Girls/Dolls Frontline (2022) TV ANIME [FIRST IMPRESSIONS]

The gacha-age of anime it’s still going strong, since after the gag anime based on Girls/Dolls Frontline debutted on BiliBili… we’re now actually getting an adaptation of the strategy gacha game’s story, because why the fuck not? Why yes?

Doesn’t matter, it’s there anyway, so let’s take a look at the first 3 episodes, i did actually play this one a lot more than most of these “things turned anime girls” gacha game, since it was actually a strategy game that held some actual gameplay alongside trying to roll the best “gungirl”.

Yep, this time we have mass-produced humanoid robots virtually indistinguishable from humans called “Tactical dolls” (referred to as “T-Dolls” for brevity’s sake), named after a specific type and model of weaponry, and a very Terminatoresque plot set in the not-too-distant future of 2045, when World War III erupts and various PMCs send out their tactical dolls to fight.

At the end of the war the ones from PMC Sanguis Ferri (latin for “Iron Blood”, btw) start rebelling against humanity, and a special squad from the PMC “Griffin” is sent to investigate the causes of the rebellion, with a new commander to lead them…

And of course both the protagonists and the Sanguis Ferri’s units have designs that answer the age old question of “what if Skynet was programmed by an anime obsessed japanese Ted V. Mikels?”, with a dash of Tom Clancy’s The Division style aesthetic thrown into the pot.

Yep, we’re yet again in the realm of Kancolle, Azur Lane and akin material being adapted for TV animation, which comes with certain aspectations and obligations, the latter somehow working elements from the game into the anime, the former being a very vague worldbuilding that raises a lot of questions about the context or deliberately keeps avoiding giving out any answer because the source material doesn’t really have much of that anyway and coming up with more might be just a waste of time, because fans really don’t care about anything besides the designs.

It is a world where robot girls wearing maid uniforms lift the skirts to reveal 4 machine guns, and the designs include a cat-nun with gun (and cross-shaped irises)….

Though, i feel like i have to point out that there’s no fanservice, at least in the first 3 episodes, and it kinda makes sense, since Girls/Dolls Frontline it’s not that reliant on the sexual content, all things considered.

Still, this one has a bit more on its bones in terms of plot and setting, enough to NOT make you question everything going on and its “whys”, the narrative is fairly straighforward and easy to follow, it’s faithful to the source material, and in terms of elements from the game, the show does a decent job of referencing familiar sights (like the map screen with the nodes), the importance of team building to enhance stats, and stuff like the “dummy link” system in the game.

Animation is mostly handled by Asahi Production, which most likely doesn’t ring a bell to most anime fans, but has an impressive portfolio, especially as prodiving in-between animation, 2nd key animation, finish animation and photography to a plethora of projects, both old and new, famous and less so. And it’s… decent, same goes for the designs and artwork in general, it has definitely a “cheapish” feel it, i don’t wanna insult anyone (i sure as hell can’t animate, for shit or otherwise), but it just has that cheapish aura to it, and art direction it’s kinda generic and a bit bland.

Fine enough for what’s ultimately enjoyable trash to a specific niche audience, like me. It is niche “garbage”, no dancing around it. Overall, first impressions are quite decent, for what it is its fine, but i really wouldn’t recommend it to anyone beside those already familiar with the series, or other tv anime adaptations of niche gacha games, especially if they involve “military weaponry and objects made into anime girls”.

Most likely i will review the entire season later this year.

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