A thunderous resonance of awe is left after the conclusion of Busou Shinki – female anime figures are given vitality and soul, taking up arms to fight for their adorable humanity and gain relationships of meaning.
So much can be said about this short anime series – yet to start, it is important to point out before all else that this anime takes a line of figures, of course also by the name of “Busou Shinki”, and makes them characters within. However, it would be a grave mistake to think this series is simply some marketing ploy – there is an essence of name branding, although it is hardly noticeable, or even realizable, unless one was already told about, or familiar with, the connection this anime has to some merchandise.
As we start the episode, it’s an intense battle ongoing amongst two females in mech suits – a darker haired one is more so playing the predator role as the other, clad in white, merely wishes to escape. This she does manage, however not without taking some damage to her body plate – as it so seems, she’s more or less an anime figure. Her injuries sustained leave her out cold – and from there, the will of nature eventually carries her to a safe location, leaving her unconsciously relaxed on a tree.
Elsewhere, we see a child who seemingly has an interest no different than the others his age – however being a transfer student, the others simply do not accept him into their group. This kid is our protagonist, now tarrying along dejectedly – heading home while contemplating to himself over his yearning desire for a “Shinki”, something which apparently is at the pinnacle of every kid’s dream in his area.
Incidentally, it seems to be his lucky day as while he heads up the steps of his home, a glimmer catches his eye – it’s the Shinki from earlier who remains broken, beat, and inert. Our hero rushes to her aide – and seemingly, he’s quite a sharp kid. First of all, from the actions our protagonist takes, it appears that a Shinki is not merely a PVC figure for aesthetic value within this anime – instead it is like a personal robotic companion, think of Ergo Proxy if you’ve seen it.
Now our protagonist, seeing that this Shinki is wounded, begins working some tech savvy equipment to resuscitate her – and indeed, he succeeds splendidly. The two then go on to get acquainted with one another – despite being only the size of a PVC figure, our protagonist’s Shinki which he’s dubbed “Kaguya” is truly cute and outgoing, seemingly always eager to serve her “master”. It appears that even though she’s intended to be a tool of humans, she has her own cognitive ability – proving to be one of the more interesting aspects of the series.
A day comes where our hero enters his cuddly little Kaguya into a tournament which seems to be a sort of mandated battle for sake of sport – no Shinki is to be harmed or annihilated during the bout, however our hero’s cute Shinki ends up going crazy. She loses control over thought and action – literally becoming a killing machine, albeit it one so moe. Kaguya manages to regain her senses – yet a piece of news floating around is that there’s a rabid Shinki on the loose killing others of its kind, and with the sight to just unfold, all in the room now think it is Kaguya.
Being a young child, there’s not much our hero can do aside from panic as others begin to swarm after his Shinki. Kaguya thankfully manages to escape with assistance from a neko – yet only a while afterwards, is lured into following another Shinki, the one who she was fighting with right at the start of the series, and the same who is responsible for the mass murder of anime figures.
We come to learn that both Kaguya and the other who came for her are actually sisters – both of whom are being exploited for some illicit weapon research. The two are autonomous – meaning that unlike other Shinki, they do not require orders from an entity to operate, rather, they have volition. From there, flashy scenes of combat ensue which gain Kaguya freedom from the mad science research party – then subsequently does she defeat, with support from her master who came to her aide, a final boss of sorts to recover her sister.
With the both humans and anime figures managing to survive, the series ends well – a sweet and lovely outcome.
Our protagonist goes on to work in a hobbyshop under his mentor, a fellow who helped him save Kaguya – and of course, Kaguya herself is there as well, keeping our hero company. As for Kaguya’s sister, she’s become a rather cute and obedient Shinki within the hobbyshop as well – serving our hero’s mentor, the hobbyshop owner. And with that, the series ends by showing an immensely adorable tsundere side to Kaguya’s sister – followed by a short speech with propaganda implications, yet not so strong that it has any significance.
Busuo Shinki’s story is one where individuals find purpose and unity. It’s a tale quite touching – and while certain aspects are cliched, such as the evil experimentation, it is all intertwined with original bits, and for that matter, most of the series is actually fresh in terms of creativity. Miniature android-like companions who are able to fight like warriors accompany humans, gain independence from a darker past, and find a fine home with their respective masters.
The series’ episodes are a mere five minutes in length – however watching them all consecutively, and with opening and closing sequences eradicated for a better viewing experience, it truly feels akin to a wonderful film.
Being aware that it hasn’t much time, the series wastes none of it – action flowing smoothly through every second to a constant transition from scene to scene and all so very clean, there isn’t a single fade to black where the characters magically find themselves elsewhere doing different things for a random reason. Also despite its length, the series truly maximizes its resources – developing everything to the greatest extent possible in the short time it has available, bringing us to sympathize with the kid hero, and admire the cute Shinki sisters enough to want one of our own.
For a short series, the visuals have not been held back either as both in terms of design and illustrative facets, as well as animation and effects, does this anime truly impress – there’s plenty of superbly sketched movements to be seen, and a wealth of vivid attacks to witness.
Of course this series isn’t the next Fate/Zero or a soon to be blockbuster, however it is worth watching as one will definitely not regret doing so. Busou Shinki exceeds merely being a solid series and even delivers much in reward to its viewers emotionally, visually, and even through sound for those inclined towards vibrations.