Miina’s problem. She was taught devotion as the most beautiful thing in the world by her mom who treasured her like a doll. When she was 7, mother left for volunteer work around the world. A little accident happened and Miina burnt her hand in a science experiment. A mark was left behind. Miina asks Akari’s answer and the latter turns down to be her master because she already has Uzume. Relief that they don’t have to fight, Uzume and her dolls leave. Ophelia shows Miina the trade conditions they made with MDAG. Uzume and co suddenly find themselves in a field card. The creepy woods. Only Uzume is afraid… The gang thought they weren’t going to take her by force but it seems now they want to take all of them. As the dolls fight, it is further explained that the ugliness of that burnt mark was probably why her mom left her as believed by Miina. The condition set by the trade was to have a physician completely heal the mark. Akari fights back but gets bound. Uzume tries to help her and expresses she doesn’t want to lose her because they just became friends. The rest try to make Ophelia and co realize if they are okay with the way things are. They know they are trying their best to save her, the reason they wanted to invite Akari to their side. Uzume uses some bind card to free everything and this includes healing Miina’s mark. I don’t get it… Ophelia admits what has been said was true. They don’t want to be her master but her friend. While the other dolls thought Akari lost her chance to leave her unreliable master, Akari reveals she was locked in her room practising to become stronger. If she has the strength to protect her master, she won’t abandon her. Uzume realizes the Card Club is established to make friends. She thinks she should be friends with Kagami. You mean, she wasn’t?

Episode 7
Kiyoshi Kiyomizu from MDAG challenges Uzume to a duel. Uzume’s dolls are no match for his team of rugby dolls because of their mighty scrum barrier. Only when Kagami and Manai arrive to help out, Kiyoshi retreats. Rafflesia throws Uzume a special card. It will only activate when 5 dolls come together in cooperation for it contains a special ability. The card will display its true potential when the hearts of the master and dolls are as one. Back home, they test it out but it summons weird items. Kettle? Wheel? Party hat? WTF?! Meanwhile Kiyoshi is bent on retrieving Uzume’s card to get his wish. Something about turning sports into its true meaning because he has had it with those members who have turned sports into some sort of breeding ground for inappropriate relationships. Uzume and her dolls try to train their hearts to be one. Exercise? Disco? Twister? Human pyramid? But it finally pays off as the items turn into… Limbo Rock stick???!!! After they successfully to the limbo, the items further transform into cannon parts. Because they are unsure of the next step, it reverts into those original ordinary items. Sasara blames Uzume for not being a great master and thinks that she thinks her dolls are not working hard enough. This hurts Uzume and she runs away. Along the way she spots Komachi talking to her friends and thoughts of Komachi suited to be the dolls’ master cross her mind. Of course Komachi as usual talks to her and gives her advice. Uzume can’t be passive with people. If she wants to have someone do something, she too must do it. Her dolls are discussing if they have truly hurt their master this time. Even so, they realize MDAG is coming after her and the only thing they can do now is protect her and fight.

Once again, Kiyoshi faces off with Uzume. Both sides summon their dolls. Sasara assures Uzume they will protect her because it is their duty as dolls. They will buy her time while she figures out about the special card. After seeing her dolls getting blown away by the scrum, suddenly Uzume’s legs transforms into a tank!!! WTF???!!! Her desire to protect her dolls keeps the rugby team at bay. That is when the cannon assembles because master and dolls have their heart as one and Sasara will be the bullet to break through the iron defence. After chanting a long team line (seriously, is this necessary to activate the cannon?), Sasara is fired and the defence is easily broken through. Kiyoshi retreats. Uzume and co’s celebration is short-lived when a mysterious woman, Anne wants to see her strength after being impressed with their team technique. She sends her single doll, Proto Zero to fight Uzume’s. They are all taken out in an instant! No fighting chance. She leaves disappointed. When Manai and Kagami arrive, Kagami recognizes that woman as MDAG’s director. Later, she again sends a reminder to her that Uzume is hers and not to let anyone interfere. Uzume and her dolls take a bath. Sasara scrubs her back as apology. The rest get jealous over the duo being so close and want in.

