Region 1 Edition

Artsmagic Ltd
RRP 19.99, US $24.95
ATU 003
Certificate: Not Rated
Available 27 July 2004

Prostitute robot dolls roam empty streets for men, but humanity has wiped itself out. Malice@doll is one such prostitute. After suffering ravishment by a grotesque tentacled creature, she is mysteriously transformed into a human being. Overcome with joy, she seeks to transfer this gift through a loving kiss. But with every gift there comes a curse...

Malice@Doll is a very strange tale which is best described as Blade Runner meets Pinocchio. This is a story of what the world of the future might be like when all humans are gone and only robots remain. It mostly deals one prostitute robot (or doll) called Malice. After a rather viscous intrusion by a tentacled creature, she wakes up the next morning, human. After some confrontations, Malice realises that she can turn other dolls and robots into humans, but there is a cost.

The dolls that Malice changes start to transform other robots into flesh form. Soon other creatures are running amok. Realising the pain and suffering she has caused, Malice tries to put everything right.

This is one of only a few full length computer animated films to come out of Japan. The animation is cold and very dark, setting the mood perfectly for the story that unfolds. You cannot help but feel sympathy for Malice as she tries to do the right thing, and the films climax is rather emotional.

The transfer itself is more than adequate and on occasions it is difficult to tell whether or not it is the animation that is grainy or the transfer itself. Extras on the disc include a documentary about the history of computer graphics in anime, still galleries and interviews with the writer and director.

All in all this is a very solid piece. Dark and disturbing with just the right amount of humanity to pull it up from being too dark. Whilst this may not be to everybody's taste, if you are feeling adventurous and fancy something with more soul than your usual CG anime (you know the one I mean) then this is for you.


Simon Lee

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