Episode 8
The Card Club is doing curry cafe for the school’s cultural festival. Rafflesia and Mikasa are wary because outsiders are allowed in and this means Uzume will be an easy target by MDAG. Speaking of which, here is one waltzing in now. A Chinese bimbo airhead named Rin. She enters each club to look for Uzume. Till she enters the cafe with males in aprons. Very demotivating… Also, Rin becomes totally jealous when she sees a poster of Komachi. In some magazine, Komachi ranked first ahead of second placed Rin and she’s adamant she’ll be tops in the next. Whatever. Katia accompanies Miko to the haunted house but since Uzume wandered too far, Katia disappears and is left to venture in alone. Luckily Kagami finds her but soon loses her too. Uzume along with Komachi see a movie by the AV Club. The director is one of the students, Jun Fujihisa and yeah, he looks like a member of MDAG. But he is adamant he will get his wish without MDAG. Anyway, if you don’t get what his movie is about, don’t worry, you’re not along. Nobody did. Imagine his shock when he sees their I-don’t-get-it reaction. But Uzume recognizes the location in the movie. Isn’t that the rundown lab? Now that he is desperate, he is considering doing MDAG’s bidding just to have more audience watch his movie. Meanwhile Rin has been having bad luck trying to find Uzume. At first she thought Miko knew because she heard her say Uzume’s name but each time she loses her. Now a desperate case, she hijacks the PA and with a creepy suspicious voice, sends a message for Uzume to head to the back of the gym. She is waiting with her Chinese zombie dolls but the first to arrive is Kagami. She defeats this weakling. Kagami hides when Uzume arrives. Uzume is confronted with Fujihisa who challenges her to a duel. Uzume’s dolls sends Fujihisa’s movie set crew dolls into defeat when they cut up some onions to well up tears in their eyes?! WTF?! Tragically humorous, I’d say. Uzume learns that Fujihisa made a contact with MDAG just to get more audience. Though Sasara and co didn’t really approve his method, Fujihisa’s dolls stood up for their master about his true passion in making films. Uzume could understand how he feels. Fujihisa runs back to the room and is devastated to see not a single soul. Only Miko is watching. Where did the audience go? They left halfway. Heart breaking, isn’t it? Uzume finally reunites with Miko. When Miko notes how interesting the movie is (did she understand what she just saw?), it sends Fujihisa crying. No, there were no onions causing that. Returning back to their room, everyone learns Kagami had made curry coupons to attract more customers. Uzume shakes her hand.

Episode 9
While Uzume laments the club room is too small since all the dolls are out frolicking, Kagami gets a message from MDAG. They have found information on her brother and thus she needs to complete the requirements if she wants this information. Kagami treats Uzume to parfait. Happy? Now hand over your cards! Wait a minute. You can’t ask like that, can’t you? Uzume won’t give it to her so Kagami gets up and leaves. Enjoy your parfait. As usual Uzume seeks Komachi’s advice and in the end, no use worrying about it and she’ll start talking to her tomorrow. Of course that won’t happen since she hasn’t turn up in the clubroom since. Kagami is at the abandoned tracks. She asks her dolls if they would sacrifice themselves for her wish. They will do anything their master commands. Kagami needs to take Uzume’s cards before midnight because there is a time limit MDAG will be willing to release that information. She is in a dilemma because she has made friends but has lived this moment to find her brother and shouldn’t care about them. So when Uzume is made to confront Kagami, the latter starts going on the offensive. Uzume is shocked and doesn’t want to fight her friend but is forced to. If Uzume had that cannon, Kagami’s is a giant shuriken! Both sides go all out to fight for their master but Uzume doesn’t want her dolls to finish their opponents. The turning point came when Uzume protected Katia and took a blow. This causes Kagami’s will to waver. Although she insists she is still the enemy and wants her to hate her so she can fight and still her cards, Uzume asserts she is not and will not fight her because she is her friends. She got too close that Kagami slapped her. Now feeling guilty, Kagami explains about her beloved brother. He went missing, believed to be kidnapped. MDAG is her only last hope to find him because the police and her parents can’t do much. Uzume will help find her brother and this turns Kagami into an emotional wreck. Friends again? Rafflesia and Mikasa offer their help to find her brother in exchange for some info on MDAG. However, Anne tells them Kagami has been expelled. Kagami and Uzume send their dolls to attack Proto Zero but were easily defeated. Not even the cannon could do the trick. In the end, Madeleine is captured. Anne is impressed that she planned to capture them all but only got one. She is impressed with Uzume’s growth and invites her to join MDAG.

Episode 10
Uzume’s dolls chide their master for being useless since she is doing nothing and leaving things to Rafflesia. But what can she do? Later Uzume receives some package of tea she believes from her uncle. She makes some and tries to entice her dolls out but they’re sitting in to continue their protest. Stubborn? Till Uzume receives mail from Anne requesting for a battle that the dolls decide to do a ceasefire. Because Anne wants her cards and doesn’t want to hurt her dolls, she suggests a different card game: Poker. Yes, plain ol’ poker and no fancy magic stuff or anything. Uzume realizes the tea contains the poker cards and sent from Anne. Before she could get them, her mom Mikoto sees them and is impressed. A tea box turns into a hologram set so Uzume and Anne feign they are friends and are about to play poker. Mikoto is eager to play too and notes she is good in it. Since when did she become a gambler? Since giving birth to her daughters! That’s like gambling, right? So we are given the gist of poker by Mikoto. Unknown to them, Madeleine is with Anne and being treated nicely. Is this some sort of cohorts they’re in? Mikoto deals the cards and Uzume’s hand is the weakest. Mikoto seems like she fails in playing poker since she is acting all too happy with her good cards. She doesn’t even want to change. Uzume has no confidence and folds. Anne is confident in her hands and won’t change them either. But when Mikoto ups the ante, Anne folds thinking she really has a superior card. When they show their cards, Mikoto has nothing!!! Wow. She was really playing poker indeed!

The next round begins. Again, Uzume has nothing. Mikoto once more acts happy but Anne won’t be bought by her trick again. Anne ups the ante and will bet Madeleine’s card. Of course Uzume wants it, giving mommy the reason she is collecting rare cards. However Uzume has no confidence in her hand and folds again. When it’s show time, Mikoto has a straight flush compared to her three-of-a-kind. Man, this mommy is good. Uzume thanks her mom for getting the card but wait… Mommy didn’t say on giving it to her. Since it’s time to make dinner, she can’t play anymore. Aw, shucks… In that case, Mikoto lets Uzume play on her behalf. Whoever wins gets the card. Uzume’s dolls let her know about the background in the screen. They deduce Anne is in the car and from the floodlights behind, they are at the nearby park. The dolls head there but are stopped by Proto Zero. Again, they get owned. They want Uzume to use a trap card so she decides to believe in her cards and use them. Proto Zero is fast avoiding those blocks but no matter how fast, she is going to get caught sooner or later. In the end, she gets cornered by the dolls. The final cards are dealt. Uzume’s luck is sure horrible. Nothing. Anne knows victory is in her hands since she has full house. Uzume of course is going to believe in her cards and changes all 5 cards. An act of desperation? Anne thought she was following her mom’s silly act but it seems she has four-of-a-kind compared to her full house! Anne admits defeat and tells her that the director will pay her a visit soon. Eh? You mean she is not the director? And soon Uzume has a guest at her doorstep… KOMACHI! She admits she is MDAG’s director. Oh sh*t…

Episode 11
Komachi returns Madeleine to her and then unseals the lock on the dolls’ memory. They recognize her as their previous master. Come to think of it, she does have that similarity to that kid… Sasara is not pleased that she abandoned them and of all times, why now? Manai and Kagami are called over as Komachi explains. Her dolls wouldn’t develop further under her command. That’s why she had to ‘abandon’ them. Then a different side of them emerged when Uzume became their master. She apologizes for what has happened and as for if she is their friend or foe, it depends on their stand. Komachi will finish discussion at school tomorrow and leaves with her dolls back to her home. Uzume feels reluctant but lets them go with her. Next day as they head to school, Kagami tries to ask her about her brother but Komachi didn’t say anything. Since the clubroom is too small to house the girls, dolls and even Rafflesia and Mikasa, they do it in the hall. Much better. The guys will not charge MDAG since from their information, they have not broken any law although what they did was morally wrong. It all began at Kawagoe when the people created the devices in some scientific revolution. However they were caught in some international conspiracy and have gone missing. A different group is searching for their whereabouts. They left behind the cards and due to some complex system, the dolls of the cards can grow on their own. To investigate this, they gave various people sets of cards in secret because various nations and organizations have been attempting to steal and analyze this technology. Furthermore, the country’s top brass cannot decide to keep or trade the technology. The developers embedded different cards with different data since they got this idea from one person: Makoto, who is Kagami’s brother. Although he just gave the idea and never had involvement in the technology. Because of that, others kidnapped him in hopes of getting more ideas out of him but when that failed, the released him in some country overseas. And now he has returned. Yes, Makoto was hiding in that mushroom mascot all along. Cue for emotional sibling reunification. Thanks to Komachi’s information, they were able to retrieve him under their custody. They believe this technology should not fall into the hands of outsiders and would like the card owners to stay with their dolls.

Uzume is not thrilled hearing all this. She got caught up in this and then this surprise. She doesn’t get a single thing what they are saying and is saddened Komachi tried to hide all this from her. Why, oh why. Komachi explains she had a friend, Sonnet. She was a doll. She looks like Plastic Zero which was constructed in her design. Unfortunately she isn’t here anymore and because she wanted her back, she started MDAG and trading of wishes. Her wish is to have lots of cards to resurrect Sonnet since she would need the data from the dolls. She tried to recovery card but it didn’t work. Komachi doesn’t want to separate Uzume from her dolls. But she needs the data from them so she can bring Sonnet back. She wants to hand them back without fighting. Unsure Uzume asks her dolls but they ask her back. It’s got to be her who decides in the end, eh? Still unsure, Sasara chides her off that’s why she’s always weak. Uzume says back that they don’t really back her up since they’re always thinking about their ex-master. Since it has come to this, Sasara and co will return to Komachi and want Uzume to terminate their contract. On top of that, Uzume quits the Card Club and runs away. On the train, she is met by Anne (MDAG’s secretary) who tells her about the director. Once she returns to her room, she finds a note left behind by her ex-dolls. They have hidden a birthday present in her room and want her to go on a scavenger hunt. It’s not even her birthday. But upon remembering Anne’s words that when the data is extracted from the doll, they will lose everything including their memories, and that Sasara and co know about this and thus won’t be around during her birthday, Uzume turns her room upside down. She just ransacked her own room, no? She couldn’t find it but Manai and Kagami are here to support her. Uzume confronts Komachi at the stadium and wants her dolls back. But the contract was nullified, right? Uzume borrows her app and recalls her dolls back. They disappear back into the device and this proves they still recognize her as their master. Since Komachi still needs them to revive Sonnet, I guess the only way left is to settle via duel. Uzume says her wish is just to be with her friends.

Episode 12
We see how good friends Komachi and Sonnet were. One day Komachi almost got ran over by a truck but Sonnet pushes her away and got struck down instead. Komachi became devastated watching her friend disappear before her eyes. Kagami and Makoto are looking for Uzume but she’s not home. Anne knows where she is but wants Makoto to trade wishes. Bringing him back to MDAG’s operation room, she wants him to analyze the data regarding Sonnet’s recovery since he knows a lot about the cards’ data. Komachi is ranting about some philosophy about hope and desire. Because desires for each human are different, there is no one true justice. Yeah. Whatever. She thinks humans should consider only 1 thing important because if there are too many, they’ll become selfish and get lost. Yeah. Whatever. Due to some policy of Rafflesia and Mikasa’s organization, they can’t interfere in their battle and can only watch. How sad. So both sides begin their fight but as usual, Proto Zero is too fast and strong. Not even that WTF hotdog, onion or friendship cannon could best her. As explained, after Sonnet died, Komachi received Proto Zero from the original makers. Her void and hollow existence allows her to accept patterns from any dolls and thus the potential to grow infinitely strong. Anne and Makoto televise Komachi and Uzume’s duel to all the MDAG members. But Uzume gets more help when Kagami and Manai arrive to lend extra hands. Despite all their dolls combining to fire one great big cannon, it is still not enough. Goes to show that quantity is not always better.

Since fighting won’t do the trick, I guess the dolls are resorting to talking now. Friendship… Treasure our relationship with our master… You get the idea. Komachi orders Proto Zero to defeat them all but surprisingly she breaks down and cry! I guess Proto Zero is hurting inside because she doesn’t really want to fight. Everyone wants Komachi to think that what she is doing is at the cost of everyone else’s wishes. If Komachi views Sonnet as her friend, then what does Sonnet view her as? A friend too, right? More blah, blah, blah about friends and the likes. Anne and Makoto enter the scene just to tell Komachi that due to some recognition ability in-built in the dolls, reviving Sonnet is impossible because Uzume’s data is inside them. Eh? What? Say that again. Now Komachi becomes an emotional wreck because she came this far only to be told the impossible. But Makoto says there is a way. He hands her an empty card without data. As Sonnet was an early model of a card, her data might still be around on the internet. All you need to do is gather all those information and put them in this card. Are you crazy? Are you going to scour the entire internet just to gather all the data? It’s worse than finding a needled in a haystack. That’s when all the dolls, including all those MDAG losers that Uzume has bested before (except Rin – where the heck is she?), offer their help to find it. Wow. Power of friendship. Power of love. And so all the dolls travel across the internet to gather the data in the form of… Colourful gumballs? All our human counterparts have to do is just wait. It took them till morning. Hey, that’s considered fast already, right? And when they finally return, to Komachi’s joy, Sonnet revives from a rose. And Komachi knows this is going to be a great day because she just found her birthday present.

Fashionista Cosplay Doll
I’m not really impressed with this anime although I won’t say it to the point that I am disappointed. There was nothing that really attracted my attention and if it did, it was just probably for a short span. I was heading down the boringsville road and that nothing would happen because what you normally see here is Uzume bonding with her dolls or fighting with other card masters. It was hard for me to maintain my attention so much so that when Komachi was revealed to be MDAG’s leader, I felt surprised! Serious. Usually I would have guessed it miles away since there were some hints that would have made viewers pinpoint her as the secret boss. Like why was she always around when Uzume needed some friend advice or that flashback kid that resembled so closely to her. Because I wasn’t ‘thinking’, maybe that is why that revelation caught me off-guard. But still, I think the ending is a bit crappy. Because they want to end it with a happy ending for everybody. Uzume gets to stay with her dolls. Uzume gets to be friends with everybody. Komachi gets Sonnet back. All MDAG members are somewhat shown to have turned over a new leaf because of the power of friendship and love. Wow. Too much sugar coating can be bad for health.

It didn’t help since the big mind boggling puzzle was why Komachi abandoned her dolls that now belong to Uzume. Then she had to turn ‘buruk siku’ and want her to return them. Maybe it’s because I’m not paying attention but I remember she said about not developing further under her and thus ‘abandoned’ them. But what makes her think they have the data within to resurrect Sonnet? Had she knew it was them in the first place, she wouldn’t have tossed them away, right? And the way the anime ended felt cheap too because after all the hardship that Komachi went through just to revive Sonnet, she is being told it can’t be done and suddenly our genius Makoto comes up with a never-thought-of-before method that is seemingly impossible to a human but possible to the dolls since they too are made of data. In an instant, the trouble of reviving Sonnet that required time and effort is suddenly solved with this empty card solution and gathering of her data all over the internet. Feels cheap, doesn’t it? Makes you go if Komachi is the smart girl that would do anything to revive her best friend, how come she have never thought about this? If she was that desperate, I’m sure she would have come up with insane methods and tested them out. Clearly, even if she is desperate, shouldn’t she know better than to send somebody else to do the job? Why not take them herself? If she considers Sonnet her most important friend (assuming more important than Uzume), I’m sure she doesn’t really care about putting up a nice and friendly facade to Uzume, right? And if Sonnet is one of the early data for dolls, what makes the other dolls think they know her? I don’t think they were just randomly gathering all sorts of data in the cyber space. It’s a huge infinite dimension out there.

I am guessing that you need to have some knowledge of the game because it is not really explained in detail of the workings. The card masters make it look easy by just taking out their card and swiping them. In addition to doll cards, they got lots of activation cards and trap cards that add to the variety of the battle but somehow I feel it is more of convenience than anything. The cards themselves are not given any prominence or focus so you can’t really feel the impact when they turn the tables on the opponents. Another example is how Aloe was on the verge of being erased forever. Uzume being the noob and amateur would of course panic and unsure what to do. Then for convenience sake, Rafflesia pops up and gives her a card that solves it all. Don’t you feel it is too convenient? Then there’s that bout with Miina. She had lived with the mark on her arm for so long hoping she would get rid of it one day and suddenly it took a rookie to use some special card to heal it. Wasn’t Miina some sort of A+ master? Maybe that doesn’t guarantee you some rare cards. So again, doesn’t it feel like convenience? It’s like they can make up any type of card out from thin air and then thrust it into the episode just to tie things up. Aside cards, the part Kagami was reunited with Makoto too felt rushed. Like all too convenient. He was missing for so many years, how in the world did Komachi get information of his whereabouts (must be trading of many wishes) and then suddenly Mikasa’s organization brings him back. Conveniently solves Kagami’s part, no?

Character wise, they aren’t really that memorable either. Uzume is your typical protagonist who gets reluctantly dragged into this mess but learns to accept her newfound friends despite her shortcomings. Despite a cheerful and friendly girl, sometimes a little too much admonishing by her dolls can hurt her heart. Hey, she’s human after all. It’s funny to see that sometimes her dolls are the ones who take control of her personal life (because Uzume now needs to fork out more and share). Uzume tries to regain control but they shoot it down. Maybe they have the numbers. Or maybe Uzume is just a very accommodating person. Not really. She should sometimes learn how to say no and put her foot down. Her dolls I feel try to give us a variety of personality but they weren’t that memorable too. You’ve got loli Katia, stoic Akari, mature Madeline, upbeat Shimeji and the rebellious Sasara as part of the gang. Though the initial episodes give focus on a doll per episode, somehow it doesn’t just quite feel satisfying. For example, Katia doing her delivery and Shimeji still thinking about her ex-master, I just don’t feel the bond between them and Uzume deepening or whatsoever. Because the other card masters have at least 5 dolls, it feels like there are too many of them so most of them are just there for the numbers and feels like there is no character given to them. Although they follow a certain theme like sports or films, etc.

Kagami was annoying initially, especially how every time she appeared before Uzume, it’s like her role is to remind us that she will steal her cards. Maybe if you threaten somebody on a frequent basis, it would signal that you are serious instead of just fooling around. But Uzume doesn’t seem that fazed, right? Sure, she seems worried about Kagami’s intention at first but she’s not losing sleep over it. And then when she revealed about her quest to find her missing brother, she becomes open to the concept of becoming her friend. If Uzume knew about this, she would have done that right from the start. It feels like a shonen type anime when you see Uzume battling her friends and they end up becoming her ally. Well, Manai was brainwashed so it can’t be helped. But she fits that bill, right? Then you have pain-in-the-ass Kagami before the final showdown with Komachi. There are times when you need to fight your best friend just to renew your friendship. At least, that is what I thought how things ended and was supposed to be. Komachi is just like any other human with her own desires and wishes but so as not to make her be seen as the final boss villain, that’s why we see some sort of reconciliation with Uzume at the end. That’s why despite Komachi being the cool cat and counselling master that doesn’t show us any fluctuation in emotions, when she finally broke in the end, it’s a sign that Uzume had ‘won’. In short, nobody is really the bad guy. As mysterious as they may be, Rafflesia and Mikasa, I feel that their presence is just hanging around and watching over the girls. Comment a little here and there, give Uzume special cards when needed… Feels somewhat redundant. And nobody could tell Rafflesia is Uzume’s homeroom teacher? Yeah. Just put on some visor and some cape, you’ll turn out looking like a different person.

The other characters especially those set by MDAG to steal Uzume’s cards, I thought some of them had potential to be some sort of antagonist later in the series like that Kira dude. This guy is hanging on to his past memories of his girlfriend and needed to open some box. The way they show it makes it look important and his true villainy selfishness seems pretty genuine in getting down and dirty to do the job. And then when his dolls turned against him and he got defeated himself, it’s like he suddenly saw the light. Suddenly he turns over a new leaf. End of his story. So why the heck show his problem or whatsoever? Sure, the other lesser MDAG members too have their own issue, the reason why they want to trade wishes for their own. But seriously, their wishes felt so lame that the only reason why they resorted to this is because they are desperate. Are there no other avenues? Or maybe it’s just a sign to say that you’re not good enough for it. They even lost to Uzume’s dolls, right? A girl who isn’t the best master in the world but treasures her dolls like human friends. Bimbo Rin could have been a really amusing-cum-funny character but her one-episode only appearance also leaves a lot to be desired. What is her relation to Komachi anyway? Or was it just some personal jealousy? I can imagine the comical moments if she were to face off with Uzume. Alas, it was not destined to be. Mikoto is perhaps the most fun character. The way she plays poker is a natural and I’m sure she can teach the girls a lesson or two about poker and its relevance to real life.

I know the dolls are made up of data but it still boggles my mind how they can actually appear anywhere whenever they are not summoned in the real world. It’s like they can appear on window panes and pages. Doesn’t it make you feel creepy? Suddenly they can just pop up and interact with you. Only you can see them so in the eyes of others, you must be some sort of weirdo talking to ghosts! Another weird aspect is that if they are made of data and although materialized as something solid in this world, how can they actually eat real food? Especially Uzume’s dolls who love snacking. Since when it is life and death for a girl to not have their snacks? If you think about it, what happens to the snacks when it enters their stomach? How do they get processed? How does it get excreted? I know I’m thinking too much and that I shouldn’t bother with such details but I just can’t help because you know, they aren’t really human despite acting and looking close like one. Heck, they even develop emotions! How is that for technology advancement? You can give that data growth crap thingy as a reason but still, a doll will still be a doll. Hmmm… Come to think about it, maybe the dolls are more human than the humans themselves.

The way Uzume summons her dolls and we see their transformation scene is amusing since we see a long bullet train running up to the side of the doll and the carriage opens only to reveal a long list of clothes in this wardrobe. Not that they could actually pick out the clothes and wear but I guess in some fashion sense, it gives a little eye candy. I thought it was really fun and a little unique too but then when the same scene is repeated over and over again, it gets tiresome. Even the long winded summoning line that they say, I thought I would be halfway around the world by then. The enemy might have pulled a fast one by the time you even get to reach halfway. Is it necessary to recite such a long line? By right after saying it too much, those lines would have been drilled into my head but thank goodness I can’t even remember a single one.

Action wise, it is nothing spectacular. We see the dolls and their abilities based on the dress that they wear but there is not much variation since the dolls are just confined to just one set of battle outfit despite their train wardrobe containing a variety of other dresses. Heck, I don’t think they even have any special moves to begin with. You’ll always see Akari with her yo-yo and Sasara with her rapier. In group matches, you see them clashing here and there as fast as a ninja but that is about it. Don’t hold your breath. I’m not sure if this series is trying to be comical in some action scenes but there are a few scenes that I really thought it was funny. Like when everyone assembled the friendship cannon, it already looked silly enough that Sasara had to be the firing bullet (an iron helmet to top it off too?), but why do you need the master to do the marching drum? For rhythm? Seriously? Aren’t the dolls the ones who are pulling the string to fire? Uzume turning into a mini tank is also a comical scene. I thought this would turn into Girls Und Panzer… Then the dolls getting owned by Proto Zero is also funny because she is so fast and that the action is done in slow motion, it makes them look so handicap and lame when they get thrown off. And then there’s that morning wake up shock treatment from Akari. I hope Uzume doesn’t get traumatized and lose sleep over it.

As said previously, what the dolls wear are limited and confined. Although there is not much clothing design variety in a single doll, I guess the numerous other dolls make up for it. The designs may not be that unique but at least it gives some eye candy and perhaps one of the main points of this series. That’s why we also have cute dolls, cute girls and even hot looking guys. It’s all in the aesthetics of the visual appeal. But I thought I find it a little odd when the dolls are ‘naked’. It feels that the shirt (if I can call that) somewhat embeds into their skin. To put it in another way, it’s like the chest part and below didn’t manage to get a finished paint job. Slowly as you scroll down, you’ll notice sleeves-like feature. Odd, for sure. This series is produced by Hoods Entertainment, known to have produced some very ecchi anime titles like Aki Sora, Seikon No Qwaser, Rescue Me, Manyuu Hikenchou, Princess Lover and Kagaku Na Yatsura. So if you want to talk about fanservice in this anime, there is literally close to none because I don’t think the dolls in their ‘naked’ form really amounts to anything close to that (though the way they show it to us may tempt us to think so) and the bath scene whereby Uzume and her dolls all cram into the tiny bathtub just doesn’t cut it either. There’s nothing to see so move along…

So magic cards dolls battles thingy isn’t really my cup of tea and thus you might find my blog a little on the negative side. Though this anime still has some enjoyable moments like those comical bits and probably the fashion design of the dolls. Then you have some lessons you can learn too like the power of friendship and love will conquer all but these are done moderately so as not to spam you in the face every minute, therefore not so much annoying. If I wanted to see a card game-cum-tournament, I would go for Yugioh. If I wanted to see dolls fighting, I would go for Rozen Maiden. Combining both here doesn’t really work out. Certainly I wouldn’t go through all the trouble just to steal other people cards just to have my wish granted. Can I wish for the world’s destruction as long as I can take certain cards for somebody? I think stealing and launching a nuclear bomb would be much easier ;p. If you need others to grant your wish instead of yourself, then it is probably not worth as much as you think it is.

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